With all the growing depravity in the world, there is a sort of back-tracking occurring within conservative culture. Specifically, among conservative women.
As more women become disenchanted with feminism, public school, the medical system, and our federal government, the pendulum is swinging back as they reembrace their God-given roles. We are now seeing more and more women walking away from corporate America and their lifestyles of convenience to raise their children and make a home.
Some may call these women “homemakers” or “trad-wives,” but ultimately, by God’s grace, women all over the country are recognizing that the most fulfilling and rewarding job they can have is that of being a wife and a mother.
There’s a stereotypical “aesthetic” that goes along with this, though (at least, there is on the Internet.) It involves a sourdough starter on the counter at all times, chickens in the backyard next to the vegetable garden, essential oils in the diffuser, wooden toys on the floor, homeschool books on the shelf, and raw milk in the fridge. An apron over a long dress is the uniform, the kitchen is home base, and there’s probably an entire recently hunted animal in the deep freezer out back.
Think “Little House on the Prairie,” but more modern.
I say all this in jest, of course, but if you’re on any social media platform, you know exactly the kind of woman I’m referring to.
I won’t lie. I, too, desire to one day live on a plot of land where this slow and simple life can be achieved. I would venture to guess that most Christian women today do, and not just because they’ve realized that the public education system is a road straight to hell, the government poisons our food, the medical system keeps us sick, and being a helpmeet to our husbands doesn’t make us subordinate to them.
This kind of life — the one where the Christian woman prioritizes her home and her children above worldly desires — does so out of conviction and to glorify the Lord.
While the “trad-wife life” is both desirable and honorable, it is not the only family dynamic in which a woman can properly fulfill her role. Christian women whose homes and daily routines look nothing like that of Laura Ingalls Wilder need not compare themselves or feel as though they are not living up to what it means to be a homemaker simply because they buy their eggs from the grocery store instead of gathering them from their backyard. This is neither productive nor realistic.
The truth is that the woman who feeds her kids fast food a few times a week, sends her kids to public school, keeps Cheetos in the pantry, and earns some form of income is no less capable of fulfilling her role as a helpmeet and godly wife than the homesteader.
In some seasons, doing these things may actually be the things that help a woman be a helpmeet to her husband.
For example, my husband and I are currently at a point in life where I must provide financially until he finishes medical school. This doesn’t mean that I’m overstepping my role and he is abandoning his. It simply means that the best way I can best support him at this time is by earning an income so that he doesn’t have to stress over finances while in school.
Another example might be a situation where a mom’s last hours of the day have been spent picking kids up from school, dropping them off at soccer practice, and carpooling another child to dance before she has to pick all of them up again. The best way she may be able to be a mother to her children and a helpmeet to her husband is by picking up a takeout order from In and Out on the way home because she didn’t have time to cook dinner.
Or what about the wife who is convicted to homeschool her children, but her husband is determined to keep them in public school? The best way she can be a godly wife in this instance is by submitting to his decision as head of the home and by being as involved in her children’s school as she possibly can.
While the homesteading lifestyle seems ideal and beautiful and biblical even, we must not create our own laws by determining that it is the only way women can be godly wives and mothers. The Internet is not real life, and it certainly shouldn’t be where we get our idea of how to fulfill our roles.
Our source for the godly wife and mother is the Word of God. It’s Genesis 2, Titus 2, Proverbs 31, and Ephesians 5. It’s the heart posture she has behind prioritizing her home and her children. It’s submitting to and honoring her husband out of love for the Lord. It’s thanking him for his hard work to provide. It’s keeping a gentle and quiet spirit. And it’s letting the fruit of her hands be a testament of the Lord’s saving grace.
This is the Proverbs 31 woman. In practice, it looks different for every family, but it is no less God-honoring and obedient. May we all remember this as we strive for holiness within our homes rather than comparing ourselves to an unattainable way of life.
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