Home feminism Women, Work & Freedom: One Big, Fat, Suicidal Error

Women, Work & Freedom: One Big, Fat, Suicidal Error

by Kelly Crawford

Nicholas Farrell nailed it in his piece, Women, Work & Freedom, exposing the truths that most of us are too afraid to say out loud, regardless of the damage we’ve all suffered from ignoring it.

“Women in Europe and America have made one great big fat suicidal error as a result of modern feminism since the movement’s inception: They have confused work with freedom. This confusion has had catastrophic consequences for all of us because it has fatally infected the core activity of any healthy civilization: the creation and upbringing of children….

The truth is the precise opposite….Nearly all work, if we mean the work that most people in the West do day after day in exchange for money, is a life sentence in prison. It is dull, repetitive, and soul-destroying. It does not liberate.” -Nicholas Farrell

I have always puzzled at the claim of “freedom” in the demand of women to work outside the home when it is apparent they haven’t been liberated from anything, but rather had a burden added to their already intensive, full-time job. Not liberation, but stress, anxiety and exhaustion seems to be what women really fought for and won.

I have said before, I’m not trying to be oppressive by saying that women should focus on their roles at home instead of clamoring to get out; I’m trying to illumine the truly liberating life that so many have forsaken for a false promise. (That’s a nice thing, right? And every time I still get harassed for it…go figure.)

And yes, bringing up children had to be villainized, on some level, before feminists could convince the masses of women that they were somehow being short-changed. They were too…distracted, maybe? to realize, as Farrell said, that the secret to a “healthy civilization” is having children and investing, full time, in their upbringing. And, the results are in. We’re splitting at the seams and no one seems to make the connection.

And then there’s this–oh how did we miss this:

“If women stopped work tomorrow it would solve the West’s chronic unemployment crisis overnight. Due to the dire shortage of workers left, salaries would rocket.”

The “can’t afford it” argument? Sometimes that’s true (although usually not), but we created that monster too. If one-income families were the norm, the income would rise to meet it. It’s just so simple: women have an incredibly important role to play (THE most important, perhaps?) and men are sufficiently ready to take care of us and do the grunt work of providing an income. We all have a wonderful, specific cog in this wheel that makes the world go ’round, one just as important as the other. But it takes us all, content with our cogs, to keep the wheel turning.

Read the rest of Women, Work & Freedom

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Cindy May 19, 2013 - 8:47 pm

Simple supply and demand. If ladies would go home and stop outsourcing *their* work, their husbands could command a fair living wage and wouldn’t need the second salary. Of course, we don’t know much about supply and demand in this country. There’s an unemployment crisis and we’re importing MORE unskilled labor. I won’t hold my breath waiting for liberated women to figure out how those two items are related to their own husband’s depressed wages. Math is HARD. Apparently, economics is, too.

Word Warrior May 20, 2013 - 7:28 am

LOL–yep. Math is hard. And what with our “superior” public school educations, how should we be expected to figure it out?

Lo May 22, 2013 - 7:13 am

Valuating sources of information is apparently very hard for some. This is not some well-researched journalism. It’s just one man’s opinion. Opinion – not fact. Geeh.

Gothelittle Rose May 22, 2013 - 5:16 pm

And isn’t the notion that the homemaker is worthless, dumb as an animal, caged, and incapable of rational thought also an opinion? Yet it was repeated by feminists as they started trying to force us away from the role.

If this harm can be done with an opinion, perhaps it can be undone with an opinion.

Word Warrior May 22, 2013 - 5:43 pm

I like the way you think…that’s precisely one of my goals–to speak truth (stronger than opinion) until people believe it.

Kristin May 23, 2013 - 7:35 am

Gothelittle Rose,

I do not think that Lo was insinuating that anyone is “worthless, dumb as an animal, caged, and incapable of rational thought also an opinion”. She was stating that this is “not some well-researched journalism. It’s just one man’s opinion.” Of which it is. The referenced article is not an investigative report– Taki’s Magazine publishes opinion pieces and essays.

We all want to believe things that support our cause. Unfortunately, there is a lot of stuff out there that sounds good, but it not well supported. The main point of the referenced article falls into this category.

t May 20, 2013 - 3:42 am

the reality

t May 20, 2013 - 3:43 am

my husband works in the medical field. he has over 25 years of experience. Over the years he has lost work/ contracts to female employees fresh out of school willing to receive lower wage. Unfortunately patients are not getting better care and he often has to go back and give these ladies training so they can perform their tasks better, or re-do previous performed exams. In 12 years of marriage, our yearly income has decreased steadily as well as the amount of work available. Now with the implementation of Obama care he only has part time work. It’s really unfortunate that most women don’t see the damage they are doing IN their homes and OUTSIDE of their homes by not being AT home.

I praise God that in spite of all circumstances He has provided for us. We have more assets now than when we first got married.

nancyt May 20, 2013 - 7:50 am

I so agree with this, our government schools encourage this, my parents encouraged this. I started working at a corporation at 16yrs old. I got married had 2 girls, got divorced. Glad I had a job, however, that is what I taught my two girls, “regrets” Then I got married again, and the Lord taught me alot. 17 years after my first daughter was born I had my 3rd daughter. She is being taught totally different. We are teaching that the most important job is the home. Raising children is a high calling. Homeschooling and teaching your children about God is your most important job. That if women quit doing mens work maybe they would take back their God given responsibilities and not shirk them.

