Should A Christian Mother Work Outside the Home? (Part 3)
We have seen from I Timothy 5:14 and Titus 2:4,5 that mothers are to manage their homes as homemakers. This, as their God-given role, should be their focus and desire. That is not to say, however, that mothers who work outside the home are sinning in every case. There are times when such is acceptable and even necessary.

If a father is unable (or unwilling) to provide for his family (for some reasons we will discuss below), what is a mother to do? The family must be provided for somehow. These are some cases where a mother may be forced to be both primary breadwinner and homemaker. This is certainly not ideal, but it is a reality for some.

Your husband has died and you are a widow. You were not left enough money to exist on through life insurance. Families (relatives) should pitch in to help widows first. If you qualify, the church should help you (cf. I Tim. 5).

Your ex-husband doesn't support you. Divorce doesn't leave one with life insurance money and alimony has many loopholes in it. Many deadbeat fathers filled with resentment or bitterness refuse to pay up. This causes a tremendous hardship on the Christian mother. If you do have to go to work, you are wise to have some unchangeable prerequisites before accepting a position:

If these prerequisites cannot be guaranteed, then accept that it is not God's will for you to work there. Continue to pray for your ex-husband that he accept his Biblical responsibility of supporting you, as stated in I Timothy 5:8 - "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." God answers prayer; don't quit praying.

Your husband is disabled and can't work. In some cases he will have disability insurance and the husband and wife will be able to live on that. You may need to get a part-time job. If he had no disability insurance, then you may have to work to support the family in his absence from the workplace till he gets well, if he gets well.

You are a single mother with neither husband nor father to care for you. Many single mothers who obey the gospel are left to live with the consequences of their lifestyle prior to their salvation. They are now Christian mothers but were never married. Often you will have to work in extreme hardship to make ends meet with no man to help you. This is never easy and emphasizes the need for all to rear their children to be pure.

You may have a non-Christian husband who demands that you work. If you cannot persuade him otherwise, you must obey him and do your best to manage the home also (since it is your God-given role). Ephesians 5:22,24 instructs - "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord...Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything." Colossians 3:18 says - "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord" (cf. I Pet. 3:1-7).

We will have more to say about these five situations in our next lesson.