Why I’m Not Teaching My Children to Follow Their Dreams

“What if your daughter wanted to be an interior designer? Go to school and become a professional? I’m only asking what if. Would you push her to stay at home or to follow her dreams?”

I was asked this question during a conversation about a woman’s calling to be a “keeper at home.”

I could write a book about all the ways a woman is free to “be all she can be” and still remain in the realm of helpmeet and keeper at home, about the glories of being freed from the slavery of someone else’s clock and schedule and agenda.

But before all of that, we must be grounded in the basic teaching of Scripture about the call of a Christian, which directly opposes the teaching of feminism.

Notice in the comment above…”follow her dreams?”

I can not find anything in Scripture that encourages us to “follow our dreams.” In fact, quite the contrary. My Bible says to “deny yourself and follow Me.” Oprah Winfrey says to “follow your dreams.”

Fundamental to all that we teach our children should be a denying of self and a “seeking first the kingdom of God.” Dying to live, seeking what is eternal, others before ourselves–that is the theme that weaves true Christianity. Have you read the story of Christians who lived in the catacombs? Such sacrificial living is so foreign to us we can’t even imagine it. The giving up, not only of “all our dreams”, but even the very security of life and the simple joys of daily sunshine pushed these Christians to live in unthinkable conditions. They understood “losing your life to save it.”

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Now the irony is that if we desire obedience above all else, He will give us the desires of our heart. But obedience is paramount; not following my dreams.

(As an aside, since coming home to work full time for my family, my “dream” of becoming a writer has become a reality in ways I never could have planned on my own. I know He cares about our loves and gifts.)

This is why man’s wisdom is so dangerous. It is most often driven by flesh–my dreams, my goals, my ambitions, my desires. Obedience requires faith to do what I cannot understand; to believe what may not make sense.

So, will I “push my daughter to stay home”? No, nor will I push her to follow her dreams. I’ll push my daughter to seek first the Kingdom through which she will find the desires of her heart.

“For the kingdom to shine we must not seek to do great things but seek to die great deaths. We could be heroes, if just for one day.R.C. Sproul, Jr.

 

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185 Responses to “Why I’m Not Teaching My Children to Follow Their Dreams”

  1. Robin says:

    Thank you for this! You have summed it up and I will be remembering “Am I teaching my children to follow their dreams? No; I’m teaching them to follow Christ, in whom all their dreams will be fulfilled.” I so needed this today as I am again pondering (in an effort not to worry LOL) where and how (and what to say to others when they ask! mine are the oldest grandkids in the family and the family is asking those next questions, i.e. driving, first jobs, college, traditional curriculums)to focus my teens on the Lord and His plans for them as the grow into adulthood.

    My daughter and I will be joining you for Living a Legacy and I can’t wait to be encouraged in the Lord!!
    Thank you!
    Robin C.

  2. Leslie from VA says:

    Thank you, Kelly. This is an excellent post for so many reasons. My favorite statement that you shared was “Obedience requires faith to do what I cannot understand;to believe what may not make sense.”

  3. Kristin says:

    Love it! Soooooo true! Amen!

  4. LaughingLady says:

    BEAUTIFUL post! So well written and words so desperately needed in our day. Thank you for your wise, godly counsel and encouragement as we continue to “swim upstream.”

  5. Kelly, This is one of the best answers to that question I’ve ever read. So, so true.

  6. Ashley says:

    I just love. your. blog.
    You answered this question in such a truthful, loving and matter of fact manner. It is just this kind of tone of speaking/writing that speaks to me and I’m sure many others.
    Thank you for your constant encouragement!

  7. Rachel says:

    Thank you So much for your great wisdom. Such a wise and beautiful answer to worldly thinking. Today I believe many people confuse “The American Dream” with Christianity. People fear that following Christ will lead them down a road they don’t like. But I have never read or heard about anyone regretting following Christ and where He lead. Thank you again.

  8. Ruth Adams says:

    People always ask children, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” That seems like the WRONG question. We should be asking them, “How do you think the Lord wants to use you to further His kingdom?” Thanks for a great post!

    • Sue M. says:

      Ruth,

      Interestingly, our rector’s sermon during our Good Friday sermon was being willing to sell out for Jesus and realize that only He had control over our lives. In that context, hr said that two things he never wanted children (including his own son) to hear were:

      1) “What do you want to do when you grow up?” He said the far better question was “What is God telling you to to do when you grow up?”*

      2) “You can be anything you want to be.” After all, how many prima ballerinas with major ballet companies can there be? How many boys playing high school football will receive an athletic scholarship for college, much make the pros? If mom and dad pushes their child who is not cut out for a 4-year college/university and they send him or her anyway, this young man or woman will be miserable until they find what God reveals what he or she is best suited for.
      ——————————————
      *I am paraphrasing his words here. He is certainly not against a young woman choosing to be a SAWF or SAWM but in general, he would encourage young women to prepare for a career outside the home that matches God’s will for life even if she chooses to step outside marketplace after she has children. Just thought I should mention this so you will understand where he was coming from.

      • Ehartsay says:

        “If mom and dad pushes their child who is not cut out for a 4-year college/university and they send him or her anyway, this young man or woman will be miserable until they find what God reveals what he or she is best suited for.”

        What about the child who IS cut out for that 4 year education, for that specialist career? Do you not think that they would be equally miserable to be pushed AWAY from that by parents who have decided that their genitals predetermine their calling?

  9. Mrs. Santos says:

    Praise the Lord! This is so good too for sibling relationships.

  10. Mrs. Mac says:

    Just beautiful~ 🙂

  11. Robyn says:

    “If anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think on these things”.

    Kelly, you have given me (us) most excellent and praiseworthy thoughts to consider.

    THANK YOU! I have to agree with one of the commenters—one of the best answers to “THE” question of being a keeper at home I’ve ever read as well…..

    • Word Warrior says:

      Thank you, Robyn, for those words of encouragement. I just keep going back to the Scripture–that “outdated, antiquated book”, by our culture’s standards, and realizing that if we don’t camp out there, read it for what it means, then we veer toward the culture’s ideas, even if we call ourselves Christians. It’s all Him.

  12. mamaolive says:

    what if your husband is the greatest enslaver to “clock, schedule and agenda”? And forbids anyone from following anything but himself?

    • Lisa M says:

      mamaolive – you honor his decision as the head of your home and you pray fervently for him. Try to engage in a discussion that is very open and loving so you may see where he is coming from. Maybe there is tradition there or fear but then you will know and be able to take those thing to the Lord in prayer. Also remember we have to be the change that we want to see in others. Ask the Lord to show you how you can grow in all this too. Trust the Lord to protect your family in this time. Blessing to you 🙂

    • Kara says:

      Regarding a husband being an enslaver, you obey Scripture and follow God by following your husband. You may pray that God would change the heart of your husband, but I don’t recommend it unless you have spent lots of time asking God to change YOUR heart to the point that you are willing to deny your wants, needs, desires…everything…to follow…God and your husband. That is the heart of being a Christian wife and mother. The point the author was making was not being enslaved to another man while neglecting to meet the needs and priorities that God has given your husband for your family. One is a choice, the other is a Biblical command. The heart of the discussion here is who’s will is going to prevail. Are we going to serve others or ourselves first?

      • Cathy says:

        Kara, I find it curious that you don’t “recommend” that mamaolive pray that God changes her husband’s heart–until she has prayed that God changes hers (I don’t think I’m taking you out of context by not reflecting the entire sentence). There is nothing in Scripture that precludes us from praying that way. If you read David’s prayers in the Psalms, he is raw when He asks God to to destroy his enemies, and makes sweeping statements about what he wants done to the wicked. Of course, he always comes full circle by the end of the Psalm, and you find him praising and trusting God. To me, your comment sounds strident. Why not encourage mamaolive to pray, and pray for her, as well?

        The irony is that often, God changes our hearts as we pray…merely by virtue of Him opening our hearts and eyes to our own issues. I can testify to the fact that God has helped me love a couple of people, who, to my shame, I didn’t like, and my heart did a 180.

        Mamaolive, pray as you want (why mince words when He knows your heart, anyway?). Trust the Lord to see your heart, and in His great mercy and grace, either change the situation, and/or give you the grace to bear up under it.

        • Neshama says:

          I have struggled so much with this vary topic of following my husband. Unfortunately, I allowed myself and my children to be severely emotionally abused as a result of believing that above all else I am to follow my husband. There are so many christian women in abusive relationships as a result of this teaching. There has to be a point where we look to the women around us and not just suggest that you follow your husband without question. God has not put women here to be abused. It’s quite clear in the church that physical abuse is not acceptable. However, how much must a woman live through along with her children when the abuse is emotional? Please don’t suggest that she must just take whatever he dishes out. I hid it all because I wanted to respect him. We must stand up for what is good and this may mean separating ourselves from a situation rather than blindly following a road that leads to death.

          • Word Warrior says:

            I would agree with you that there can be a time when a woman needs to leave an abusive husband. The issue is defining abuse. Mamaolive hasn’t indicated abuse here, just a possibly-difficult situation. Separation is an option for women in truly abusive situations and I would never tell a woman she must stay “no matter what”. Given that, I would offer a caveat. As I mentioned the Christians in the catacombs, saints have been called to very, very hard things since time began. I think we just have to be discerning and sure to have clear, biblical direction in situations like these. They are complicated and no one can give a pat answer on a blog (nor would I try to)…I’m so sorry for the trials you have endured. I’m just trying to take a look at all angles for those reading, not necessarily speaking to you here.

            • Ashley says:

              A man who loves God and Jesus would NOT abuse his wife! Of course a woman shouldn’t stay in an abusive relationship, but if she leaves him she is NOT to remarry! Only someone who is being cheated on is allowed to divorce…that is what Jesus said! Prayer is very powerful, I would pray and pray and pray if I was in that situation! The only unforgivable sin is blaspheming the Holy Ghost. I’m not saying you can sin and do whatever you want, but God is VERY forgiving! A woman is meat to be a helpmeet, and a keeper of the home. God willing I will always be want he wants me to be!