Charity May 20, 2013 - 8:10 am

On the arrival of our fifth child, six weeks ago, my mother-in-law said, ” You never are going to get a job to use your degree and make a difference in society, are you?”. (I have a degree in education/piano.) She said I was like talking to a brick wall. I guess that’s because she knew I’d give her the same smiling response that I have for these 8 1/2years I’ve been married to her son. And I’m a brick wall? Then she says, “Well, I guess it’s nice to lay around at home and get to do whatever you want”. So, I’m a total waste because I stay at home and care for my husband, and raise, care for, and homeschool our children, but if I was teaching some other woman’s children in a school somewhere, then score! I’m making a difference in society. (I’m confused.) And minus the laying around part, it is nice, a joy actually, to be at home doing “whatever” I want. That whatever part happens to be caring for my husband and raising, caring for and homeschooling our children. Oh, and having babies. I enjoy that too. (Might as well confess it, right? I’m already a total waste, ya know.) Hmm, who knows, maybe I’ll teach the children some piano lessons today, after I’m done laying around, of course. But then again, why bother? I wouldn’t be making a difference since they are, after all, only MY children. 😉

Word Warrior May 20, 2013 - 8:43 am

Oh Charity, the insanity of that argument…I’m so sorry! This is where we have to look beyond man and find our peace knowing we are working for the Kingdom and our Heavenly Father sees and knows.

Perhaps you could begin sharing quotes, books, etc. to help your mil’s eyes to be opened.

“How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No. A woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness.” -GK Chesterton

Charity May 20, 2013 - 1:09 pm

Kelly, I love that quote. Unfortunately my mother-in-law doesn’t take kindly to my gentle responses. Most of what she says I couldn’t repeat, it’s that bad. She’s all for anything liberal minded, including abortion, gay marriage, etc., definitely a different mindset. She’s says I’m a hopeless case, but I don’t believe she is because no one is so hard that Christ cannot soften their heart. We just keep praying that she will believe. We do share a love for all things fabric and craft so we connect in that area. Talking about anything else is very difficult.

Jarnette May 20, 2013 - 9:52 am

I love the exhortation CH Spurgeon gives on mothering…it really puts it into a great perspective {praising Him for eyes to see}.

“O dear mothers, you have a very sacred trust reposed in you by God! He hath in effect said to you, ‘Take this child and nurse it for Me, and I will give thee thy wages.’ You are called to equip the future man of God, that he may be thoroughly furnished unto every good work. If God spares you, you may live to hear that pretty boy speak to thousands, and you will have the sweet reflection in your heart that the quiet teachings of the nursery led the man to love his God and serve Him. Those who think that a woman detained at home by her little family is doing nothing, think the reverse of what is true. Scarcely can the godly mother quit her home for a place of worship; but dream not that she is lost to the work of the church; far from it, she is doing the best possible service for her Lord. Mothers, the godly training of your offspring is your first and most pressing duty.”

I would add, that even those without children {although they may long for them} can still apply this exhortation of truth…help a mother…mentor and care for children The Lord places in your life.

In this day and age when motherhood seems to be a lesser, demeaning waste of one’s life…when having children {especailly more than the “norm} is viewed as over-populating…redeem it with truth. The Lord says children are a blessing…motherhood is a value in the eyes of The Lord and what a blessing it is when we rise up to apply truth, love our husbands and children, teach them to love and serve The Lord and then one day have the joy of seeing them {by the grace of God} walk in truth…

I think I will keep my duty of being a wife and mother…seek The Lord to equip me to train them to love and serve and leave the provision for our family to The Lord through my husband. The years of having my children at home are short! Even when it is over and my child bearing comes to an end, I look forward to coming along side my daughters and daughters – in – love to encourage them to love their husbands and children…to love my future grandchildren and hopefully invest in their lives the truth of the value of who they are in God’s sight.

Thank you Kelly for always speaking what The Lord lays on your heart in LOVE. I know many who would love to stay home with their children…that’s another story…another post. 😀

Blessings and thanksgiving for The Lord changing my heart and being home ~ my first and most important work unto The Lord!


Word Warrior May 20, 2013 - 9:55 am

“Redeem it with truth”….excellent words, Jarnette.

Kari May 20, 2013 - 9:53 am

I used to work before I met and married my husband. Now, some would say that was true freedom, nothing tying me down. I had no one to answer to, no one to share my money with, no one to even suggest what I do on a daily basis. However, I am so much more free now. Before I had to get up every single day, drive for a good hour in rush hour traffic to work, wear what they told me I had to wear (yes, even in the corporate world there is a uniform, it just cost more and you can choose the color), ate when they told me to eat, followed every rule they had for the running of their company, and left when they allowed me to leave, so I could drive another hour back to my apartment where I got to eat my own supper when I wanted to, which meant before I went to bed so I could get enough sleep to get up and do it all over again. At least I had the weekends…right? Well, yeah, I got to clean my home, do errands that needed to be done, go to church (this was a blessing, but still a weekend activity), and prepare for work because sometimes I needed to pick up clothing from the cleaners or, gasp, take work home when I had a big presentation or project going on. Oh, and since I was in management I was on call 24/7 should there be a big issue as we were a tech company that never slept and had huge clients that were all over the world and needed help. And all of this was in a field I chose to go into and actually liked. I can’t imagine what it’s like for those who hate their job or are pigeon-holed into a career.

Ahhh, freedom at it’s finest. (yes, that was sarcasm)

Now that I am married with children, I have true freedom. Sure, we have a schedule…a schedule we set up that fits our needs and desires for our family. If it starts to not work for us, we change it. I have the freedom to be a woman striving to change the world through her children and talents. I help my husband daily, which has a huge impact on changing the world. I give of myself in order to change the world. I wasn’t doing much to change the world before. I am now. So I am not only free to be who God designed me to be, but I am also a world changer. It’s a beautiful place to be.

Word Warrior May 20, 2013 - 10:00 am

Kari–whew, I got tired just reading that 😉

But that’s exactly how I felt when I taught school. In order to be a proper “helper” for my principal (and that is exactly what most women do in their positions–we’re all helping someone, somewhere, attain their goals), I not only taught high school English which involved hours of grading essays and preparing, etc., but was also asked to sponsor Beta club and cheerleading. This with a husband and two small children at home. It was complete insanity. And I actually liked my work too, except for being stretched so thin and knowing that I was neglecting my own children for someone else’s.

