Keepers At Home Redux

Undesirable consequences of wives going out to work

a. Since she is bringing home part of the income she will want a voice in how it is spent.

b. Children to a babysitter — no discipline.

c. Contact with other men at work — temptation, flirting, unfaithfulness and divorce. It is no accident that the divorce rate has been climbing since World War II when women went to work for the war effort.

d. The husband will soon be expected to help with the housework – after all, it is unfair for him to expect her to work all day and then do all the housework.

e. Meals will be thrown together — leftovers and TV dinners.

f. Physical well-being will suffer — she cannot work all day and clean house all night; she is the “weaker vessel.”

g. Her spiritual life and that of her children will suffer.

h. The added income will lead to worldliness — the things of this world will become more preeminent in the life.

i. In attempting to make it up to the children you will spoil them — you feel guilty about leaving them so you let them do anything they want and you give them anything their little heart desires. This will not compensate for parental neglect nor will it cause them to love you.

j. Her respect for her husband will lessen — she will resent the fact that he couldn’t provide for them. Should she be moved ahead by her employer, she will wonder why he never gets a promotion. Perhaps she will make more money than he does; she begins to chide him, trouble ahead.

k. Children rebel in reaction to the neglect and lack of love. Again it is no accident that teenage and college age rebellion runs parallel with the increase in working wives over the last thirty years.

Taken from the The Christian Home Manual by Paul L. Freeman

65 thoughts on “Keepers At Home Redux”

  1. HOWEVER- those wives who stay at home need not worry about the time they spend reading the blogs of similar Keepers At Home (by God’s Providence and Foreordination). Neglect of children and home are excused if it is for the reason of learning to become a better Keeper At Home from Lady Lydia or Carolyn Mahaney or Candi Brauer or Mrs. Anna T.

  2. Wait. . .there’s no way even the most hardcore fundy would say a) with a straight face (or whatever the equivalent would be for typing). Is there. . .? :-/

  3. Wow, when I first read this, I thought it was you being all satirical and paraphrasing. But then I couldn’t stop myself from reading more of this nonsense so I clicked on the link. This is word for word!! Yikes.

  4. I’m still looking forward to mocking the first time I see them argue that girls shouldn’t be taught to read just in case they get some wild ideas about equality in their head. I think it’s fairly inevitable.

  5. Now I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

    If women didn’t go to work to aid the War Effort, Mr. Freeman would have been typing those statements in Japanese. Or German.

    I hope Mr. Freeman never gets cancer. Hypodermic syringes and radiation therapy were invented/discovered by women who didn’t stay home.

    Also last time I checked, SAHMs insist that staying at home to raise kids is harder work than what their husbands have to do all day – husbands then complain when mom wants time off when he gets home. Either way is hard.

    I’m pretty sure that if you’re in college, you are close enough to an adult to run your own life, which doesn’t count as “rebellion.”

    I’m surprised you haven’t found anything about Fundies talking about how women shouldn’t vote. That one came up once or twice when I was in the IFB…

  6. The often quoted Proverbs 31 Model Women ironically had a couple of daytime gigs like buying real estate., going to the oft afar farmers market , buying and selling with other merchants etc. Even then I doubt much of this was ‘home based business”

  7. using sfl as a springboard, my wife has been surfing around various fundy “home life” sites. she always has the same comment: “no wonder people hate Christians.”

    as an aside, my wife has asked that i stop referring to her as my “help-meat”. being the liberal compromising child-of-the-devil that i am, i am honoring her wishes.

    as another aside, i’m trying to coin a phrase: “getting reverse-schaapped”. it’s when a man is hit by a woman. for example: “i told that lady that women shouldn’t be in pants, and i got reverse-schaapped!” i’m not sure if it’ll catch on, but i’ll do my best.

