July 27, 2010 by Stacy McDonald

Do Working Women Blaspheme God’s Name?

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Taken from a talk I gave earlier this year entitled, Christianity:
“The Real Women’s Liberation Movement

Hallowed Be His Name

It is our duty to defend the Word of God and proclaim all that it teaches. If we don’t, we allow His Truth to be ravaged, His people to be deceived, and His name to be mocked. Serious stuff. Therefore, it’s important for us to rightly divide the Word, and not add to or take away from its intended meaning.

There are many places where God rebukes His people for allowing His name to be blasphemed among the heathen. One memorable place was in 2 Samuel where David not only committed adultery with Bathsheba, he also murdered her husband to cover his own sin. Remember Nathan saying to David:

“By this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme.” (2 Samuel 12:14)

Then in Romans, Paul rebukes the teachers who are marring God’s name with their hypocrisy:

“You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you….” (Romans 2:23-24)

In Ezaekiel, God rebukes the Isrealites for profaning His name with their evil deeds:

Thus says the Lord God: “I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went.” (Ezekiel 36:22)

Since writing Passionate Housewives Desperate for God with my friend, Jennie, I’ve received questions as to what is meant in Titus 2 where Paul talks about God’s Word being blasphemed. They wondered if working women blaspheme God’s name. First, let me say no; from what I’ve studied in the word of God, a woman who works outside of the home does not blaspheme God’s Word by doing so.

Hallowed of Blasphemed?

But let’s look a little closer at what Paul does mean. I simplified the verses here, taking out all the examples, so that it would be little easier to understand, but remember “blaspheme” in this context literally means to slander God’s Word—to communicate something about Him that’s not true. Titus 2:1-8 simplified, says:

“But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine… that the word of God may not be blasphemed… that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.” (Taken from Titus 2:1-8)

So who is Paul concerned about here? Who would dare blaspheme God’s name? He’s talking about the “opponent”—in most cases, the Heathen. Paul is describing the way we, as a Church, can cause God’s Word to be blasphemed by onlookers when we falsely represent His holiness by teaching or living a life counter to His Word.

In other words, we should pay close attention to how God says we might do violence to His reputation—and avoid living a life that communicates a false picture of who God is and what He has done in us.

Titus 2 teaches us that we are to “adorn the Doctrine of God our Savior”—we’re to hallow His name by living the Truth, the virtual opposite of blaspheming His Word. So what are some of the ways He teaches we are to do this—to “adorn the Doctrine of God and avoid blaspheming His Word?


Notice I placed “homemaker” in red. That’s because I’d like to point out that out of all the things Paul lays out for old men, young men, older women, and younger women, the biggest controversy today seems to be over the homemaker. Do you think it’s a coincidence that this would be so, as we sit in a culture bathed in feminist theology?

Glance through the above chart and see if there is anything else listed in Titus 2 that is something we should toss. Now, obviously loving a husband isn’t possible if you don’t’ have a husband, and loving your children isn’t possible if you don’t have children. God is sovereign and He certainly isn’t going to require us to walk in a role that He hasn’t provided for us. But look close, is there anything else?

Now, let’s examine this verse one more time: “Speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine [now insert all those things in the chart] that the word of God may not be blasphemed. So these are the things!

Ladies, this is the Word of God! We may be able to debate the definition of a keeper at home, but we really can’t argue about the fact that being a “homemaker” is in fact included in the list of things young women should be taught to practice. And it seems pretty clear that Paul is saying God’s Word is blasphemed in society when the church rejects or ignores the teachings of Titus 2.

Some people have asked, “But, doesn’t that still mean you’re saying that any woman who works outside the home is blaspheming God?

First of all, remember, it’s not the Christian who blasphemes God’s Word; remember Titus 2 lays out how we might cause God’s Word to be blasphemed. There’s a difference. But, still, it’s not that simple. You can’t take a small portion of a general truth and try to turn it into a black and white rule…or doctrine. That just can’t be done. God is sovereign and so many factors are involved in each woman’s life; there’s no way in the world anyone should make such a blanket judgment.

But what we can see from Paul’s instruction here is that when Christians minimize or reject the importance of women nurturing their families and keeping their homes (just like when we reject any other part of Titus 2), we open the door to all sorts of problems that could lead to God being slandered by the heathen.

