Over the past century Biblical womanhood has been under extreme fire from radical feminists and Marxists. In their attempts to annihilate the traditional, God-ordained family unit they have rightly understood that one of their top strategies must be not only to attack and destroy strong manhood, but to remove women from their rightful sphere of power and influence.
One of their most successful tactics has been to belittle and demean the role of the woman at home, passionately proclaiming that this is a worse than useless position and one to be eschewed at all costs. Those whom they fail to convince to actually leave their homes are made to feel as though they are wasting their lives in mindless drudgery and are even a drain on society.
“The chief thing is to get women to take part in socially productive labor, to liberate them from ‘domestic slavery,’ to free them from their stupefying and humiliating subjugation to the eternal drudgery of the kitchen and the nursery. This struggle will be a long one, and it demands a radical reconstruction, both of social technique and of morale. But it will end in the complete triumph of Communism.” ~ V.I. Lenin, International Working Women’s Day Speech , 1920.
“[The] housewife is a nobody, and [housework] is a dead-end job. It may actually have a deteriorating effect on her mind…rendering her incapable of prolonged concentration on any single task. [She] comes to seem dumb as well as dull. [B]eing a housewife makes women sick.” ~ Sociologist Jessie Bernard in The Future of Marriage, 1982.
“A parasite sucking out the living strength of another organism…the [housewife’s] labor does not even tend toward the creation of anything durable…. [W]oman’s work within the home [is] not directly useful to society, produces nothing. [The housewife] is subordinate, secondary, parasitic. It is for their common welfare that the situation must be altered by prohibiting marriage as a ‘career’ for woman.” ~ Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex, 1949.
Tragically, multitudes of women have drunk deeply at feminism’s well – often without quite realizing just what it was they were imbibing. Though at times it is diluted, and administered in more palatable forms then the shocking statements above, the poison of this radical, anti-God, anti-family, Marxist movement has permeated the thinking of the entire world – including Christendom – and the consequences have been devastating.
The role of the keeper at home, once deeply appreciated and honored, is now looked upon as drudgery and an insult to the intelligence of today’s woman. The woman who actually wants to be home with her family is made to feel foolish and guilty. Any one can do laundry, change diapers, make a meal and wipe noses so why not hire someone else to handle these chores? Why should modern women waste their time and ambitions on such things when they can go out and unleash their talents on the world?
In short, and in a terrible irony, women have willingly abdicated their God ordained positions of honor, nobility and strength for the lie that their true worth and destiny are found in careers outside the home… or in other words, in positions of paid servitude.
Or as Stacy McDonald states in Passionate Housewives, Desperate for God: “Rather than women renouncing this affront to their dignity, amazingly the slaves are demanding their slavery!”
Scripture declares the truth; it is through the saving work of Christ and in a life lived according to the standard set forth in God’s Holy Word, that a woman is most honored and elevated to a position like no other on earth. The godly wife and mother is no household drudge, or mindless parasite, but a queen who truly reigns alongside her husband over the home and domain God has given her. (Genesis 1:28, Genesis 2:18, Proverbs 12:4, Proverbs 31)
As we look back just a few generations ago we see a vastly different view of the keeper at home than the one commonly held today. It was a view that upheld the Biblical standard and understood that this was no mere job but a noble and sacred calling, and a position of power and influence like no other.
Here are just a few of many quotes I have collected that show the high regard and esteem in which the woman at home was once held:
In 1893 an unknown author wrote:
“To be Queen over her little kingdom, serene in every family emergency, capable to direct all things with calmness, cheerfulness, and decision, is an ambition sufficient to tax the powers of the most skillful amongst us, and a vocation equal to the highest God has appointed on this earth.”
In his book Secrets of Happy Home Life (published in 1874) J.R. Miller had this to say of wives:
“Home is the true wife’s kingdom. There, first of all places, she must be strong and beautiful. She may touch life outside in many ways, if she can do it without slighting the duties that are hers within her own doors. But if any calls for her service must be declined, they should not be the duties of her home. These are hers, and no other one’s. Very largely does the wife hold in her hands, as a sacred trust, the happiness and the highest good of the hearts that nestle there. The best husband—the truest, the noblest, the gentlest, the richest-hearted—cannot make his home happy if his wife be not, in every reasonable sense, a helpmate to him.