              • Jennifer says:

                I’m sorry Ashley, you’re incorrect. Abandonment is also grounds for complete divorce, and abuse is very much abandonment.

                • I’d like to see your scriptural evidence for that, Jennifer.

                  • Jennifer says:

                    You mean you missed Paul’s speech about letting an abandoning spouse go, because you can’t know if you’d save them? I’m sorry you think bruises and pounding are not reasons for complete severing.

                    • Jennifer says:

                      Sorry, I shouldn’t have sounded accusatory. But yes, I strongly believe Paul’s words allowed severance for a beaten spouse.

    • Lisa says:

      Mamaolive, I want you to know that I can totally empathize with your feelings here. I truly LOVED this article and I agree with all the statements, but sometimes we have husbands that do not make it possible to live the womanhood we desire. I think – no offense intended to anyone on this site – that sometimes statements are made by women who take for granted that all husbands are as good as the ones they have been blessed with.

      Though it is unrelated to this post, I would like to give you an example. I was a member of a Titus II group. I adored and admired these ladies, but during one of our meetings one of them made a disparaging remark about women who try to control the purse strings rather than let their husbands be the head of household in financial matters. She said, “if they would just trust their husbands they would realize that they will make good decisions. It’s not like they would let their family go homeless.” She said this not realizing, of course, that my husband HAD, in fact, caused us to lose our house because of his reckless spending on “toys”.

      This is a long-winded way of saying that I don’t have any answers – the line between letting our husbands lead and yet resisting harmful leadership is a mystery to me – but I know where you are coming from. I will pray for you.

    • Word Warrior says:

      mamaolive,

      I can’t offer advice from personal experience and I realize that many women do not have the sweet benefit of being married to a gentle, compassionate man. I am sorry that you feel enslaved. The only thing I have to offer is the wisdom found in Scripture about being married to a “hard” man:

      “that they may be won when they see your respectful and pure conduct…”

      And hard as it is, yes, I believe Christians are called to “bear up” under many circumstances, sometimes very hard. I would imagine this might fall under the admonition to “rejoice and be exceeding glad when you endure hardship for my sake”, even though that seems completely impossible as we walk through it. Praying for you…

    • abba12 says:

      I can’t say I’m experienced on the topic, and you need to pray, a lot, to see where God is leading you. Trust that little voice inside you. But I am wary of women submitting to sin in marriage in the name of submitting to your husband in all things.

      I think the biggest thing is, do you believe his actions are sinful, or just not what you would like? I think a woman always has the right to speak up and give an opinion and you need to let him know how you feel, but if he is not acting sinfully we need to accept the decision after expressing our view. An example of this is my husband and I spending a long time debating whether baptism should happen at birth or at an age of understanding for our children. He listened to my point of view, and then I respected his decision as I do not believe this is a sinful situation but rather one of preference.

      However, if his actions are sinful, I do not believe we are ever bound to submit to sin. A man is called to love his wife, if he is being unloving that is sinful, that includes not caring about your feelings or hardships or you as a person. Again, it takes wisdom to look at the difference between a one off incident, such as in an argument or a period of severe stress, where you should see we are all fallen humans and extend grace, submitting anyway, and a habitual sin of not loving or caring for you, where he is rational and choosing those actions in his daily life without remorse.

      I don’t know your situation, so I can’t make a judgment, but abuse, including emotional abuse, is sinful, and if he is habitually choosing to commit that sin, you have every right to follow the proper ‘chain’ so to speak to deal with that, which, depending on the situation, usually means confronting him, and if he does not listen, confronting with your pastor or other upstanding support, and if he still does not listen, consider further actions such as police, seperation, large scale church involvment etc.

      But, if his actions are not sinful, I know it’s a dificult situation and not to your preference, but that is part of the hardship of life in a fallen world and the challenge of two becomming one in marriage, pray and give your opinion gently, and do your best to manage and accept it.

  13. Ann says:

    Kelly,
    It would be so nice to find some local women who believe this. I’m so lonely for fellowship and those who see the high calling of motherhood and being a keeper at home and then training our girls to be keepers at home. I have a few friends who are home and homeschooling, but they really seem to aim for college for their girls. To try to find a FIC, reformed church where this is played out it pretty impossible in our area. I pray that the Lord would bring a plant to our part of SW Florida!
    Ann

  14. While I think your answer is biblical and correct and encouraging, I can’t help but wonder if the question wasn’t really answered. I think the intent of the question (I can only guess since I didn’t write it) is what you would do if a daughter wanted to do something other than (or in addition to) being a wife and mother? What if she had a heart/dream to be a nurse? Or a bookkeeper? Or a public school teacher?

    Would there be a scenario in which you’d encourage that (by words or actions) and what might that look like?

    • Michelle says:

      Or let me change the question…what if instead of a homemaker your daughter desired to be a physician or nurse to be involved with Christian missions in third world countries? Can we really say she is not denying self to serve and follow Christ?

      I believe Kelly’s ending summed it up well…we shouldn’t follow our dreams, but Christ. I just believe God can have different paths for some women. I have followed the patriarchy movement for 2 years more and am beginning to see holes in the doctrine with these specific issues. My husband and I have even recently discussed the need for our daughters to go to college simply because the laws may very likely change and require it by the time they are homeschooling mothers.

      • Keri says:

        There are HUGE holes in the patriarch movement!! It is cultish!!Do not be afraid of your daughters getting some college training.

      • Word Warrior says:

        Michelle–“My husband and I have even recently discussed the need for our daughters to go to college simply because the laws may very likely change and require it by the time they are homeschooling mothers.”

        We have had this discussion too. Of course, we don’t know anything about what laws will require, but keep in mind that there are some incredible opportunities to avoid the exorbitant costs of traditional college (including more than just financial costs) and still pursue a higher education, whatever your decision for doing so.

        • Michelle says:

          Kelly, thank you for your words on college. We are very well aware of the wisdom needed in making decisions of higher education.

          I’m more interested, however, in your response to my initial question, “…what if instead of a homemaker your daughter desired to be a physician or nurse to be involved with Christian missions in third world countries? Can we really say she is not denying self to serve and follow Christ?”

          Do you believe it is biblical that the only role for a woman is in the home? Has culture changed what a biblical worldview should look like as compared to 2000 years ago? (Just so you know I’m not a “feminist,” I am a very reformed, Christian conservative, a stay at home mother, expecting number 4 with currently the other three being under four, and preparing to homeschool because I see the ungodliness of the public schools.) That being said, what I have been seeing on ocassion on blogs such as yours, (which I follow for some of the godly wisdom from older mothers) is that there is no ministry to the younger women who have no children, who have no marriage…other than to wait for the man God has planned to give them. I believe it is very evident that God waits considerable amounts of time and sometimes forever. I expect in this day it will be especially hard for my daughters to find godly husbands.

          I completely agree with denying self and losing one’s life to gain it. what you are saying is 100% biblical. What I’m not sure about is this…”Now the irony is that if we desire obedience above all else, He will give us the desires of our heart,. But obedience is paramount; not following my dreams..

          Doesn’t this teach works based faith? Is obedience really what we should desire above all else? I don’t know about you but first of all I desire God above all else, and then I desire His grace to actually be sanctified. So what is the girl in the scenario being obedient to? (I ask to change the scenario, because interior design? Really? i.e., my changed question) What if she believes she has another godly calling…how would you encourage her then?

          • Word Warrior says:

            Michelle,

            It may be the way your question is proposed, but you asked “instead of a homemaker”…

            It’s difficult to answer a hypothetical question but but for us, it’s a simple “formula” at this point: If the Lord calls my daughters to marriage (which is statistically likely) their priorities are the full time job of caring for home AND the needs that arise around them (i.e. neighbors, hospitality, etc.) I think this job is all by itself HUGE, time-consuming and fulfilling of the biblical role of womanhood.

            Note that in the NT, a widow was not to be “taken into number” (considered for being cared for by the church) unless she had “brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work.” 1 Timothy 5:10

            In addition to Titus 2, this gives a really clear picture of the great NEED for women to tend the multiple cares around them, beginning with their own families.

            Even if they are not called to marriage, I think our society’s gaping hole is the crucial role of women caring for the broken and afflicted in all sorts of realms.

            I don’t think there’s a black and white “it’s never OK to do such and such…” And I think we ask the wrong question when we approach it from that end.

            Where is the starting place? What DOES Scripture say? Is my ultimate aim to “crucify the flesh, die daily and wash feet”? Am I patterning my life after that of my Savior? Am I doing what’s in front of me to the glory of God?

            To “desire obedience” is not “works-based faith”. What is written, “If you love Me, you will obey my commands”. One is not a true Christian unless he seeks to obey..that is what the Bible says.

            As it relates to my post? I think what I’ve already discussed sums up “what is to be obeyed”.

            I don’t know if that answer satisfies, but I tried 😉

            If I had to throw out a “nutshell” thought on this topic it’s this: there is a huge hole in the body of Christ that I believe women were meant to fill but aren’t available to fill because of a pull to “pursue their dreams”. It’s a slippery slope that I think we need to approach very discerningly.

            • Sue M. says:

              There are probably many practicalities involved with having a daughter living at home, but one that just came to mind is health insurance. Under recent changes to federal law, as I understand it unmarried children can remain on their parent’s health insurance until they are 26 years old. What does a stay-at-home daughter who is still living at home at age 27 or later but doesn’t work at a position outside the home that provides her health insurance do for her health insurance?

              • Tiffany says:

                You do not have to work outside the home to get health insurance…that is just to get group insurance. Most self employed people do not have group insurance, but instead have private insurance. She could get one of these policies (a HDHP might be the way to go). She could “work” for her family (cook, clean, take care of siblings) in order for her parents to cover the cost of the insurance plan.