  8. If Fundyman (action figure complete with navy suit, polyester tie, wingtips, and cape with “1611” embroidered in red. May be purchased for $16.11 at the church altar alongside books written by the pastor, published in-house) seriously wants his wife to be in the Keep Her At Home movement, he needs to go to real college, and get high-paying job. That is, unless he can find a woman who doesn’t mind living in a rotted out trailer and her and her kids wearing 30 year old hand-me-downs so he can go to Bible College for 8 years while working a minimum-wage job just so he can’t be accused of loving money. You’d never guess I was raised in churches like that. Right?

  9. The added income will lead to worldliness

    As much as fundies chide Catholics for their supposedly stupid vows of poverty, I always detected a thick vein of asceticism running through fundamentalism. That asceticism’s symbol–in my mind–was the well-off BJU student driving a wood-paneled ’85 station wagon and wearing hand-me-downs. It’s one thing to be poor–my family has been there–but quite another to look shabby on purpose.

    As for the rest of this nonsense:

    a. The wife shouldn’t have a say in finances?

    b. This guy is full of theory rather than practice. As a child I was scared to death of babysitters. They were nowhere near as fun as my parents.

    d. Once again, he shouldn’t be sharing the load or helping his [ostensibly] beloved spouse?

    e. Why must a meal be painstakingly prepared? These days, when so many people lead sedentary lifestyles, small, quick, healthy meals are vastly better for you than a nightly farmhouse cornucopia of biscuits, bacon, gravy, potatoes, and steak.

    f. My father’s “weaker vessel” repainted the house a few weeks before I was born. This guy can STFU.

    g. Note again the fundy tendency to believe particular circumstances will always cause particular results. They’re more determinist than Marxists and more reductivist than Richard Dawkins. My mom worked for the USPS for several years when I was in elementary school and not a single thing was different around our home.

    i. & j. I have no idea where he’s getting this. His lowermost orifice, apparently.

    k. Correlation does not imply causation. But good luck reminding a fundy.

  10. I love how his very first point on that page is: “1. A husband and a wife who have become ‘ONE’.”

    And yet he thinks the wife shouldn’t have a voice in how the money is spent. Uh…?

  11. Wow. Just wow.

    There is so much other garbage on that site, it’s almost funny. At least, it would be if they didn’t take themselves so seriously.

    Your brother in gid,

  12. mo said “as an aside, my wife has asked that i stop referring to her as my “help-meat”. being the liberal compromising child-of-the-devil that i am, i am honoring her wishes.”

    Say it aint so Mo.

  13. I must be doing something wrong. I, a woman, work outside the house and have very little in the way of material or worldly possessions. I don’t even have a car- I walk to work.

  14. Reader Mi, at least get my request right, lest I reverse Schaap* you. (See, being the submissive type I am, I am supporting you by trying to broaden the usage of your new verbiage.) I do not mind being snarkily referred to as the “help meet”, I just don’t care for spelling that bring to my mind foul-smelling over-processed dead animals. Otherwise known in the fundy-world as potluck.

    *ah, I now see that Rob beat me to the usage of the phrase. Or would that be Schaaped me?

  15. Wow, I thought this was satirical at first, but then clicked on the link, like a lot of you did. How on earth his this stuff still being taught in 2010? It’s just so…completely and terribly outdated, and not Biblical in the least. The scriptures he used are taken out of context, or at best, vague. I love how he expects every single Christian woman to be a wonderful cook, so much so that she’s better than any restaurant. Not with “tater-tot casserole, she’s not!

  16. I’ve been in churches where the preacher believes exactly like this. Except when it comes to church secretaries and school teachers, of course! ;-D

  17. ….Wow. I thought this was a clever satire list until I saw the link.

    Of course they’re all bunk, but J makes me want to rail. My mom makes more money than my dad and is in a much higher position in her field of work, but they’re in totally different fields and my parents back each other up 100%. I have never heard any chiding in regards to each others’ income.

  18. @Jordan–This “weaker vessel” waited until her husband went to Iraq to build the flagstone patio. I put down the foundation, I broke the slabs of rock, spread the sand, and added drip irrigation. In July. Now that he’s deployed again, I think I’ll repaint the house, and maybe finish the flooring. Did I mention how I put him through Grad school? I worked in a jail with all types of inmates. Do I sound like a “weaker vessel”?

