The Story: A study conducted by the financial service company Investopedia found that the sum value of different homemaking duties annually amounts to almost six figures. If a homemaker's job were salaried, it would draw, on average, $96,291 per year. Tasks accounted for in the study included private chef, house cleaner, child care provider, driver, and laundry service provider.
The Background: There's no escaping the fact that contemporary society often scoffs at stay-at-home moms. "This isn't the 1950s anymore," the thinking goes. "Why in the world would someone want to be imprisoned in her own home?" The common idea, of course, is that many responsibilities on the home front should be outsourced, thus releasing moms from domestic shackles to realize their vocational dreams. While such a mindset isn't automatically wrongheaded in every case, it can frequently betray a prioritization that is biblically questionable.
Why It Matters: Proverbs 14:1 states: "The wise woman builds her house." While the monetary value and practical feasibility of full-time homemaking may vary from home to home, what remains constant is the irreplaceable significance of a homemaker's contributions. The Investopedia article concludes, "The daily work of a homemaker can sometimes be taken for granted....However, these services could earn a homemaker a considerable wage if he or she took those skills to the marketplace. Homemakers, in general, contribute a lot more to the home in addition to these tasks and no amount of money can fill those needs."
Indeed, no study could ever fully quantify the service of a mother who "looks well to the ways of her household" (Prov. 31:27). At the very least, this research should prompt us to express fresh appreciation to those stay-at-home moms whom we love and who, though receiving little recognition in the eyes of the world, are faithful and treasured in the eyes of their King.
Matt Smethurst serves as associate editor for The Gospel Coalition. He and his wife Maghan have two children and live in Louisville, Kentucky, where they belong to Third Avenue Baptist Church. You can follow him on Twitter.