              • Keri says:

                In regards to health insurance..there are also some really good Christian plans that single people can get on individually.The thought of an older daughter just living at home only taking care of her siblings and cooking for her family so her parents can pay for her health insurance makes me cringe…

  15. Stacey says:

    love it. I was this last week at a Bible study at our church. No one agreed with me. I started to doubt my convictions, and thinking maybe I was just lazy or something. Thank you for this conformation.

  16. Sara says:

    I think the question was answered :o) I think what she’s saying is God’s Word calls women to be keeper’s at home, and therefore should be what is encouraged in our daughters. If there is a desire for another profession in our daughter’s lives, then they need to be redirected to what His word says. In my own experience, I have an almost 10 year old daughter, who has said she wants to be a veterinarian, instead of diminishing her dreams, I point her back to God’s word, and tell her that as a mother, we wear many hats, and have the oppurtunity to pursue many things even as a keeper at home. I’m able to write, create clothes, decorate my home, be a vet to our animals, be a gardener, and so much more. As she said, if we are obedient, God will give us the desires of our heart, and as a workaholic mom turned keeper at home, I’ve found that to be true many times over.

    Blessings,
    Sara

    • While I totally see the command in Scripture for women to be the Keepers of their home, I don’t see that command as exclusive of other opportunities. Especially for all of your life. I’m 32 now and just about to have my first child any day now. I couldn’t even begin to fill all my time with just keeping my house. When my child is born, I can see that. But what about when they are grown and gone? Can I volunteer somewhere? Can I work at a homeless shelter? Does that violate my “keeping of my home”?

      I get the wisdom of not pursuing vet school and an expensive education. To me, that isn’t a “keeping of the home” issue as much as a wisdom one. Why spend all that money for no return? Why spend all that time for no long term gain?

      I studied Computer Science, graduated with no debt and have been in the workforce. I have loved my time here and I think God has used it fruitfully. I don’t think I’m wrong for doing so. I didn’t know I’d be almost 30 before I got married, so I’d like to think I spent my time wisely. Maybe I didn’t though.

      But I gotta imagine that there are things that God would want us to do that don’t fall into the realms of “keeping our homes”. They also aren’t instead of, but are in addition to. Many women I know volunteer at church or work in their husband’s businesses or at ministries or spend their days teaching at public school since they have no children at home. Are they wrong? I don’t think they are.

      • Word Warrior says:

        Jayme,

        “Can I volunteer somewhere? Can I work at a homeless shelter? Does that violate my “keeping of my home”?” Absolutely not! (Did you see my reply to Keri?) The virtuous woman “reached her hand” to the needy when she was in a season of life that allowed that. She pursued various business opportunities, etc. I think we miss this whole thing because we get sidetracked on the semantics/logistics.

        I think the heart of it is, “am I available to serve, am I obeying what I know from Scripture, am I willing to do what’s in front of me”, or am I only looking at how “my dreams” can be fulfilled? Being a “keeper” means a lot of things and includes a lot of tasks. In fact, with a heart bent toward service, a woman will likely have to decide what to say “no” to, as opposed to finding something to fill her day.

        The needs are great and many around us.

      • Keri says:

        Jayme,

        I think I’m going to show your post to my daughter..lol.How encouraging and congratulations on getting ready to have that Baby! Blessings to you!!

        • Tamara says:

          How do you know that God doesn’t want her to be a vet? It is awfully presumptuous and unbiblical for you to assume that ALL women are called to be mothers/homemakers. I mean, seriously, can you back it up Scripturally? Paul praised the unmarried woman who could serve God with all her heart.

          We have an amazing single missionary vet from our church in a closed country. She is reaching the unsaved for Christ so I doubt you could say she isn’t serving Him. I train my children up in the way they should go – so that they can serve Christ with the gifts and callings He has put in them. I do not put restricting expectations on them, based on their genders.

          I work outside the home on Saturdays. I am a nurse and I minister Christ’s love to the sick. I also homeschool our kids. I would be forsaking the call He has given me, and grieving the Spirit if I did not obey His call on my life to minister as a nurse. He didn’t make me fascinated with medicine and filled with mercy for the suffering so I could be sweet to my kids when they are ill (though that has been a benefit.) He wants me on the frontlines, sharing His love with patients who are ill (many of whom will be dying very soon).

          I would strongly encourage you to encourage your daughter to pursue being a vet. Let her volunteer at a zoo or farm. She could see real vets in action and learn more about it. My 9 yr old loves learning about the animals God has made. She knows the missionary from our church and sees that as a possible future for herself. Who am I to close that door if God is pointing her towards it?

          I’m honest with my kids. I tell them it is a struggle to balance teaching them, hanging with my hubby, serving my patients and keeping a home. But it is also part of being faithful to the One who saved me.

          • Tami says:

            I respect each woman’s viewpoint here and the right we all have to raise our children the best way we see fit as we follow God. I do agree with Tamara.

            God has uniquely created and gifted each one of us and our children. I agree we need to make sure our desires are in line with God’s – but that doesn’t mean we will all do the same things (homemaker/keeper of the home, doctor, etc.). Most likely, the things we’re passionately interested in and have a talent for are the things God desires us to pursue.

            Respectfully Sharing,
            Tami

      • KLG says:

        Vet school has many returns. Animals are not lesser. Helping our fellow creatures is not something to look down upon. Shame on the one who commented that she is discouraging her daughter from becoming a vet. It is a very noble, caring profession. Quite frankly,everyone should get at least a 2 year college degree or certificate. This article is pretty disturbing.

  17. Keri says:

    Oh Jayme…I so very much understand what you are asking here! I have a 28 yr.old daughter who is not married.She has had two years of college and she works at a Wonderful Christian School.She works with preschoolers and loves children.When she first graduated she asked if she could stay home and help me for a little while.It was a wonderful time..but to be honest with you and I know I’m probably going to get some disagreement here but it’s okay…I couldn’t imagine her doing this until the right young man comes along.She knows how to cook,clean and do all the homemaking duties and believe me she really desires to do all of them with her own family someday.She taught piano and was active in church and was happy here and at the time my husbands company was also owned by three others so she was not able to work for him.She helped me alot and still helps when her time permits but I’m going to be really honest here.She loves working with children and was able to get a job right down the street working with preschoolers.She loved it!!Yes,she also loved it here but let me tell you..she was able to reach out and love these kids.She worked there for a couple of years and really felt she needed more training..thus..off to Christian College for two years…Lots of good music classes and education.She was in her early 20’s when she left for college.She was so very home sick and ran out of money..yep..when she transferred to another college we told her we wouldn’t be able to help as much so she ran out of money..came home..and paid off her debt!She had a couple of other jobs in the preschool dept. and a little over a year ago got a job at the largest Christian School in our area. She has bought her own car(debt free,paid off all college debt,and pays all her own bills)and yes..she still lives at home.One of the reasons I cannot imagine her being home still and helping me is that what I do here..continuing to homeschool our two youngest, make dinner and keep up house and be a helper to my husband is because these things are MY JOB..and not my daughters.She would be so bored..not because what I do is boring but it is MY JOB.She knows I love it and she wants that someday but it hasn’t happened yet for her and PLEASE somebody..don’t tell me that if she never left that it might have happened for her because before she went off to college she had a good friendship with our former pastors son and it didn’t work out and that actually played a part in her deciding to go to college for more training.
    Kelly..I love your blog and really appreciate this post.We have never really thought about having our children follow their dreams but we have tried to really encourage them in the gifts we believe the Lord has given them.I am not saying that it is a terrible thing for daughters to stay home..hey..I have a 19 yr.old daughter who is currently taking online Bible Classes.We are praying for her as where all this will lead her.She wants to be a Missionary.We also have two grown sons who work full time and still live here.
    I guess what I’m really trying to say here is that when we raise our kids for the Lord..sons and daughters..that as they grow into adults we need to let them make decisions on their own and encourage them and help them to fulfill the life that the Lord is leading them in.My 28 yr.old daughter has lots of opportunities during the day to reach out to the parents and people she works with(even though it’s a Christian School..you would be surprised).I consider myself very Blessed to have my unmarried children still living here because I know it is truly a matter of time before they are gone.They are still a vital part of our family..and although we all have our moments..lol..they invest in their younger siblings lives and even take us out to dinner every now and then..and yes..they started paying a little bit of rent last year.I have known to many older Christian Homeschooled kids who have left homes with lots of resentment because their parents made them take charge of things that were really the parents job.The Lord will show you how to have a balance if you ask him and believe me when I say that we have some really funny moments with grown kids in the home.I know that when the Lord brings that special man into my daughters life(that is her hearts desire) that she will be so ready! It’s tough for her sometimes because she’s watching lots of friends marry and have children and sometimes she does wonder why this has not happened to her yet..and that’s when we have our late night talks! I know this was way long but just wanted to share from a momma’s perspective who is right in the midst of this.Thanks everyone and will be looking forward to some feedback!!

    • Word Warrior says:

      Keri you make a lot of good points and sounds like you have a wonderful family.

      I believe there are all sorts of opportunities for older girls, and each family must assist in helping her follow the Lord’s leading.

      I also think this is an easy place for us to lose focus. As I have an 18 year-old daughter, I know I’ve been challenged lately. (These points are random, not aimed at your comment, just out there for all those thinking through these things.)

      A friend of mine and I were talking about the tendency to push our older girls into pursuits that leave them largely unavailable for service. Again, very counter-fleshly, even as I write it 😉

      If our ultimate purpose as Christians is really to become “servant of all” (Mark 9:35), if we truly believe that the Christian life is about “losing our life to save it”, then we live it, breath it, and weave it into our children’s lives at every stage. Now that teaching can take the form of many, many pursuits, but how often do we encourage our older girls, once they’ve “mastered homemaking”, to simply be available for service to those around them? Meals for busy moms, sick families, sitting with elderly, ministering in volunteer positions (such as Save-a-life, perhaps)…so many programs have had to be constructed to fill this void where women once stood in the gap, taking care of family, of neighbors, of hurting and broken.