  19. First, let me say I don’t agree with the first point on that list. At all. When you’re married, no matter what the working situation, all money should be shared. If you can’t learn to share, then maybe you shouldn’t have gotten married in the first place. (Of course, the only exception to sharing all the money is when there’s a business involved, in which, sometimes the husband or wife will have to keep that separate from the personal money because of tax purposes).

    However, I see being a “keeper at home” as a good thing, and I enjoy the protection of being a stay-at-home wife/mommy. See, I was raised to believe that if the husband wasn’t making enough money, then the wife was OBLIGATED to get a job and help out. I knew that wasn’t Biblical, but since my dad taught me that way, I still deal with guilt if I don’t get a job to help out when my husband is struggling to make ends meet, even if I’m too busy with the baby to even bother trying to get a job. Whenever I remember that the Bible teaches for the wife to be a keeper at home, I’m able to feel some peace in knowing that I’m doing the right thing and I don’t need to feel guilty for something that isn’t my responsibility. I’m fulfilling my duties right here by taking care of my little one and providing a nice place for my husband to come home to after a long day at work.

    I guess I just have a really awesome husband. He doesn’t make me feel like a slave, and I enjoy cooking and cleaning for him. 🙂

  20. Growing up the term was Jap-slapped… now with only minor linguistic tweeking it is…….. Jack-Scaaped.
    As used in the following sentence:
    “Yo, weaker vessel, gimme my money fore’ I Jack-Schaap you so hard yo’re grandma-ma gonna feel it!”
    Of course it was too bad that our man in the illustration was married to one Lorena Bobbitt… the rest is history.

  21. A decade ago, when I worked at Glaxo, back when it still had humanitarianism built into its business model, we had a research scientist named Jing Wei (guessingon spelling). She was brilliant: taught herself English through grad school here, and when she came to Glaxo, got dissatisfied with existing DNA mapping programs, so taught herself Perl Script and rewrote a program to suit her needs. Some people said they expected her one day to get nominated for the Nobel Prize.

    She was married to an American man, a carpenter, and they had one small son. The husband often stepped up to care for their son. When your wife is working on a cure for diabetes, your role is also vital to support her, just for the good of mankind.

    That was when the tripeyness of this fundy fear of females really hit me. Clearly, God had given Jing Wei an intellect that very few people could approach. Of course she would earn more than her husband. She’d dedicated her life to medicine, so of course she would be given national and international praise for her efforts.

    It just never got in their way. He was as convinced as she was that her work was vital. And the last thing she neede was to go home and keep debating therapies. They had a very normal home life. He could fix anything, remodel anything, and build anything. He was a good dad; she was a good mom, and her family really liked him and respected him.

    When two decent, hard working people make a go of it together and incorporate the good of others into their lifestyle, how could anybody object? You just have to wonder, if a husband doesn’t care that his wife is paid more and has a more prestigious job than he does, why should a fundy preacher care?

  22. @Bassenco

    why should a fundy preacher care?

    Because 99% of them know if the wife were to go to work in the “Real world” a large percentage of them would make more money than he does. You know yourself it is a control factor. “I will rule my household and you men will rule your houses as I do mine. I rule over my wife and as the “undershepherd” I will rule over all who are below me since I am responsible for their souls.” (at least according to the fundy interpretation of scripture)
    Unbridled Power

    Remember in fundyland the office sanctifies the holder of it no matter how wicked they be. Conversely, there are many unfit for the office who seek it for that very reason.

  23. n. Be careful to cover up nakedness in the home. Children are not to see mother and dad naked (Lev. 18:7-16). Brothers and sisters are not to see each other naked. Ham looked upon the nakedness of his father Noah and it brought a curse on his descendants (Gen. 9:18-27). Modesty should be taught to our children from the very beginning.

