Our maiden years are the perfect time to be training for what we believe to be our future calling. If we aspire to be like the woman in Proverbs 31, with all her abilities and strengths, or the wise woman in Proverbs 14, who 'builds her home', it only makes sense to dedicate our time as young, unmarried women to pursuing occupations that will shape and enhance our homemaking skills.
Before we venture any further, I'd like to make it very clear that I believe the man – husband or father – stands in the head of his household, responsible for providing for his wife and his daughters, until he gives them away to the provision and protection of a husband.
I know that many of the young women who are reading this don't have fathers who agree with this point of view – that is, if they have a father at all. I am one of those women, in fact. It doesn't mean, however, that there is no hope. More about that coming in the next posts.
I just think we all should remember that only several generations ago, it was unheard of for a young woman to 'move out and do her own thing'; daughters, no matter how old, normally remained under the authority and protection of their fathers, finding a variety of useful and productive pursuits to keep them busy and happy at home. They trained in the arts of homemaking and perfected them, until they met a man who was suitable for marriage – and until then, they were a blessing to their families, siblings and communities in countless ways.
Basically, in her unmarried years, a daughter should seek training in the areas which will be important to her as a future wife and mother. I don't mean only practical homemaking skills; what's even more important are the character traits she will need as a virtuous wife, as opposing to the character traits our culture says she needs: gentleness and submissiveness versus rebellion, generosity and selflessness versus selfish self-fulfillment at all costs, mature acceptance of authority versus seeking doing your own thing in whatever possible way.
The list of creative, interesting and useful occupations a young lady can pursue from home is endless, and in the following posts we will try to explore them. From autodidactic learning to canning fruits and vegetables, I promise you: once you have your vision clear, you won't have lack of things to do! But it does require a vision. I know twenty-something women who don't know how to boil an egg or operate the washing machine; who haphazardly clean once in a while and are bored to death at home. Why does this happen? Lack of example, learning and vision. I know – I used to be one of them.
Most young women go to college right after high school and enter a cycle of unorganized, self-indulgent campus life. This is especially prominent when a young lady attends college away from home (more on that in the next post), especially a secular college with a high dose of immorality. Think about it: those crucial years after the young woman first crosses the border to adulthood, when she first starts seriously contemplating marriage and is supposed to be preparing for it, are spent in an environment that supports it less than anything you could think of. I just don't see the logic in sending a young girl away to a corruptive environment for a few years and expecting her vision of marriage and motherhood to remain untainted.
Pushing single women towards the path of college and career resulted in disastrous consequences for our society. In the past, while an adult daughter had many responsibilities, she still typically had more free time than married women who had their own husbands and children to care for. Unmarried women had the gift of time to be there for the needy – the sick, the lonely, the mourners; they had the time and energy to visit and comfort, to give help and encouragement. Just think about the possibilities, and how much we're currently missing out on. Think about the stress, rush, frustration, anxiety and disappointment that slowly crept over our lives since women in general, and adult unmarried daughters in particular, were pushed out of their homes.
Coming soon: next post on "Dedicated Daughters" - The opposing forces