Kristin May 20, 2013 - 11:28 am

I love mothers that are at home, and I love mothers that work. Why does there just have to be one or the other?

I am not a mother, I wish that I was! I have had 2 recent miscarriages– and I wish could speak from personal experience on this topic. However, I can say that my own mother stayed at home with me and my sister when we were young, and then returned back to work later. During her working years, she had two more children (my younger brothers). She says that being a stay at home mother was the most difficult time of her life, and she was a happier person when she worked. Might I also add that my mother is a wonderful mother who absolutely loves her children, and I’m grateful that she found work that also made her happy.

I post this to say that the freedom what was gained through the women’s rights movements was the freedom to choose. My mother did not feel free when she stayed at home. She felt limited and lonely. Please do acknowledge that working is not always a burden, and that one way is not right for all women and for all families.

Word Warrior May 20, 2013 - 12:05 pm


There are a number of answers to your question “why can’t we just do both?”

We can. We are. And things are a mess. Much of the answer lies in the article I posted. Did you read it? There are economic consequences to women flooding the workforce. When that happened, it caused more women to HAVE to leave home and enter the workforce because men’s wages decreased. This left more children to be raised by someone else. And ultimately, women are given children to raise themselves. No one can do like her. No one else is responsible for doing it either.

You mentioned your mom’s “happiness”, which a large part of the problem. Responsibility trumps happiness. Many men might be “happier” golfing all day, but that isn’t what they’ve been given to do. Their responsibility requires them to provide for their families. A mother is responsible for raising her children. (By the way, I believe ideally a mother AND father do this together, when it is possible for home businesses, etc.)

The feminist movement played exactly on the feelings of women–“Are you happy?” Funny thing is, many women who thought they could do it all are more unhappy than ever but have been sucked up in the cycle.

The bottom line is looking at what is good for our children, our families and our society. My happiness is irrelevant, although I’ve never been happier since I came to understand how vital my role as a wife and mother is. (That’s God.) We need mothers doing their first, full-time job.

One last note…”freedom to choose” was never really gained through the feminist movement. If you read some of the feminist ideas, they purposely downplay the role of mother and wife–often vehemently–in order to push their agenda.

Kristin May 20, 2013 - 12:52 pm

Word Warrior,

I have read the article, and I still disagree. In life, there is hardly any one thing that is right for everyone (except eating vegetables 😉

But, really, all women stop working? Are we just referring to women with small children? Is Nicholas Farrell an economist? What about the economic impact of loosing women from the workforce? What about all of the trained female doctors, lawyers, college professors, etc?

And all work as prison? Is work in the West only prison for women? The statement seems rather general.

And yes, for me, the women’s rights movement, whether or not it was intended, helped pave the way for me to choose the career that I have right now.

If anything, I think that energy is best not spent on debating whether or not women should work, but rather supporting those women that do work. Let’s make it so that women can take a break from their jobs when their children are small without falling completely out of the job market. Let’s help families obtain better childcare for their children. I am certainly not a feminist– but I live and work in the real world.

Word Warrior May 20, 2013 - 1:17 pm


Yes, the article made some sweeping generalizations (like “all work is prison”) but just like every other hot-topic issue, sometimes we need to recognize the “general” damage from a “general” trend. It’s the same as someone saying, “Divorce is bad” without adding all the caveats of when divorce is necessary.

Generally speaking…that’s the topic here and you have to take it for what it is. Generally, when women clamored for more rights, their natural role got undermined. Generally, that meant lots and lots of homes emptied, children not cared for the best that they can be, husbands left without a God-ordained helper.

So generally, that was really bad for families and really bad for all of society.

Generally, huge numbers of women added to the workforce weakened the economy. And generally, women who do opt to stay home and raise children are undermined by a power-driven society which leads them to feel pressured to join the workforce, which starts the cycle all over again. (Try telling someone that your high school graduate is training to run a home…not acceptable even among the most conservative of mainstream churches–that freedom to choose thing is a lie.)

And families wouldn’t need “better childcare options” if the mother was caring for them which left her husband earning a larger salary. A huge point of the article.

A May 25, 2013 - 10:15 pm

I keep trying to get an answer to this question, so maybe you can enlighten me – when you say you’re training a high school graduate to “run a home”, and this is somehow a full-time job (and the equivalent of an education for the graduate), I’m very perplexed as to what this training could possibly entail.

Let me explain – my mother taught me to cook, bake, clean, care for animals, care for people, build things, fix electronics, fix the plumbing, budget, save money, find good deals, pay bills and so on. I have no debt, can fix my own toilet, keep my apartment clean, and cook all the time. I know how to hand-wash clothes, mend tears, and do alterations. My mom is a doctor who was the medical director of a hospital at the time, and she worked 80-hour weeks. Somehow, amidst all of this, she still managed to teach me all of the above, and I still managed to graduate from a top-10 MA program with a 4.0. By age 23.

Can you explain whether the “training” I received in “homemaking” was subpar in any particular domain? If not, can you explain why this training needs to be conducted in lieu of, not alongside, formal education and professional experience for other young women?

Your example with the EITC and salaries above just makes me sad. Three years out of grad school, I make over three times that, and I’m in a non-STEM field. If $25k is the most a woman aspires to, maybe the financial argument makes sense, but there’s no reason an educated woman should stop at $25k.

Word Warrior May 26, 2013 - 10:16 am

To your first question, I would say that first of all, your mother and her training you is quite the exception. When I think of all the young women graduating high school that I know, I can’t think of a single one who can do much more than maybe cook a boxed meal. But the most important point is, they don’t even think about that because they are being groomed for “more important things.”

Most women raising young women don’t even know, themselves, the BASICS of homemaking, much less skills that would enhance their ministry and profession.