    LOL funny

  24. From my youth upward I heard all of this. In fact, when I went out to work, my husband had a hard time adjusting to doing a share of the housework. He’s over it n0w, but it was rough when I could not get home from work until 6 and he wanted dinner on the table then. He’s much more enlightened since he joined the Anglican Church.

  25. Wow I so thought this was satirical until I saw the link at the end. Unbelievable. This is so wrong and so way off.

    My family my wife is an equal with me. We both do the house work we both work and we both have a say in the finances. That is the way it has always been. When we were dating I sat her down one day and asked, “What are your plans…what do you want to do with your life, where do you want to be and *how can we make this happen*?” She still talks about it because no one at BJU before that she had dated ever asked her that. They were always like, “how can you fit into my plans?” If she couldn’t fit well then they would just move on. My wife wanted to teach ESL in the states and ultimately we would have to move me from a wonderful job so that she could attend a school for two years to reach her life’s goal. I was more than willing to do that for her. And we continue to work as a team together.

    This type of Christianity is sickening and needs to stop. I know this tripe is easy to pick off. I mean it goes way above and beyond. Most people recognize the absurdity of it, but unfortunately there are far more subtle and nuanced versions of the same doctrine (like my wife kept running into before me) that are equally heinous but more hidden.

  26. Go Jing Wei!!!

    When Jing Wei discovers the cure for diabetes, what are all these fat, gluttonous woman-hating pastors clamoring for it going to say when they find out it was developed by a brilliant working woman whose life and brilliance was better spent on the betterment of mankind rather than mopping the kitchen?

    I think in order to receive the cure they should be forced to renounce every last vestige of misogyny, but that’s just me.

  27. Thinking about this more, I realize that the church I grew up in basically had two ways of dealing with this…private, and public. We were in a pretty urban area of Southern California. Most of the church and school staff came from either PCC or HAC, including our pastor. So, they espoused a lot of the views that were expressed by Mr. Freeman. The thing is, that since we were in an urban area, and had a lot of well-educated people attending the church, these views were…uh, not talked about much. Because there were a lot of strong, independent, hard-working women attending the church. I think the pastor would have had a revolt if he preached any of this from the pulpit. Still, I remember, privately, and sometimes in school, these views would “slip out”. Also, the staff did abide by them. And…the salaries the men earned were barely enough to live on, but they stubbornly wouldn’t let their wives work outside the church. It was weird, even public school teachers in the area made more money than our teachers did.

    I guess what strikes me is that obviously in order to keep a congregation, and build our church, the pastor (and his staff) had to compromise their values. Which, just makes them seem, well, not that important really, if they’re that easy to ignore in the name of success. It’s more of that “pick and choose” style of IFB life.

  28. I wanna know where all these jerks snorting about women staying at home are when the husband becomes disabled or dies. My stepfather died when I was nine, and had lived with vision loss for a few years before that. I can honestly say I don’t remember my old church doing anything for my mother (other than the usual help getting ready for a funeral) until long after I was out of the house.

    It’s lots of fun to condemn working women. It’s not nearly as much fun to step up and do right for the widows and children. Good thing my mom did work all along, otherwise we would have been completely screwed.

  29. Ben, churches in the South where tobacco was king NEVER talked about the evils of tobacco. Many families in IFB churches were dependant on tobacco money. Seems like they’re only standards when people’s lives and pocketbooks aren’t at stake.

  30. “Ben, churches in the South where tobacco was king NEVER talked about the evils of tobacco. Many families in IFB churches were dependant on tobacco money. Seems like they’re only standards when people’s lives and pocketbooks aren’t at stake.”

    Exactly! Convenient, no?

  31. “I’m pretty sure that if you’re in college, you are close enough to an adult to run your own life, which doesn’t count as “rebellion.””

    Please explain this to my parents. =( Pleeeeaaaase, someone?

  32. “The baby’s crying [should not always result in] picking him up. If there are not tears, you can safely assume that it is self-will asserting itself.”

    Anyone remember the Preparation for Parenting group from the 1990s that sparked a firestorm relating to the style of parenting (particularly a concept called “demand feeding”). That phrase sounds like a direct ripoff from that series.

