If you want to get a big fight going in a small amount of time, just ask a few Christians what they think Paul meant when he wrote that “young women” with “husbands” and “children” should be “keepers at home” (Titus 2:4,5). But the only sure way to interpret the Bible is by comparing Scripture with Scripture (I Cor. 2:13), not by comparing opinions with opinions! With that in mind, let’s compare how the word “keeper” is used in other parts of the Bible.
For instance, you’ve probably heard Christians quote this beloved verse:
“I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness” (Psalm 84:10).
Doorkeepers in Israel’s temple had some pretty specific duties, some of which involved the finances of God’s house:
“…they delivered the money that was brought into the house of God, which the Levites that kept the doors had gathered… and they gave it to the workmen that wrought in the house of the Lord, to repair and amend the house” (II Chronicles 34:9,10).
As you can see, the doorkeepers in God’s house were evidently involved in the finances that were used to maintain the grandest home in the world, the temple of Solomon. So to say you were a doorkeeper in those days probably didn’t sound like a job that came with a lot of responsibility. But those who knew the Word of God well knew that such was not the case.
Similarly, when a Christian woman says that she’s one of the “keepers at home” that the Bible talks about, that too sounds like a job that doesn’t come with a lot of responsibility, at least in the ears of unbelievers. But those who know the Word of God well know that that’s not the case either. For example, in many Christian homes the wife is in charge of the finances.
This is something I like to point out in the premarital counseling class that I have with couples before I officiate at their wedding. Some women are just naturally better at keeping the books! God’s Word clearly teaches that “the husband is the head of the wife” (Eph. 5:23), but a wise husband recognizes his wife’s abilities and is willing to delegate some of his authority to her.
Sure, a husband could insist, “I’m the head of the home, so it’s my job to manage our finances.” And since finances are such an extremely important aspect of the home, I can surely understand how a man might feel that way, and I have nothing but respect for his conviction.
But if that is your personal persuasion as a husband, I would invite you to consider that the finances are an extremely important aspect of businesses and corporations as well. Yet we know that business owners and CEOs alike all employ comptrollers, CPAs and others with accounting skills to keep the books. A leader who insists on personally managing every aspect of his organization is sure to affect his health adversely, and the same is true for the head of a home.
And needlessly so! God calls women who are in charge of the finances “virtuous,” saying:
“…she considereth a field, and buyeth it…” (Proverbs 31:10,16).
As you can see, the virtuous woman described in this well-known passage of Scripture had a husband who allowed her to make financial decisions that were more than just incidental. Her liberty to make such a major purchase shows that it was true that “the heart of her husband doth safely trust in her” (v. 11) in the important area of the family’s finances, as well as in other areas where she can “do him good and not evil all the days of her life” (v. 12).
The Christian home is often criticized by the world as a place where the wife and mother is little more than a dishrag and a doormat. But this is not how the Word of God describes “keepers at home!” The Christian wife and mother is an integral part of the management of the grandest home in the world in our own day: the Christian home.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.