Work and Laziness – Genesis 2.15

We’re on the 17th message in our Marriage & Family Series and the title of this morning’s sermon is, “Work and Laziness.”

I initially planned on looking at all of Gen 2, but I got really hung up on one verse. As I write on a verse, it kicks other material out of the sermon. I
wrote so much on this one verse, it became the entire sermon.

The verse I was really hung up on is Gen 2:15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.

God put man in the garden and tasked him w/ keeping it. Work became the theme I kept studying and writing about. I felt comfortable doing
an entire sermon on work, b/c it’s important and b/c it’s something I haven’t addressed in any of the previous sermons.

Let’s start w/ Lesson 1…

LESSON 1: (PART I) WORK BEGAN AT CREATION…

God put Adam in the Garden and gave him work to do, and this took place before the Fall!

  • Work was not part of the curse!
  • Work is not a punishment for sin.

Man is made in the image of God, and God works, so man is expected to work. John 5:17 Jesus [said] “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.” Working is one way to be like God.

Even in Revelation, after the curse and all the consequences of it are removed, we will still find ourselves working: Rev 22:3 says There shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. That’s what we’ll be
doing for eternity: working and serving God.

Work is always presented very positively in Scripture:

  • 1 Thes 4:11
    Aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you.

· Work is even presented as the solution or the answer to stealing. If someone struggled w/ stealing, they would repent not just by not stealing, but by
working:

Eph 4:28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give
him who has need.

It’s so important for people to work that Paul reminded the Thessalonians of a command he had given them previously – not a recommendation or an
encouragement, but a command – that if people won’t work they shouldn’t eat: 2 Thes 3:10 We COMMANDED you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.

This might sound harsh, but it’s actually in people’s best interests to be treated this way, b/c when people are enabled and given handouts, they’re never
forced to work. Hunger can really motivate people to find work.

In the next verse listen to what Paul says these lazy people were doing instead…

11 For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies.

When people don’t work they find other things to do w/ their time and it’s not always good things. In this case Paul said they were acting in a disorderly manner and getting into other people’s business. They didn’t have enough work to keep themselves busy, so
they kept themselves busy by worrying about what other people were doing.

And this brings us to the rest of Lesson 1…

LESSON 1: (PART I) WORK BEGAN AT CREATION (PART II) AND LAZINESS AFTER THE FALL.

When we think of sins – lying, adultery, murder, come to mind – but people don’t often think of laziness. This is unfortunate b/c:

  • Laziness is a sin the Bible discusses frequently…

· And laziness is a sin that’s described having very serious consequences.

You could say, as positively as work is presented in Scripture, laziness is presented equally negatively. There are so many verses dealing w/ laziness you
could do an entire sermon on them. What I would like to do instead is survey some of the verses and give you a few biblical examples of laziness.

As most of you probably know, Proverbs is filled w/ verses about laziness, and it’s worth noticing sleep – or I should say too much sleep – often seems to
accompany laziness. Here are my two favorite passages…

Pro 6:6-11
Go to the ant, you sluggard!
Consider her ways and be wise,

Ants are good examples. You never see them sitting around. They’re always working.

7
Which, having no captain,
Overseer or ruler,

They don’t have someone watching over them, but they still work hard w/o having to be told what to do.

8
Provides her supplies in the summer,
And gathers her food in the harvest.

Ants are good examples of preparing for the future.

9
How long will you slumber, O sluggard?

When will you rise from your sleep? 10 A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep— 11 So shall your
poverty come on you like a prowler, And your need like an armed man.

The idea is poverty comes upon the lazy like thieves or robbers surprise people.

The other passage is Pro 26:13-16 The lazy man says, “There is a lion in the road!


A fierce lion is in the streets!”

Lazy people will often make excuses to avoid having to work…even if they’re absurd excuses like a lion being in the street. And whenever we want to be
lazy, we have to admit we feel tempted to say just about anything to get out of work.



14
As
a door turns on its hinges, So does the lazy man on his bed.

Again, the relationship between laziness and sleeping too much.