  33. @Luna: Tell me about it. 🙁 Just got the speech from my dad yesterday because I haven’t been attending midweek or Sunday night services.

  34. Ooh! Ooh! I live and work on base. Does that count as staying at home?

    I also met my amazing husband because we trained together. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

  35. Anyone remember the Preparation for Parenting group from the 1990s that sparked a firestorm relating to the style of parenting (particularly a concept called “demand feeding”). That phrase sounds like a direct ripoff from that series.

    And how! You can get the scoop of all the problems at

    Bad, bad stuff.

  36. “When Jing Wei discovers the cure for diabetes, what are all these fat, gluttonous woman-hating pastors clamoring for it going to say when they find out it was developed by a brilliant working woman whose life and brilliance was better spent on the betterment of mankind rather than mopping the kitchen?” – law

    You’d be amazed at the contributions to medical science that women have made. In fact, there was one remarkable woman who, because of the War (WWII), I believe, was never able to go to university. But she assisted a research scientist and in her own right became a brilliant researcher. They specialized in one illness, and I cannot remember which one it was. But she so significantly advanced understanding of the chemical processes going on in those who suffered the condition that Glaxo has erected an entire tour of her findings in her honor and named a research building after her. In fact, I believe that she was part of a research team that won the Nobel Prize.

    The world that fundies project is an impossible world. It is true that men have filled more roles than women in science and engineering, and yet women have, and still do, fill vital roles in those disciplines. Once a person’s intelligence gets up to that amazing level where he or she is able to make connections between different types of knowledge and find connecting relationships among data that would seem unrelated to most people, the person is uniquely qualified to use that intelligence for the benefit of others. But since it takes a certain degree of ignorance and provincialism to be a Fundamentalist preacher, they never realize that.

  37. @Toodles,

    Since graduating from Christian College my wife and I have found good godly churches that happen to not be IFB churches. One thing that I’ve found with most churches in the real world is that they only have 1 service. I’ve fallen in love with this format. It sounds bad to a Fundy, but really I believe it has led to a much better relationship with God and the church than 3 services a week ever did before.

    Essentially the format is thus. Sunday morning there is a service and sometime during the week they recommend and coordinate small groups. The advantages here are innumerable. I remember growing up in IFB attending Sunday morning and Sunday evening. You would rush home after the morning service to get your nap in before you had to be back at the church for prayer meeting, Choir practice, and then the actual service. By the time the service got done you were so exhausted that you rushed back home to relax a few precious hours before going to work the next day. Sunday = Day of rest? Not in IFB. But when there is only 1 service on Sunday it opens the whole day for you. My church in Champaign we regularly went out with friends or over to their houses. In fact it was a weekly occurrence of fellowship with believers. Didn’t do that at my IFB church. But further we would stay out sometimes till 5:00 in the afternoon (right about the time most people would be practicing for choir at IFB churches). Why would be spend so much time fellowshipping with friends and believers? Because even at 5:00 we still had the rest of the evening to go home relax and *rest* for the next day.

    Of course the weeknight was designed to work around your schedule. My current church has multiple weeknight and even weekday options. You can’t do Wed no problem we have every other night of the week and even Sunday small groups if need be. The advantage here is that you really get to meet people at your church and get to know them all the better. My memory of Wed night services as a kid/Teen was entertainment with prayer thrown in at the end…mostly to get us out of our parents hair…Oh yea and Awana. As an adult I remember feeling really awkward at 19 praying with a bunch of 40 and 50 year olds. I’d usually just hide within a group and as soon as the last Amen leave to go have fun with my other friends. But age appropriate weekday small groups allowed me to connect with people close to my age.

    Anyway how did I get off on this rant? Oh yea…so when I moved to a new church I didn’t have to worry about hearing about any of those concerns because all the churches I’ve attended since college have only had 1 service. So I’m just as faithful as my parents because I attend every service my church has. In fact I attend one more by doing the small group on the weeknights. Cool trick when you have the freedom to do so.

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