In our day and age, it's not uncommon to hear that a young girl who is concentrating her efforts on preparing to be a good wife, mother and homemaker is narrowing her mind and closing off other possibilities the world can offer. Some argue it's not even sensible to prepare and make plans for marriage until a girl can be sure to a reasonable degree she will be married – say, when she is twenty-something and engaged. Until then… why limit your options?
And indeed, most young women today are being prepared for anything but marriage – they spend years and years giving all their time and energy, and large sums of money as well, to paths which lead them to competitive, time-consuming careers, which are supposed to grant access to power and influence in the future. The role of wife, mother, homemaker, helper, nurturer, a tender, gentle, self-sacrificing and generous giver – that role is forgotten.
Yet the majority of women will still become wives and mothers at some point or another. You just can't close your eyes to this simple and undeniable fact. And when they do get married, it turns out that they know very little about what it means; about a selfless, committed relationship, and childrearing and schooling, about managing a household and supplying their family with healthy, nutritious meals, and a thousand other things which used to be rightfully viewed as crucial to a good home life, but now are sadly mocked and degraded.
Many women, after they marry, are expected to make a sudden switch from career mentality to marriage mentality, from a "me"-mindset to "we"-mindset; is it any wonder that often, it doesn't work – look at our divorce rate; those women feel frustrated, overwhelmed and even deceived – how did it happen that no one told them marriage is a vocation? How come no one told them it requires work, time, energy and commitment? How come they are ripping their hair out, not knowing what they are supposed to do, and how to do it? They spent ten years in university getting their PhD – but have no clue about how to make home a sweet and welcoming place; and when they finally reach a point in their life when they realize nothing can replace a good, dedicated and wholesome home life, they plainly don't know how to proceed. So what are young women supposed to do?
To me, the answer is simple. If a girl or woman feels she is called to marriage, she should prepare for it as her primary, most important vocation, secondary to anything else she might be doing in years when time might allow for other pursuits. How will she know if she is called to marriage? If she doesn't see herself as a lifelong single, if she knows she longs for love, intimacy, family, and children, she is probably called to marriage. Of course no one actually promises her she will be married – as nobody can promise us we will get all our heart's desires – but there is a very good chance she will. And for that, she will need skills that are not taught on college campuses. She should keep that in mind and learn accordingly - it just doesn't make any sense to remain unprepared for this noble work.