“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money” (Matthew 6:24).
Jesus had a habit of making Himself clear! Notice our Master says the issue of allegiance to God or money is not a “both/and” proposition. It is “either/or.”
Christian families in America desperately need to wrestle with this issue. Perhaps nothing gets me in hotter water as a pastor than when I begin to challenge the whole notion that a dual-income home is a necessity in America. Granted, in rare instances, it is necessary. But, if we are all laid bare before God, the reason we send mothers out into the workforce right alongside dads is due to a standard of living – or, put another way, lifestyle. We have established lifestyles that require a certain amount (and often more than we actually earn) to sustain.
If some crazed preacher implies that God might actually expect His people to downgrade their lifestyles in order to order their homes according to His purposes, he is scorned and ignored. Our pursuit of lifestyle (aka the American Dream) is hindering us more than we know from following hard after the great treasure who is Christ. If we get a raise, our first inclination is often to raise our lifestyle, rather than increasing our giving to the kingdom of God.
Before the accusations start flying, let me clearly state that the Bible does not categorically forbid women from working outside the home and/or contributing to the family income. In fact, the Proverbs 31 woman is industrious and does add to the home’s income. A godly lady (or person for that matter) is not lazy. Period.
That said, the Bible also makes it clear that God’s design for the home is for wives and mothers to be “workers at home” (Titus 2:5). Feminists may despise this instruction, and several articles I have read in recent years have seen all out attacks on any woman who would dare to obey this Divine mandate. Workers at home (or stay-at-home moms as we call them), according to feminist thinking, are “letting down the team.”
But God Almighty does not check with anyone before telling us how a home is supposed to look. And, I must ask, “Which team is being let down?” The feminist army or our homes? The very reason given for this Divine Design of the home in Titus 2 is “that the word of God may not be reviled.”
So, this crazed preacher may well be ignored, but let it be known that in the end, Jesus will not be ignored. The choice He gave us is clear – God or money. Bondage or freedom? Freedom to serve at His pleasure. Freedom to actually “raise our children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Freedom to go as He sends. Freedom to give as He guides. Freedom to teach that class at church, to lead that home group, to start that ministry to abused women. Freedom from the exhaustion that accompanies pursuit of the American Dream.
“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Cor 3:17).
O God, please begin to set your people free from the bondage of busyness and lifestyle. Start a revival, O Holy Spirt, of Cross-Centered Homes. Give us strength to give up the American Dream and start dreaming with You . . . for our neighbors, for our cities, for our states, for our nation, for the nations of the world, for the glory of God.