      And how beautifully a life of service slips right into their own family when the time comes…washing feet. It’s what He came to teach us, hard as it is.

      Just some random thoughts I’ve pondered lately.

      • Keri says:

        Thanks Kelly for the sweet comments about my family.You are right about serving.One of the things I find so very sad now is that it seems “everybody” is so busy that they are not even in the home enough for those who want to help serve to be able to.It is not as easy for my older working daughter to serve those who need help.She is exhausted when she gets home from work and some nights just wants to veg out(my expression)and sometimes I have to remind her that right now she has no other responsibilities but herself so sometimes she needs to “buck up and get things done”..lol.I really am very merciful.It is a little different for our 19 yr.old daughter who just finished online classes and we were amazed at the time it took.The opportunities for her to serve right now are available as she does not have a job outside the home..yet.I think it is really important that we pray with them and give our advice but another thing I have to mention here..when dealing with “adult children”..they really need to make the final decision.Her burning desire in life..and I mean burning!!..is to tell people about the Lord…so we are praying with her and for her about what this means in her life.She also knows how to do all the domestic things..lol.
        It is a very interesting and exciting thing to watch as your children become adults to see how the Lord works in their lives.How They pray and ask him for his direction.Then they come and tell us where he is leading them and we give them all the encouragement and sometimes advice that we can.It can be easy for us all to lose our focus.We need to keep praying and praying and praying.While I am not opposed to my daughters having a career before or if marraige, I do hope that they will choose to be a stay at home mom when they have kids.They seem to want to right now when they talk about it.If we walk around all day at home acting like we can’t stand it or we have better things to do..our daughters will not see the joy and challenge in it all.I don’t have a college degree nor does my husband of almost 30 yrs.but I feel like I have learned more homeschooling my children then I could ever have imagined.My husband has been able to support our family very well and has more knowledge of the Bible then some of the people that I have met who have graduated from Christian Colleges.He studies it diligently and knows it! I’m not sure how old BrainyRainy is but my daughters who are not married and still live here..so far have had some college and have seen how practical it is to have a stay at home mom with their dad being the only income.They also do not seem to think that their parents were not being responsible when they had six kids.

  18. Lara says:

    I wrote something similar once to a young girl graduating from highschool…that she should follow Jesus and not her dreams. This is good advice. The thing is, I believe that Jesus sometimes calls women to to serve as nurses, missionaries, writers, therapists. Sometimes he calls us to be in the world (not of the world). Sometimes He calls us to do those things single or married with or without children. Being home is a beautiful and high calling, but it isn’t the only calling. I have fulfilled my sacrificial calling to go to work waitressing at night so my husband could get his master’s degree so that he may provide for our family better. This is right.
    I also have a little warning. It is never right to self-sacrifice so that your husband may sin. It is not right that the man may be selfish and follow his dreams using his wife’s submission as a platform to do so. Our self-sacrifice only brings life if we do it together.

  19. KM Logan says:

    First off let me say I completely agree with what you wrote, it was very well put, but let me add this: I think in most cases God is more than willing to use our hearts desires in a way that will honor him.

    For the girl who wants to be an interior designer if finances are available why not take some classes in interior design? She could freelance her talents and take on the jobs she wanted when she had a family and work in a part time capacity if their family needed the extra income. Offering a design consulting service would even be something she could potentially do, where she provides her expertise for a fee but doesn’t do any of the actual grunt work.

    I’m so grateful for my ability to generate extra income from teaching music, and it’s something I enjoy doing. I think as long as pleasing God is your goal and not earning money then everything tends to balance.

    I know I wasn’t as eloquent as you, but just my 2 cents.

  20. BrainyRainy says:

    I find this to be kind of problematic because, I don’t know if this has ever actually occurred to anyone but what if it was God that GAVE you those dreams, talents and ambitions because that’s the plan that HE has for you? It’s really irksome and sad to see women who are smart enough to have blogs and publish books say things like “we need to ignore our ambitions and stay in the home” because I’m sure that you have other talents and intelligence that is not being explored at all. God gave you a brain, you have the ability to read (and read more than just recipe books and the bible). It just seems like a waste when God gives us the ability to gain intelligence and instead you decide not to do it because someone (whether divinely inspired or not) said you should stay home 4,000 years ago.
    Instead of discouraging ambitions I think you should instead encourage them. Encourage your daughter to become a doctor, senator or lawyer and not just some housewife. You must emphasize to her the importance of an education because while getting married having a husband and family is all well and good and all but what if her husband dies and she’s got no education or skills to get a job and take care of herself and the children that the leader of her household left behind? It does not occur to antifeminists that those of us who are in college, working to be something great are not doing this to be rebellious, but because we acknowledge our gifts, we want to learn and grow and for us to stay home and sew and cook and clean in this day and age with our husbands being the only breadwinner is just not practical, neither is having 7 or 8 kids. It’s not responsible either.

    • Word Warrior says:

      Most of what you’ve written here is rhetoric that is rooted in a faulty worldview. Not pursuing a profession doesn’t “waste intelligence”. Not pursing a career doesn’t mean neglecting a higher education. We are women making decision based on a biblical worldview which says that to serve one’s family is a high calling, worthy of all my gifts, intelligence and dreams. Besides that, this pursuit offers far more freedom to use my gifts than my “career” ever did, although “how to use my gifts” is not the point of the post.

      • BrainyRainy says:

        Yeah, but you’re basing it on a book that is not applicable to today. And it’s not a “faulty worldview” it’s a realistic one. The bible was written THOUSANDS of years ago, and the world was very different back then.

        • Angela says:

          Anyone who denies that the Word of God is accurate and worthy of use for ALL generations, is denying Christ. My God and his word are the same yesterday, today, and FOREVER!!

    • KLG says:

      Brainyrainy, you are 100% correct. I couldn’t have said it better myself!

  21. Colleen G says:

    I am slightly confused by this article as the original question was not really answered very well. The inferred answer that I picked up is, no a daughter should have nothing as a goal other than marriage and motherhood because that is what God commands. God has no clear cut commands in scripture to be married, just rules to abide by if you are. It is implied that marriage and motherhood are the best options but again they are not commanded.
    We never know how our daughters interests will help her be a better helpmeet. Pursuing interests is far different than being a career woman. We have no assurance that our daughters will get married, most do but some do not. Likewise some girls have a large gap between age 18 and when they do get married. We need to realistically help our daughters plan for both marriage and singleness. God cannot be honored by a girl sitting home and pining away for Mr. Right puttering after mommy trying to stay occupied with leftover housework. We can prepare our daughters for ALL of life without sinning or become feminist as we do so.
    I will have to say that you are the first person I have read that takes Titus 2 as a command to get married and not as a “what we should do IF we are married”.

    • Word Warrior says:

      Read my comment to Keri. The answer to the original question is: “Pursuing our dreams” has nothing to do with the calling of a Christian. Pursuing the Lord, denying ourselves in order to serve others is the command of a Christian, man or woman, child or adult. It’s up to Him what He does with our lives out of our obedience.

      • BrainyRainy says:

        Well what I’ve been reading a lot of antifeminists condemning their daughter’s ambitions to not be wives, mothers or what was it? “Daughters at home” and that they should stay there. If you’re saying God gives us this then have at it and more power to you. I’m not a feminist per se, but what I am is someone who thinks there needs to be a balance between the two extremes. I mean with me there was never a question as to whether not I would go to college and be a “daughter at home” with my father it was a huge NO and “get your butt to college young lady” so it perplexes me to see other fathers, whether they follow Christ or not, just tell their daughters that their place is in the home

        • Word Warrior says:

          Perhaps some day the Lord will place someone in your life who can show you the beauty of home, the high calling of serving, and how the Lord longs to use your gifts in way far beyond what the world can offer you. He. is. amazing.

          • BrainyRainy says:

            Trust me, the “Lord” wouldn’t have given me the talents and brains I have if that’s all he had meant for me. As far as husbands are concerned, I don’t think I would even date a guy that felt that it was his “duty” to show me the beauties of the home. If the man gets a career then so do I. If he can’t respect that, he can lose my number 🙂

            • Brittany says:

              I think you are missing the beautiful will of God for women to be helpmeets Brainyrainy. God created Adam and saw that Adam was alone so he caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep and from his rib (men have one less rib than women) he made Eve… to be Adam’s helpmeet. Women should not see this as being put down but as the wonderful fullfilment of God’s plan for women. Eve was not even there in the beginning but then God created her for Adam.

              • vegas710 says:

                I’m assuming my original comment was deleted for snark? My apologies.
                I just wanted to correct the very common misinformation that men have one fewer rib than women. They actually have the same 12 pair. 🙂

                • Word Warrior says:

                  No, I didn’t delete it…I’m not sure where it is 😉

                • Jennifer says:

                  Are you certain? I could swear I’ve even seen the outline where one is missing under the skin.

                  • David says:

                    Comedy gold Jennifer, comedy gold.

                    • Jennifer says:

                      I’m sorry you find this flippant, David. What do you think we ARE giving up to “sky daddy”? We are not cutting off limbs, we’re looking for His direction, and it’s hardly the same as being ruled by a human.

                    • Jennifer says:

                      Anyway, I wasn’t just referring to skin outlines, but to graphs and drawings I recall seeing of the human body.

                  • Jennifer S says:

                    I really thought everyone knew that men & women have the same # of ribs. Then, I asked my evangelical Science teacher husband about this and he confirmed that, yes, many people actually believe that men have fewer ribs than women. Quite frankly, I’m appalled by this lack of basic scientific knowledge and it really makes me question the whole wisdom of this approach to raising and education daughters.

                    • Brittany says:

                      Then you missed the point. The scripture remains the same even though I may have made a scientific error. Someone told me the rib thing long ago.

