Friday, April 25, 2014

She Started It!

Some promoters of the modern Patriarchal Movement teach that women should not be working outside the home. As a matter of fact, I've heard some proponents of this movement say that women, to be biblical, belong in the home. Some have gone so far as to say that it's "God's will" for women to be homemakers and not have careers outside the home. They have stated that the downfall of American society started when women went to work outside the home.

What many proponents of this theory fail to see is that the Proverbs 31 woman started it. Technically, there were "working women" long before the Proverbs 31 woman. We have to think of Miriam, who helped lead Israel. Deborah, a righteous judge, who led men and women alike with no hesitation. There's also Huldah, the prophetess, to whom male leaders went for instruction and help. And there are others.

But, for the sake of this blog post, I want to talk about the Proverbs 31 woman and make a few observations. First of all, King Lemuel's mother, clearly a woman, instructed him. This, alone, goes against our modern patriarchal movement. My experience in this movement speaks against women teaching men in any capacity whatsoever, let alone with Biblical authority. Yes, they even think mothers shouldn't be teaching sons once they reach a certain age.

There's more. Let's look at the Proverbs 31 woman's specific work.

The Proverbs 31 woman was a buyer. Verse 13 tells us "She seeks wool and flax."

She was an international trader. Verse 14 states, "She is like the merchant ships; she brings her food from afar."

She was a chef. Verse 15 tells us she "rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household."

She was also a real estate investor. Verse 16 says, "She considers a field and buys it." There is no hint of her husband being involved in her real estate dealings.

She was also a farmer. Verse 16 also says, "With her profits, she plants a vineyard." This also shows that she made her own financial decisions.

She is an astute business woman. Verse 18 tells us she "perceives that her merchandise is good." She can judge what is good and profitable for herself.

She was a weaver. Verse 19 says, "She stretches out her hand to the distaff; her hands hold the spindle."

She was a philanthropist. Verse 20 tells how she stretched out her hand to the poor and needy.

She was a seamstress. Verse 22 says "She makes tapestry for herself."

She was an entrepreneur. Verse 24 tells us she makes linen garments and sells them.

She was a merchant supplier. Verse 24 tells us, "She supplies sashes for the merchants."

In light of her vast career experience, I would say that the Proverbs 31 woman was a working woman. On a personal level, I am a stay-at-home mom and have been, for the most part, for 32 years. However, I am not a stay-at-home mom because I believe the Bible teaches that that is the only way. Far from it. I am a stay-at-home mom because I choose to be. However, I have always worked from home, as well as worked in the home.

I have run several businesses from my home, including a real estate investing business, a rental property business, a grief aftercare business, a retail business and my free lance writing work. I feel privileged to be able to work from home, but I am not superior in my choices. I admire women who work outside the home and well as in the home. I wanted to home school my kids and working outside the home would not have allowed that to happen. Again, this is not a superior choice.

This is old news. This is an old argument. I'm not giving new information here and I know that. I just hope it's a simple reminder that working women are not new, nor are they out of place or making wrong choices by working. We women started working from the beginning and we will work till the end. The poor men who are threatened by women in the work force should simply step up and make better choices for themselves. We women aren't going anywhere. When a man speaks out in a negative way about women working, he's only showing his weakness. We're not waiting for or asking for permission. We're just doing what we have done down through the ages. And we're doing it with our God's blessing.


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