1950s Expectations for Women

I’ve been doing some research and this is what I’ve come up with. A few links to get started from:

Duties of Wives in the 1950s
How to be the Ideal Housewife
How Did Wives Manage Their Homes in the 1950s?
How to be a Housewife

In these links, there is one common theme. A woman in the 1950s was expected to be a homemaker/housewife. She wasn’t expected to earn a college degree (I hold a BS in Criminal Justice and was working towards my Master’s of Information Technology with a specialty in Security). She was only expected to have a high school diploma and the rest of her life would be in the home, with her husband taking care of chasing the American dream of possessions for that life.

One quote from the links above says, “Commit to the basics of running your household.” Another of the links says, “In the 1950’s, homemaking was considered a woman’s highest calling — the pinnacle of her life.” And finally, a last quote, “The Oxford Dictionary of Current English defines housewife as ‘a woman whose main occupation is caring for her family and running the household.'”

To this end, you should have a schedule for when and how you are going to clean your house. You should have a plan of what you’re going to do and when. You need to know how much money it costs to keep your house running smooth so the spouse can plan to have that much available to you and use the rest for the living expenses of the family.

Your primary function and goal in life is family and home. Outside doesn’t exist if the family or the home is not well-tended and well-kept. Let’s now step to the Bible.

Bible.com states, “The woman has her primary responsibility in the home since the Scripture says she is to be the keeper of the home. ‘To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.‘ (Titus 2:5). Preparing meals for the family is one of her prime duties.”

Reading this link will give great insight into how the wife is expected (in the eyes of some, through the reading of the Lord’s Word, The Bible. The biggest part that stood out for me is where it says that the “wife is the manager of the home and the husband is the manager of the wife.”

I will liberally quote the list that they show on bible.ca, since it has great relevance on my current status:

1. Love your husband, Tit.2:4.

2. Be a companion, Mal.2:14; Prov.2:16-17; 31:12.

3. Satisfy sexual desires.

   a. Bible not prudish. Marriage bed honorable, holy, Heb.13:4; William’s.

   b. Consider instructions of I Corinthians 7.

      v.2, Help husband avoid fornication. Are you really helping?

      v.4, No authority over own body. (Exception to husbands authority, his body. Wife has authority over husband’s body.)

      v.5, “Do not deprive.” No bargaining, motivating, paying back.

      v.5, “with consent for a season, lest Satan tempt…”.

      Therefore, no unscriptural separation (indefinite, unconsenting).

      (For same reason, no unscriptural divorce, I Cor.7:10.)

4. Childbearing, I Tim.2:15. (Husbands visit labor room and be grateful.)

5. “Rule,” manage household, I Tim.5:14.

   a. Thayer: “to be master (or head) of a house; to rule a household, manage family affairs: 1 Tim.v.14.” p.439

   b. Wife’s role is executive position; manage under authority of husband as elders under Christ.

   c. Learn to be good managers.

      1) Must not neglect primary responsibility, the home, Tit.2:5.

      2) Cf. Virtuous woman, Prov.31:27, 13-16.

6. Summary, Prov.31:12, “Does him good & not evil….”

One last link: What the Bible says about the Role of Women.

That’s a heady list of things to be, to learn. To accomplish for the good of my family, my spouse, and myself. I’m very far from where I should be. I’m working on it. Slowly… ever so slowly…

Thank you for listening,

Naia.

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