Oct. 27, 2021
Over the last several decades and especially the last few weeks, a woman’s “freedom of choice” has been a common phrase heard on Capitol Hill. However, what is usually implied by this phrase is the freedom to end the life of an innocent unborn child. Recently, two hearings took place in the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight and Reform Committee to review the legality and the morality of the Texas Heartbeat Act (S.B. 8). These hearings also provided another platform for Democrats to push their radical abortion policies.
Pro-abortion Democrats in both chambers argued that the only way for a woman to truly be free and equal in this country is to have the ability to abort her child if she so chooses. In fact, implicit in what many of the Democratic witnesses and the Democrat members of Congress have suggested is that women who choose homemaking and childrearing over a career are somehow unequal in this country. What happened to that “empowering” phrase, “freedom of choice”? Why are women who are called to be stay-at-home mothers being demeaned for making this choice?
As an engaged woman preparing for marriage, I was deeply frustrated with the comments suggesting that what I feel called to do will make me unequal to other women. My calling is always first and foremost to serve God. When I get married, it will also be my calling to serve my husband. Should the Lord bless me with children, it will also be my calling to serve them. But according to the Democrats, choosing to prioritize those things before my career will make me unequal because I will allegedly be less able to contribute to the economy, to society, and to politics.
However, Proverbs 31:10-31 shows that the contemporary disdain directed toward homemakers is vastly different from the vision presented in Scripture.
Verses 13, 14, 16, 18, and 24 describe how the “woman who fears the LORD” can be involved in the economy. For example, “she considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard” and “she perceives that her merchandise is profitable,” so “she makes linen garments and sells them.” Verses 20 and 26 describe her roles in society as she helps the needy and teaches with kindness. In this passage, the “woman who fears the LORD” does her husband good, and he trusts her. The support she provides her husband enables him to focus on his duties while also having an honorable character so he can “sit among the elders of the land.” The “woman who fears the LORD is to be praised” because she bears good fruit and points the people in her sphere of influence to fear the Lord. This bearing of good fruit can happen wherever God has placed her, with whatever marital status, children, or occupation she does or does not have.
Ultimately, ministering and pouring into others is what matters in life. Our achievements and career aspirations will fade away, but the relationships we build with fellow image-bearers (Gen. 1:27) have eternal significance. C. S. Lewis describes this reality in The Weight of Glory:
There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilization—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendours.
Motherhood and homemaking should never be seen as a demeaning calling. I have women in my family who have been called to be stay-at-home mothers and others who have been called to motherhood while continuing to work outside the home. These women face different challenges, but they all selflessly care for their children with the goal of honoring God and fulfilling whatever calling God has placed on their lives.
A families’ spiritual condition is ultimately more important than any vocational position we may acquire. We are instructed to “look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” (2 Cor. 4:18). In short, women, whether you are called to work in the workplace or raise your children in the home or balance a combination of both, you are called to be faithful. And despite what our society says to women called to serve exclusively in the home, your work of raising and discipling the next generation has eternal implications. This is a sacred calling; don’t believe lies that tell a different story by demeaning your work.
Amelia Arthur is a Policy and Government Affairs intern at Family Research Council.