You see this with latch key kids, burned out moms trying to juggle home and work, husbands not having the support they need, marriages falling apart, and families so disconnected they don’t have a family identity anymore. It’s a progressive cycle that can lead to more and more breakdown in the family.

Again, the problem is the rejection of Titus 2 teachings—any of them. It’s our failure, as a church, to properly adorn the doctrine of God that causes God’s name to be blasphemed.

I believe that it’s because so many men weren’t obeying God and properly honoring women that the feminists were given a voice or had any credibility in the first place. If the heathen were offered a true and living picture of godly womanhood, blessed by godly manhood, what legitimate thing would the feminists have to say? None; their sinful desires would fall right in their own laps and would be much easier to expose. A godly man leading, sacrificing for, and serving his family in humility would indeed shut the mouths of lions.

“Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.” (Titus 2:6-8)

And as we women use our gifts, talents, and intellect to glorify God we impart a quiet lesson to a watching world and communicate true contentment in the loveliness of womanhood. As we truly live this out, our testimony will declare “His glory among the heathen, His wonders among all people” (Psalm 96:3) and multiply generations of those who love and glorify God.

May His holy Name be hallowed in us before all the nations.



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21 Responses to “Do Working Women Blaspheme God’s Name?”

  1. Carmon Friedrich says:

    Wonderful job, Stacy! Thank you for showing how this principle is so important but that we need to be careful in our application of it as we work it out in real lives. Starting from the understanding of the importance of the woman's role as a homekeeper in the context of being the kind of woman Titus 2 encourages her to be, helps to give perspective. Giving positive examples of this is so much more powerful than negative ones, as we love and teach those younger women who may never have had a vision for that kind of life. Wisdom and love must undergird all.

  2. Stacy McDonald says:

    Amen, Carmon! It's that whole "clanging symbol" thing again. (1 Cor. 13:1)

  3. I am blessed! says:

    I agree with everything you said and want to add that it's the heart and priority of the woman in her home that matters more than whether she works part-time or even full-time. I have done it all, stayed home full-time, gone back to school, worked part-time and even full-time, and now full circle to staying home full-time homeschooling my kids.

    Proverbs 31 makes it obvious that godly women are meant to work hard- rising early and going to bed late and not sitting around watching tv. I had a very flexible part-time job while I was going back to school that allowed me to do this, but it practically killed me! One day my husband and I realized that it just wasn't worth it- not because we felt we were in sin, but because I knew I couldn't keep going at that pace forever and I wanted to slow down a little and enjoy the children the Lord had given me, rather than just managing them.

    But back to Proverbs 31- it seems that she invests her money or their money that she evidently has some control over since she buys a field. It seems that she has some kind of work outside the home- planting the field. She's very active in her community especially helping the needy, but mainly she's consumed with the well-being of her family. Her husband and kids come first. I think it's possible to pull that off and work, but very difficult.

    Just my two cents.

    Celee

  4. Tracy says:

    While I agree with most of all you say here, I have to beg to differ a bit with your comment "I believe that it’s because so many men weren’t obeying God and properly honoring women that the feminists were given a voice or had any credibility in the first place." Sounds like you are blaming men for women choosing to be rebellious. However, throughout the Bible, and throughout history, there are many many examples of rebellious women even when there were Godly men. With our fallen nature, rebellion exists and must be continually kept in check. Even if all of the men in the world were perfectly Godly in all they did (dream on!), there would still be some segment of feminism by those who didn't like it. (although perhaps it would not be 'heard' so loudly). To say that women would not be this way "if men would step up and be men!" sounds kind of …. feminist.

  5. Stacy McDonald says:

    Hi Tracy,

    I don't think I've ever been told before that I sound feminist! ROFLOL!!!

    You're right – women own their own sin. And even if men were ALL doing the right thing, there would be some women who would rebel.

    My point was that if the church would have been glorifying God to the extent that it influenced society with the blessing of godly manhood (men boldly leading and serving as Jesus did – in humility rather than selfishness) then when the feminists started spouting their heretical blah blah the general population would have seen it for the danger it was.

    It's a cycle. It's the way sin works. Women were enticed by the lies of the Enemy (just like Eve), but men share in the blame. It's easy to blame the feminist because her sin is so obvious. But if men were properly leading, she wouldn't have a credible voice. Both men and women reject God's ordained roles. Men fail to lead and women fail to follow. Both are at fault.

