Posted by: firstfruitsfarmne | February 15, 2009

A Road Less Traveled

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I have a lot of daughters, relatively speaking, I guess.  And when there are a lot, it seems to draw attention.  I confess, I really enjoy the heads bobbing as people count them, and the, almost always, sweet smiles we get.

Then there are some other areas, concerning raising daughters that I have been, in the past, too afraid of conflict, disapproval, or down right ridicule to own up to.  I tended to just keep quiet and smile and not address anything close to the topic for fear that others would take offense and assume that I believed that I was right and that they were just, well…wrong.  While I do have very firm convictions in this area, I realize that all parents are responsible to search the scriptures and prayerfully seek God’s will for their own family.

Still, I found myself with somewhat of an embarrassment and unwillingness to talk about something very wonderful and beautiful due to an unbiblical fear of man.  Now I feel compelled to share some of our thoughts and convictions in the hope that it will encourage others who are working through these issues and persuade others to pray about and search the scriptures on this topic.  And most of all, that it will  glorify the God who made my daughters.

So, what’s the tough issue?

We ‘re training our daughters to be keepers at home.

Let me clarify a little.

We ARE training our little girls to be the helpmeet to a husband, a keeper at home, a joyful mother that shapes the world, and a woman who honors God by submitting to His created order.

We are NOT training them to aspire to an independent career, to “follow their dreams”, or make their own way in the world.

Why?  We believe that scripture speaks to every area of life and we want it to be the basis for everything we do.  We desire to be very purposeful in raising our children, not to play it by ear and hope everything turns out alright.  There are many scriptures that speak to a woman regarding her role and there are also patterns and principles interwoven throughout the Word that lay out a beautiful picture of biblical womanhood.  Here are two of the most direct:

1 Timothy 5 :14  I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.

Titus 2:4-5  …encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.

… and that’s what I intend to do, with the Lord’s help.  There is enough right there for me to impart to my daughters.  I don’t feel compelled to delve into the, “Well, I know they can do that but it doesn’t say they can’t do something else, too.” I have my hands full teaching them just what it says.  I have my hands full attempting to live these things out myself!  I am content with what is there.  There I have my model in scripture.  I haven’t been able to find another.

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Does this mean women can never leave their homes, never engage in any business? No.  The lady in Proverbs 31 certainly did.  Although, there are some who try to make a case for an independent career out of the fact that she brought her food from afar, bought a field, and planted a vineyard, this chapter paints a glorious picture of how a woman’s talents and gifts are employed within the home under the authority of and in partnership with her husband.

So, will they be educated?  You betcha!  With such a world-changing job, they will need to be highly educated!  Bethany Vaughn gives some very good guidelines in her post Obliterating Gender Neutrality in our Daughter’s Education:

  • It is imperative that we train our daughters to be eloquent, bold and firm in their faith yet with a gentle and meek spirit. We must actively lay out the biblical view of women and their roles in home and church.
  • Christian women need to be theologically founded and able to articulate the truth of the Scriptures, not only as a witness to those who do not know Christ, but for the catechizing of her children and to be the supporting and prayerful helper to her husband.
  • There is an absolute necessity for young Christian women to understand history. They need to understand the feminist ideology and agenda and how it is at war with Scripture. In time, our daughters need to be learned and eloquent enough to tear apart this pagan doctrine with complete understanding of the worldview compared to the truth found in the Scriptures.
  • Our daughters need to have an understanding of the life and faith of Godly women found in the Bible, as well as in history. The story of Ruth and Esther are excellent starting places as well as memorizing the well-known, but often misunderstood passage of scripture Proverbs 31. Women of historical notability like Kathryn Von Bora, who provides us with an excellent example of a visionary helpmeet to her husband and competent home manager of their large family. I have enjoyed studying about the great reformer Martin Luther’s wife and have gained much insight into the absolute necessity of strong biblically driven and obedient women who embrace their calling!
  • Our daughters need to be well versed in the arts and sciences of homemaking. Here are a few lost arts that women of the past were educated in: home management, organization, bread making, preparedness, hand work, hospitality, basic understanding of large family logistics, skilled in home economy aspects. Our daughters need to possess a practical, well-rounded knowledge of home arts. A home is revived, busy, aromatic, flourishing, productive and blessed when a hard working woman joyfully serves her father or husband. It is a beautiful picture!

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Yes, I’ve heard the common, well-meaning question, “But what if your daughter has gifts and talents in other areas?  Are you just going to ignore the gifts God gave her?”  I have to shake my head in wonder at the idea that there could be any talent a woman possesses that could not be best cultivated within the home and the church.  In his book, Feminine by Design, Scott Brown calls this the “liberations of limitations ”  and being “set free for a powerful focus.”  He further explains:

Think of the focus that we see in the woman mentioned in 1 Timothy 5: 3-14.  She is not able to be a teacher of men or a leader or do everything that strikes her fancy, because she has her hands full of other valuable occupations.  She displays piety at home, repays her parents, trusts in God, and continues in supplications night and day.  She maintains blamelessness, is the wife of one man and is well reported for good works.  She brings up children, lodges strangers, washes the feet of the saints, relieves the afflicted and diligently follows every good work.

…In this way, a woman who limits herself as a helper, loses nothing, but gains everything – even though she limits herself to the world of her home.

