Should Christian moms work?

Stephanie Long

I stayed home and homeschooled my kids because I wanted to be a godly mom, and I was taught that’s what godly moms do.

I would probably stay home again, for the first few years, if given the choice. 

There are lots of great reasons to stay home with our kids! God may even call us, as individuals, to stay home — for a season, or for a lifetime.

Or, He may call us, as individuals, to work. He may even let us choose

I didn’t choose. I didn’t even really think about it. I didn’t ask God. I was told, “That’s what you do.” So, that’s what I did.

Until, at a conference, God said clearly, “Put your kids in school, and go into ministry.” 

Wait. What? 

Who to Listen to When You’re Deciding Whether to Work or Stay Home

I argued with God for three days. And, in each session He confirmed my calling. And, in prayer and conversation with my husband and friends, He confirmed it. 

I asked for signs. God gave me signs — including a literal piece of paper that says “Here’s your sign.” 

But, what do you do when God calls you to something that goes against what you’ve been told God says you should do? 

Many would say, “God won’t call you to do something He explicitly says in the Bible not to do. So, you must be mistaken.” In fact, someone said that to me. 

That’s true. But, I didn’t get the idea that God calls all Christian moms to stay home from the Bible. I got it from people with out-of-context verses. 

Anytime we’re getting our theology from people and not the Bible, chances are we’re believing a lie.

Anytime we’re getting our theology from people and not the Bible, chances are we’re believing a lie.

I’ve prayed, studied the Bible, consulted godly counsel, and read the context around the go-to “you must stay home” verses. (By the way, the Proverbs 31 woman worked.)

Turns out, God never says all Christian moms have to stay home. God calls us to love our kids unconditionally, talk to them about Jesus, discipline them, teach them in the way they should go, and model what it looks like to follow Him. But, He doesn’t say, “Moms must stay home.”

3 Questions to Ask When Deciding Whether to Work or Stay Home 

1. What has Jesus called me to do? 

When deciding whether to work or stay home, ask Jesus His plan for you and your family. Read the Bible, pray, and listen for His answer. God is not a God of confusion. If you ask Him for wisdom, He will give it to you (James 1:5). Then listen to Jesus, and do what He says. 

For me, Jesus clearly said, “Put your kids in school, and go into ministry.” He may tell you to stay home. He may say go to work. Or, He may call you to something you can do while staying home, or working, and give you the choice.

2. What has Jesus given me the ability to do?

Jesus is not going to call you to do something without providing a way for you do it. Maybe He’s given you the financial ability to stay home. Maybe He’s given you connections in the workplace or a great job opportunity. Or, maybe He’s given you a great support system that will help you either way. 

For me, He gave me a good school system for the kids and an opportunity to step into a volunteer ministry role to prepare me for vocational ministry. 

3. What has Jesus gifted me to do?

God gives each of us spiritual gifts to use in our calling. What do you like to do? What are you good at? Are your gifts things that help you thrive at home? Do they help you thrive in the workplace? Is God calling you to use a specific gift in a specific way?

For me, I’m not gifted in the domestic arts. I don’t thrive being home all day every day. God gave me the gifts of writing and teaching. And, I thrive when I’m using them for His glory.

I’m healthier — and a better mom — when I use the gifts God’s given me to step into the opportunities He’s given me to do the things He’s called me to do.

If God calls you to stay home, do everything in your power to do that. And, do it joyfully, with your best effort because you’re doing it for Jesus. 

If God calls you to work, do it joyfully — without guilt and without begrudging it — giving your best effort both at work and at home because you are doing it for Jesus (Colossians 3:23-24).

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