  6. Leanne says:

    I must respectfully ask a question here of Tracy:

    Did Adam, when Eve brought him the apple, admonish her and chastise her and tell her to throw it away and destroy it? Did he reiterate what God had told them both about that tree??

    No.

    So some of the blame for Eve's sin sits squarely on the shoulders of Adam……

    For not leading her as a man should have.

    Stacy, I agree with this astute and well written commentary! I love your posts, they always bring new ideas and truths to light for me.

    Thank you.

  7. Jennifer says:

    Oh Stacy. Thank you. This topic was worrying my heart earlier and you've relieved it and clarified its values with grace and skilled teaching. Thanks!

  8. Mrs Glenys Hicks says:

    I wrote the same argument yesterday in my blog.I am glad the message of the dangers of feminism is passed on! Blessings!

  9. Sarah : ) says:

    Thank you! This has been an area of struggle in my own life, as I suppose it has been for most women. Ultimately, after the birth of my daughter, my husband got saved (Praise God!), though I didn't know for sure he wasn't before. And when God got a hold of his heart and changed him, he suddenly wanted our marriage to reflect godliness by submitting to the Scriptures. I had worked until we had our daughter, and then quit my part-time job, and the other full-time career that I thought would be a huge part of my life, God had brought it to an end for me in the most peculiar way (yet in the only way I would've ever given it up). My little girl now emulates me in pretend housework and adores her daddy, and we are expecting another baby next March. I am ashamed that I selfishly used up so many years, but am glad that God enlightened me to the truth. I have come to know that I must submit to ALL Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16) regardless of whether I like it or understand it or how I feel about it. We cannot know the reason for all things taught in Scripture, but we are commanded to trust that God does and His wisdom is perfect and infinitely righteous and good and His power is unlimited and His sovereignty ensures that His will will be done. Therefore, I would urge anyone struggling with a Biblical truth/mandate to trust God when you cannot see or understand the truth. Trusting His character will make you trust and submit to His Word.
    I know that this isn't something that can be outlined in specifics for every family or for every stage of life, but the home has to be our priority. After all, "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."(Matthew 6:21). And the eternal, the only things that will last are the souls of those around us, and what greater endeavor could we have as Christians than to impart the gospel in word and deed to our own family's souls and to all around us by laying down our desires, goals and self fulfillment and focusing all our energy on them. I believe God has blessed women with a natural role in being a wife and mother that allows us to deny self and proclaim to a dead world the truth of the gospel through our lives as we sacrifice "us" for our families' welfare. In doing the least praised work, we can emulate Christ.
    Thank you again, Mrs. McDonald for your shared wisdom and for your boldness in proclaiming truth! I thank God for your ministry to women! May God ever be glorified in your life, your family, and your ministry! Love in Christ!

  10. fairykin says:

    My friend in Christ,
    this morn, as I was preparing a message for the women and daughters of our little church here in Massachusetts, I was working on my blog tonight, and stumbled across your blog. I could not believe it, you had a chart up that I was actually creating for the ladies.
    Hope to talk to you at some point.
    My husband is a pastor of 30 years and we have a two year old church in Massachusetts. Please pray for us!

  11. Glory to God Alone says:

    Thank you very much for writing! This post has been very helpful for me, because I've been praying for wisdom about whether women working outside the home is Biblical.

    What does a young Christian woman do, though, when she wants to study to be a homemaker, but her dad requires her to go to college and/or work full time so she can move out? (Such a regimen leaves little time for the study of homemaking.) Do you have any wisdom about what a girl might do in this situation?

  12. Stacy McDonald says:

    Dear Glory to God,

    I thought you might find this post helpful. Keep in mind, too, God can turn the heart of the king. Be open with your parents about your goals, desires, and hopes. You may be surprised by their response!

    http://yoursacredcalling.blogspot.com/2008/04/college-girl-with-heart-for-home.html

  13. Amanda says:

    Amen! Great article!

  14. Amanda says:

    Amen, Great Article!!

  15. Christina says:

    Thank you ver much! That post does help alot.

    May I ask another question, which is only mildly related? I'm still very new to the idea of head coverings and still studying it.
    Some people say that it is an absolute command that a woman be under a man's authority at all times. If a young woman is evicted from her dad's house by her dad, is she being forced into sin and disobedience against God? Transgression of the law is sin. (1 John 3:4)
    Is there any wisdom you can share about what a girl is to do, when she is forced, by situations outside her control, to break God's command like this?