So when my daughters say, “Mommy, I want  to be a teacher when I grow up.”  I reply, “That’s great!  Your children will need a good teacher!”  When they say, ” I want to be a chef one day,” I tell them, “Sure, honey, a woman can serve others in the kitchen very well!  And so on and so on.  There is almost no area that a woman cannot study and learn new skills to serve others in the home.  This will bring her a much greater contentment and joy than simply focusing on ways to fulfill herself, make money, or make her mark on the world.

One common objection is, “But what if your daughter never marries?”  A thorough training in such a wide-range of skills will, I believe,  prepare them for whatever road the Lord has planned for them.  And a woman’s role as helper is not limited to marriage.  A woman was created to help. (Gen.  2:18)  It is innately who she is.  It is difficult to find biblical support for a woman living independently of a man’s authority.  I believe that a woman was created to function best within the home, married or single.  Besides, it seems much more logical to prepare your daughters for what is likely, rather than for “just in case.”

Yes, it is a road less traveled in today’s culture, but the Lord is blessing us on the journey.  As we try to give them a vision of hope and blessing for the future, they are blossoming in skills and excitement.  Our focus may be narrow by the world’s standards, but I like to think of it as specialization.  (And most days I’m wondering how on earth we’re ever going to cover a fraction of what I would like for them to learn.  Narrow, indeed!)

God bless all of you as you seek His will for your own family.  May He be praised!

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Responses

  1. What a great post Kim and may the Lord bless you in your efforts!

  2. very nice post!
    But what if suddenly they are a widow and have to go to work? It happenend to my mother with 6 children.

    And like for me when my husband was out of work and fell very ill… Someone had to go out and work… I had to serve the family differntly for a while…

    I remember so well telling my father I just wanted to be a stay at home mother.
    He was a very wise and devoted christian. Working for the scripture union in France.
    He was so full of wisdom that people came from over the world to ask his view about this or that.
    So this father said I had to have some kind of a diploma…
    one of the reasons: you know you had the choice to stay home and not that there was nothing else you could do!
    second: if hard times came over you, you have to be able to face them.

    It was so hard for me to go to work when I longed to be with my children! But God blessed us and we know His hand was in every detail of our life!

    But anyway I think that in the states people tend to “push” there kids more then we do in France!!

  3. Beautifully written and I was encouraged! We have 3 daughters and it is my desire to teach them to be keepers at home. Thanks again for sharing your heart.

  4. Kim, thank you for loving your babies so much! You are an amazing example to the rest of us! And also, late as it may be, can I request a birthday post for the ever so sweet Lauren Olivia??? 🙂

  5. Very well written and I totally agree with you. I only have one daughter but that is how I am raising her also.

  6. Nicole, you might be interested in reading these posts by Lindsey. She did a whole series on titus 2 and how that applied to the what if of life and what God says to do then. http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/?s=titus2talk

  7. Thank you for sharing your information on our vaccine discussion at my blog. I knew just mentioned it would bring some folks out :o) But, I feel what I feel and do what I feel led to do and my mouth tends to jump right in there ;o)

    I absolutely LOVE this post! I am definitely stealing it to make a copy :o) Just the few posts I’ve read have had me nodding my head like crazy! I am certainly coming back to read the archives!

    Blessings and Prayers,
    Deanna

  8. Thank you for sharing. This issue has been on the edges of my mind for quite some time and I needed it brought to the front. I’ll look for the books you mentioned. You have beautiful girls.

  9. Anyone ever read Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney???

  10. Thank you Sarah, but I have enough to write a book about how God led our lives and all the blessings we had and still have!(I am 52!!)
    And having to go to work (I am a kindergarden teacher), was part of the red thread!
    I was upset I had to go to work to feed the family (and not to buye nice clothes! We are very very frugal.)
    Later I discovered it was part of God’s plans.And I am so so thankfull!

    I think God asks us to be feeled of wisdom too.

  11. In fact I must admit: I was like you 30 years ago…
    But God worked on my thoughts and mind all these years..
    I learned to be more flexible in my judgments!!

    The hardest now that my children are grown ups: let Him take care of them completely, and direct them where he chooses to take them… perhaps not what I would choose…
    But I did my best,and now I must take severall steps back…

  12. Thanks for commenting, you guys!

    Cilla,

    Yes, I intend to do a belated birthday post for Laurie! We were right in the middle of moving on her birthday, and well, you know how that can be!

    I have read Feminine Appeal, but I can’t say as I remember a great deal about it. It was right before we moved and I think my brain wasn’t processing very much at that point! What do you think about it?

    Kiss your beautiful babies for me!

    I love you! By the way, Josh and I do have the same e-mail address.

  13. This is really, lovely, Kim. Very well said.
    🙂

  14. I disagree with this post: It seems that you’re training your daughters to believe someone else will always be there to provide for them; that they needn’t prepare for, or even consider, paid work outside the home. If their husbands are disabled or laid off or killed, however, your girls could be left in penury with a passel of children and no marketable skills.

    Experience as a home-maker does not make a woman marketable enough to support a “quiver full” of children on her own. She’ll likely never earn more than minimum wage outside the home, so it’ll be food stamps and other forms of social assistance if her husband isn’t able to provide for all her needs and the needs of their children. This isn’t some ‘feminist scare tactics’; it’s simply how things work. Life can go sour for anyone, and this can happen in an instant.

  15. What a wonderful post! Thank you!


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