Human pride seeks elevation in varying forms according to personal desire. It is an innate and relentless passion, detesting any seeming form of oppression or hindrance to the escalation of personal power. Whether this pursuit takes a more obvious platform in public view or a more conspicuous position of self-righteousness, it is nonetheless self-seeking. This is perhaps a most accurate truth in America, where the rugged spirit of individualism has emboldened the demand for equality in every sphere. Pride is absolved of its sinful reputation and rather justified by the urging to “be the best.” Indeed, it is considered an injury to the psychological idol of self-esteem and affront to reason to willingly accept the unseen position. This is exactly why the biblical term “helper” arouses so many raised eyebrows and frowns. The natural mentality will scoff at the keeper at home because her job is supposedly less important; it allows no time for the woman to “find herself.” The more spiritual mentality will quickly propose that the home offers little if any place for ministry, that the female as “simple” wife and mother scarcely contributes to social betterment outside the four walls of her dwelling. The recontructionist will insist that Scripture changes with time, and that the role of “helper” adapts with humanity’s needs of the age. Yet, such judgments are also often made far before the term is even explained and rightly understood in proper context and ultimate end.
The idea that the housewife has little influence outside of her domain is a dependent assertion, indeed. Outcome is always relative to one’s incentive, is it not? That the woman in the workforce can accomplish as much for the Kingdom of God as the woman who merely resides at home is true—yet neither woman is the “keeper at home” described by Titus:
“To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good,
obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” ~ Titus 2:5
The plainest reading of Scripture describes woman’s divinely intended role from man’s literal origin of life: Genesis. Eve, the “mother of all living” and feminine representative, was designated the title of “helper.” Ergo, the natural inclination in her very emotional and physical makeup bent towards the act of helping. In a day where young women are being trained to assume the role of conqueror in public stardom, the concept of helping is almost entirely lost. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, however, depicts the vocation of one who keeps a home as one who “… has the care, custody or superintendence of any thing.” Her duties are clearly domestic, and include loving husband and children, and maintaining primary attendance over the affairs therein.
The true keeper at home has globally-extensive implications. She is not a woman who merely resides in a house, but one who embodies a vision that God Himself seeks:
“Has not [the LORD] made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring.” ~ Malachi 2:15
She is a fruitful vine from which godly seed, God’s greatest reward and treasured possession, are borne. Her children arise and call her blessed, and in turn act as generational, Gospel-reformists who reiterate the pattern of discipline by the means of visionary education (Deuteronomy 6:6-7) and a responsive, evangelical obedience.
In keeping with biblical context, the contented help-meet proves God’s Word faithful, that His words never return void, and that obedience is always possible in exactly the method He has prescribed. The propagation of godly seed and general instruction aims in coherence with its purpose generations equipped for a more well-rounded, expansive comprehension of the Great Commission than is in truth perceived by those who disregard biblical womanhood. Where gender blur lacks distinction, order, and certain means, the concise confinements presented in Scripture add definition and layout; as in mechanical engineering, everyone has a place, a duty, and yet each is working all the more skillfully and swiftly towards the same goal.
Keeping a home as God intended has widespread spiritual implications; Titus denoted this most strongly by terming rebellion against the role as equating with a “blaspheme,” an utter distortion and dishonoring of God’s reputation and holy Word. Is this a too-stern judgment on the part of God’s disciple? Not when it is recognized that God is synonymous with His Word, and that a disregard to It is simultaneously an affront to God Himself (John 1:1). The “battle of the sexes” began with original sin, and has fruited the destructive vices of chauvinism, feminism, and gender blur—nearly dismantling the family unit, God’s first institution in the command to “be fruitful and multiply,” altogether.
A final note in the form of a historical reminder and encouragement.
Many times, God will form in the single lady’s heart a vision and longing in preparation to help her future husband. Where, after all, would John Quincy Adams take his place in presidential history apart from his mother Abigail, a woman whose wisdom and encouragement from the domestic front kept his father John Adams “afloat” amid the often-disparaging political experience? Marion, the legendary future wife of Scotland’s heroic William Wallace, is recounted to have formed a heart passionate for liberty, long before she met her intended. There is no shame, no less value in being a helper, dear one. Remember that the Holy Spirit is also the epitomized Helper, and yet He is one and equal with Father and Son. Of all the noble feats of history, humanity itself exists because of—and is shaped by—the “hand that rocks the cradle”:
Infancy’s the tender fountain,
Power may with beauty flow,
Mothers first to guide the streamlets,
From them souls unresting grow—
Grow on for the good or evil,
Sunshine streamed or evil hurled,
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.
~ William Ross Wallace
~~~ Whitney Ann Dotson
P.S. On a personal note…
My goal is not politics; it is the glorification of God. I dearly hope someday to “rock a cradle” according to the Bible’s prescription. When God brings my William Wilberforce along, I will be more than happy to be quiet, let him do the talking/ standing/ defending, and make his dinner. Happily so. Until he does, though, I hope to preserve the liberties required to make a godly home :). And then, someday, do so as a pillar of support to my visionary husband.