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Hi again :) Both times I've posted on here, I've gotten mixed answers...which is good. I should probably mention, that I never mean to be critical, or legalistic. For my family, as relatively new Christians (6 years) It has become all or nothing. We do it as the bible says, there are no gray areas. Either it is right for us (because God's word says it is) or it is not right. We are "jump in with both feet" kind of people. When it comes to heaven, or prideful thinking, I am very-very cautious to seek out the Lord's answer, however uncomfortable it may be. I certainly do not expect others to see things as I do, I only seek to share what God says to us. Please friends, if some idea I share is not biblical, I earnestly stand to be corrected.

I will say, that I do have a problem with the idea that God's word is not clear on things. I have recently had to stand my ground very firmly at our church (which we have had to leave), because people challenged something we felt God calling us to do. We heard over and over that "that is your interpretation of things" ,and "we interpret it differently, and thats the way God intended it to be". NO! The bible does specifically say that is is NOT open to personal interpretation! ...........or I interpreting that wrong :) I think that God calls us all very personally and uniquely. I do not think we should all be doing the same things. I do however think that he layed out responsibilities for us all. I do mean gender specific. I have such a hard time understanding how Christians can deny that? I admit that their are times when I think boy, does my husband ever have it easy. I take care of 4 young children, homeschool, do all of the cleaning, all of the cooking (except for saturday), organize the chores, the animals, quilt, knit, sew our clothes, have an enormous garden with produce to last a year and many more hobbies and church related things too. At 5:00 when he comes out of the office (he works from home) I have dinner ready, and we sit for family devotions. It is at the time of clearing the table that I start to think sometimes, wait a minute...I have been working all day long, why can't he get up and do it? Then it hits me again. I LOVE doing this for my family! I have been blessed with having all of these things as "hobbies". I do not need to sew our clothes, it really isnt always that much cheaper, and it takes time. Quilting isn't necessary either..we have lovely comforters on our bed. There will be a time when we will all cover up with quilts lovingly made by me and hopefully the children, but until then, who cares! This is a joyous life. We can lie on the hammock and watch the horses, or go on walks in the forest. It is a choice to enjoy what you are doing, whatever that may be. I wouldn't have it any other way. I know when my husband and I crawl into bed at night, that I have given all I have in me. We all know our wonderful God will get us through each and every day, and when we need a break, he always provides one. How could I ever think that God would not want this life for me? I just can't see my husband doing these things, or anyones husband for that matter. God made women women, because we are to be a helper. That means we help our husbands. If you disagree with that, take it up with God!! I am internally smiling at the women who have been supportive with what I have said so far. You know who you are, God Bless you!

Love, Aimee.

-- Aimee Gosse (aimeegosse@hotmail.com), May 06, 2002


Hi Aimee. I have been interested in your postings, and admire your strong convictions. For brevity, I would refer you to Ephesians Ch 5 vs 22-33, where it talks about how a husband is to love his wife.

This does not mean he can never do anything nice for her!! Actually he is "commanded" by his head to treat her with the same love he shows himself. My husband is a Godly man who always has in his mind what God desires of him. When he discusses the Bible with people, he makes it so clear, and a big part of his witness is how he treats me! I never feel burdened with the care of my family, because he makes it so easy!!! He always has... He inspires me to do more because of his love, consideration, and his help. Yes we are to be the helper, but that means we are helping someone!!! Not shouldering the burden ourselves. It does not make a man any less manly to help his wife, even with normal household chores.

I feel that this passage shows we are to become one flesh, which means we bear the burdens of each other. Around here whatever needs done is accomplished as a team, and you know what a team is only strong when all the members pull together. I truly believe that a husband who loves his wife will not feel it belittles his manhood to do dishes, or cary out the trash, or any of the hundreds of little things that need done. Our entire famlily works together for the common good of us all. So I do not understand what you mean by saying you can't see anyone's husband doing these things???

I think of Jesus, and he is the example we are to follow, men as well... and he told us he came not to be served but to serve. He was humble, not haughty, he did what he did out of love. Thus should husbands do for their wifes, and wives for their husbands. It is by using these Bible principles that a strong family is built where there is no resentment.

-- Melissa in SE Ohio (me@home.net), May 06, 2002.

I do love Bible study and would be very interested in where the gender specific chores/duties/responsibilites are laid out. I read so much, but am not that good at remembering where! I would truly love to read those verses if you have the time or feel inclined to share. I like to back up my thinking with the exact verse, and write them down for reference. Thanks!

I am very interested in what other Christian men and women have to say on this topic. I think it will be an enjoyable topic to discuss!!