      • Cathy says:

        Kelly,

        “Pursing our dreams…pursing the Lord”…what’s wrong w/this sentence? All that moving is compromising your typing skillz (spelled that way intentionally to be read like my 16-year-old daughter would read it).

        C

    • I would say that Titus 2 applies to single women. Well, I think it applied to me as a single woman anyway. I had a home to manage well. Even if it was just a tiny little room when I shared an apartment with 2 other gals. The physical space is almost meaningless compared with the other aspects of a “home”. A home is everything about that family – finances, food, schedules, etc. That should be managed well and intentionally, married or not. The WAY you manage it might look different from one season of life to another. The AMOUNT OF TIME it takes to do can look different too.

      I would even say that’s true to single women who are 24 and live in their parent’s house too. Certainly, the physical structure is their parents. There’s an authority there. She can’t just go decide to redecorate the kitchen on a whim. But there are parts of that home that she should manage well, to whatever extent that is. Her bedroom, her bed, her clothing, her time, her money, her schedule. Will it look different if she moves out? Sure. Will it look different if she marries? You betcha. But managing her home is still a command for her. I believe anyway.

  22. BrainyRainy says:

    And I say 4,000 years because a lot of antifeminists quote the old testament as justification for their lack of drive and that’s around the time that the old testament was written.

    • Keri says:

      BrainyRainy,

      Just because a mother “chooses” to stay home with her children does not mean that their is a lack of drive on her part.I have found that raising children and staying home with them has been the most challenging and rewarding thing I have ever done.

      • Brittany says:

        I have a very strong drive to take care of my home and my children. I keep my brain sharp in many ways and women who stay at home could use a little more respect.

  23. I just want to add that I do think it’s very true that often women do seek out careers because “they’re supposed to” or because its “what everyone else is doing”, which can fill their time with things that aren’t always what God would want or what would serve them or their future family’s best interests.

    It’s a fantastic thing to be challenged to think about how someone (male or female) spends their time. Are they doing it in the ways that God has called them to? Are they giving themselves opportunities to be open to serve others? Fantastic, fantastic, fantastic points. A career is not for everyone – maybe not even for most some ones (for females where the command to keep the home is quite time intensive for major portions of our lives). I just don’t think it’s “either/or” all the time and that, at times, there are ebbs and flows to life.

    Our lives as Christians SHOULD look different from Non-Christians. Just not all the time and in all ways – after all, all of us eat food, sleep and breathe!

  24. Word Warrior says:

    A fitting quote I read today by R.C. Sproul, Jr.:

    “For the kingdom to shine we must not seek to do great things but seek to die great deaths. We could be heroes, if just for one day.”

  25. Kristen says:

    Kelly, I think once again it is easy to get caught up in a legalistic answer to this question and take sides and call names. I think it goes a lot deeper than just “should a woman work outside the home” and you have once more showed us that it is a matter of where our heart is, our priorities, our obedience…. and there is no “one size fits all” answer to this question. I’ve learned that the “obvious thing” is not always the right answer. I am a teacher. I was trained as a teacher. I was single a long time before I got married. I am also a gifted teacher. I was good at what I did. I even have a Master’s Degree. Some would say I’m wasting myself and my talents, because I’m staying home to raise my family. God has provided me with many opportunities to use my gifts, though not in a professional manner.

  26. abba12 says:

    I think there’s a number of aspects to this, and it’s not a matter of yes or no, but a matter of attitude, as you say. My dreams as a kid were to be a primary school teacher and a computer programmer. I also had an interest in nursing after a short stint working at a nursing home, and in psychology when I became forced to get through some issues with mental illness without support. I took the opportunity when it came up to study these things, taking a special accellerated programming course and always looking out for opportunities to explore child development. I attended technical college and, had my life moved differently I probably would have taken the opportunity to attend university/college while single. As it happened I married 3 weeks after my 18th birthday, and I felt very strongly the call to remain at home with children, and in my specific case, as a housewife before children came because of personal issues that I needed time to work through.

    So did I waste that time? Were those dreams of careers lost? No, quite the opposite actually. But my attitude changed completely. Instead of seeing them as careers, wasted if I was not paid good money for my talents, I saw them as skills to be developed and held, used in whatever capacity I had the opportunity to.

    My research and study in teaching will be invaluable when I homeschool, I can’t wait till my first child is old enough for formal schooling! I also have thoughts that I may be in a position to take some responsibility of homeschooling the children of a relative or friend, I don’t know where that may lead at the moment, but I know I have a sister, not a christian, who believes in homeschooling but also wants to keep working, and some other situations that mean I feel the need to remain open to that idea.

    The nursing and psychology? It gave me the skills to understand medical jargon and my own body, usually when I go to the doctor these days they are suprised by my knowlege of my body and my strong opinions of medication. It’s that skill that has allowed me to access proper medical articles and medical journals for research, and find treatments for my hyperemesis that doctors shrug off with a full understanding of their risks and side effects. I also have now, since giving birth, developed a great interest in midwifery and homebirth, and when I’m older and don’t have babies anymore, I have thoughts to get a midwifery qualification and use that time to do such work. At the very least I could give my daughters the benefits of that knowlege and qualification so they don’t have to go through the problems I am in getting a decent, normal, natural birth. I’m also involved currently in helping women explore their options and think about their perceptions of birth. And finally, my medical studies mean that, if and when the time comes, I can take a very active role in the care of our older relatives, something beyond just following the doctors instructions. This has become very important, as my mother is gone and will not be taking on the responsibilities of her aging parents, my grandparents. I am the eldest of my siblings, and the only one in any sort of position to even consider taking them in full time as a carer.

    And my passion for computers and programming? It just happens to be the career my husband has chosen to persue! That’s something we had no idea about, when we married he was an engineer who hated his work but saw no choices. My knowlege has been invaluable in helping my husband to learn, and taking some of the responsibilities in starting our home business, as my skill level is currently equal to his and I can do some of the client work.

    If I looked at these things as careers, it would be a waste, I’ve failed as I will not in the forseeable future have a career. I won’t ever have professional renown. But if I look at them as skills, I have so many amazing opportunities to serve my family and others doing the things I love. Giving others an option they may not otherwise have, bringing different skills to the table, complementing other peoples own skills in different areas.

    As this relates to the theoretical girl, my sister in law has actually done a lot in relation to this area, my husbands aunt IS an interior designer, and my SIL has done something of an unofficial apprenticship under her. I would encourage her to look at interior design not as a career, but as a skill and an interest God has given her. How could it be used, paid AND unpaid. In that context, is a full college degree the wisest way to approach it or would she be better off taking some courses, specificly in the areas that interest her, or doing some hands on work experience. Unpaid opportunities don’t care about an arbitrary certification that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, but if it’s the best way for her to learn what she wants to learn, maybe it is the best option. Someone who wants to learn about psychology, for example, would be best off with a degree, as even a volunteer position would need proof of ability. Another option is a bachelor of arts, allowing you to dabble in a wide variety of areas that interest you, and still have that study recognised

    The issue is not ‘should I attend college’, it should be ‘how can I best develop this SKILL’

  27. Jennifer says:

    Not all women are meant to stay home, and I believe many dreams are God-given. It depends.

  28. 6 arrows says:

    Yikes! 56 comments! Or as my dear mother-in-law would say, “Ah, good NIGHT!” 🙂

    I’ve got a lot to say on this (I’m living in the thick of it right now), but will wait until I can pull all my disjointed thoughts into a cohesive whole to say anything about it…maybe when my 4-year-old turns 18 😉

    Thanks for starting a lively discussion, Kelly…I’m enjoying it!

    • Keri says:

      I was wondering if you would comment on this 6 arrows..lol.Oh–how I miss having a 4 year old!! Have fun!!

      • 6 arrows says:

        LOL! I can’t NOT comment on a topic like this! I just can’t find much time to put my thoughts together around all the other things going on 😉

        And yes, Keri, you know it, there’s nothing that beats the fun of life with a 4-year-old! Last week when we were doing Holy Week readings from the four gospels (we would read certain parts of the Passion history from each of the four gospels to compare how the different gospel writers told the account), on the day we read of Jesus being arrested and the servant of the high priest getting his ear cut off, sweet 4-year-old blurts out by the time of the Luke or John account, “How come people keep cutting peoples’ ears off?” 🙂 Good to know she was listening!

        Anyway, I’m off topic…I’ll be back with the real comment for this post yet!

  29. Laura says:

    To all the dissenting commenters, I don’t think Kelly is shaking her finger at anyone who is working outside the home. I do think that she makes a very good point for anyone who claims to be a Christian, be they male or female. I imagine if the Lord gets ahold of a greedy, workaholic whose primary passion in life is to earn money and get stuff, his life will change too. I think that what Kelly is saying is that not all our “dreams” are always Christ-honoring, and as sinful beings our natural selves can lead us astray from His ultimate will if we are not purposeful to follow the narrow way.