    I mean no arguement by this question. All I want is God's truth about the matter.

  16. Jennifer says:

    Maybe you could find a community college, Glory. That way you could live at home.

  17. Sue Bee says:

    I think the Titus 2 verses 9 & 10 shouldn’t be ignored just because slaves are no longer a part of everyday life (thankfully!). The slaves Paul is writing to encompassed the aforementioned groups – they were both men and women, young and old. They are admonished to 1) Be submissive to their masters in everything 2) To be well-pleasing 3) Not argumentative 4) Not pilfering 5) Showing all good faith – so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God. In today’s world, these serve as excellent instructions for how Christian employees should behave in the workplace.

    I believe we are all called and enabled by Him, regardless of our social or economic circumstances, to bear witness to Christ by our attitudes and actions. We are all called to “bloom where we are planted”, so to speak, to the glory of God. A woman working outside the home is still very much able to be a Godly woman, because it is through Christ’s righteousness that “Godliness” is attained, not her own behavior.

    Just my 2 cents.

  18. Stacy McDonald says:

    Hi Sue Bee,

    Welcome to my blog. I’m a little confused by your comment. My article didn’t imply that verse 9 & 10 should be ignored. In fact, my point is that we often leave out portions of Titus 2 to our detriment.

    Again, the problem is the rejection of Titus 2 teachings—any of them. It’s our failure, as a church, to properly adorn the doctrine of God that causes God’s name to be blasphemed.

    You were right when you said, “we are called and enabled by Him, as His children, to bear witness to Christ by our attitudes and actions.”

    When I was forced to work outside the home as a young woman in difficult circumstances, by God’s grace, I was able to glorify Him right where I was. God is faithful.

  19. GORDON CONWELL PHD says:

    This is a typical viewpoint of the fundamentalist movement. The ESV, a better translation, says she is to “work at home.” There are numerous ways that could be interpretted. Paul’s life intersected frequently with working women. Not once, did he tell any of them to “get on home.” Don’t you think that would be recorded if it was important? The fact is you have cherry picked what you like. Again typical of the fundy movement. Paul is one of the greatest contextualizers in history. He would never have intended a reader of his 1st Century letter to be maintained 2000 years later anymore than you take literally the idea of being silent on church and wearing a head covering.

    I can find plenty of messed up adults whose parents stayed at home. Your “latch key” paragraph is nonsensical.

    The totality of Scripture, lo Paul’s own words, do not support your argument here. Your prolegomena is causing you to stumble.

    The key idea in this is that women are to keep up the home. Keep in mind that this was a largely agrarian society in which the men were not home.
    Using your isolation of this principle (your chart) men are excused from domestic responsibilities. In an agrarian economy that would be true. But not in the last 100 years. Again Paul did not write to people in 2010. He would not have had a concept of life today anymore than we understand what life will be like in 4010. He is contextualizing here as he is in other passages (head coverings). Different cultures have different contexts for ministry. Yours work great in tx not in hundreds of cultures around the world. There was a day when using the same text southern whiteys enslaved their black workers.

    Key principle for you: dont isolate preferred ideas. Scripture must be read in context with ALL scripture and with the cultures in which it was originally written. Honestly muddleheaded thinking like yours on peripheral ideas gives the Gospel a bad name in places where i live.

  20. Stacy McDonald says:

    “This is a typical viewpoint of the fundamentalist movement. The ESV, a better translation, says she is to “work at home.” There are numerous ways that could be interpretted.”

    You’ll have to define “fundamentalist movement” for me. I am Reformed Presbyterian and adhere to the Westminster standards. By the way, I love the ESV version (though I prefer the NKJV), and don’t see a contradiction at all. Perhaps it could be interpreted “numerous ways;” however, taking Titus 2 in context, and in accordance with the rest of Scripture, I see it meaning homemaker, worker at home, housewife, keeper at home etc.

    Paul’s life intersected frequently with working women. Not once, did he tell any of them to “get on home.” Don’t you think that would be recorded if it was important?

