Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Why I am NOT raising my daughters to be "Maidens of Virtue."

It's that time of year again: curriculum time! The mailbox has been stuffed with catalogs and my inbox is full of "for sale or trade" lists from other homeschooling moms. Something I see popping up over and over is curriculum for young women training them to be "keepers at home" or "maidens of virtue." And when I read about such things, my stomach turns.

 Because I am not raising my girls to be maidens/keepers/homemakers. I am raising them to be Christ followers. And I don't think that means they get a different education that their brothers. I don't think there is a biblical list of "godly girl character qualities" and a separate biblical list of "godly boy character qualities." 

We are ALL called to be followers of Christ - to emulate Him. As we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, we are to show the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). We are ALL called to mutual submission and deference (Eph. 5:15-21). We are ALL called to serve each other (Gal. 5:13).

I think we do a disservice to our sons and daughters when we catagorize virtues as male or female. As if all godly men are strong and brave, while all godly women are soft and sweet and domestic. What message does this send to the tomboys and artsy young men? What message does this send to boys and girls who don't fit the mold?

That the way God created them is not right. It's not good enough.
That they have to change to be accepted by God and Christian society.
That being a guy means being tough and taking on all the responsibility without showing fear or sadness.
That being a girl means loving the home and sewing and cooking and cleaning.
That guys cannot be soft without being wimpy or whipped.
That girls cannot be strong without emasculating men.
That God's desires for our character are dependent on our gender.
That God has one mold for boys and one for girls and if you don't fit you are rebellious.

And I don't want to tell my children these lies.

I want my boys to be:

able to lead
able to follow

And I want my daughters to be the same.

Don't get me wrong.  I want my daughters to be virtuous.  And my sons as well.  But I don't want to tell them that some virtues are male and some are female.  God embodies all that is good.  And we are ALL His image-bearers.