Summary: 1. A woman’s place is in the home (NOT the approach you might think). 2 A woman’s place is in the world. 3. A woman’s place is in the church.
When I was growing up we watched family sitcoms like “Ozzie and Harriet,” “Leave it to Beaver,” or “Father Knows Best.” When my girls were growing up it was “The Brady Bunch” and “The Cosbys.” Gender roles were pretty clear, and parents were pretty much in charge of the home. Now a genre of family sitcoms turns the family on its head with shows like “The Simpsons,” and most recently, “The Osbournes.” The names of the shows today would fit better with names like “Father Knows Less,” and “Leave it to Bonehead.” There is a huge gap between “Ozzie and Harriet” and Ozzie Osbourne and his family. Ozzie, however, has come a long way since his drug crazed days of biting the heads off bats. He claims to have been clean and sober for over a decade now. His show, also starring his wife Sharon and kids Kelly and Jack, is now the most successful show in MTV’s 21-year history. In the past, Ozzie used LSD every day along with lots of alcohol. His fatalistic and angry albums like “Diary of a Madman,” and “Speak of the Devil,” were accused of having subliminal messages encouraging suicide. He himself attempted suicide several times, but now he has become a role model for the all-American family.
It is a confusing and difficult time for the family. I can’t tell you how glad I am that my children are grown and out on their own. I would not want to be a kid again for anything. I did not have to deal with 1/10 of what kids today encounter. Neither would I want to be a parent today with all the pressures and cultural baggage that families are facing. I tremendously respect and appreciate those of you who are living out the Christian life in your homes on a daily basis.
I especially would not want to face the pressure of being a woman in today’s world. The supermodels starve themselves in order to get into their clothes. The movie stars with their own professional makeup artists make you feel like you have no value unless your looks are perfect. The professional business women make you feel like a nobody if you decide to work at home. Those who balance career and home, and volunteer for everything make you feel like giving up. And there are always those who remind you of where you fall short.
But the Bible is full of words of encouragement which show how God values women. The world may put you down, but God lifts you up. The world may expect the impossible, but God comes to you with grace and a heart that accepts you for who you are. You are important to God in many ways. I want to talk specifically about three of those ways today. A woman has a special place in the heart of God and his plan for the world. The first thing that I want to emphasize today is that: A woman’s place is in the home. Now don’t go crazy on me here, it’s not what you think, because actually, a man’s place is in the home as well — each of our places is in the home. The home is where we are nurtured, loved and encouraged. That doesn’t mean that a woman’s only place is in the home, but, as with men, it is her best place. Women are so much better at this nurturing thing than we men are. Home should be where men and women find their meaning, because this is the place of our most important and abiding relationships. God is all about relationships. Having a relationship with God is what it means to be a Christian. Having a relationship with other people is what it means to be fully human.
It is in the home where we learn to live with other people in important ways. We learn to forgive other people when they are wrong. We learn to extend grace when they are difficult. We learn not to set unrealistic expectations on others. We learn that love is more than a feeling; it is a deep and abiding commitment that overcomes feelings. A woman’s place is in the home, because she is to be the recipient of these divine gifts expressed through human agents — namely her family. She is shown appreciation. She is told of her value to her husband, children and the home.
I know that I cannot imagine what I would be like if it were not for my wife helping me to see the importance of responding in different ways. I would be uncouth and unmannered. I would be filing for bankruptcy. She is what makes my life work, and she is what makes my life enjoyable. She brings a quality into my life that I would not have otherwise. I am a different person because of her. Every year I appreciate her more. Every year I realize I should have listened to her more. Her place is in our home. She works outside the home part-time, but she is at her best when she is at home. And because she is there, I am at my best at home.