I’ve written here about all homemaking can entail, and it goes far beyond cooking and cleaning, though those are good places to start. It involves studying health and nutrition and understanding basic homeopathic care of the family. It might involve learning and preparing for home business. Reading and studying in preparation for parenting and being a wife (and yes, there’s a lot to learn). Learning all sorts of various skills that will save her household money.

But broader than these specifics, is the reality that if she is preparing for a homemaking profession, that’s where she needs to be practicing. A woman desiring to be a Spanish translator would not spend all her time speaking French (I know that’s a bad analogy). I’m trying to say, if she heads off to spend gobs of money and time preparing for another career, she will have little interest in her homemaking career when the time comes. This is evidenced by common statements like, “She’s wasting her degree.”. The expectation is that if she prepares for a different career, homemaking would be a waste of time.

The example above was the author. He gave the same example of a higher salary too.

Word Warrior May 20, 2013 - 1:28 pm

I forgot to add, it should also be noted that more than a handful of “conservative homemakers” are making these statements. Recently, more and more feminists themselves have admitted to the lie of “having it all” and urge women to consider that they can choose, but one goal or another will be greatly undermined. As a Christian woman, given the mandate of FIRST caring for my home and family, there is nothing to choose.

Kristin May 20, 2013 - 2:14 pm

And sometimes a women must work in order to take care of her family. Please, let’s not demonize working women. And let’s not also think that the children of working women are not cared for just because their mother can’t be with them all day.

Kari May 20, 2013 - 2:26 pm

Kristin, you are right, sometimes women must work and there is no choice. When my mother left my abusive father, it was work or be homeless and starve. But it all boils down to one simple answer. We all, and I mean both genders, have to stop doing what feels good, what the world says is right, and start living Biblically. If we were to do that, I can’t think of a single case where a woman would have to leave her children to get a job. Divorces would not happen as men would love their wives as Christ loved the church and women would submit to their husbands accordingly. Single mothers would be almost a thing of the past with the exception of a widow, who would then be cared for by the body of Christ. Men would step up and would get jobs, keep jobs, and take care of their families. Women would step up and care for their homes, their husbands, and their children.

It is a very simple answer, but one that the world would say was wrong and not possible. However, Christ never asked us to do the impossible. The hard? Yes. The impossible? No. It’s not just one gender that has to change. It’s all of us. We all have to change. Christ can change us, but we have to allow Him to work His will in our lives and, thus, in our world.

Kristin May 20, 2013 - 2:52 pm

Just so you all know, I am a Christian women, who married a Christian man. We both were raised in a Christian families with two sets working parents in lower-middle class households. We both did not have much, but both of our mother’s (strong Christian women) worked to support their families. I do not think that they were disobedient to our Lord. Between these two families, they raised 6 God-fearing children (my 3 siblings, me, my husband’s sibling and my husband) who all attend church regularly and have personal relationships with their maker. Did our mothers work outside of the home? Yes. Are they Proverbs 31 women? Yes. This is a decision that they made– not for any selfish intent, but because it was what they thought was best for their family– the family that the Lord blessed with them with and put in their care.

Kristin May 20, 2013 - 2:54 pm

And for the record, I don’t think that it is wrong for women to not work, to stay home with their children, to home school, etc. I think that it is absolutely wonderful!! I do think that is it a personal decision that should be not looked down in either direction.

Suzy May 22, 2013 - 2:00 am

For this to happen all women would have to quit their work and stay at home.

Even those of us who do not believe in your God or any God. It just isn’t possible. I enjoy my work, it is good for my family and my community.

I cannot imagine leaving it so that men could make more. Why shouldn’t I be able to make my own money and support myself? You never know what is going to happen tomorrow.

You could wake up and lose your husband. Any one of us could. Who is better off; the woman who can support herself and her children, or you who could not?

I know which one of those women I want to be.

Word Warrior May 22, 2013 - 7:48 am


It is because you “don’t know my God” that you can’t understand how. When the church and community and family functions as it should–when we’re all following the precepts that HE gave us, He’s got it covered. Even the widow is taken care of. I’ve seen it in action and I have no fear of it happening to me as well. This is why my heart’s cry is so passionate…”Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and ALL these things shall be added unto you.” I have never seen the righteous forsaken.

Kari May 22, 2013 - 9:44 am

Amen, Word Warrior.

Word Warrior May 20, 2013 - 4:24 pm


Understand that I know where you’re coming from and the points you are trying to make. However, we are dealing with what is reality, not what we want it to be. Granted, as you pointed out, of course there are some women who “must work”. (My sweet neighbor works while her disabled husband cares for their special-needs child. They do what they have to do. But this isn’t the heart of the post.)

Just as Kari pointed out, that shouldn’t be ideal (and to point out the general truth doesn’t demonize the exceptions) and wouldn’t be very common if we were thinking/acting biblically in other areas. When one area ceases to function as it should, there are negative, trickle-down effects.

The reality is that feminism HAS demonized the traditional family and the traditional role of women. That has caused women to leave home in droves. That has had a tremendous effect on the health of children and marriage. And as already mentioned, it has caused a great crisis in our economy.

Exceptions or special circumstances aside (and there are those), this massive exodus of women from home has left us in a mess, and we need to acknowledge that if there is ever going to be any means of restoration.

Erica May 20, 2013 - 4:39 pm


Lo May 21, 2013 - 3:26 am

The reality can be scary indeed. The solution is not to a) reject it or/and b) make up your own kind of reality. As Kristin said; we live in a world full of “exceptions” in that case. You would have to re-define exceptions to make your point valid.

Kristin May 21, 2013 - 7:41 am

Word Warrior,

I believe that women can act biblically and can work outside of home. Many Christian women work, and they raise wonderful children. Even my pastor’s wife works as a nurse.

To be frank, I am thankful for the women’s rights movement, who’s point may have not been freedom, but equality. I am thankful that I have the same opportunities to education and will receive equal pay as anyone else in the job market. I do not have children (as of right now, I don’t know if I ever will be able to), and I’m thankful for the women who came before me and demanded equality in the workplace so that while I don’t have the option to take care of children at home, I am at least paid equally for my work. The same goes for your neighbor and Anna Marie. They too benefit from this movement.

