Monday, December 10, 2007

Dedicated Daughters: choosing the lesser evils

Today's post is the last I planned in the "Dedicated Daughters" series – but stay tuned for a bonus feature later this week!

Until now we discussed the different ways of being a thriving home-focused daughter in an unsupportive community – from overcoming inexperience and lack of proper tutoring in the arts of homemaking to withstanding negative influences; from battling frustration to ways of making money from home.

As I stated in the beginning, I don't claim to have all the answers up my sleeve; maybe my suggestions, so far, helped you. Maybe they didn't. Maybe, for various reasons, working from home isn't an option for you. Maybe your family firmly upholds the agenda of feminism, and will not be satisfied until you attend college and climb the career ladder. Sometimes making compromises is inevitable – but it doesn't mean there's nothing you can do.

I will start with college. I already said more than a bit about college; and you probably already know that while I don't think college is necessarily always evil, I'm convinced that it's a terribly dangerous and corrupting environment for a young lady. If your parents insist that you get a college degree, do everything in your power to get a degree online or attend a college near home. It made all the difference in the world during my college years and beyond.

Now, I understand there might be rare circumstances in which a young woman is better off moving out, such as when the environment at her own parents' home is immoral and corrupting – sadly, that can happen too. And not all colleges are the same, of course. But in the vast majority of cases, remaining at home will help the daughter not to lose focus of her goals, responsibilities, dreams and the path she is seeking. Living at home will allow more orderliness and opportunities to exercise her homemaking skills and practice caring for others. It's far better than disordered, irresponsible campus life.

If you do have to work outside the home, the type of work you do also makes a difference. Your parents can insist that you have a job, but nobody can make you have a time-consuming career. You can try to have a part-time job; and preferably, something that would enhance skills that will be especially valuable to you as a future homemaker. And I think you should be particularly careful not to develop a career mentality that would steer your heart away from your duties when you do have the blessed opportunity to come back home.

You can live frugally and avoid unnecessary expenses which would pull you into working more hours. You know the saying, 'time is money', right? Well, it works the other way too: money is time! Excessive purchases will develop your appetite for more unnecessary trinkets, and next thing you know, you're working crazy hours in order to be able to afford all that. Before you notice, your beautiful vision of a simple, home-focused life is buried under a pile of enormous bills.

You can avoid the rat race and power struggle of climbing up a career ladder. Do I believe that if you work outside the home, it's better to do something useful and interesting? Yes. But there is a very fine balance. The higher you climb, the more is demanded from you. Get caught in the rat race, and again, you will find yourself working an insane number of hours to get to the top. More subtly, it will also affect the type of people who are drawn to you. You will be surrounded by career-minded women and men who probably don't plan for their future wife to be a homemaker.

It might sound awfully pragmatic but it's true – if now you work 50 hours a week, earn a large income and spend a considerable amount of your energy hunting for job opportunities, the transition you were planning to make – finding a good man who wants his wife to be a full-time homemaker, leaving the work force (or greatly reducing the number of hours you work), concentrating on your home – will slowly find itself pushed away more and more.

You can spend most of your free time at home, rather than at social gatherings. Nowadays it's common to come home from work and immediately run off someplace else if you have a few spare hours. As you understand, this doesn't contribute at all to a simple, quiet, home-focused life. You can make most of the hours you do have with your family. You can live with peace in your heart and love for God.

As we come to the end of this series, I know there is more, a lot more to be said. I have only touched some of the burning questions, challenges and objections a home-dedicated daughter has to face, especially if her own family isn't supportive of her convictions; even more remains to be said about the countless blessings we receive by being virtuous women, embracing our feminine calling, and serving our families.

But if I could pass you only one message, if I knew you would remember only one thing of what I wrote, it would be this: by choosing to focus on your family and home, you are renouncing glamour, promotions, pay rises and bonuses; maybe you will get very little appreciation for your work; maybe you will have to face ridicule and slander. But have no doubt: your work is important; your convictions are noble; it is thanks to young ladies like you that we have hope today to reclaim the culture of home, to rebuild our long-lost vision of virtuous femininity - and live it out for the glory of God.

17 comments:

Laura said...

The thing is though, if you don't go to college, and you are trying to pay rent, bills, etc.. you might be end up like me- having to work 50+ hours a week just to have a place to live and something to eat. I got over 101 hours on my last pay check. You know how much money that I brought home after taxes? Like $757. And I really need about $1600/month. So I really wish I had gone to college so I wouldn't have to work these hours. Or if I did have towork the hours, at least I would have something to so for it.

Terry said...

Wonderful, post, Anna, with great warnings and admonitions for the young woman who finds that she must find outside work. This was a great series.

tales_from_the_crib said...

thank yous for this thoughtful series.

Anonymous said...