15
The lazy man buries his hand in the bowl;
It wearies him to bring it back to his mouth.

That’s pretty bad when you’re so lazy you can’t even feed yourself.

16
The lazy man is wiser in his own eyes
Than seven men who can answer sensibly.

This refers to the pride of lazy people:

· They’re unteachable…

· They think they’re wise…

· They won’t listen to anyone.

—-

One of the other dangers of laziness is it allows people to get into trouble. If you talk to almost any schoolteacher, they will tell say the best
classroom management is keeping students busy w/ work:

  • When students are working, they stay out of trouble.
  • When students don’t have enough work, they get in trouble.
  • And all you homeschools moms said, “Amen!”

And the reality is, it’s often the same w/ adults. There is a tremendous example of this in the OT…

Before David became king, he spent his life working, fighting, and staying busy. He was a shepherd, psalmist, soldier, armor bearer and general. He did so
much before becoming king it almost seems like he lived the lives of a number of men. But for some reason – and we’re not told why – after David became
king, he reached a point in his life where he became lazy:

· He decided not to accompany his men to battle.

  • He was idle.
  • He was sleeping all day.

· And that’s when the most tragic event of his life took place…

2 Samuel 11:
1a It happened in the spring of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle,

It doesn’t say when armies go out to battle or when generals go out to battle, it says when kings go out to battle. The idea is this is
what kings do, but…

1b David sent Joab and his servants…But David remained at Jerusalem.

This is presented as a criticism of David: the point is he should have been in battle w/ his men. It just said this is when kings go to battle, but David
didn’t do that. Instead, listen to what he was doing…

2
It happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king’s house.

He got up from his bed in the evening. The evening is when you get into your bed, not when you get up from it. Again you notice the relationship between
laziness and sleep.

And we all know the rest of the story.

The point is David’s laziness set the stage for his devastating sin. If he would’ve stayed busy; if he would’ve been working; if he would’ve been w/ his
men in battle, the tragic story that follows never would’ve taken place.

—-

And there’s another king in the Old Testament that was punished for his laziness and selfishness…and that’s Eglon, the King of the Moabites.

We all know the cycle in Judges: the people turned from God, so He would turn them over to some wicked people to punish them. The people would cry out to
God in frustration, and He would raise up a judge to deliver them. In Judges 3 the people rebelled against God and He turned them over to the Moabites, who
had Eglon as their king…

In Judges 3:12 it says Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord. So [He] strengthened Eglon king of Moab against [them]…15 When Israel cried out to the Lord , [He] raised up a deliverer for them: Ehud.

Now when Israel was in subjection to the Moabites, Eglon made the Israelites bring him tribute or money regularly, and Ehud the Judge – probably b/c he was
the leader of Israel at the time – was responsible w/ taking that money to Eglon…

17 [Ehud] brought the tribute to Eglon king of Moab. (Now Eglon was a very fat man.)

That’s not my addition: that’s what Scripture says about him.

Now here’s something important to know about Eglon…

Nobody had access to him except his servants, and any special visitors like Ehud, and Ehud only had access b/c he was bringing him money. The reason nobody
else could get near him was Eglon kept himself locked up in his own cool, comfortable, private room. I’ve always told you Scripture is repetitive when it
wants to emphasize something, and twice we’re told:

  • 20a [Eglon]
    was sitting upstairs in his cool private chamber.

  • 24 Eglon’s servants [found]…the doors of the upper room locked. So they said, “He is probably attending to his needs in the cool chamber.”

The point is this: Eglon is basically pictured as a very large, very selfish, very lazy man:

· He oppresses the Israelites, expecting them to bring him money.

· There’s no indication of him ever doing anything except laying around.

· He sits in his own cool, comfortable, private room w/ little concern for others.

· He doesn’t allow anyone to be anywhere near him except the servants he keeps on hand to do what he wants while he does nothing.

· For any Star Wars fans, when I read about Eglon I always sort of picture Jabba the Hutt.