One final thought, in response to the crux of this article about the ecomonic impact of women working. The article that you site is written by a journalist, not an economist, and he provides no numbers and no statistics, just grande sweeping statements (like all work in the West is like prison). Please provide facts and studies, not statements to support big claims. Without this, words are empty and seemingly foolish. I can claim or say anything I want, but without a solid study to back it, it is meaningless and is nothing more than opinion.

Please know that I think that what you all do, staying home with your family, is wonderful. I really do, and I mean no offense to any of you. I’m not so sure I’m sharpening iron here, but if anything, I feel stronger in my convictions.

Blessings to you all.

Word Warrior May 21, 2013 - 11:17 am


I’m sorry to hear you feel “stronger” about such a clear problem.

1. Biblically speaking…”Teach the younger women to be keepers at home…” At best, a woman isn’t to consider outside employment/activity UNLESS her home is well-managed. Of course we all want to define that differently. But the most basic management includes raising her children and helping her husband. She isn’t, under normal circumstances, to outsource her primary job. Only after her home is well-managed (which entails A LOT) should she consider the possibility of other taxing work/ministry outside the home. There are many types of work and ministry that will co-exist with her job at home, if it is flexible enough to allow her to take care of her primary responsibilities. That is biblical, regardless of what Christian women are actually doing.

2. Economy: We’ve already discussed “supply and demand”, a simple concept that doesn’t need backed up with proof; the proof is already in front of us. It is only with our head in the sand that we would not be willing to see it.

Consider this:

Imagine….a woman’s husband makes $25,000, and the job she is considering pays $25,000. If she enters the work force, she and her husband will lose their entire earned-income tax credit of more than $2,500. Because of her husband’s earnings, a portion of her salary will be taxed at 15 percent. After she pays payroll and state taxes, her after-tax income will be close to $17,000. Say she lives in New York State, where the average cost of day care for an infant is just over $14,000—almost every after-tax dollar she brings home will go to her child care provider.” Women in the Workforce

It’s not very different when you plug in higher incomes, because of being moved to a higher tax bracket.

So essentially, women are hiring someone else to (poorly) take care of their primary duties, so that generally, children and husbands and families suffer, all to kill themselves at a job that is basically only paying someone else to do their job. Insanity.

Erica May 22, 2013 - 5:00 pm

Women do NOT get equal pay….not even after the Women Right’s agenda.
Women make $0.77 per dollar that male counterparts make. So that argument is totally wrong.



Kristin May 23, 2013 - 7:40 am


True, there is still work to be done on this front. However, women are paid much better than before the women’s rights movement. This can not be denied. My argument is not totally wrong. The career that I have now was not available to women 50 years ago. The level of education that I have received was not available to my grandmother 60 years ago because we is female. We can not completely disregard a serious social movement that has had a positive impact on my life and the lives of many many women (particularly those who must work), even if complete equality has not been reached.

Sarah D. May 21, 2013 - 7:04 am

I think there’s a fallacy in the mindset that it’s great for a mom to stay at home when the kids are small but then go to work when they’re in school, especially if the mom is working full-time. Before I got married I shared an office with a great woman who had upper elementary/middle school children. With her working full-time and her kids having several hours between school and when a parent got home, she was having a number of problems with her kids getting into trouble. This continued into their teen years and both have had issues as young adults that sadly could have been stemmed if their mom had at least been at home the whole time they were there.

Lucy May 22, 2013 - 11:10 am

I think the key is Kelly’s phrase “full-time job”. Being a stay at home mom in a modern 1st world environment is simply NOT a full time job when you have only 2 kids and they are away all day at school. The food comes from the grocery store where you go once a week and store the bounty in the fridge or freezer. Clothes come from the stores shopping trips that are necessary 2 or 3 times a year. Laundry is easy with machines and for a family of 4, with lots of clothes, once a week can cut it. With everyone gone all day, the house just doesn’t get that dirty so cleaning is a snap. So of course moms’ work outside the home. What else are they supposed to do? I hold that instead of crediting the Feminist movement with giving you freedom to choose, you should credit modern technology with giving you the freedom to do nothing. While some people like to do nothing, most people have some drive to do something and that is why women work outside the home. The suffragettes were bored.

If you want to be a stay at home mom, you have to make it a full time job. June Cleaver would never have been an icon if Wally and the Beaver had been homeschooled. Add in a large garden, some chickens, sewing your own clothes, storing your own food bounty and 2 or 3 more kids and you got yourself a full time job. Then you can stretch yourself by finding ways to earn some additional income.

The choice to be made depends on how much work you want to do, and where your priorities lie. People like Kelly on this website feel that their priority in God is to train up their children in the way they should go – not farm that out to strangers. So they make themselves a full time job at home.

shannon May 20, 2013 - 1:33 pm

Excellent post as usual. Wish I knew more people like you in real life but I’m thankful for the internet! I did feel imprisoned while working before staying home, and I had even loved my job!
I find that most liberal beliefs are hypocritical. For example, women find working outside the home liberating but many people with liberal beliefs would think it is wrong for children to work around the home. I always hear people say how sad it is when children have responsibilities around the home. That is ironic to me.
Further, why can’t people just understand that WORK is WORK, whether paid or not? Women at home are working teaching our children to be diligent and hard workers, whether for money or not, is important too. God commanded Adam to care for the garden of Eden BEFORE the fall; work is not a punishment!