  30. BrainyRainy says:

    Okay, going back and rereading all of my posts, I think I came off in a way that I shouldn’t have, and I think I need to back track a little bit. I’ve come off as harsh sounding and I have a tendency to do that without meaning to.
    It is true that I feel that the biblical worldview of women is a little outdated as I’ve previously stated. A lot of people here will probably find that to be kind of irreverent to the faith, but given the way I am, I can’t help it. I am the type that analyzes every little thing on the planet and there is a reason that I do it.
    Education, ambitions and fighting for the right to get education and have these ambitions has always been a “hot button” for me so to speak because that’s what I’ve had to do. I’ve grown up with an Autism Spectrum Disorder called Asperger’s Syndrome so getting my foot in the door in ANYTHING has been a struggle.
    Because I’ve had to struggle with this (and God probably made me this way so that I would LEARN from it) my parents have always taught me to fight for education, my parents have always taught me that it is important to protect ambitions, and to never stop learning or growing.
    As someone who’s had her ambitions constantly batted down because I am this way, telling be I can’t do what I’ve always wanted to do because of all the hurdles that have been put in my path, I don’t understand why anyone would tell anyone, especially their children, that instead of fighting for their talents in a world that gives so little opportunities to anyone, not just women, people like me or anyone else, that they should try to fit themselves into this cookie cutter view that the men who wrote the bible thousands of years ago thought that women should fit into. I have faith in God, I do, but being the way I am, and having to deal with what I have dealt with, I realize that there is not a one-size-fits-all kind of lifestyle that the writers of the bible seemed to believe there was. That is why I say that the bible does not apply to today. Serve the Lord? Yes. Absolutely.
    I acknowledge that when I get passionate about something I can come off as a wee bit militant, and upon further reflection I can come to realize that what I’ve said earlier was out of line in some cases.But Kelly, I do think that women should have an education. I do think they should shoot for the stars, I think EVERYONE should. Also, in that comment that I wrote earlier about not dating a man who did not value my ambitions, I still would not, not after the life I’ve lived. What bothers me about a lot of Christians is they don’t take different walks of life and different circumstances into account. There seems to be a one size fits all mentality and that is NOT how things work. Believe me, I know. So once again, apologies if I got under anyone’s skin.

    • Keri says:

      BrainyRainy,

      I just want to say..good for you for working so hard to continue your education.You do sound very passionate about it.Having a child who has struggled academically I really do understand.He is now 23yrs.old and is a Very Hard Worker.I don’t think Kelly was trying to say that everyone has to do the same things or live the same way.
      Laura’s post and her response I think really sums it up.There is a couple that we know who are always asking my grown kids..”Where do you see yourself in five years?”..My kids understand that there is nothing wrong with having goals and ambitions but they also understand that they cannot really answer that question because they honestly don’t know.They know that the Lord will help them with these things as they move through their young adult lives because they have seen his hand in already doing so.I also just wanted to share with you that the Bible does teach us and applies to us today as it did to the early Christians a couple of thousands of years ago.
      Blessings to you today.

    • Word Warrior says:

      Brainy,

      I will still pray that you can “see outside the box”. Your comments reveal a constrained view of “what the Bible says” and you make stereotype assumptions (i.e. “higher education”, something we certainly place emphasis one, which is one reason we homeschool. College is only one, small way to “get an education”…and in my opinion, not usually the best way ;-)).

      Also, I can’t reconcile this statement: “That is why I say that the bible does not apply to today. Serve the Lord? Yes. Absolutely.”

      If the Bible “doesn’t apply”, you can’t serve the Lord because you have nothing to follow.

      “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” All Scripture is “God-breathed” and inspired. To deny the Word and its truth and validity for ALL of time, is to deny the living God.

      Scripture transcends time. It’s truths are eternal. We cannot deny His Word without denying Him–they are one and the same.

      The essence of Jesus life and example, given to us who would follow Him, is to “lose all for my sake”. Yes, it’s counter-culture. But it’s what those who desire to have the fullness of the Christian life believe and embrace. Jesus was the King of Kings. Many would say he “wasted his life”. But eternally speaking, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways, says the Lord.”

      There is a joy and abundance of life that nothing in this world can touch once we relinquish “our dreams and ambitions” to the one that can do “exceedingly abundantly more than we could ever ask or think”. I would encourage you to seek that One. Blessings to you!

    • Angela says:

      Having a child on the Autism Spectrum I understand your delivery, and that the abstract things can often be hard for you to grasp. I don’t think the OP was saying that anyone shouldn’t have admissions, just that we should be teaching our children to seek God’s plans for us. If God does not desire for you to be married, but instead to be a missionary, or a career, so be it. But, if it is God’s desire that you should be married and have a family, then you should follow that. Ho, i ask in this day are our daughters to see the higher calling that God has for our lives, or know to hear his voice, and follow HIS dreams, if we as mother’s do not teach them that. The scripture, was not simply written by men of ancient times, but inspired by, and written as the Holy Spirit directed, and intended for ALL generations. I realize that is an abstract thought, and therefore hard for you to understand, and so i ask you, as I ask (and pray) for my children, that you would pray and ask the Lord to show himself to you in a way that you can identify, and to help you to understand his word as HIS word, and not simply the words of men.
      We live in a world whose ambition for our daughters has nothing to do with Christ. I urge you to see that we are not trying to encourage our daughters to have no ambition, and to not have dreams, but instead we are teaching them to fight for the dreams that the Lord has for them, and to not simply follow the path that the world has laid out for them. You speak of fighting for education, and understanding, and all that comes with having a spectrum disorder. I get that all to well, i urge you to see that just as you have fought (I get it I have a child with Autism) we Christians are fighting for our rights, belief’s, and biblical teachings. Our battle is much like your battle with Autism, only magnified by a whole lot. I wish you well, and will be praying for the Lord to open your eyes to his teachings.

    • Tami says:

      Hi BrainyRainy, I admire your perseverence through all the struggles you’ve been through – what an encouragement to me. 🙂

      I don’t agree that the Bible is not applicable to us today, but instead I believe so many of us (people in general) misinterpret what God is really saying to us in His Word.

      I do agree with you on your point (and I’m paraphrasing here) that God did not design us with a “cookie cutter” – yet too often Christians mistakingly (in my opinion) adopt the “one-size-fits-all” mentality when it comes to what women should or should not do. What we do and how our families each function will look different because we are all unique. I believe it is right for me and my husband to encourage our son in whatever God has gifted him to do and be – just as every woman here desires the same for their family (it just may not look the same as someone else’s family and that’s more than okay). 🙂

      Thank you BrainyRainy for sharing. I appreciate your heart here as well as everyone else’s. God Bless.

      Respectfully Sharing. <3

  31. Carolina says:

    There are dreams and dreams. Not all of them are bad. Not all of them are the produce of our flesh. I believe there are also God given dreams.
    We Christians can be very inflexible sometimes and think that there is only one way of doing things right: our way.
    I have a doctor degree and are happy now as a stay-at-home-homeschool mom. And, in fact, most homeschool moms I know, including you Kelly, have a “past life” of college and/or job. And we are all happy now at home. It is a matter or priorities, of knowing what is the right thing to do in each season of life. It is not a matter of “you should not do thihs”.
    Traditionaly a turkish girl could not get married if she did not know how to prepare eggplant in 25 different ways (i forgot the exact number, but it was high!). I bet most of us married women do not have that skill. And do not need it either (i love eggplant BTW). In my country absolutely nobody bakes bread bc bread from the bakery is delicious and unexpensive, and people like to buy it fresh every day. In other cultures of the world, baking bread is an important skill. In some countries domestic help is very unexpensive too, and most people have some.
    Circumstances vary. How does a young girl get well prepared for marriage? I believe there is more than one right way of doing it.
    Making -and saving- money in the years previous of getting married/having children can be a very good thing bc that money can for sure be well used during the chhildren rearing years.
    I also believe that in Titus 2 the focus is more in young women who are married. We cannot so easily impose that in unmarried women, young or not. I know several christian women who are 40 and 50 and are unmarried bc the Lord did not bring anybody to them. What would be the ideal situation for them? To be forever economically dependent on their aging parents? Just picture yourself in that situation!

  32. Stephanie says:

    I just had almost this exact conversation with my 12-year-old daughter yesterday. She was talking to her friends who want to travel and see the world. When she told them she was going to stay home and have a family, they were shocked.

    The trick is to making your dreams what the Lord has in mind for you. Therein lies true happiness.

  33. Cheryn says:

    Funny, isn’t it, how our flesh wants to think that the only way to get our heart’s desires is to ‘follow our dreams.’ I have learned through my own life, and the lives of others, however, that the most fulfilling way to have what will make you truely happy is to lay down all your desires to Christ and live for Him. Then, and only then, do we find purpose in what we love, and our ‘dreams’ take on a whole new meaning.

  34. Christy says:

    Can I ask why most of you presume that being a stay at home mom is “what the Lord has in mind for you”??? Isn’t that presumptuous?

    I didn’t have time to read all of the responses, but what I see surfacing over and over is “this follows what I felt in my heart”. YES, but doesn’t the Word tell us that our heart isn’t always the one to trust??

    I am the mother of 7 children, 2 of which have disabilities. I won the lottery of lifestyles and have been able to stay home with my children while running our family business.But this wasn’t always the case.
    Would I like to be married to someone that takes care of everything while I cuddle kids and bake pies? Clean a toilet, etc. Of course. But we need to wake up here ladies. As another poster mentioned there are less and less stable, hard working mean out there. And we may be doing a huge disservice to our children to let them think that anyone will be taking care of them simply because they have children or clean a house. The reality is, someone has to do these things and a healthy family is one in which everyone is able to fill the roles needed. I feel that your article is narrow minded, dogmatic, and selfish. Yes, selfish.

    It is likely that my words will be taken as an offence. BUT please consider the reasons why many women that do not walk on the path of your religion would be put off by your words. It is not because they are ignorant, or Godless. In fact, your ability to use the word of God to judge the people in your life as “Godly” or “Godless” is very similar to what Christ raved about in the temples. Are you doing this for your own profit? Or for Christs? What are you trying to sell with the name of God on it? Are you “selling” dogma? Do you NEED people to agree with you, to feel like you are right? What if God has sent me to convict you that you are wrong? If you won’t let your children have a voice for the sake of God I’m sure I don’t have a voice here either.

    What am I trying to say? There is a lot of objectivity missing in this post. For instance, “Let the little children come to me”… and so on and so forth. We all know that there are several scriptures that speak about the fact that children are actually more in touch with God than adults. God has taught us that children heal, follow the still small voice of God, and live with less ego and pride than adults.

