Wednesday, June 29, 2011

College bound

I've appreciated the comments on my previous entries about patriarchy.  I've had quite the rousing discussions happening on my facebook page as well.  I think it is good to stimulate one another to think and pray about theological and cultural issues.

As I've said before, I think there is a need for restoration in the family.  I think God has an amazing plan for families, and that plan has been distorted and warped by the enemy.  Fatherlessness is an epidemic and divorce rates are sky high. I appreciate ministries like Above Rubies that hold up a standard saying that God created motherhood and we should embrace child-rearing and loving our husbands.  I am thankful that I found other Christians who taught me that children are a blessing and that I could trust God and accept a larger family.

But I still contend that there is a dangerous edge to some of these ministries.

A friend and I were discussing our daughters recently.  She was saying how much harder it is to raise sons because their education is so much more important.  She said that really, as long as her girls can keep house and balance a checkbook she feels she has done a good job.  I asked if the girls would be prepared for college with such a rudimentary education and she just gawked at me.  "I can't imagine sending my sweet girls to college!  It's a horrible place!  And why would they need to go, anyway?  I mean, why spend money on all that when I know God wants them to be homemakers?"  She then offered to lend me a book and video ( The Return of the Daughters  and So Much More) so I could see the error of my plans.

As I did more research I realized that this is a common and growing belief in patriocentric families and ministries.  Ministries like Vision Forum don't come right out and say it is a sin for a girl to go to college, but they do say that it is poor stewardship of resources.  Similarly, blogs like By His Grace and For His Glory and Generation Cedar talk about how training girls to be homemakers is the only Godly plan for their lives.

The crazy thing is, I never heard Jesus say any of this stuff.

Once, He had dinner with two sisters.  One wanted to do housework and cook, while one wanted to sit at His feet and learn.  So, of course, since women are called to the kitchen and not to education, He rebuked Mary and sent her to sweep while the men learned, right?

No, our Savior praised the woman who wanted to learn of Him and told Martha she would do well to sit and learn with Mary.

I Corinthians 7:8 says , "Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do." Why? Paul goes on to explain in verse 34-35, "An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord."

Since Paul explains that remaining single to serve the Lord is a good thing, we can rightly assume that marriage and homemaking are not the only choices that should be available to Christian young women who desire to please God.

So, will my girls go to college?  I expect so.  Now, will it be traditonal four-year, live-away-from-home college?  I don't know.

What I do know is that Philip and I believe God has amazing plans for each of our three girls.  Plans that may include careers, home-making or a blend of the two.  God has not limited them to the kitchen (not that there is anything wrong with the kitchen!) - but given each talents that they will use for His glory.  I expect that our daughters (and our sons) will pray long and hard with us about what they are to do with their lives.  I expect that as we give our input and they listen to the Holy Spirit, He will guide them. 

Our sweet Susannah love science and art.  I can see her being involved in a natural science, caring for animals or even illustrating texts about animals.  Adventurous Abigail is crazy creative.  I never know what she will sculpt next.  I could see her doing interior design or becoming an artist.  Little Leah only likes to crawl around and shove things in her mouth so far, so we'll have to see what talents and interests the Lord has given her.

But I know husband and I will support the girls in whatever endeavors the Lord leads them to undertake, whether that be wiping noses or wielding scalpels.


Aimee said...

Great post! Hannah told me when she was in Kindergarten that she wants to be a missionary. I'd prefer if she went to seminary. My Abigail is adventurous, too, so it's hard to say what I think she might do. :-)

You're doing a great job as a Mother and as a sister encouraging us to think and talk about issues like this.

shadowspring said...

I am smiling as I read your ideas about what your daughters' futures might hold, based on today's interests. I thought my artistic, musically-inclined daughter would grow up to live in a world of art, surrounded by fluffy kitties and cute little dogs. She has always loved art, creativity and animals.

My daughter played classical guitar from seven to fourteen years of age. Her instructor included music from Disney movie scores along with traditional classical guitar composers. One of her favorite children's videos was a Sesame Street sing-a-long video with the song "Working Dog" about a cowdog. Sweet stuff. She also really liked "Totoro" a Japanese children's film that I got from Feature Films for Families. Cute stuff.

Did she choose to be a musician artist with a love of all things animal? Nope, she chose to major in Japanese and join the Air Force.

I guess the score to Disney's Mulan was hitting a chord with the song 'Reflections' that I wasn't aware was there. =)It wasn't the pretty notes she was attracted to at all.

And the song "Working Dog"? It should have been a clue about her marital inclinations that her favorite line (by the dog) was "all I know how to do is take a hundred pounds of cow and teach him some manners". =D

She's still an artist though: for herself. She is always working on some new drawing or project, but the fateful day she decided against art school happened long ago. I wanted her to enter a drawing into an art competition, and we went to Kinko's to get a copy to keep for ourselves after entering the original. The (snobby) women working at the copy store identified themselves as art school graduates. She decided that day that if all you got for four years of art school was a job at the copy store, she wasn't interested!

Enjoy your children, but remember, life is what happens while you're making other plans! =D

shadowspring said...

Oops, "matrial" not "marital" inclinations- meaning warlike, not having to do with marriage. So far she has no plans to get married. n_n

shadowspring said...

Ack, how many ways can I misspell M-A-R-T-I-A-L?

Libby Anne said...

Good for you! I am astounded sometimes at how many people talk about the patriarchal family being "Biblical" but don't seem to have read their own New Testament on this issue!

Tamara said...

Thank you for the kind comments.

I don't know what my girls will do. I was very artistic as a child and now I'm an emergency room nurse. Go figure. But I love being crafty and creative and using my gifts to bless others.

Mary said...

I don't have daughters, but this was a great post. You make great points. :)