And God killed Eglon for all this, and it’s not my opinion that God killed him for being this type of man, that’s exactly what Ehud said right before he
assassinated him: 20b Ehud said, “I have a message FROM GOD FOR YOU (Ehud said he was doing this for God)

.” 21 Then Ehud…took the dagger…and thrust it into [Eglon’s] belly. 22 Even the hilt went in after the blade, and the fat closed
over the blade, for he did not draw the dagger out of his belly; and his entrails came out.

God doesn’t hold much back. If you had to choose the most disgusting verse in Scripture, this would be close.

This is the second example I wanted to give you of what a lazy life looks like, and the point is God didn’t seem to be too pleased w/ the way this man
lived.

Now let me ask you a sobering question regarding laziness: “Can you go to hell for being lazy?” The answer is, “No, you can’t go to hell for being lazy.” You can only go to hell for a lifetime of rejecting Christ.

But even though you can’t go to hell for being lazy, there are a few interesting verses in the NT that do two things: they associate not working or being
lazy w/ being unsaved or going to hell.

First, speaking to men, what is probably the strongest verse in my mind communicating God’s feelings about men working and taking care of their families is 1 Tim 5:8 which says

If anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is WORSE THAN AN UNBELIEVER.

I was going over my sermon w/ Katie and she said, “I didn’t even know there WAS something worse than being an unbeliever!”

Please make sure you notice the emphasis on men:

  • Provide for HIS own
  • Especially those of HIS household
  • HE has denied the faith

It’s referring to men who won’t take care of their families, and if they won’t do that it says they have denied the faith and are worse than an unbeliever. That’s pretty serious! That shows us how God feels about men not working. So men need to make sure they do
their bests to provide the financial support their families need.

Second, in the Parable of the Talents – which is a parable that pictures Christ as a Master judging three different servants – the first two servants are
welcomed into heaven and the third servant is sent to hell.

When the third servant is cast into hell, two reasons are given: Matt 25:26[The Master said to him] “You wicked and LAZY servant.” Then inverse 30 [the Master said] “Cast the unprofitable servant (he never produced anything) into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” That’s hell!

We can understand Jesus mentioning this man’s wickedness as a reason for him going to hell, but it’s surprising Jesus also mentions his laziness. We don’t
usually think of laziness being that serious, but his laziness means:

· He never did anything throughout his life.

  • He didn’t serve the Lord and he didn’t serve others.

The two other servants were both told in Matt 25:21 and

Matt 25:23 “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the
joy of your lord.”

Now please don’t misunderstand me:

· I’m not saying we’re saved by works.

· I’m not saying we’re saved by working.

· I’m not saying we’re saved by being faithful.

But I am saying these things are evidence of being saved. While works don’t save…and can’t save…and never have saved, works have always been evidence of
being saved…and the first two servants had works, and the third servant didn’t.

LESSON 2: (PART I) EVERYONE SHOULD WORK…

We’re in the middle of our Marriage & Family Series, and there’s application for everyone at every stage of life regarding work…

We’ve already discussed men working, and we’re going to discuss women working a little later. For now I want to address the two other groups: children and
seniors.

Parents, it’s never too early to start having your children work. The work they do will depend on their age, but there are almost always chores and tasks
to give your children to do.

Eph 6:1
says Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right and Col 3:20 says Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord. A large part of this obedience for children is doing the
work their parents want them to do.

If you want to be really biblical, you can even tell your kids, “We’ll eat when this work is done. If you don’t work, you won’t eat.”

One of the things I really like about WCC is when there are workdays or when people clean the church, you almost always see them bringing their children.
Teaching your children to work and serve at a young age is a great idea.

And if I can take a moment to address the children here – whether younger or older – let me say…

  • If you have parents that make you work…
  • If you have parents that give you chores and tasks…

· If you have parents that bring you to church and expect you to serve and help…

You really need to thank them!

