The Riches OF GRACE
“hath appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11
Robert W. Reed
“I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.”
I Timothy 5:14
+ Homemaking +
The domestic duties of women are clearly defined in the text before us. This one verse sums up the ministry and career life for most women. There is much confusion in our culture today concerning a woman’s work. Satan has enslaved the minds of many when it comes to the different roles of men and women. But, only in Christ do we find freedom (John 8:32). We must put aside the doubts and questioning of God’s Word by the feminist movement and embrace the truth. There is no joy, peace, and fulfillment apart from God and His Word. The women that disregard God’s commands will not find true happiness and satisfaction. May God help us to believe and obey His principles and precepts.
“Of all the earthly things God gives, there’s one above all others: it is the precious priceless gift of loving Christian mothers.”
This article will address the counsel to young women given by the apostle in I Timothy 5:14. The context (verses 3-16) deals with the church’s responsibility to true widows and their qualifications to receive support.
To avoid confusion and misunderstanding, verse 14 gives a threefold outline relating to a woman’s calling.
Mate to Her Husband
The Apostle begins by saying that “I will therefore that the younger women marry.” It is God’s intention that most young women marry. To marry is to seek to be a blessing to some man. In Genesis 2:18, the woman is called a help meet. This word shows the woman’s relationship with the man and her purpose in life. The word help meet reveals the fact that she has a supportive role. She completes her husband and assists him. In other words, she stands by her man. In wedded life, the two become one flesh and the woman is a suitable helpmate to him. They become one in purpose and life. This is God’s original design. God placed man in the garden with a job to do and gave him a companion to work by his side for the kingdom of God (Genesis 2:7-8, 15).
In Genesis 3:16, a wife’s position and mission is summed up in her subjection to her husband, “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” Her husband is to be the center of her desires for she was made out of him and for him (I Corinthians 11:8-9). She is the glory of man and is to be under his authority. The woman is a gift to her husband and she is to look to the man for her needs. This is God’s established order. When a woman acts independently of her husband performing her own desires, ruin comes; just look at Eve. A perfect example of oneness is found in Priscilla and Aquila in the New Testament. They were one in Christ, one in marriage, and one in service (Acts 18 and Romans 16). In I Peter 3:1-7, Sarah is a great illustration of a wife’s relationship to her husband in that she was obedient to Abraham. God calls a man to a particular vocation and then gives him a precious helpmate to be a blessing to him. Her kindness and love gives comfort to the man when he sees her willingness to follow him as he follows God.
Mother to Her Children
The second thing in I Timothy 5:14 is to “bear children.” Motherhood is a great blessing and was the desire of godly women throughout the Bible. The woman is a giver of life. She is created with the ability to conceive, carry and nurture a child. She is called and equipped for this purpose. God has blessed her as the primary caregiver for a child. The first mother is called “The mother of all living” in Genesis 3:20. Her name Eve reveals her calling and identity. In Genesis 1:26-28, the first command and promise in the Bible is associated with motherhood. From the beginning a woman’s role is defined, through Holy Matrimony; she is to help populate the earth. In Genesis 3:1-7, we see Satan’s attack on motherhood. He deceived the woman and caused her to be discontent with her gift and calling and to despise her position. Satan is still doing this today and is causing havoc in many families.
In I Timothy 5:10, the first in the list of good works for the qualification of widows is “If she has brought up children”, that is, stayed at home and raised her children. According to verse 8, the man is the provider (bread earner), not the woman, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” In Psalm 104:23, “man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening”, but the woman’s work is in the home. The old adage is more true than not which says, “A man’s work is from sun to sun but a woman’s work is never done.” In Genesis 3:19, Adam was told that he was to work to eat, but the woman is to look to him for her food.
According to I Timothy 2:9-15, child bearing is a part of her ministry. In verse 15, the apostle’s design is to show the duties of a wife and mother, “Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.” The context contrasts domestic duties with leadership duties. If she obeys Scripture and follows her role as a homemaker, she shall be saved from the deception of Satan and usurping a man’s role in the home and church. If she submits to her husband and raises children, she will not have time for much else. The home is the place for training and nurturing these little souls for the glory of God. Do not sacrifice your babies to Molech.
Manager of Her Home
The third part of I Timothy 5:14 is that the woman is to “guide the house.” She is to manage the household affairs. The word guide means to manage, lead, direct, supervise, and regulate. In other words, “she looketh well to the ways of her house” (Proverbs 31:27). Proverbs 14:1, “Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” A wise woman will manage well her house, but a foolish woman through her neglect will cause it to come to ruin. A wife cannot manage her house if she spends most of her time elsewhere. One characteristic of a bad woman is that her feet abide not in her house (Proverbs 7:11). That is, she is always gone, working elsewhere, running the road, or just being a busy body (I Timothy 5:13). God’s command to wives in Titus 2:5, is to be “keepers at home”, otherwise, the Word of God is blasphemed. That is, her life does not conform to her profession. This is sound doctrine (verse 1) and the older women are to be teaching the younger women by word and example (verses 3-4). The context is an appeal to make the home a top priority. The phrase “keepers at home” is translated from one Greek word which has two thoughts in meaning. It shows the sphere and nature of a wife’s work; it reveals the place of her work and kind of work. First, she is a worker at home and second, she is to love her home by her devotion to it.
Her domestic duties include a number of things: cleaning, shopping for food and clothing, cooking, canning, maintaining the laundry (this includes ironing), sewing, helping with the finances by saving money and paying the bills on time, and living within her means. The description of a virtuous woman in Proverbs 31:10-31 gives a detailed list of good works performed by a wife and mother. She is priceless in that she is trustworthy, faithful, and diligent in her work. There is no idleness found in this passage. She loves the Lord and her family. Her life’s work and rewards is to this end. Matthew Henry said this chapter is the looking glass for ladies to dress themselves by. May God help us believe and follow His Holy Word.
The highest goal of young wives should be to make a well-ordered home. The duties in this article cannot be fulfilled unless she is a keeper at home. Please remember, that God honors faith (Hebrews 11:11-16) and He will not forget our labor of love (Hebrews 6:10). Our rewards will be based on our obedience to God and His Word (Romans 14:10-12). When this life is ended and we enter our eternal rest, our works do follow us Revelation 14:12-13, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.”
John Wesley said, “I have heard more about Christianity from my mother than from all the theologians of England.” His mother spent one hour a day praying for her children and she tried to take each child aside for one full hour each week to discuss spiritual matters.
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:31
Victory Baptist Church
Pastor Robert W. Reed
14473 Bellingrath Road
P.O. Box 257
Coden, Alabama 36523