Fourth question...what if the debt load is too high for one income? Well, that didn't happen by accident, did it? Absolutely take responsibility for debt that has been incurred in past times - but changing to a frugal lifestyle will show a walk toward God's BEST for the family. Our family is in this situation right now. I work part time as a nurse to pay off the debt that my husband and I incurred in the first part of our marriage. Keep in mind that my previous full time income was almost twice what my husband makes working full time now. But, since making the decision to seek God's BEST for our family, we have paid more than $28,000 off (some of it was simply removed by the grace of God!) in only 5 years! With just $14,000 left to go, my work time outside of the home is lessening every year. God has been gracious in this area by giving my husband a job that is flexible for scheduling and giving me a job that I can pick and choose my shifts. These two things make sure that homeschool is not affected and that one of us is home with Duck at all times - no need for babysitters. Blessings always follow when we seek out God's BEST for our lives. Why should we believe the blessings will come?
If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
John 7:37b & 38 (emphasis mine)
Last question...what if a woman is in an abusive situation? Get out. Take the kids and get out. God's authority structure does not include abuse of any kind. However, seek your heart for the truth first. Physical abuse is an obvious reason to leave, but emotional and verbal abuse are slippery ones. There are times that I have been guilty of emotionally and verbally abusing my husband! Sometimes, as wives, we must suffer under the persecution of our husbands who have yet to follow God's BEST for their role in the marriage. By challenging ourselves as wives to be a biblical woman, God can change your husband.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand. Ephesians 6:13 (emphasis mine)
There are probably several more 'what if' questions that come up when discussing a woman's decision to stay at home, whether married or single. The ones that I did bring up in this series are the ones that come up most frequently among my community of friends and acquaintances and strangers. I do know that the decision to be wives and mothers at home, to make that a plan for the future when still single, has to be a conviction with solid biblical grounding. A woman without the conviction will find it is only a matter of time before the 'what if' arguments break down any shallow decisions and home life will never be good enough for her.
Just today as I was looking for a way to wrap up this series, Duck and I were picking wild raspberries. We were hindered by bees, thorns, heat and thick brush. All these hindrances were a perfect example of what living lives as women of conviction is like - there will always be something or someone that is intent on pushing us away from following the BEST path that God has for us. However, perseverance, patience and trust in God will always end in blessing - in this case by working past the bees, thorns, heat and thick brush we filled a basket full of raspberries!
So let me repeat my conviction from the first installment on this series - God's BEST path for every woman is to be a wife and mother. Period. Spare me the 'what if' arguments and show me the scripture!