  • They’re teaching you not to be selfish…
  • They’re teaching you not to be lazy…

· They’re teaching you a good work ethic that will benefit you for the rest of your life…

· And most importantly they’re teaching you to serve God and fulfill one of the most importantly responsibilities He’s given us in this life, which is to
work.

—-

To briefly address the seniors…

There’s an interesting story that takes place w/ King David later in his life. You can read about it in 2 Samuel 21. David went out to
battle w/ his men. He learned from the mistake he made earlier when he remained in Jerusalem. But listen to what happened to David this time that maybe had
never happened to David even once in his lifetime before this: 2 Sam 21:15 David…went down and fought against the Philistines; and David grew faint. Many other translations say:

  • He became weary
  • Or he became exhausted

Then one of the sons of Goliath almost killed David, except that Abishai came and helped him. Then and he told David, “You shall go out no more with us to battle.”

The point is you get older and you can’t do everything you used to do; you can’t work like you used to work. But w/ that retirement is not biblical, at
least not in the way the world engages in it. If you’re able to retire from full-time secular work, then that means God’s allowed you to commit more time
to spiritual work.

It’s sad when you see older people who have run most of the race and now they have more time to serve than they’ve ever had, but they follow the pattern of
the world and use this time to be lazy.

The question is, what can you do?

  • Pro 20:29
    The glory of young men is their strength,
    And the splendor of old men is their gray head.
    This is referring to older men having knowledge and wisdom to share:

o I always appreciate having Don MacKay in any of my studies b/c of what he contributes.

o Don Oswald covered Sunday School for me some months back and offered to do the same again in a few weeks.

  • Titus 2:2
    says older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience. Just the presence of godly older men can be an
    example to younger men…but for those older men to be an example, they have to be around and they have to be involved.
  • Titus 2:3-4
    says older women should be teaching younger women. Older women are the ones who have been there and done that; they have the knowledge and experience
    and God wants them passing that along to the next generation of wives and mothers.

· For a lot of grandparents, if they have children or grandchildren in nearby they can be like my parents and really bless their children by helping them
w/ their children.

· Prayer seems to be the real ministry highlighted in Scripture for older people:

o Prayer meetings should be filled with the older people in the church.

o Think of the example of Anna the prophetess who was 84 years old and in Luke 2:37 it says she did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. That’s a pretty tremendous example!

o 1 Tim 5:5 says older women who are widows trust in God and continue in supplications and prayers night and day.

The point is, God put Adam in the Garden, b/c from the beginning it was His plan for people to work, and if you’re young or if you’re old, there are ways
for you to do that.

LESSON 2: (PART I) EVERYONE SHOULD WORK (PART II) BUT MEN AND WOMEN DO SO DIFFERENTLY.

I need to ask you to think about something very interesting related to God putting Adam in the Garden, and it’s this:

  • God put Adam there alone.
  • God put Adam in the Garden before Eve was created.

· We know from later in the chapter God created Eve so Adam would have a helper – a companion – and even after Eve was created, God still didn’t put her in
the Garden as Adam’s helper or companion.

We’ve discussed complementarianism before…

Complementarianism is the teaching that God views men and women differently and He has different roles and responsibilities for each, and those roles and
responsibilities complement each other.

One of the areas we see this is in regards to work: God expects men and women to work, but He expects them to work differently. If we consider the curse,
it becomes apparent….

Gen 3:17

Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not
eat of it’:


“Cursed is the ground for your sake;

In toil you shall eat of it

All the days of your life.

18
Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,

And you shall eat the herb of the field.

19
In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread.”

Even though work wasn’t part of the Curse, work was definitely much different AFTER the Curse. Work was enjoyable and pleasant before The Fall. Adam – and
the rest of us – would’ve experienced a sweatless, weedless, toil-less environment if sin hadn’t been introduced. That would’ve been nice!

But the major point I want you to notice is this was said to Adam. If God expected women to be working like men, this would’ve been said to Eve too.