    So, let me ask: Who are you to tell someone, whether they are your child or not, to ignore a passion or interest in their hearts? That irregardless of what God is manifesting in their lives they must be something more of a servant. No major careers if you have a vagina in this faith. If God is putting a love for something into their minds why would you feel the right to condemn or redirect them? I can assure you that whether they show you or not, doing this to a child will only build a sort of resentment and frustration that can damage a soul. OR if they follow in your perfect foot steps you may succeed in producing another generation of judgmental robots. Once you teach a child that “this is the right way” you are condemning them to a life of judging every other person’s choice as “wrong”.. and THAT is not Christ.

    I started my journey like you. Idealistic, conservative. I put a tremendous burden on my husband through this passive aggressive control that many call “submission”. After years of struggling it was found that my husband suffers from a degenerative disease and could not, should not, handle the stress of supporting his family on his own. BUT by this time we were 5 kids deep into our “Christian” lifestyle. Thankfully, I had the education and gifts from God to – follow the “DREAMS” or shall we call them “CALLING” that I felt from God even as a young child. Looking back my entire life prepared me for this.

    I always had a strong interest in my field. In fact, even as a child I yearned for a way to work within this interest. I indeed feel that I was born to manifest God’s love in my career and see how God used the setbacks in our lives to allow me to truly hear HIS voice. NOT those of the parents, siblings, etc before me that tried to project their lifestyle or belief system on me.

    When I first started reading your article I thought it would speak about the value of helping our children stay in tune with the voice of God in them and follow the guidance of God in their calling.. and not get caught up in the fantasy “dream” job. Maybe help our children both male and female to consider if their “dream job” will facilitate the type of family they want.

    I’m sad to see that you didn’t speak about all of the ways that we as parents can grow and learn with our children as we use day to day experiences and the voice of God to discover His plans for our children.. irregardless of how big or small they are.

    Again, I said “HIS” not “YOUR”.

    • Word Warrior says:

      Christy,

      What I’ve written here is what is written in God’s Word. Nothing more, nothing less. I’m sorry you have disagreements with that. I don’t judge people. God’s Word judges people.

      I don’t hold to a “dogma” or a movement other than the beautiful, hard principles I find in Scripture. If teaching/writing that “to lose my life is to find it” (spoken by Christ) and that to “wash feet” is paramount, and to “deny myself” is the first calling of a disciple, and to reject the heart’s desires which is “deceitfully wicked”…if those things offend you, you will have to take them to our Savior. For He is the one who teaches it.

  35. Christy says:

    Opps.. I didn’t mean for my subconscious to replace the word “men” with “mean” in that fourth paragraph. I in no way meant to bring up yet another aspect of this topic, which is the fact that so many men are allowed to be “mean” and “self absorbed” because they are the “authority” in their home. That is a whole new topic for another day.

    • Keri says:

      Christy,

      Men should never be “allowed” to be mean or self absorbed just because they are the authority in the home.That can certainly be an entire post in and of itself..Christ calls men to love their wives like he loves the church.I know not every husband does this and I’m not trying to argue here but I wish that some of the others who read some of these other posts can see hear that clearly….this may be a problem in some homes..I am not saying for sure that this is a problem in your home Christy..but I have seen it sadly in other Christian homes..In almost 30 yrs.of marraige..my husband and I have not always had the relationship we have today.It is hard sometimes when a husband is harsh or worse.I think it might be good if we’d pray for each other instead of bickering..sorry..I’m not some big spiritual woman or anything(just ask my kids..lol)..but this seems to be taking a turn for the worst..

  36. KeriMae says:

    “Am I teaching my children to follow their dreams? No; I’m teaching them to follow Christ, in whom all their dreams will be fulfilled.”

    Excellent!

    The trouble we run into most is that when my oldest daughter answers that question with “I want to be a wife and mother” (and she does), that’s not a good enough answer. She usually gets, “annnnnd…….what else?” She doesn’t even *want* to go to college, and no, it’s not because we brainwashed her! I have other daughters that are wired differently, but this one just wants to serve the Lord from home.

  37. Christy says:

    Exactly what I expected. Word Warrior: you are taking the prospective that YOU speak for God and that if I have a problem with what is written on this page then my problem is actually with the creator of the universe? Putting aside our emotions and fears as mothers, maybe even our own life experiences.. so that we can support and encourage the God given gifts of our children as they manifest irregardless of which direction that might be in is exactly the self sacrificing, and “foot washing” Christ speaks of.
    You speak of God as if you don’t know Him as if He isn’t alive in your childrens life. We don’t need to use examples of Gods strength and purpose by using women like Ruth, why not encourage our children to exemplify amazing women from these days. Tell me, can you name even FIVE of them?

    • Brittany says:

      Titus 2:
      3The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

      4That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

      5To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

      If you do not obey this then you blaspheme the word of GOD. This is what he tells older women to teach younger women.

    • Word Warrior says:

      Tell me which of the Scriptures I *quoted* is “speaking for God”. If I quote Scripture, He speaks for himself. I’m simply repeating. Again, the post was primarily about the principle of service that God call all believers too, not “what a woman can or can’t do”. He said, “If you will be my disciple, then deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Me”. In other places Scripture admonishes us to keep our homes well. Yet in another place, it reminds us that widows aren’t even to be considered “in the number” to be cared for if they haven’t “brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work.”

      All from Scripture. If you accuse me of “speaking for God”, then you must provide proof that these are my words and not His.

      I LOVE supporting my children’s gifts and they are all flourishing in those. You act as if I don’t believe a person can do anything to use his or her gift for the glory of God. Very contrary to what I believe. What you are missing is the crux of a principle of Scripture, not something I’m asserting as my own opinion and that is, “the Bible doesn’t tell us to follow our dreams. It tells us follow the Lord and in so doing, if we really know Him, we become servant of all, for that was who He was”.

      Beyond that, I can’t see what your contention is except that you sound very bitter and angry at something. There is freedom in Christ, and nothing of His Word that should cause us to flinch and be angry.

      • Tricia says:

        It saddens me a bit to see that there seems to be a tit for tat argument going on re: Christy’s comments. I’m not taking sides one way or the other, but one thing that resonates with me in what Christy said is that we need to be careful not to “provoke our children to wrath” when they’ve gotten a bit older by making them feel that our interpretation of God’s Word is the only right one. We can unwittingly provoke bitterness in our kids and division between our older or grown children and ourselves by withholding our approval of choices they make that, while they may not go along with what we believe is God’s will for them, still are honest, and not evil, choices. Trust me, you don’t want to go down that road. And they must ultimately choose how to follow God–or not to follow Him at all, although of course our hope is that they will. But it’s going to be their choice in the end.

        • Word Warrior says:

          “And they must ultimately choose how to follow God–or not to follow Him at all, although of course our hope is that they will. But it’s going to be their choice in the end.”

          I agree.

  38. LVH says:

    Hi Kelly! 🙂

    I think this is a great topic. I think what Kelly is trying to say is that kids should be taught that, in every direction in life, God (and then family) must be at the forefront of every decision.

    For example, a man may have a great desire or dream to serve his nation by joining the military. However, he might have a family with children.Being in the military could mean very long deployments in foreign places where communication with family is very difficult. The young man should seek God first in his decision and weigh the impact it has on the family. Perhaps joining the reserves or another area of employment can be better in his stage of life.

    Likewise, Kelly is saying that there are many ways women can serve, depending on what God calls her to do. This may mean being a stay-at-home mother who also volunteers in her community by serving the needy around her or it can also mean a working mother who serves the needs of the community by becoming a nurse that helps treat the sick or a lawyer that helps represents female clients who have been raped, abused, and victimized.

    The key here is that Christians need to first seek God in their decisions and then seek the needs of the family. Maybe it means a father gives up his “dream” to be a pilot or maybe it means a mother is called outside the home. Either way, God is first! 😀

  39. Holly says:

    But there IS a cultural relevance to Titus 2. Women were literally “owned” by their husbands, and they didn’t have freedoms women do today. New Testament scripture again and again admonishes both men and women to be respectful of those put in authority over them, including those who governed over them, even slaves to their masters. We are to be humble and meek like our Lord. Does this mean slavery is good? No. Then, if a woman was gossipping and hanging out in town without her husband, she was seen as a rebel. Today, women can shop in tank tops and no one will say a thing about it. While the principles of the passage are certainly still relevant, women are not blaspheming the word of God by becoming nurses, teachers, etc. if they are married, especially if their husbands support them.

    And I disagree that the bible doesn’t speak of “hopes and dreams.”

    Psa 37:4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

    • Word Warrior says:

      Holly,

      The many Scriptures given to man and wife in the NT are not master-slave commands, but “happy marriage” ones. That the wife “reverence” her husband and that the husband “love his wife as his own flesh” are perfect now as they were then. We don’t live them perfectly; but the commands are in place for a beautiful, one-flesh union. Submission, respect and reverence, according to the TRUE Christian teaching, is not from a teaching or practice that is culturally outdated.

      I think the Word of God is blasphemed when women do not “love their husbands and children, keep (guard) their homes, behave discreetly and soberly and fail to teach the younger women to do so.”

      Also, as the commentator Barnes put it, regarding the verse you quoted:

      “the fact that you seek your happiness in him will regulate your desires, so that you will be “disposed” to ask only those things which it will be proper for him to grant; and

      (b) the fact that you do find your happiness in him will be a reason why he will grant your desires.”

      • Holly says:

        But I’m not speaking of wifely submission. I’m speaking of whether or not scripture permits women to work outside the home. You must know that you are making quite a leap interpreting Titus 2 to mean married women MUST not work. Even the Proverbs 31 woman had to go out of the house to manage her business. And the many servants she had- are we to believe none of them were child care providers? Rebekah’s maidservant Deborah was most certainly a “nanny.” Rhoda probably helped raise John Mark. A woman can manage her home, bring up children in the admonition of the Lord, and still work part-time or even full-time outside the home. (Or inside the home, like I do.) They’ve been doing it since bible times.