Lo May 21, 2013 - 3:36 am

Exactly, women have always been working – at home or outside of the home. The biggest difference now is that women actually get paid for the work they are doing. And that’s bad because of some vague, unclear non-reason…

shannon May 21, 2013 - 6:26 am

I’ll tell you why it’s bad- because who is left to raise the children? If a woman is working outside the home, something else is left undone. No one has an extra 40 hours per week to spare! Most people can’t even spare 1/2 an hour to read their bible a day so how can things be done as they ought if the mom is working full time? I have met many women who think other women can raise their children better than they can, they have come out and told me that. That is sick to me! Imagine in a working environment passing your job onto somebody else? No, your children are your responsibility. It is wrong because God tells us to be “keepers at home”. Many, many problems in this world would be resolved if women stayed home more. Their would be less temptation for adultery, fornication. Women would be dependent upon their husbands financially and that is a GOOD thing!

When I said work is work, I meant that work at home is just as valuable as work outside the home, actually much more. Work outside the home brings only pleasure here on Earth while cultivating hearts for God brings eternal joy. If women really got that, they would have no desire to work outside the home. It takes humility this day in age to work at home.

Erica May 22, 2013 - 5:04 pm

So true! My DH said just yesterday that he doesn’t know how I do it every day. He’s finally beginning to realize that a mom is “on-call” 24/7 whereas he goes to a job for only 8 hours each day! He said that if he had to do it I’d be lucky to come home to everyone still breathing at the end of the day. He had the day off & we were working on our family business set-up and I still had to deal with housework, schoolwork, the monthly grocery shopping, AND grabbed a bunch of kittens that were left momless when the feral cat momma got hit by a car…and I fed each one of those 8 babies every 3 hours while doing the rest of it!

A woman’s work is truly NEVER done!

Kristin May 20, 2013 - 1:51 pm

Word Warrior,

I get all of the “generals”. Unfortunately, we live in a world full of exceptions. And right now, women make up 47% of the total labor force in the US and 58.6% of women over the age of 16 work. (http://www.dol.gov/wb/factsheets/Qf-laborforce-10.htm) Right now, generally, women are working. I agree- this is not all good. But, I don’t think that in general it is all bad.

Erica May 20, 2013 - 4:37 pm

Just because my mother, and her mother worked OUTSIDE of the house doesn’t mean I have to. Sadly I grew up thinking I HAD to get a job in order to be a productive member of society. It’s what I saw as an example before me…it’s what my teachers taught me….it’s just how things *are*.

Thankfully when I first had kids I made many mistakes and ended up alone for a period of time. (One of those trails that I had to deal with that God used for good in my life!) 🙂 I had NO choice but to think about providing for my family. At the same time I was torn because I didn’t *want* to shove my kids off on someone else to raise. Whoever it was wasn’t going to love my kids like I do and I knew they wouldn’t take care of them like I would.

I was lucky. I went to church with a Doctor that needed help and his wife approached me & asked if I would be interested in doing medical transcription. Then, my mother had people working for her that needed childcare (3 different families with 4 kids). It allowed me to be home with the kids AND provide for them without fear of what could happen to them if they were being cared for by someone else. I didn’t have to worry about what my children were exposed to, or if they were being treated right.

When my DH & I got back together I continued to work. He stayed home – he had injured his back & was unable to work for 10 years. I still had to make dinner every night (he can’t boil water!) and worry about the kids homework and grocery shopping and Dr’s appointments and housework. I was running myself ragged with my full time job AWAY from home AND my full time job AT home. God was leading me away from my job…at the time I thought it was so I would go to college to get a degree in order to get a *better* job. Through the process my DH had to go back to work so that we could pay the bills while I went to school.

I’ve got to tell you that God definitely works in mysterious ways we just can’t understand! After having the older boys and then working outside of the home I had 4 miscarriages. We thought I’d never have any more kids. After quitting my job I actually was able to get pregnant & carry to term (3 time in 3 years) and realized that continuing schooling for myself was going to be hard while raising 3 little ones. Plus I had just removed the older boys from PS and had started home schooling them also. So I stopped going to school. I started focusing on the kids, my DH, our home, and animals that I rescue/rehab/rehome. I also found myself working on my personal relationship with God.

Studying the Bible – especially around little kids who can see the darnedest things in something that we adults miss – has been totally enlightening. I have discovered how important my *JOB* is here at home. I have been blessed to find this blog…to get to read the things that God has placed on Kelly’s heart that are so in tune with Scripture. Things that I had missed. Things that I had overlooked.

Sure life can go on as it always has. Women can work. Children can go to a prison-like public school. Men can desert their families. Women can kill their unborn children. Children can grow up with the benefit of mother & father. Children can grow up to be drugs addicts, alcoholics, prostitutes, pimps, drug dealers. The world can continue to look the other way. Everyone can shake their heads as if they have no clue why the world is the way it is. I’ll tell you from numerous papers that I wrote while in school, and from the Bible – that if EVERYONE went back to the basics…THE BIBLE…and used it as our reference for life that the world would be a much better place.

I have found that most people mistakenly believe that both parents have no choice but to work…lack faith & value things more than family. I’m not ashamed to admit that my DH makes around $20-25k a year…for all 8 of us to live off of. We don’t get public assistance. We do trash pick. We do scrap. We do grow our own food, We do cook meals from scratch. We do go without a lot of material things. Out of necessity to pay the bills and be able to eat. Funny thing is that we have found we don’t NEED two incomes to live. And our lives run smoother…less stress, better communication, more time together, better relationships, all around easier. I don’t know how I could do it if I was working outside of the home!

Right now we’re working together as a family to make ends meet. My children are growing up with both parents showing them that you don’t have to have THINGS – and that life isn’t about money. I am able to teach my children the morals & values that we believe God wants them to learn…not allowing the influence of other children and society as a whole to teach them things they don’t need to know. I am able to show my children by my example about what hard work is and what it means to be a part of a family working together to make everyday life happen in order to glorify God.

Because really that’s what life is about. Glorifying God. And if we aren’t following His dictates that are so easily found in the Bible then we aren’t living our lives as fully as He intended. Society is nothing more than a bunch of people. Sinful people. People that don’t live their lives FOR God’s glory. As Christians we aren’t supposed to take our cue from society…we need to turn to the Creator for guidance. My hope lies in that promise from God, not some misguided thought from society. Praise God for that!