Anna: are you basically promoting an all-male workforce? Male doctors for everything a woman goes through? Males giving mammograms? Males giving sponge baths to disabled, nursing-home female residents? Because....it takes schooling for the fact that when I had my babies, there was the female nurses and doctors I could ask my most embarrassing questions to. For that comfort, I am so grateful. Is it not possible for a female to believe God call her to the medical front? I'd like your thoughts on this, seriously. Thank you.

deb said...

I think that the idea to attend college close to home is a good compromise for many women. If you have some sort of emergency in which you are suddenly responsible for bringing in income-a death of your husband or parents-then you will have skills to fall back on.

Anonymous said...

I might add to your post that not all of us working women are in the rat race, some of us are in helping professions, where there is no corporate ladder and some of us still remain homebodies, coming home to cook and then curl up with a good book.

College is only corrupting if you let it. If you want it to be a place of Christian ministry, then it is that!!

Sue said...

Anna:

I think you make some good points, but the idea of "how do you keep 'em down on the farm now that they've seen gay Paree"; that is, a young woman works full-time in a professional or technical field that she enjoys will never return home again sells women short, IMHO. I don't think earning a nice paycheck while single and desiring to be a SAHW/SAHM if the Lord brings the right man into your life are mutually exclusive. Instead of buying a new car, stylish clothes, taking nice vacations, etc., someone in this situation could look at her salary/wages to contribute to her family's expenses, but more importantly help to make her dream a reality by saving as much money as she can while she is single. How could it not help her future family if she brings a nice nest with her when she marries?

Just wanted to give another perspective,

Sue

Kelly said...

Wow, Anna - I really enjoy your thoughtful, prayer-based writing. This has been a really neat series to keep up with. :o)

As for the college thing, I agree...and disagree. I am a former Kindergarten teacher, which would've been impossible for me to do if I hadn't earned a college degree. However, do I want my own children to attend public school? Most likely, no. Maybe would there have been opportunities for me to teach homeschooling with my natural teaching abilities and what I could learn through non-college related studies instead of me attending college and becoming a private school Kdg teacher? Probably, yes...kinda sad that young women aren't surrounded by lots of godly people and Christ-like environments that would provide those types of opportunities. So often we pursue college degrees in order to serve for Christ out in the world, which is what I did, but there are also ways to do His will and spread the Good News without going to a university. Prayerful consideration, patient waiting and harvesting the right kind of life for oneself would open up many more of those type of doors.

So, my point in that long schpeil, LOL, was that I think college is neither good nor bad for the young Christian lady. God's calling is most important. I know that he called me to go to Penn State and get my degree to teach, because my focus was urban, impoverished education. I taught very less fortunate students and had the opportunity to make a difference. I could've done that in other ways, which didn't involve me attaining at degree, but it wouldn't have been with *those* same children...and they were worth it all.

So, having your heart set on Christ is the best guard against worldly corruption. Young women certainly shouldn't feel that they must be forced to receive university education nor should ones who prayerfully feel that it's God's direction for their lives compromise that in order to have a future as a keeper of the home. Each season of our life is different but all are connected by the guidance of Christ. The teacher, nurse or artist of today will be the wife, mother or grandmother of tomorrow.

Great post, Anna! I look forward to more! :o)

P.S. And Merry Christmas, lady-o!

Anonymous said...

Another benefit is that any future children will actually be raised by an at home mother . . . instead of an uncaring childcare environment - this I wholeheartedly approve of.

But what happens if a woman never gets married? Then she is forced to eventually work full time to provide herself housing, food, bills etc, and if college was never attended, could be in poverty in an uneducated career. What happens to women who want to be home carers for a family, who may never meet the right guy, and then age into their late 30's? In Australia, there is a men shortage, and many many women in their late 30's and early 40's who were desperate for a family, but it just never happened for them. Even in our churches.

Sincerley
Cristina

Mrs.B said...

Excessive purchases will develop your appetite for more unnecessary trinkets, and next thing you know, you're working crazy hours in order to be able to afford all that. Before you notice, your beautiful vision of a simple, home-focused life is buried under a pile of enormous bills.

This so true! Once the appetite for things is developed it's something you will struggle with all of your life.

Very wise advice.

And your last paragraph was wonderful!

Blessings,
~Mrs.B

Mimi said...

It is a wonderful thought if you can make it work for you...
sometimes if a woman lives alone or has no husband or family to help with the finances... she will find herself in a situation where she is her sole support and that is when she needs the education in order to obtain work that pays enough to support herself and possibly children...
I really like your idea of living at home while attending higher education classes...because when you live at home you do not become so involved in all the extra curricular activities..
good post!!

Persuaded said...

