Thursday, January 24, 2008

Not-so-Good Housekeeping

Be sure to click the picture to enlarge it. You don't want to miss this article! Thomas and I saw this at a friend's house last weekend and had a good laugh...I'd been meaning to post this for the past week. Take a minute to read the "suggestions" from this 1955 article in Good Housekeeping. Then, take a minute to read the Proverb below.

The article truly reminds me of alot of some of the Christian marriage books that have been written for women recently. I think there is a big push to return to a more traditional home because the 1950's have been romanticized by our current culture. But, the truth is, while there were obvious perks to women being more present in the home, there are also big perks to having women present in the work force and the home. (I know, I know. Sayeth the SAHM...but still I'm not oblivious to the importance of a working mom). There is a tendency to demonize the working mom as if they have chosen their job over their family. But, working mom's have simply chosen to serve their families in a different manner.

Neither is a more Biblical woman because of it. Because being a virtuous woman is not about whether you work at home or outside the home. Being a virtuous woman is about so much more. And, if you want to use a Biblical model, this "good" 1950's wife is far from what is described as a "Virtuous Woman" in Proverbs 31. I love the description in Proverbs:

10 [c] A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 "Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

She is a woman who definitely works. She buys a field. She trades. She is, as one of my good friends put it, a "Bad Ass"! She is the farthest thing from the door mat wife described in the article.

I love that this is the example God has set out there for women. This just proves to me that God does not have a desire to have women sitting massaging their husband's feet and not talking since "what he has to say is more important" than what she has to say (seriously, check out the article). God created women strong for a reason. He created them to partner with their husbands in a way that brings honor to Him. I'm pretty sure He didn't envision slippers and a stiff drink at the door as the way women would honor Him. He has so much more in store for us...

Just a side note, I got this email just this afternoon from a friend who has a different perspective on the whole thing. I just wanted to make a note and make sure she knows that this was written after reading it a week ago and is not a personal attack on her beliefs/recent email. Thomas and I discussed this whole thing almost a week ago and I've been meaning to post this since. It just took me some time to get my thoughts together. I fully respect your right to have a differing opinion!


j-rod said...

I think i might frame this for eryn and my house!

jen said...

uh...I hope you're talking about the blog post and NOT the Good Housekeeping article or else I, and my butt-kicking feminist posse, will come after you with a vengeance!!!

Jared said...

haha nope i'm talking about the article! what happend to the good ol' days when women knew their place??

totally jokin!