Thank you Kelly for putting this out there. I know many women will disagree, or say the standard “Women can work & have kids” or ” Women should be able to choose” comments. You always are willing to tackle those hard subjects. God has equipped you well I’d have to say. This posting was both a joy & a huge delight to me to read today. I had been trying to explain to some of my other Christian friends why they should live their lives more along the lines of the Bible than what society has carved out for them. I’m going to send them your way! 🙂

Anna Marie May 20, 2013 - 4:59 pm

What about those who have no living relatives or churches to support them bills and food on the table won’t appear themselves.

Word Warrior May 20, 2013 - 5:07 pm

If you have read the comments, “exceptions” have been mentioned. This post and the article, however, are not about exceptions but the general rule of society.

Kari May 20, 2013 - 9:52 pm

Anna Marie, you bring up a good point. If churches and the body of Christ are not taking care of those in need, then we are doing our job and that is another area we need to fix. If your church and the local church body are not helping, we need to go to them Biblically and show them their errors and the people in true need might need to find another church and Christians that will take up the job.

beth May 21, 2013 - 11:57 am

I haven’t seen anyone mention the moms who would like to be at home more than anything but the husband wants the wife to work. My husband is a wonderful guy but he likes for us to have enough money to pay all our bills. I understand where he is coming from-I have not worked at times and it was near impossible to pay everything. I think there are many husbands who like or would like for their wives to work, and I mean Christian husbands too. I could stay at home but we would have to sell our house and I can’t make that decision on my own. I have talked to my DH about not working and he has said “no” because he said we wouldn’t make it. I feel that I need to keep the peace and please my husband in this area:)

Word Warrior May 21, 2013 - 3:30 pm


That is an unfortunate state, and I’m sorry you’re struggling with that. Unfortunately, men are just as easily brainwashed as women in this area. That’s why it is so disturbing that the church isn’t addressing it and confirming the important role of homemaker as a career priority.

If I were in your shoes, I would bathe the situation in prayer, of course, and then collect some hard facts about how much it actually costs women to work (one of my comments above shed some light on that), when you include taxes, gas, more fast-food and convenience food and eating out, clothes, child care, etc.

Then there’s the flip side: a lot of money can be saved by being home, one of a home-maker’s many tasks. Perhaps he’s never considered this part of it??

And I don’t know if he would be open to reading/hearing others discuss the importance of having you home vs. making a few extra dollars. If he could ever catch on to that reality, the extra money would seem so small. I can speak from experience; we lived on a ridiculously tight budget for many years, but I’m thankful my husband insisted that the work I did at home was more important. And the Lord will honor that.

Praying for you and your husband.

Lucy May 22, 2013 - 11:26 am

Beth, me. I’m the breadwinner for my family of 5. I feel like I’ve missed out on all 3 of my kids babyhoods, because I’ve always gone back to work at 6 weeks. I am not in control of that situation, but God is. I remind myself of that A LOT. And I lean on James 5:16 (the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much) and Psalm 37:4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

The Lord reminds us over and over again in the New Testament to do our best for God in whatever situation we find ourselves in, and that is my work goal 🙂 Not easy every day, but with God all things are possible.

Jessica May 21, 2013 - 3:20 pm

One thing that is sad and frustrating all at the same time is how many people CAN AFFORD to stay home, but believe that they cannot. I understand that there are situations where it will be very tight. However, I think those are much, much more rare than people say they are. It is mind boggling what people spend money on and then claim that they can’t make it. Cable, vacations, newer vehicles, bigger houses, hobby luxuries, etc. etc. all add up. Many Americans just take it for granted that their children will be in dance, will buy the expensive costumes, get their nails and hair done (what?!?!) and buy the professional dance pictures. That is only one example of how it is easy to get sucked into the keeping up with what others are doing mentality, which leads many to think they cannot survive on one income. I wish I could held others see the freedom that can come from being better stewards of their money. I know I am not perfect and I am very thankful for the lessons that others have taught me and for the friends who have inspired me to embrace a frugal lifestyle. Blessings, ladies. I appreciate this friendly dialogue and I believe this is such an important message to be discussing!

Word Warrior May 21, 2013 - 3:32 pm

Jessica–it’s a very good, real point you make. One of the friends who ALWAYS shakes her head when she sees us and says something like, “I don’t know how you do it”, has 3 children all involved in multiple activities, one of which is beauty pageants, spending a fortune on dresses, makeup, professional lessons, etc. It is mind-blowing. I don’t know how THEY do it.

A large part of all this is, indeed, lifestyle choices. Like you, I long to help parents see that TIME is what a child most wants and what will help him the most in life.

Carolina May 21, 2013 - 8:43 pm

Yes, the numbers say that unemployment is a big problem since feminism told us to go out and work. Family men did not have so much trouble decades ago in finding a decent job.
If only women with young children stopped working full time, that alone would aliviate the situation.

Laura May 21, 2013 - 9:55 pm

What drives me crazy is how I feel looked down upon sometimes…driving one car, living in an older house, the kids living in used clothes, using used furniture and so on…I often feel like we are looked at as the poverty family…and by govt standards we are, even though our financial situation is probably less stressful than many who make double or triple what we do…

Kelly L May 22, 2013 - 9:45 am

Laura, take heart in knowing that if you made 6 figures and had nice house and 2 cars (a 97 and a 94), “holy” people would still find a way to judge you. Wondering if you are tithing, giving, really need what you have. ;-). That is where knowing you are obedient comes into play. Judge away, I know what God has called us to.

Erica May 22, 2013 - 5:12 pm

I’m in the boat with you on this one! Thankfully I have watched people in my own family complain about finances and when they notice me they say something like “Oh, but I’m sure you have it so much worse than we do.” I always just smile and say “No, actually I don’t. I have it great! I get to put my creative mind to use AND be home with my kids all day.”