In the last analysis, home happiness depends on the wife. Her spirit gives the home its atmosphere. Her hands fashion its beauty. Her heart makes its love. And the end is so worthy, so noble, so divine, that no woman who has been called to be a wife, and has listened to the call, should consider any price too great to pay, to be the light, the joy, the blessing, the inspiration of a home.
Men with fine gifts think it worth while to live to paint a few great pictures which shall be looked at and admired for generations; or to write a few songs which shall sing themselves into the ears and hearts of men. But the woman who makes a sweet, beautiful home, filling it with love and prayer and purity, is doing something better than anything else her hands could find to do beneath the skies.”
In his book, Homemaking he had this to say of mothers:
“Oh, that God would give every mother a vision of the glory and splendor of the work that is given to her when a babe is place in her bosom to be nursed and trained! Could she have but one glimpse into the future of that life as it reaches on into eternity; could she be made to understand her own personal responsibility for the training of this child, for the development of its life, and for its destiny, – she would see that in all God’s world there is no other work so noble and so worthy of her best powers, and she would commit to no other hands the sacred and holy trust give to her.”
As John Angell James wrote in 1853 in his book Female Piety:
“Christianity has provided a place for woman for which she is fitted, and in which she shines; but take her out of that place, and her luster pales and sheds a feeble and sickly ray! Or to change the metaphor, woman is a plant, which in its own greenhouse seclusion will put forth all its brilliant colors and all its sweet perfume; but remove it from the protection of its own floral home into the common garden and open field, where hardier flowers will grow and thrive—its beauty fades and its fragrance is diminished. Neither reason nor Christianity invites woman to the professor’s chair, or conducts her to the lawyer’s bar, or makes her welcome to the pulpit, or admits her to the place of the magistracy. Both exclude her…from the violence and evil of the military, the debates of the senate, and the pleadings of the forum. And they bid her beware how she lays aside the delicacy of her sex, and listens to any doctrines which claim new rights for her, and becomes the dupe of those who have put themselves forward as her advocates only to gain notoriety, or perhaps unneeded income.
The Bible gives her her place of majesty and dignity in the domestic circle—the heart of her husband and the heart of her family. It is the female supremacy of that domain, where love, tenderness, refinement, thought and tender feeling preside. “It is the privilege of making her husband happy and honored, and her sons and daughters the ornaments of human society. It is the sphere of piety, prudence, diligence, in the domestic station, and a holy and devout life. It is the sphere that was occupied by Hannah, the mother of Samuel; by Elizabeth, the mother of John; by Eunice, the mother of Timothy; and by Mary, the mother of Jesus. It is the respect and esteem of mankind.”
Being the queen of one’s home is not easy, to state it mildly and involves plenty of mundane and often exhausting chores that can seem of little value. It also requires intense self sacrifice – but it is the same kind of sacrifice that our Saviour portrayed and which the Lord abundantly blesses:
Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. Matthew 20:26-28
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. John 12:24
It is one of Scripture’s beautiful mysteries that as we lay down our lives in happy service to the Lord and our families – loving and helping our husbands, teaching and training our children, caring for our homes and reaching out the hand of hospitality – we are actually elevated to a position of nobility that far exceeds what any career could ever offer.
As “servant queens” we have a great and awe-inspiring privilege, for as we give our lives in joyful self-sacrifice we are also directly serving the Almighty King of Kings :
And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me. Mark 9:35-37
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matthew 25:37- 40
There is revival in the land, and Christian women are rediscovering the beauty and magnitude of God’s plan for womanhood. However, the spirit of feminism (ultimately raw selfishness in a clever disguise) can still influence our thinking if we are not on guard. Because we are all sinful human beings it can be very easy to be a keeper at home who is miserable, discontent, longing for “greener pastures” and foolishly plucking down her home with her own hands (Proverbs14:1). Self-absorption and the demanding of our “rights” can steal our joy and destroy our effectiveness in the mighty work the Lord has given us to do. We can abdicate our thrones and never leave the palace.
With the whole culture shrieking out a “me-first” mentality at every turn we must be vigilant to plug our ears to the lies bombarding us and to fill our hearts, souls and minds with the unchanging truth of God’s Word (“For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations.” Psalm 100:5).
Although feminism continues her barrage against Biblical womanhood, we must refuse to heed her lies anymore. We must return to the beautiful “old paths” (Jeremiah 6:16) of Scripture and keep the Lord’s standard ever before us. Let us victoriously reclaim our thrones for the sake of our families, generations yet to come, and the glory of God.