"Duties are ours and consequences are God's." -- Samuel Rutherford
Lady Lydia applies the excellent and Biblical principle behind the above quote by Samuel Rutherford to the woman's role in her blog post, "Do What God Says Do and Let Him Take Care of the Rest."
To the woman, God has assigned the role of wife, husband-helper, mother, and home-keeper. She is to be productive and assist her husband in furthering his goals for their family, but she is not responsible to make the living or be out in the workforce, striving for her own independent, competing career. The husband is not given to a wife; rather, a wife is given to the husband, for him, to help him; she is (should be) like gift from God to him.
The husband labors in the field (the world), and the wife labors in the home. The husband's blood, sweat, and tears is in his productivity in making the living; the wife's blood, sweat, and tears is in her productivity in bearing children and keeping the home. He makes the living, and she makes life worth living, gives a man something valuable to work for and strive for beyond himself. By the grace of God, she helps him bring order to creation, which has become a thorny wilderness because of sin. Christ came to redeem His creation from sin, and He has given instruction to His people on how to occupy until He comes.
As Christ cares for and provides for His bride, the Church, as for His own body; so a husband cares for and provides for his bride, as for his own body. They are not separate--what affects her affects him; what affects him affects her. She takes what her husband provides and makes the most of it, in gratitude and in submission to his leadership and rule. She helps him rule, by carrying out his wishes and by passing along (supporting) his commands, his way of doing things, to their children. This is a way she helps him be productive. They work together to produce fruit and pass on an inheritance (spiritually, and also materially to children borne of their union, should God cause them to be fruitful this way).
In the Scripture, the family home is his home, his table, his household. It is hers, too, because she has married him, and they are one flesh, but the work was given to the man. He provides it all, and his wife helps him keep it, maintain it, and work productively in it. He is the king (of his castle), and she is the queen (of his castle).
In this sin-fallen and topsy-turvy world, there are all kinds of "reasons" (ethical rebellion against God) why we (both men and women) "can't" (yes, we can!) or "don't want to" (doesn't matter!) obey God in His commands in this area of gender roles and family order. God says to serve Him best, a wife should call her husband, "lord," that she show him loving trust and not be afraid he can't do what God says he must do. She's on his side, on his team, takes his name. A husband serves God by making his wife happy, by cherishing her, by providing for her, by leading her, taking her under his wing, being responsible for her. This is God's order and hierarchy of authority in the family.
And when we obey God without fear for our future, we find ourselves blessed by Him in ways we never could have expected or thought of. God is our Provider, ultimately; money is not our provider.