I received many wonderful, thought-provoking comments on my post, "Pressure to Get a Higher Degree". One of them was sent by Paula, who asks:
Think also to the following situation: you get married and after a while your husband dies or leaves you. It can happen. How will you be able to earn your bread and raise your kids?
First, let me say that I certainly don't presume to judge women who work outside the home; each family makes decisions based on individual circumstances. You will also notice I didn't say there's something wrong with education or work as itself. I was raised by a single mother, and if my mother hadn't worked, we would probably starve. Right now I'm single, and since I don't have a father, I will most certainly work until God decides it's time for me to be married; then the matter will be discussed with my husband, and I will submit to his authority.
Most women are called to be wives, mothers and homemakers. Being a wife and helpmeet, even without children, is full-time, challenging, consuming work, and I simply can't see how I'm supposed to manage that and spend the larger part of my day in an office/hospital. Even if I'm creative and have a job with flexible hours, it will still interfere with my ability to manage the home - or my sanity. I know that if I overload myself, nothing will be done well.
As to your question about what happens if my husband dies or leaves me... well, I think it's a question every woman who desires to be a keeper-at-home has been asked at least once.
It can happen, of course. We cannot deny this possibility, as everything is in God's hands. The question is how we deal with that?
Does it mean I will take on a full-time job and neglect my duties at home out of fear that something might go wrong?
Or will I, under my husband's guidance - if God, indeed, has marriage in His plan for me - look for possible solutions: insurance programs, savings, perhaps starting a home business that will not take too many hours of my time and can be expanded if there's need to. I also have a degree which can be 'updated' even after many years with appropriate courses (I've seen people do that, and quite successfully). To sum it up, I'm sure that even if something horrible happens, I won't end up sleeping under a bridge.
However, I must say that I find the role of breadwinner very important for a man. A man should know that he, indeed, is the breadwinner, and he is not supposed to rely on the income his wife brings. I know a family where the husband, a talented engineer, is stuck at a low-paying, under-qualified job because his wife, instead of trusting his abilities and encouraging him, promoted her own career. Now she is the main breadwinner of the family, while her husband became a slacker… because after all, why should he try harder if she earns enough?
I would also like to open this for discussion, and pass this question to you homemaker ladies who read this blog: did you and your husbands make a backup plan in case something goes wrong and your husband is unable to provide for the family?