Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Dedicated Daughters: Q&A

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.


Julie's Jewels said...

Great answers!! I love how you handled yourself in giving these views...which I see as God's views. You are such a blessing!!

Terry said...

The "illusion" of independence: what a powerful insight, Anna. Thanks for this series. You are indeed a wise and thoughtful young woman. Blessings to you!

PamelaK said...

Wonderful post, Anna! I can only echo Julie and Terry.

Rebekah S. said...

Oh, Anna, don't thank us! :) We should be the ones thanking you! You and your blog have been a source of never-ending encouragement and strength to us! What a rich blessing from the Lord it has been to "meet" such a likeminded, feminine lady.

Also, I do the same thing! To people who have opposing beliefs I always quote Scripture and allow it to speak for itself. It's sharper than any two-edged sword. God's Word is the most powerful battle weapon we have!

Thank you so so much for this series! It has truly been a blessing!

Many blessings,

Mrs. G said...

Your posts are so encouraging, Anna. I always enjoy reading them. They are especially encouraging because you weren't raised in the "ideal" environment for stay-at-home daughters. You are wise beyond your years.

Adlyn said...

"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" ... me too sister... me too.


Adlyn said...

oh and by the way are you going to write another dedicated daughters series Q&A anytime soon Anna?


Anna S said...

Adlyn, there will be more Q&A soon, but not specifically about this.

USAincognito said...

Though we disagree on some of these issues, I do respect the fact that you do not waver from what you believe in. You are a strong woman and I wish you all the best in your endeavor of becoming the woman you believe you are to be. :)

Anonymous said...

A nice option for young ladies who must leave home is to find an older lady who needs a live-in companion. These situations are often room and board in exchange for help with housekeeping, etc, and are an excellent way for young ladies to learn about homekeeping while avoiding the party lifestyle. My first choice would be a grandmother or other relative and my second would be an older lady found through church, but I do see these positions advertised in the paper fairly frequently as well.

Anonymous said...

This post has been very helpful! Thank you so much!

Shannon said...

First I would like to say I enjoy your postings-even when I dont agree. Second-I wonder how women who do not seek a college education or training beyond high school survive without a husband. Meaning if a woman were to marry without marketable skills and then her husband were to die, or leave her or become disabled-how do women survive? In the past a family could survive on an income made by a person with no education or training-but those situations are very rare today. I'm just curious your beliefs on that issue. Thank you!!

Miss Julianne said...

I am an unmarried woman who lives at home and tries to live the traditional female life as much as possible. I do have a job that keeps me very busy, but I know that this is where God has put me for now.

My job is pretty amazing, a job that I never dreamed that I could have, a job that usually is gotten by ambition. Yet I am not ambitious, nor is my heart in the career world.

I am so thankful for where God has put me. However, I really pray for the opportunity to be married and stay at home! I have a feeling that God would like to see that I will be faithful in this job before He lets me switch my life over. :)

Anyway, my point is this: from the perspective of a young, unmarried woman with a pretty neat career, I must say that I wholeheartedly support the idea that a woman is NOT wasted in the home, that it does NOT mean that she is incapable of doing anything else! When I have free time, I "study" for the task of being a homemaker, by reading books, practicing recipes, re-organizing, etc. There truly is nothing lowly about a woman's calling!

Anonymous said...

Just to encourage ARE doing the right thing and will make a wonderful, Godly wife to a man someday.


Julia said...

I have a question about your sewing. Did somebody teach you that or did you learn on your own? I love the idea of learning to do that sort of thing, but the whole task seems so overwhelming to me. I'm 28 years old and this year I just learned to sew ona button. My skill level is below beginner!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Mrs G, you are wise beyond your years. Oh that I would have had your common sense when I was your age. :o)

Each of your posts, even the ones on your current handiwork projects, make one think - deeply.

Thank YOU.

Brenda said...

Anna, how did you come to these beliefs? I agree with your answers, by the way, I just find it amazing that you stick to these so strongly when you seem to know no one else with the same convictions and face discouragement about them. Coming from where you come from--how did you begin changing your mind about how your life would go?
Because in my little world, this concept of home focused daughters is non-existent.

Anna S said...

Julia, I was taught by my grandmother. :)

Brenda, I believe this merits a separate post... as time allows. :)

Rose said...

So now you will have people asking why you are wasting your time preparing to be "just" a wife and "just" a mother....and before you know it, people will be asking your secret to staying married for so long, having a happy husband, and a welcoming home.

Natasha Victoria said...


I love your blog and the entire dedicated daughters series.

I was wondering, do you have any advice on how to keep your beliefs on wanting to be a stay at home mother, a wife, etc. while in college?

I am still in high school, but I attend college part time, taking different classes that my parents aren't able to teach me. This semester I've found myself subconciously starting to lean more to a career, though in the last few days my heart has graciously been turned by the Lord back to what I truly believe.

In Christ,
Natasha Victoria.

LisaM said...

I was just visiting with a friend today who grew up in Christian Nigeria, where, she told me, a Christian man wants to marry a *respectable* young woman who lives at home with her parents. The only exception is if for some reason the young woman has to move to the city for work, but for the most part, that choice is rarely heard of. They also follow a Nigerian traditional wedding ceremony the day before the Western style church building wedding, where the groom's family all come to the bride's family's house and the parents of each take turns praying for blessings on the young couple as they kneel before them. My friend told me what a great feeling that is to have all your family around praying for your marriage, and these ceremonies only happen for respectable girls who stayed at home to learn how wonderful it is to be God's own lady! We are so "advanced" in the West, aren't we? (asked sarcastically)

Elizabeth said...

A GREAT post! :->

Rebekah S. said...

Wow, lisam! What a great point. So often, what we think of over here in America as "freedom and libertion" is nothing short of communism and imprisonment in other countries! Go figure! When will we Americans begin opening our eyes up to the truth?!