As an afterthought to my "Dedicated Daughters" series, I would like to share with you some questions I was recently asked by Katy-Anne, and my answers. I believe they will shed light on some thoughts other ladies might have had as well.
Do you believe that every young woman ought to remain at home until marriage?
I am a strong advocate of young women remaining at home until marriage, even if there are moderate complications and disagreements between the young lady and her family on issues such as faith, the role of women and feminine pursuits. However, I understand that there might be situations when it is healthier for the daughter to move out, in which case I strongly suggest that she should do anything in her power to avoid the typical party-out lifestyle that is so common today, when a young woman lives alone or with roommates.
If a young woman's parents do not wish for her to remain at home, what advice would you give the young lady?
First, I would suggest an open and honest conversation between the daughter and parents. Why do they want her to move out? Is there a specific reason, or is this the cultural conditioning of our generation? What are the expectations of her parents? Do the parents believe that moving out and attending a secular college, and in general being "independent" (I believe it's an illusion – we only choose who or what we want to depend on) is the only way the young woman will grow and develop as a person? Or maybe it's about financial concerns? The young lady could discuss with her parents opportunities of autodidactic learning, earning a degree online, or starting a home business. Sometimes all that is needed is to think outside the box. However, sometimes the daughter is facing parents who are thoroughly convinced by the feminist beliefs the world wants us to buy. If that is the case sometimes the daughter has no choice, and then she has to struggle with finding a godlier lifestyle while not being under her parents' protection.
How do you obey God and honor your mother's wishes at the same time?
I don't give up on what I believe in; however, in my journey towards godly femininity, I often have to make compromises, both because of my mother's wishes and because I never had a protective father on this earth. I would love to have been born into a close-knit, warm, religious, protective, traditional family, and work alongside my parents and siblings in a family business, but since this isn't possible, I must find other venues: getting a college degree and professional training my mother insists on, but living at home at the same time; earning money from home; dedicating most of my free time to sharpening my homemaking skills; the way is there, you just need to look for it.
Is it hard to keep to your convictions when your mother is opposed to them?
I won't say it's easy. It's a constant challenge, finding the balance between being firm and strong in my convictions, and at the same time being soft, loving, respectful and understanding towards loved ones who do not share them. I don't believe in open rebellion of a daughter against her parents, however misled and unbelieving they might be. If your parents want you to go to college and won't take no for an answer, but you are afraid of the corruptive environment there which might be unsuitable for a young lady, I believe it's better to obey your parents, pray for God to guard and protect your heart, and seek positive influences, than be rebellious, harsh and disrespectful.
What should a young lady do in a truly abusive home situation?
In a truly abusive situation, I believe there can be no compromise. The young lady should seek help immediately – from other family members, from the leaders of her community, and yes, also from legal authorities. No woman should tolerate violence, abuse and mistreatment. In the sad case when our earthly parents truly and irrevocably fail, our Heavenly Father will reach out to us and protect us.
What do you say to people that oppose your beliefs about a woman being a keeper at home?
I quote from Scripture. There is no better shield to my beliefs. Sadly, it is often dismissed, and in that case I challenge people to see that the alternative of egalitarianism – which we have experienced in our society in the past decades – brought atrocious consequences and has been destructive to our faith, families and communities.
Do you ever get discouraged being a stay at home daughter?
I'm told all the time it's foolish and "a waste" to put my focus on the home, as a daughter today, and in preparation for a future marriage. I'm told I can be more ambitious, competitive, and successful – in the world's terms. I won't tell you I live in a rosy world where I'm never frustrated or discouraged. But I find my strength through God, and now I also have the blessing of being supported and encouraged by likeminded ladies; I found wonderful friendships that has been such a source of joy and inspiration to me. So I would like to take this opportunity to say once more: thank you.