Anna, this has been a marvelous series. I have a few thoughts to share, but I must dash at the moment. I *hope* to come back later! I hope you have a wonderful day..I am praying for you sweetheart:-)

tom said...

Hi Anna:

I for one thank you for this blog. It is so comforting to know some ladies still feel family, friends and nurturing is most important. My wife and I have two teenage boys that want to head a household and provide for a family. However, finding young ladies that wish to provide a nurturing loving household is really very difficult to find. Most young ladies I talk to don't even consider that a possibility. So, praise all the parents out their that are teaching their children to either lead and provide or help and nurture. I know my boys and I are all looking out for the young ladies that cherish that also.
Regards, Tom

singlemomforgod said...

Anna,

I love this post and I agree. I don't believe that you are promoting an all male workforce because there are things that women can offer. I have two degrees- a BA, and MA and until recently when God led me to withdraw I was working on my second MA. Why because I was caught up in the dream that I have to have all of this to provide for my children. When I asked my children what they wanted they said more family time!!! Kids don't care about all of those trinkets, or how many rooms are in a house, or what kind of car does mommy drive- They only care if you breed that stuff into thier spongy minds. I work and I hate it. I am very intellegent,but I am so sick of maneuvering in a man's world. There are times when I have to put my job before my kids especially when they are sick. I can't miss too many days or I will loose my job. Well as soon as the Lord blesses me to marry I am comming home! I wrote a post that I would like for you to check out. Corporate America stinks at times- The higher you climb, the smaller those things at the bottom of the ladder become, you can't climb too high with too much weight or you will loose your balence- that is naturally and literally! Anyhoo here is the post. http://singlegodlymom.blogspot.com/2007/12/interesting-article-on-perception-of.html

Rebekah S. said...

Amen! That home-focused daughter's works may not be praised by her culture, family, etc. but they will be praised by God for her obedience to Him! And that is the most important One to please anyway!

If for some reason a daughter is absolutely positively forced to go to college and/or to get a job, she must be oh so careful! "Do not be deceived: Bad company corrupts good morals." This verse is so true! I've known it to be a fact in my own heart and life. Most of the men and women that that daughter will come into contact with will be undogly, and most of the women will be highly career minded and will believe and buy into the destructive lies of feminism. So that daughter must be so careful, as you said, to guard her heart and her convictions!

If a young lady is struggling because her parents feel that she must go out and get a job, or that she must go away to college, then the best and most powerful thing she can do is to pray for them! Pray that God will change their hearts in this area.

Rebekah S. said...

Another thing about college, is that it usually leaves you with all sorts of debt-from student loans, etc. First of all, the Scriptures command us to be good stewards of the money God has loaned to us and to not go into debt. It's so horrible to have huge student loans from college to pay back because when you are a newlywed, you are starting out your married life together will all sorts of debt! It just goes to show you that God's way really is always the best way! :)

Rebekah S. said...

Anonymous,

It is the Christian woman's responsibility to obey Christ's command to be a homemaker(Titus 2:4-5, 1 Timothy 5:14, etc.). Because I believe this doesn't mean I'm promoting a men-only workforce. Because the fact is, not all women out there(not all people, in general) are Christians, and those women who aren't Christians can't be expected to obey Christ's commands, and to live in accordance with God's Word. So, no, we're not necessarily promoting a man-only workforce. But we are promoting the truth that all *Christian* women need to be obeying our Lord's command of being a keeper at home. Also, God will never call one of His children to disobey His commands(i.e. call her to go out into the workforce when He has already commanded in Scripture that she be a homemaker). That, as I've said before, goes against His very nature! He abhors sin of any kind, and so would not, in any case, call one of His children to sin. A lot of people try to say that if you work outside the home, then you can have an amazing mission field that you wouldn't ordinarily have if you just stayed at home. But you know what happens when we believe this? The Word of the Lord is being blasphemed because of us and our unwillingness to unquestioningly obey.(Titus 2:5).

Have a blessed day,
Rebekah


Hi, Sue!! It is Biblically the man's responsibility alone to provide for his family. That responsibility was never given to women. However, if a young lady would like to make some money to save in order to bless her future husband and future children, then that's great! And that's not prohibited in Scripture anywhere. For instance, the Proverbs 31 woman did work in order to help out her household's finances. But note this: she did so in the home. Not outside of it. Many people try to point to the Prov. 31 woman and try to say that she was a careerwoman. It is clear, in the context, that this isn't true. And how else do we know it's not true? Because this woman is held up in Scripture as an example for all of us to emulate. And that would not be the case if she was disobeying her Lord's commands by the way she lived her life! It's fine to make/save some money for your future household, but we must ensure that we do so Biblically-in the home. As Anna shared in one of her previous posts, there are many numerous ways that a woman can earn money from home.

Blessings to you in Christ,
Rebekah