He who asserts, must prove

by | Bible, Marriage | 1 comment

What is the biblical answer to this question. Can a woman who is not married work outside the home and have a job? Or, does she have to be a keeper at home (homemaker)? Thank you very much!

I am not aware of anything in the Bible which directly addresses your question.

I am not aware of any place in the Bible which says that a woman must be a homemaker or that she cannot work at a job outside the home.

If someone asserts such as a rule, he needs to prove it as a rule.

Certain principles might be applied a certain way in certain situations, or might create certain expectations or strong preferences, but I am not aware of any unqualified rule. One woman might be a homemaker and be doing what is prudent and right, while another woman might be a homemaker and yet be doing what is imprudent or even wrong.

I’ll let you imagine for yourself possible scenarios.

Whether or not it is prudent and right for a woman to be a homemaker or to work at a job outside the home is determined on other grounds than a rule.

Here is an example:

Acts 16:14-15, 40
14 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. 15 And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us. … 40 So they went out of the prison and entered the house of Lydia; and when they had seen the brethren, they encouraged them and departed.

It seems most unlikely that Scripture would present this description of Lydia and omit any reference to a living husband (or father) if she had one. She had a household, but no children are mentioned, and a household does not necessarily imply children. (Abraham had a large household before any children were ever born to him.)

So here we have a Jewish woman who worshiped God and whose faith is confirmed by her conversion. She is apparently a single woman, and she is apparently an independent entrepreneur. That may not be the most enviable situation to be in, but there was nothing necessarily wrong or imprudent about it.

The Pharisees found their righteousness in absolute rules which they themselves concocted from tenuous connections and extrapolations.

Jesus exposed them as hypocrites.

Personal guidelines can be very good and useful. The book of Proverbs is full of such wise guidelines, and we do very well to respect them. But these should not be confused with absolute rules. Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying that the Bible has no absolute rules — it certainly does. I am only saying that I know of no such rule that applies to your question.

Does Titus 2:3-5 apply only to married women?

3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— 4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

As regards “older women,” I don’t see anything in the text or context which would necessarily limit the instruction to a married woman.

As regards “young women,” the instruction about loving husbands, loving children, submitting to husbands, and being homemakers would apply to those young women who have such (husband or children), or who might have such in the future.

The general idea is for older women to mentor young women in godly ways of life. Paul gives Timothy, not an exhaustive, but only a suggestive list of such things as would generally be included. If a young woman should never marry, the instruction is nevertheless useful as it applies to other situations of life. And, of course, the exercise of teaching young women in godly ways of life is good for the older women as well.

1 Comment

  1. Kurt

    “She is apparently a single woman,…” A better description in line with Scriptural understanding would be “an unmarried woman.” The term “single” is a modern term and implies a state of being not recognized in the Bible. Women were either “married” or “unmarried.”


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