Now women working – or women not working like men is a very sensitive issue. It seems like we’ve been dealing w/ a number of sensitive issues lately –
submission, having children and now women working – and please believe me when I tell you I don’t like it! It makes me look forward to the nice, easy
future sermons in Luke! I don’t think any pastor wants to talk about these controversial issues. But they’re in Scripture, and they’re important, and if
I’m going to talk to about Marriage and the Family, these are the things I need to discuss.

I know what some of you are saying. You’re saying, “Pastor Scott, are you wanting people to leave your church?” No, I’m not, but I am wanting my
congregation to know what God’s Word says.

So I’m going to try to do my best to tell you what God’s Word says in this area about women working.

Let me begin by introducing a lesson that I hope makes something clear…

LESSON 3: (PART I) SCRIPTURE DOESN’T FORBID WOMEN FROM WORKING….

It’s so important for me to be clear about this, I wanted to make it a lesson. I’m not saying women can’t work outside the home: just b/c God expects men
to work, doesn’t mean He expects women not to work.

And not only does Scripture not forbid women from working, there are some examples in Scripture of women working…

Pro 31
describes the virtuous – or you could say perfect – wife, and there are a number of verses about her working and being very industrious. For example:

  • 16
    She considers a field and buys it;
    From her profits she plants a vineyard.
  • 18
    She perceives that her merchandise is good
    (this means the merchandise she sells), And her lamp does not go out by night.
  • 24
    She makes linen garments and sells them,
    and supplies the merchants with sashes.

You can see she’s a really industrious, hard-working woman, and that’s basically how she’s characterized throughout the passage.

In the New Testament, there are two examples of godly women working:

  • We meet Lydia in Acts 16, and verse 14 says She was a seller of purple…who worshiped God.
  • In Acts 18 we meet Aquila and his wife Priscilla, and verse 3 says they were both tentmakers, just like Paul.

And outside of what Scripture says, there’s another important point that needs to be considered…

We live in a fallen world. Things don’t always work out perfectly for everyone. Sometimes there are extenuating circumstances that put people in situations
that might be less than ideal or might not be what they desire. It’s nice to talk about perfect scenarios, but we don’t live in a perfect world. As a
result, things don’t always look the way people expect or the way people want.

Now there are way too many circumstances and way too many unique situations to try to consider all of them when discussing women working. So let me simply
through out a few scenarios for you to consider:

· A husband who gets injured might find it necessary for his wife to work. We have two very similar examples of this in our congregation and I got
permission from both couples to share this:

o When Gary hurt his hand logging, Linda went to work to help provide for them.

o Stacey Durrah told me something similar happened when John broke his back logging.

· An unemployed husband, or a husband not making enough to take care of his family, might find it necessary for his wife to work.

o Pastor Doug and I had a conversation about this in the office this past week and we both said we could see our wives going to work if we were unable to
work for some reason.

o The problem w/ my job is even when my back went out, I was still able to work lying down. Jim, Dave and Gary basically told me to quit being a baby and
get back to work.

· You have some women whose husbands aren’t in the picture for whatever reason, and they have to work to take care of themselves and possibly children.

· Sometimes a family might be struggling financially, and no matter how hard a man tries, and no matter how frugal the family is being, they still need the
extra income a wife can provide.

And outside of unforeseen circumstances like these, there’s also the season of life that needs to be considered:

· Is a woman married yet? Katie worked in the school system as a substitute before we were married and after we were married until she became pregnant.

  • Does a woman have children yet?
  • Is a woman older and are her children out of the home?

All these variables and different circumstances prevent blanket statements from being made about women working…and that’s why I’m trying not to do that.

LESSON 3: (PART I) SCRIPTURE DOESN’T FORBID WOMEN FROM WORKING (PART II) BUT IT MAKES THEIR PRIORITIES CLEAR.

Here are some important things to recognize…

While the Bible doesn’t forbid women from working outside the home, it does give women clear priorities and working outside the home isn’t one of them. The
priorities for women are their husbands, their children and their homes:

· If women are going to work outside the home, they need to do their best to ensure their work doesn’t cause them to neglect the priorities God has given
them.