-- Melissa in SE Ohio (me@home.net), May 06, 2002.

I study the Bible very regularly and would be interested where is gives "gender specific" work. Never saw that. I don't see it in the Bible or even among my Amish neighbors. We neighbor frequently with them and we often find the young men helping the young women with the dishes after supper or tending to the baby while she does. The women help in the fields when they are able.

My husband and I are partners that support each other in all that we do. I trust him to be my spiritual leader in the household, but he searches out my opinion on those things also. I think Aimee that we can be a help mate to our spouses without all the legalism. We are gifts to each other. :>) I also think that we all walk in the light that has been given us and it is never a good idea to look down on or judge others when they don't quite see with your particular light.

-- diane (gardiacaprines@yahoo.com), May 07, 2002.

Probably Proverbs 31 is the classic Bible passage to define womens roles at home. I would agree with it all because it is Scripture. It doesn't refer to a man's role in the home. But nowhere in Scripture does it say that a man cannot help out in the home. Scripture does say that a man is to love his wife as Christ loves the Church and gave Himself up for her. Can't get much more sacrificial love than that! So whatever the husband and wife deem necessary to do for each other would be good wouldn't it? A man is to provide for his family as well. To me that says that he is the bread winner and has that responsibility. My husband and I agreed on that from the beginning of our marriage and we have seen the Lord provide in numerous ways over the 29 years of our marriage. Many a time when the contracting ran low I could have gone and gotten a job to help out but then that could have interfered with what the Lord was teaching my husband as well as myself about how He would take care of us. But then if I had worked, all the things that were my responsibility at home would not have been covered. We try to live our lives according to the principles of the Word. I don't think everything is black or white in the Bible. God wants us to trust Him and go to Him and live our lives by what He teaches us through some very difficult times.

-- Nancy (nannyb@huntel.net), May 07, 2002.

Proverbs 31 does not rule out a woman earning an income. Example: verses 16, where she buys a field etc..and 18 where it says she sees her trading is profitable... I think this is one well-rounded woman, who is enjoying her life, not burdened by it!!!!

-- Melissa in SE Ohio (me@home.net), May 07, 2002.

Dear Aimee, I am going to take just a little differant slant on this. I read and reread your post. And there is a little bit of resentment creeping in. And to be truthfull, If I was in your shoes I would to. Can I ask if you have any boys. They are watching how the father treats you, if he helps with dishes, or any other house work. What they learn now, will be the way they will treat there wives. Also you work the garden, I do too, But I always had help from my hubby. I know he works outside the home, But trust me if he had to do all your doing just one week, He would run screaming back to his job.Do you recreation, Fun is part of life. Sometimes church, and all that goes with it, squeezes out time for fun. I am a christian, and love the Lord. Seems there is something about Martha working in the kitchen preparing a meal, and mary was at the feet of Jesus, And Martha got mad because Mary wasn"t helping. And Jesus said Mary was doing the right thing. Or do I have the two mixed up, All work and no play makes us something. Forgot that too.All In all you sound like one heck of a gal.

-- Irene texas (tkorsborn@cs.com), May 07, 2002.

Irene I had the same thought too...Of course we do not know all the details, and I'm sure her husband is a nice guy. Maybe he doesn't even sense her feelings.

I would think that a husband who worked in an office all day, would not feel the least put out to help clear the table in the evenings!! My husband always did when the kids were little, and he worked a super tough construction job. He wanted us to get the chores done quickly so we could do more enjoyable things. NOW though the kids have basically taken over this evening dish washing!! LOL, some advantages to all those years of hard work!!

I like to read Laines Letters, as she holds pretty much the same values I do, and all 3 of her sons have been taught to serve the family by cooking, cleaning and outside chores. What a marvelous gift to their future wives!!!

-- Melissa in SE Ohio (me@home.net), May 07, 2002.

I agree Melissa, that Proverbs 31 does not rule out a woman earning money. We just know that the husband was commissioned by the Lord to be the provider for the family. I have worked part time doing cleaning jobs through the years my kids were being homeschooled and through the time they were both married. I worked those when they could go along or were taking classes elsewhere. The Bible says that the relationship between a husband and the wife is a picture of the relationship of Christ and the Church (the body of believers. He says to look to Him for all our needs.

-- Nancy (nannyb@huntel.net), May 07, 2002.

I'm wondering if Aimee isn't somehow feeling resentful and/or insecure about her lifestyle, and that's why she keeps posting her messages here looking for people to tell her she's doing the right thing.

Just my opinion, I could be totally off base....

