Hello Ben, all,
like Craig I am a bit perplexed by the (hopefully only) apparent inconsistency.
On one hand we have LOTS of suttas (of which I provided only few random ones) that talk about the necessity of sense restraint and all,
and on the other hand there are those householder suttas.
One possible solution is that those lay people were (Ugghaṭitaññū, vipañcitaññū) and could reach high maggaphala despite being lay people.
Just because some people could succeed despite their circumstances, it doesn't mean that all of us here can or that that is preferable.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."