It was funny how when the “recession” hit everyone was scrambling around going nuts about finances and honestly, the recession never affected us. We still bought the same things we had before. Still did the same things we did before. I was so thankful that I was already living a lifestyle that didn’t include all those *extras* that so many other families had. Plus our children will be much better for growing up with less. Less IS more!

Jasmine May 22, 2013 - 7:01 am

I agree! And another complaint about these working women is, my hubby is a gentleman and when the working woman is pregnant or something he works twice as hard so they don’t have to pull their fair share. Getting him home to his wife and young kids later than normal.

Kristin May 23, 2013 - 7:51 am

Are you all familiar with the concept of “Mommy Wars”?

I’m afraid that much of the conversation taking place here falls into this category. And among Christian women, too. This breaks my heart. Too much judgement, not enough grace.

Here are a few articles that I found to help give perspective on this topic. This quote sums up my perspective on the debate at hand:

“Christian mother, you live in the freedom of Christ, which is freedom that leads to service (Galatians 5:13). Pray and discern what is best for you, what is best for your family and how you can best serve the Lord.

And remember each woman has a different “best” from you.”
– Aubrey Smith

More related articles:

Word Warrior May 23, 2013 - 9:21 am


Yes, I had read that a few days ago. Here are my thoughts both on the article and your commentary, “Too much judgment, not enough grace.”

First, even with the examples Smith gives in the article, namely, Lydia and the Prov. 31 woman, neither of them have the least bit of “proof text” for working outside the home.

Lydia was more than likely a widow, since her husband is never mentioned, and one commentary states:
“When God opened her heart, she believed wholeheartedly. She became a servant, tending to the needs of the missionaries. Later in Paul’s mission, he returned to Lydia’s home where he met with believers. Lydia had apparently become an active member of the church.”

She dyed and sold fabric. More than likely, she sold as a “wholesaler” to merchants, just like the Prov. 31 woman, a suitable job that did not require her to be gone for extensive hours of the day. Also, her focus seemed to shift after she was converted into a more serving position, something that naturally happens to a child of God.

Prov. 31–same thing. She most certainly was a business woman (I love that!) and I have sung her praises many times and do not, AT ALL, believe a stay-at-home mom means she can’t run a business. Again, her business didn’t require her be enslaved to another boss or be absent from home for extended periods of the day. She was likely free to incorporate her children in her business as well.

Then, I bring up the point even the author made which I think is the crux: can a woman take care of her home, husband and children thoroughly, AND work a full time job away from home? I’ve never met a woman who admitted she could, if she was being honest. Scripture DOES make it clear (and nature too) that a woman is given her home, husband and children as her main priority. If she is unable to fulfill that role with her added ones, the extras must go.

Admittedly, in our culture, there is likely some leeway here. We do live in a very different time where unfortunately, families no longer take care of each other as they once did, nor do churches. I have never suggested that a woman who finds herself in need of working to care for her family is wrong or in sin. I think the issue is not that. The issue is how to we view it? Do we clamor for “the right” or do we recognize that the best situation is for a woman to be available to her home, therefore discussing ways to make that possible for more women? It’s in the heart of our understanding.

“Home is the true wife’s kingdom. There, first of all places, she must be strong and beautiful. She may touch life outside in many ways, if she can do it without slighting the duties that are hers within her own doors. But if any calls for her service must be declined, they should not be the duties of her home. These are hers, and no other one’s.” JR Miller

I understand the desire for peace among women and that grace must reign as we discuss these controversial issues. At the same time I fear “grace” is a word that has been abused and often misunderstood. When Scripture does make a concept clear (this is where we all disagree) it is our duty to uphold its teaching, especially as women, a COMMAND in fact, and I think our culture is reaping the consequences of the death of this teaching. And that matters to all of us. In the body of Christ, we are not autonomous. When there is error or confusion, we are all affected. When there is a turning of the head away from the wisdom of Scripture (that is to say, one thing may not necessarily be sin and yet produce negative consequences) we all suffer.

If “grace” dismisses the wisdom of Scripture, it is not grace at all, but the height of unloving.

Word Warrior May 23, 2013 - 10:12 am

Two more thoughts came and I wanted to mention those:

The article talks about the day where whole families raised children more than the one mom. I agree and have lamented that many times. BUT, the fact that she uses that, somehow, to bolster her argument that moms aren’t obligated to care for their own children is ridiculous. She is implying that since whole families don’t care for children anymore (where the ratio was many adults to fewer children) that it’s OK for us to invert that dynamic and put many children with only a few adults who AREN’T EVEN their family. That makes no sense.

Also, it’s interesting that the Christian community can’t dare say “mom at home is better for the family” without being criticized and accused of judgment, but when the secular world admits it (with their stats to go with it), it’s OK.

The crux here is not to “judge” or make people feel bad (of course that happens) but to say, with biblical context as well as environmental evidence, that society would help itself to recognize and assist women to be able to attend to their first, full-time job of taking care of home, husband and children. It’s is the ideal situation for making us stronger as a whole.

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Jennifer May 8, 2014 - 3:07 am

Great, except for the almost funny suggestion that women just stop working and wouldn’t that help. Uh, no; we need women counselors, teachers, coaches, doctors, nurses, missionaries, even actresses for pete’s sake. No can do, but funny man, funny sense of humor.

Ehartsay July 17, 2014 - 10:53 am

One thing I’ve noticed is that this article seems to be suggesting is that “woman” is synonymous with “wife” and with “mother”. Do please note that these are not the same word.

Ehartsay July 17, 2014 - 10:54 am

One thing I’ve noticed is that this article seems to be suggesting is that “woman” is synonymous with “wife” and with “mother”. Do please note that these are not the same word.
While I am the first by dint of birth and biology, I am quite capable of being neither of the latter (and in fact if I had any interest in either of the latter terms it is possible to be one without the other).


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