-- Sherri C in Central Indiana (CeltiaSkye@aol.com), May 07, 2002.

We studied recently in our bible class relationships, and one Sunday one of the men in the class brought up the topic of husbands who work in "ungodly" offices. This particular man used to work in an office where he was surrounded by non-christians who often took him to task over his beliefs.

In one such instance, several of the men were talking about their home lives and one commented to the effect that John had it easy because he was a christian and his wife had to do what he told her. He responded by telling them that yes, that was in the bible, but it also indicated that while he was biblically the head of the household he was also to put his wife up on a pedestal as Christ did the Church, and put her needs and the needs of his family first, to be a servant for them as well.

Given the consequences of giving your life for those you love, I just feel that who takes out the trash isn't important. If my husband is around and I can talk him into it (he hates taking out the trash as much as I do!), good for me! If taking out the trash falls to me, so be it! We just do what we have to around here. We define more traditional roles and then brush them aside when necessary. I have been so thankful for the ability to call my husband at work and tell him to take his sick leave and come home for the kids because we were all three sick and he was the only one who wasn't. He never flinched, and was home and took complete control of the house for two days while I was in bed. That's the mark of a true man in my opinion!

P.S. - Men never look so wonderful as when they are holding their babies!

-- Christine in OK (cljford@mmcable.com), May 07, 2002.

Oh, and thanks Aimee - I really feel like your outlook on being a servant for your family can help inspire me to be more God-like in my own life.

-- Christine in OK (cljford@mmcable.com), May 07, 2002.

I agree Christine!! I LOVE to do things for my family, and I am sure that most women do... Cale also loves to do things to make our lives easier and better all the time. We truly work together as a team whenever possible, because we want to enjoy our time together as much as we can!! I guess his thinking is, that as soon as the chores are done inside I can help him outside!!! We just work better together, than going our seperate ways. Two are more than twice as strong as one!

-- Melissa in SE Ohio (me@home.net), May 07, 2002.

Most of you have missed the point, and resorted to attacking me personally. When it comes to these topice, there are few people- women especially who will not, or cannot firmly stand their ground. Never ever did I indicate that my husband was of no help to me. I won't even render all the things he does in his defense because it isn't worth it. Im neither resentful, nor insecure of my lifestyle. I am humbled by it. As I said in the last post I LOVE the things that I "get" to do for my family. As I mentioned in my earlier posts, I have more self esteem then ever, knowing that my husband cherishes me and is brimming with love for all the "little" things I do to make his day go a little easier. We spend every breakfast, lunch and dinner together as a family. After dinner and weekends is our time, but he is here anytime we need him. I agree that we are gifts to each other, and what you seemed to miss is that it is the ATTITUDE OF OUR HEARTS! There are times when he is exausted after a hard days work. There are also times when I am exausted. How can you possibly justify saying "I had a harder day then him, he should do it". Is that love? Are we trying to be equal again? do I have a RIGHT to demand that of him? I personally see it as my job to "manage" my home. That sometimes means delegating. Sometimes HE is delegated to. The more I can keep him free after he is done work, the more time we have to do things together. We will be building a barn together. We do fences, cut down trees together too...you seem to think we have it all seperated. Oh, I do have boys by the way. 2 of them, one is 8 and one is 3. My oldest has many chores around the house. He is the one who sets and clears the tables at meal times. The littlest one sets the table. My boys are very involved in work, whatever it may be because we show servantship and obedience and teamwork above all else. My husband is also a very serving person, and absolutly anytime I need him to do anything at all, he does it with joy. That does not mean I ask him everytime my feet ache a little.

I choose when to ask for help, and it is always at my service. It is for these reasons that many people will not speak up on how they feel. Being personally attacked, having people try to analyze your marriage and such is very easy reason to stay away.

-- Aimee Gosse (aimeegosse@hotmail.com), May 07, 2002.

The first time I read this post last night, my Dear Husband was in the kitchen doing dishes. We have a biblical marriage but gender specific household chores are from the traditions of men, not of God. As long as a couple are harmonious on division of chores, it doesn't matter who does what, it is blessed by God. Resentment, treating your spouse as a workhorse, personal maid or a paycheck or a meal ticket will not bring a blessing from the Lord. As the Bible claims to bless the marriage bed, I think it also blesses the kitchen, the garden, the garage and the chicken coop and it doesn't matter what gender the worker is as long as the work gets done cheerfully.