· If a woman works outside the home, she needs to make sure she’s still providing a loving, caring environment for her husband and children.

I don’t want you to take my word for all this. Let me share the verses w/ you that identify the priorities for women…

We looked at how God cursed Adam, and if we look at how God cursed Eve we can see where God primarily wanted women investing their time and energy. Please
look at Gen 3:16 To the woman He said:


“I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception;

In pain you shall bring forth children;

Your desire shall be for your husband,

And he shall rule over you.”

What two relationships did God mention in the curse for women? Children and your husband. God cursed Eve – or women – in
this way, b/c this is where God primarily expected women to invest their time and energy: in their children and their husband.

Throughout Scripture when women are addressed their husbands, their children, and their homes are the areas emphasized. Please listen to these verses…

Pro 14:1 The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands.

This isn’t referring to a woman being involved in construction. It’s referring to a woman investing in or building her family…and hopefully not tearing it
down.

1 Tim 2:15
says [Women] will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control. I mentioned this verse last
week: it doesn’t mean women are saved by having children, but it means:

· Having children is the sphere of ministry in which a women works out her salvation.

· Raising children is one of the primary ways women serve the Lord.

Paul told Timothy what God wanted for young, single women, and let me first tell you what he DIDN’T say: He didn’t say, “I desire younger widows pursue careers and neglect their husbands, homes and children to make lots of money.” Instead, he said:

1 Tim 5:14 I desire younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully.

Titus 2:4-5
gives a clear list of women’s responsibilities; it’s a nice, succinct verse containing the priorities God has for women. It says they should

love their husbands, love their children, 5 be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of
God may not be blasphemed.

So in these verses we see a strong calling on women to take care of their husbands, their children and their homes.

Even though the woman in Proverbs 31 worked very hard, we see much of the work she did took place in her home:

  • 15 She rises while it is yet night,
    And provides food for her household,
  • 21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
    For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
  • 27
    She watches over the ways of her household,
    And does not eat the bread of idleness.

You can’t miss that she works very hard taking care of her family and her home.

—-

I would tell any of the women here, whether they work outside the home or not, don’t put anything above the most important ministries God has given you,
which is caring for your husband, your children and your home.

Now there are three major threats or temptations I see to women keeping their priorities in order and I want to briefly address them…

LESSON 4: THE GREATEST THREATS TO WOMEN’S PRIORITIES ARE: (PART I) WEALTH…

When I say wealth, I don’t mean the money everyone needs to take of themselves and their family. I’m talking about the pursuit of wealth that looks like
this:

  • Trying to keep up w/ the neighbors…
  • Trying to have a fancier car…
  • Trying to have a more glamorous house…

While it’s reasonable for women to work for the reasons I mentioned earlier, it’s unreasonable for women to work and neglect their husbands, children and
home simply b/c they want a fancier, more glamorous lifestyle.

No godly woman is ever going to look back and say:

  • I’m so glad we got this bigger house, even if though meant neglecting my children.
  • I’m so thankful I got that promotion, even though it meant hardly being w/ my family.

In many ways the previous sermons laid the foundation for this:

  • If we believe what the Bible says about children…
  • If we believe children are a gift, reward and blessing…

Then we need to make sure they’re more of a priority than a wealthy lifestyle.

LESSON 4: THE GREATEST THREATS TO WOMEN’S PRIORITIES ARE:

· (PART I) WEALTH

· (PART II) SKEWED SELF-WORTH.

If God wants women focused on their husbands, their children and their homes:

· We can be sure the world is going to stand in opposition to that…

· We can be sure the world is going to want to convince women that focusing on these priorities constitute an inferior way to live.

And the world has done all this very successfully. I know what I’m talking about is not popular today, but let me ask you this:

  • When did we ever expect God’s Word to be popular?
  • Why would we ever expect God’s Word to agree w/ the culture?

Rom 12:2
says

do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and
perfect will of God.