    “Frequently?” Are you referring to Lydia and Priscilla? You can’t let the historical set the didactic. The didactic, Paul teaches in Titus 2. There is the normative and there is the providential. I agree that God uses women in varying capacities. However, He made clear what his general intention was for wives and mothers. Even our created bodies testify of his intentions.

    The fact is you have cherry picked what you like. Again typical of the fundy movement. Paul is one of the greatest contextualizers in history. He would never have intended a reader of his 1st Century letter to be maintained 2000 years later anymore than you take literally the idea of being silent on church and wearing a head covering.

    It seems you are coming from a typical, liberal interpretation of Scripture. I am not “cherry picking” and I am not a “fundy” (whatever that means). You seem to be baiting me. I’m not biting. :-) Although you may discount God’s Word for today, I hold it in high regard, and believe it is unchanging. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings…” (Hebrews 13:8-9, ESV)

    “I can find plenty of messed up adults whose parents stayed at home. Your “latch key” paragraph is nonsensical.”

    You are right to a degree. Simply “staying home” with your children is not the answer. I could “stay home” eating Twinkies and watching soap operas all day, and that would not be fulfilling my role as a keeper at home. That’s why formulas don’t work. A woman, walking according to the whole counsel of God is seeking to be a faithful worker at home, training up her children, submitting to her husband, and living by faith according to the rest of Scripture.

    Even statistics (and modern research) prove that when mothers left the home, and latch key kids became the norm, major problems, that had not existed to the extent they do now, began. Do you honestly deny this?

    The key idea in this is that women are to keep up the home. Keep in mind that this was a largely agrarian society in which the men were not home. Using your isolation of this principle (your chart) men are excused from domestic responsibilities. In an agrarian economy that would be true. But not in the last 100 years.

    My husband is not a farmer. In fact, he is a pastor, and works out of our home. However, as he (and others with non-agrarian professions) works to provide for us, he is unable to simultaneously train/teach our children, take care of the home, provide healthy meals, and manage the numerous tasks that I take care of each day. While he may pitch in on these duties, they are not his focus throughout most of the day, if he is even home.

    My husband has been a wonderful support to me. He has been known to help with many household duties when I’ve needed him. During one of my pregnancies, he even got down on his hands and knees, after a long day at work, and scrubbed our kitchen floor because I was unable to do it. We’re not talking about a list of jobs that the other party cannot contribute to on occasion. It seems you are reading Scripture in a wooden, legalistic manner.

    Again Paul did not write to people in 2010. He would not have had a concept of life today anymore than we understand what life will be like in 4010. He is contextualizing here as he is in other passages (head coverings). Different cultures have different contexts for ministry.

    Here is where I strongly disagree. Paul most certainly DID write to people in 2010. Though Paul may not have had a “concept” of life in the 21st century, God most certainly did. And if the Bible is truly inspired (which I hope you would agree), then Titus 2, as well as the rest of the Word of God, has not changed and is applicable for all of time.

    Key principle for you: dont isolate preferred ideas.

    Funny – I had the same advice for you. :-)

  21. CourtneyK says:

    Dear Stacy,
    From the bottom of my heart, thank you for sharing encouraging and life giving posts. I came across this particular post at such an important time in my life, and God has truly used it to encourage me in my role as wife and mother. Due to some financial difficulties, the question of whether or not I should return to work was brought up for discussion. Something in my stomach just felt sick at the idea of leaving my son with someone else during the day, he is just one year old. We are expecting our second blessing sometime toward the end of January- and it seemed as though maybe I should return to work to earn some more money to help us “feel” more secure. God so gently lead my husband and I through this time and reminded me that whatever blessings he would grant us, that he would be faithful. Psalm 100:5 was such a comfort and a promise to me that I have held onto throughout this pregnancy and my time at home. I had begun to realize that while I did not identify myself as being “feminist”, I was still allowing a few particular statues to be the measure of my value as a homemaker and contributor to my household- and since I wasn’t bringing in any monetary contributions to speak of, I wasn’t doing all that I should be doing. However, God’s truth always prevails. He taught me how to view the work that he’s given me to do through His eyes. I have come to realize the deep desires of my heart that made me excited and brought so much peace to my mind, were desires that God himself placed in me at my creation- to love my husband, my children, and to be the keeper of my home. I know this post is a round about way of getting to where I’m going, but what I really wanted to say was thank you for being so receptive to God’s word and for sharing the wisdom he’s given you with other women.

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