Our family was called out of the corporate and denominational churches many years ago and we now have fellowship in homechurches with several other families. It is easy to believe there are many interpretations of the Bible for those who do not wish to study for themselves. We use a Strong's Concordance, New Testament Word Study with Greek Parallel and Old Testament Word Study with Hebrew Parallel. When you interpret using the original languages, all the "different interpretations" dissappear,along with all the false doctrines that are being spread.

-- Laura (Ladybugwrangler@hotmail.com), May 07, 2002.

I did not see anyone "personally attack" you here. But these topics do seem to bring out a lot of feelings in people!!! And you have to expect lots of opinions when you ask them...

*I admit that their are times when I think boy, does my husband ever have it easy*

*It is at the time of clearing the table that I start to think sometimes, wait a minute...I have been working all day long, why can't he get up and do it?*

When I read the above two quotes from your post, that is what made me think that you were maybe a little resentful. I do know how hard it is to convey your thoughts here in typing though, and maybe you did not mean them the way they sounded!!!

I personally rarely ask my husband to do anything around the house. Mostly because it is pretty easy for me to keep it all done, and the kids from ages 9-15 are perfectly capable of assuming a lot of chores. But a lot of times he just does things anyways!!!

Since we have built our own home together, all the way from cutting down the trees with a hand saw, many people will ask how I get him to do all these things!!! I say to them that he is an adult and he knows what has to be done!! I don't have to "tell" him what to do, just as he does not have to "tell" me what to do. I would never dream of assigning him a chore list!!!! I do usually ask him what his plans are and we will work together to accomplish our common goals. Adults working together with maturity know that there are certain chores that are essential to running a household... Like right now getting in our firewood for next year is high on our list of things to get done. By the end of May, we like to have it all cut.

I guess as we have been together so many years, a lot of things just fall into place that maybe did not 15 years ago!!! You come to a point where there is a rhythm to life and then you don't have the troubles with chores and such. Please note, that I am not talking to you specifically here, but to many people who may be reading and also are wondering how to solve these little dilemmas!!!

-- Melissa in SE Ohio (me@home.net), May 07, 2002.

Dear Aimee, I am sorry if you believe you were personally attacked. I certainly never intended that with my post. I was inquiring for scriptural backing for what you were claiming about what "God says". Obviously I misunderstood what your were saying about gender specific tasks. Sorry; your comment about gender specific tasks, and that God laid out our responsibilities, so closely followed by you after dinner discription all blended together for me as one thought.

So maybe you could tell us just what you ment by that, or are we all supposed to try and figure it out and quess wrong again??

-- diane (gardiacaprines@yahoo.com), May 07, 2002.

Laura, Ilove your post...says what I was trying to say but so much better. I love those intelinear Bible's too. I like to get mine out when I really what to see the exact wording...

-- Melissa in SE Ohio (me@home.net), May 07, 2002.

Hello Ladies, Heres my thoughts. They are being offered in a spirit of kindness not sarcasm. My family worships with a group of Christians trying to follow the NT pattern as closely as possible. I believe that there is a definite pattern that doesnt depend on many different interpretations. I also believe that the NT is very specific about our gender related roles. I Timothy 5:8 teaches that a man who doesnt provide for his own household has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel. The first 7 verses of I Tim.3 is specifically giving the qualifications necessary for a man to be an overseer or elder of the church. It stands to reason that if these things are required by God to make a man qualified to oversee a congregation of Christians then he would have all Christian men to have these traits. Titus 2:3-5 teaches women to be keepers at home, pure, sensible. To love their husbands and children. I Timothy 2:ll-14 teaches that women are to be in subjection to men. I believe these scriptures to be very specific regarding authority in our homes. I dont believe however, that you will find lists of gender appropriate homekeeping or family duties. Its my husbands responsibility to provide for our family. Accordingly, it is my responsibility to keep our home. There may be times due to illness, injury or overload that we may ask one another for help in our work. As long as the husband doesnt abdicate his place as head of the home and the wife stays within her boundaries of subjection no scripture has been violated. I speak these things from personal experience. For the first 25 yrs of our marriage we live a very tradional lifestyle. Sort of like the one Aimee describes. I did the inside work and he did the outside work. While my dh worked an outside job he didnt offer and I didnt expect him to help. 5 yrs ago he became 75%disabled. He cant do the outside work anymore so I do it. I still have to do most of the inside work. But he helps with the care of our retarded son and a handicapped foster child. He is still the head of our family and I am still in subjection to him as the head. A dear sweet elderly gentleman that I knew told his wife when he retired. Annie, you've been washin my dishes for 55 yrs. Now that I'm home I'm gonna wash the dishes as long as I can. He also hung out the laundry for her. Its our attitude that God is looking at not our chore list. I'm not real good at putting my thoughts together on this machine so I hope this makes sense. Blessings Peggy

-- peggy (peggyan2@msn.com), May 07, 2002.