· One of the strongest ways women are conformed to the world is when they allow the world to make them feel like focusing on the priorities God has given
them “isn’t enough.”

· One of the ways women need to renew their minds is by reading God’s Word and embracing what He says they should prioritize.

The reality is since God has given women these priorities – husband, children and home:

  • They constitute the highest calling for women…

· Focusing on these priorities should provide women w/ the greatest sense of self-worth…

· Fulfilling these priorities should provide women w/ great satisfaction and self-worth.

If women want to work b/c taking care of their family or their home doesn’t give them the sense of value or self-worth that they crave, there’s something
wrong. This would be a situation where a woman has allowed the world – instead of Scripture – to influence the way she views herself.

It takes a strong woman and a strong commitment to Scripture for a woman to find the same satisfaction taking care of her husband, her children and her
home as she might find in the workplace where she’s made a number of offers that could appeal to her pride and her flesh. I’m talking about money, raises,
promotions, possibly praise, possibly the opportunity to compare herself w/ men…instead of comparing herself w/ what God says.

The woman who is fulfilling the role and responsibilities God has given her should feel more valuable than the CEO of a company.

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Now while the previous two parts of the lesson related to women working, this last part of the lesson is primarily for women who stay home…

LESSON 4: THE GREATEST THREATS TO WOMEN’S PRIORITIES ARE:

· (PART I) WEALTH

· (PART II) SKEWED SELF-WORTH.

· (PART III) LAZINESS

Just b/c a woman is home doesn’t mean she ISN’T neglecting her home or her family. My wife recently wrote a blog post called, “The Stay-at-Home Mom Who Doesn’t Stay Home.”

Please listen to these verses about women who don’t work outside the home…but also don’t really work at home:

  • Pro 7:11
    She was loud and rebellious,
    Her feet WOULD NOT STAY AT HOME.

  • 1 Tim 5:13 [Some women] learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying
    things which they ought not.

Even women who stay home have to be very intentional and make sure they’re not being lazy or occupying their time w/ w/ frivolous activities. There are
plenty of things women who stay home can do w/ their time instead of taking care of their husbands, children and homes.

It’s very possible for women who stay home to get their priorities out of order. Maybe their priorities are:

  • Talking on the phone.
  • Watching TV.
  • Using the Internet.
  • Surfing Facebook.
  • Engaging in different hobbies.

· The Proverbs 31 woman engaged in a number of activities, and some of the look like hobbies, but they all benefited her husband, her children and her
home.

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Let me conclude by trying to tie all this together…

God’s plan is for men to work. They need to work hard and they need to take care of their families. Failure to do so makes men lazy and worse than
unbelievers.

Women need to recognize the priorities God has given them: their husbands, their children and their homes.

  • If a woman works outside the home:

o She wants to make sure her motivation for doing so is good…

o She wants to make sure her motivation is not to live a fancier, more glamorous lifestyle…

o She wants to make sure her motivation is not to find some self-worth she has trouble finding taking care of her home and her family.

o Most importantly, she wants to make sure she’s not neglecting the more important priorities God’s given her.

  • If a woman stays home:

o She wants to make sure she’s using her time wisely.

o She wants to make sure she’s not being idle.

o She wants to make sure she keeps her priorities in order and doesn’t let other activities compete w/ what God wants her doing.

LET’S REVIEW THESE LESSONS:

LESSON 1: (PART I) WORK BEGAN AT CREATION (PART II) AND LAZINESS AFTER THE FALL.

LESSON 2: (PART I) EVERYONE SHOULD WORK (PART II) BUT MEN AND WOMEN DO SO DIFFERENTLY.

LESSON 3: (PART I) SCRIPTURE DOESN’T FORBID WOMEN FROM WORKING (PART II) BUT IT MAKES THEIR PRIORITIES CLEAR.

LESSON 4: THE GREATEST THREATS TO WOMEN’S PRIORITIES ARE:

· (PART I) WEALTH

· (PART II) SKEWED SELF-WORTH.

· (PART III) LAZINESS

Scott LaPierre