“Work harder. The people on welfare depend on it,” reads a bumper sticker I see every day while walking to my car after work. Did you know that families who receive cash assistance and food stamps are on these government programs anywhere from five months to over seven years? The desire for some women to work has become archaic since government aid is so readily available and easy to obtain. Some, such as single women working and raising children on their own, need the assistance; however, this article is more focused on those women who are blessed with good health and the physical capabilities to work, but refuse to do so.
Since there is a standard that God has set for women, the characteristics of that standard should be the rule by which a woman is measured. Proverbs 31 tells us the duties of a virtuous woman. One of the first duties we learn about is for a mother to be a teacher: “The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him,” Proverbs 31:1. More specifically, verses 10ff teaches us what a virtuous woman is, implying that anything less than these characteristics is a woman with either low moral standards or none at all.
A virtuous woman is a woman who a man can “take home to meet his mother.” A woman like this is priceless (vs. 10), and her husband knows this, and it is why he made her his wife; he trusts her to be good to him all the while they are married (vs. 12). This proverb teaches women that a virtuous woman is physically capable of laboring, does so willingly, and who has talents and utilizes them for the benefit of others inside and outside of her household. Some women today have become so comfortable with the aid of the government that looking for work, being a help meet for a husband, and being a spiritual role model for their children is a thing of the past. Verses fifteen and sixteen are important to note. A virtuous woman is a woman who gets up from her sleep, and works to provide food for her family. This is done by laboring and earning wages from her work. Her money does not go to waste on material things, but rather her funds that she earned through her labor are used to make sure her household has a home and food to eat.
When we work hard for what we have, we will not allow anyone else to come in and destroy it by being careless. We will be more likely to take care of our belongings and make sure our monies are not wasted on things that do not benefit our families or ourselves. We will save more rather than spend more. If any of us have known a woman who allows the government to freely take care of her and/or her household, we know the comfortable life she lives: when the first and fifteenth of the month comes, the bills are paid, and a lot of times there are shopping sprees.
A virtuous woman does not take advantage of other people (Luke 6:28), but has an obligation to work in order to eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10). If a man is not in the household to provide for his own, it is the woman’s responsibility to do so (1 Timothy 5:8). If a woman cannot work outside the home, she has something she can do inside the home. There is always work to be done. A virtuous woman attends to the needs of her household and is not concerned with everyone else’s personal business (Prov. 31:27). Because of the work she does inside the home, whether it be ironing her husband’s and children’s clothes for work and school, or helping the needy, she is praised by her husband and children (Prov. 31:28, 29). They see her labor, understand the importance of it, and reap the benefits of her hard work. A woman like this fears the LORD because she attends to the responsibilities He has given her. Her hard work inside the home is known by those outside her home, and her working hands bring praise upon her name (Prov. 31:30, 31).
Therefore we should learn from this that it is a sin to take advantage unneedingly of the aid the government provides to those who truly need it. It is a sin to purposely avoid work when we are blessed with the physical abilities and capabilities to do so. It is a sin to be such a poor example to our children. Poor spiritual leadership is what we display to our household when we become lazy in our responsibilities. Work! For your household depends on it.