Aimee, I guess I'm with everyone else who doesn't quite understand what you are getting at. You are saying, "I just can't see my husband doing these things, or anyone's husband for that matter." You certainly can come to my house if you want to see a man clearing the dishes, or taking care of children (and a woman doing it as well, lol ;-), but I assume that isn't your point.

My understanding is that you want to talk about the ordained role of women, and about what women are obligated biblically to do. As a Jew, I don't know the New Testament as you do, but I have sure read the Torah (your OT), and I read it in the original Hebrew. As I understand the Eschet Chayil (Proverbs 31 to you, the passage on the woman of valor), it does not specifically delimit the role of men in any particular. It lists the obligations of a woman of valor, which include owning property, selling things in the marketplace, participating in public works, etc..., which in a modern context, is not inconsistent with working outside the home. Among my ancestors is Deborah, who stood as a judge; Hannah, who prayed aloud at the temple and whose model of prayer is the one that G-d commanded for men as well; Yael, who was an assassin; Miriam, who helped lead women out of Egypt; and Sarah, who argued with G-d and her husband, and was honored for both actions. It seems to me that G-d calls many women to many roles both biblically and in the world. You say that there is no interpretation involved, but translation necessarily involves some interpretations - your 10 commandments and mine are probably not the same. Odds are you eat pork and I don't (I don't want to make to many assumptions), but we both feel our actions are in concert with what Torah/Bible commands. If you have ever spoken another language, you can be aware how hard it is to find the right equivalent word in another language, and how usually, they have slightly differing implications. Well, that is written into your English Bible, and into my Hebrew reading (because I am translating as I read), or into my translations.

I don't know if you think what I say, as a non-Christian, is relevant to you, but what I hear in your message above is not resentment, but exhaustion, maybe looking for a way to take a break and still be a G- dly person and a loving wife. I think that the woman valor is a remarkable model, and something to aspire to, but it is not the only model of womanhood and woman's work in the Bible, and G-d did not command us to do all of these things, only these things, and never to take on any other role. I admire what you accomplish, your fervor and the strength of your belief. But I do wonder (and this is not an attack, just a question) if you might also be a bit like Sarah, so resigned to the role G-d bestowed upon her that when called to do something she never imagined possible, outside of what she conceived possible for a woman (at her age), she could only laugh. G-d calls many people in many different ways, and drawing lines too strongly in the sand can close you off to hearing the voice you listen for. Just IMHO, and no criticisms intended.

-- Sharon in NY (astyk@brandeis.edu), May 07, 2002.

O.K..........here is gender specific around our house. My Honey finds the mushrooms, I cut the asparagus, he cooks mushrooms, I cook asparagus, we thank God together and feast like a king!!! :>) We did that this afternoon...........I used to find them and he couldn't, now he has the "mushroom eyes" and I don't. Would that do. LOL..............don't I often wonder just what God thinks when we all take ourselves so seriously?? Dear Sister Aimee, you listen to your call and I will mine and I'll bet we meet again in a far better place. love and hugs and oh so sorry (I really mean that cause I sure hate to see a sister feel attacked for what she believes, intended or otherwise)

-- diane (gardiacaprines@yahoo.com), May 07, 2002.

"When it comes to these topice, there are few people- women especially who will not, or cannot firmly stand their ground."

Many could chose to take this as a personal attack by the way. I chose not to, but I certainly disagree, at least in so far as the women on this board. I think it is just that the ground that they chose to stand is just a bit different than yours.

-- diane (gardiacaprines@yahoo.com), May 07, 2002.

Aimee, I am kinda confused. Your last post is the opposite of the first one. I would never attack you, Just giveing you my thoughts on the subject, Which is what we all do here, I think we have some great minds out there. I am amazed every day at the wealth of wisdom, by so many young moms. Sorry if I said something I should not have. God Bless

-- Irene texas (tkorsborn@cs.com), May 07, 2002.

I think Peggy put into words what I feel- much better then I did. I have decided that this matter (my view on things) need not be discussed here, over type-written letters, where nobody knows my motives or my heart. I will stick to questions that do not offend anyone, or cause any doubt about who I am, or who you think I think you are (tounge twister!) Let's just leave it at that. Thank you all for your opinions, no matter what-we all have God in common :)

God Bless you all....

-- Aimee Gosse (aimeegosse@hotmail.com), May 07, 2002.

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