        • Word Warrior says:

          Holly,

          Your comment is evident of how so many women who read these kinds of posts not only miss the point entirely, but read into it and misconstrue things I’m even trying to say. I have spoken, verbatim, here in this thread, about the serving opportunities that I think we can help encourage our older girls towards, the very roles such as these you have spoken of–nanny, mother-helper, etc. I am saying “yes” and all the while you are saying that I’m saying “no” 😉

          I am the Proverbs 31 woman’s biggest fan. She was a woman after my own heart with all her business savvy. Which is why I’m always stumped about how narrow I’m accused of painting the keeper at home. The virtuous wife in Proverbs was a keeper at home. Never have I said that being a keeper at home forbids a woman from leaving it at any time. But she primarily tended her household and the needs around her, fitting her home industry around those priorities. That’s awesome! I’ve written posts after posts on that. For the record, she didn’t “go to work”, though, as some would like to think. She made products and sold them “wholesale” to merchants who then took them to market….if you want to get technical 😉

          Just trying to get you to see the post and the point. The virtuous wife understood that her first and highest calling was her family. Everything else fit in around that, not vice versa. She didn’t spend her life “pursing her dreams”. She SERVED. And even the motive for her business was serving her family and her husband, not necessarily to fulfill a void or longing in her heart. It was all centered around her fundamental understanding of what she had been called to do. Fundamental. Starting point. That’s the emphasis I’m trying to make.

          • Keri says:

            Kelly,

            Okay..I have a question about something you said here.I agree that encouraging our children to serve is a great and wonderful thing!What if your oldest daughter wanted to get a job at a preschool or little shop down the road? Would you be opposed to that or would you “encourage” her to stick with the jobs that you feel are more towards serving others? What if she wants to save for a car? I hope you don’t mind me asking..

            • Word Warrior says:

              Here’s my answer, off the top of my head 😉 I don’t think it’s good to offer a black and white answer to this kind of question because of so many variables within each family. But, here’s what I’ve got: serving is not just a “wonderful thing”. According to Scripture, it really is THE thing. That’s why I keep talking about our “starting place”. Having our starting place settled (what is our fundamental purpose as Christians?) enables us to make the right decisions, no matter the issue. Make sense?

          • Holly says:

            Kelly, my original response was to the compendium of comments, not just your original post or your subsequent comments.

            I don’t take issue with

            a) the idea that we are to “deny ourselves” and subject ourselves to the Lord’s will rather than following selfish “dreams.” This is tricky, however. As others have pointed out, some dreams and aspirations are blessed by God. I think of Mandisa, whose fame from American Idol has led her to be a witness to countless women.

            b) that there are plenty of ways a woman can serve and even make (some) money by staying at home with her children. I don’t feel stifled as a housewife, and am not implying that that is what you were saying. (I don’t much see the difference between hiring a sitter while you work at home (as the Proverbs 31 woman most certainly did) and hiring a sitter while you work outside the home, except for counting the actual moments one is physically inside the home.)

            My issue is when the patriarchal movement insists all women, married or not, have already been called (the moment they were born, even) to be strictly homemakers. And don’t assume I’m denigrating homemakers- I am a homemaker and I believe it is the most beautiful, rewarding job in the world. I believe the bible blesses women who choose to stay at home. However, there is simply no bible verse that mandates women not to work outside of the home. There is Christian liberty, here. If a man can lead his family while working 8-10 hours outside the home, or even deployed across the ocean, why can’t a mother “guard her home” while working as a teacher, as an interior designer, etc.? Honestly, I believe staying at home with my children is best for them. I would even concede that moms who work outside the home instead of taking care of their children are may be motivated out of selfishness- so long as their husbands aren’t requiring them to do so or they’re not financially in need of employment.

            But what of single women? Surely, women aren’t “called to be wives” simply because they are female? If they are drawn to a certain vocation, say interior design, why shouldn’t they study it? It certainly doesn’t blaspheme God to do so. It provides her a way to support herself if she doesn’t get married. (There’s no biblical verse that implies a woman should stay under the headship of her father and not support herself, no matter what Doug Phillips says.) Nor is there a verse that says women should never be under the authority of any other man. Just because living with your parents until marriage was the “cultural norm” in bible times does not mean it is God’s command. This is where the patriarchal movement makes me a little angry.

            If my daughter told me it was “her dream” to become an interior designer, I might probe and ask her how she planned to glorify God in that vocation. If she stammered and stumbled over her words, I might ask her to consider what God’s plans are for her life.

            However, I believe God can even use interior decorators to glorify his kingdom. I can see the TLC program now…

            • LVH says:

              “If a man can lead his family while working 8-10 hours outside the home, or even deployed across the ocean, why can’t a mother “guard her home” while working as a teacher, as an interior designer, etc.?”

              Exactly! Motherhood and Fatherhood are not the only roles of women and men in marriages. People here are commenting that women can serve others while being a SAHM. That’s not what the argument is about. It’s about whether mothers can work outside the home in many different professions.

              Men and women both have the huge responsibility of raising children so the needs of the family will always have to come first. However, this does not bar a man or woman from seeking employment outside the home. Women can serve the needs of the community and the world by being a SAHM and volunteering or as a working mom. Women and men must both seek God’s will for their life. God can call a mother to stay-at-home with her children or to serve in the “working” world. 😀

            • Keri says:

              Holly,

              Good Post!! The patriarchal father thing baffles me to no end! Once our children reach adulthood..they should make the decisions in their own lives.We can give our advice..encouragement and all that goes with it but in the end decision, it is up to them.Isn’t this what we trained them for when they are younger? I really believe the patriarchal movement is very flawed and rather cultish..

            • 6 arrows says:

              Holly,

              I like your second-to-last paragraph above: “If my daughter told me it was “her dream” to become an interior designer, I might probe and ask her how she planned to glorify God in that vocation. If she stammered and stumbled over her words, I might ask her to consider what God’s plans are for her life.” Those are good questions to ask, to get beyond the “what” and search for the “why”, the real heart of the matter.

              I also want to respond to something you said in the paragraph before that one. You mentioned Doug Phillips. I’ll state outright that I probably don’t agree 100% with anyone, well-known or lesser-known, including Mr. Phillips, but in his defense, I want to point out that one of the key things I’ve heard him ask is “What saith the Scriptures?” I appreciate that question because it encourages me to dig into scripture like a good Berean (Acts 17:10-11) to see whether “those things were so”. I’m glad for the people God has used to speak into my life who do examine the scriptures and encourage others to do the same, though I may disagree with some of what they say.

              One other thing I wanted to say about Doug Phillips regards the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival. I don’t know a lot about the history of the SAICFF, but I believe Mr. Phillips was instrumental in organizing, and certainly promoting, this fine alternative to the typical Hollywood approach to film-making.

              My son’s friend is an independent Christian filmmaker, and a movie he made last year was a semifinalist at this year’s SAICFF. Before filming, my son’s friend led everyone on the set in prayer. I am so thankful that my son got to be a part of such an edifying, God-honoring experience (he was a cast member), and am excited about what the Lord is doing through men and women who actively seek to advance the gospel and glorify God through the medium of film. And I think it is a tremendous blessing that the people who have a vision and passion for Christian film, men and women alike, have an outlet whereby their creativity can be promoted, as it is through the SAICFF.

              Just a few thoughts that came to mind as I read your post… 🙂

              • Jennifer says:

                The problem there is, Arrows, that many in the movement do not follow merely “what saith the Scriptures”. In fact, they skip over or rationalize away many examples of women working or in leadership. Keri, Holly, and LVH expressed perfectly my own thoughts.

                • 6 arrows says:

                  “…many in the movement do not follow merely “what saith the Scriptures”.”

                  Which is why we all should be continually studying the Word, rather than following a “movement”, to examine for ourselves whether the voices and actions of a group or their leaders reflect biblical truth. I’m doing that, I’m sure you and the other ladies you mentioned (Keri, Holly, and LVH) are doing that, and I’m thankful for every leader who does it, even if I disagree with some of those leaders’ conclusions.

                  BTW, I didn’t speak of any movement, but the reason I mentioned Doug Phillips was simply to present another viewpoint of the man from the one that was presented here. That’s all. I think we can find good things to highlight about people we may disagree with on other things. I was just interested in providing a look from another angle, Jennifer.

                  • Jennifer says:

                    Yes, and your thoughts are good. This is just the reason I too am wary of “movements” like the one discussed.

  40. Autumn says:

    I LOVED this post…. Such a wonderful perspective! I must say I am very sad to see comments from some women (Christy in particular) demeaning the work of being a keeper of the home and reducing it to “cuddling up and baking some pies” or “someone is going to take care of you just because you have children and clean a house”….. how insulting! Are you by any chance a fan of Hilary Rosen? 😉
    Kelly made her point abundantly clear.
    May I just say that if we are believers the Lord will not give us a dream that would contradict His word or intention for women!
    SO if you are a Mother and a wife, and you are feeling a “desire” or a “calling” AWAY from your home and children, you can be pretty sure that it is born of a selfish, sinful heart.

    • LVH says:

      Autumn,
      Scripture does not say that a mother may not work outside the home or that it is “sinful” or “selfish.” Scripture says to seek God first in all decisions in life. Both a husband and wife must not only seek God for the direction in their lives but also weigh what works for the family.

      God may call a mother/wife/woman to stay-at-home and serve her community through various ways or He may call a mother to serve as a working professional that also serves the needs of the community.

      Is it a sin or selfish for a woman, who happens to have children, to be a midwife or doula and help deliver babies? Does scripture support that? Or is it a sin to become a mid-wife and forgo any and all responsibilities as a mother and wife?

      Likewise, is it a sin for a man to become a doctor or lawyer? Or is it a sin for the man to place his employment over the needs and responsibilities as a father and husband?

      Seek God first and then the needs of the family. Each decision is personal according to each husband and wife.

      • Autumn says:

        I never said that a woman should not contribute in a financial way to the family…. I certainly believe there are MANY wonderful ways that a christian wife and Mother can use the talents and abilities that God has given her to bless her family and benefit financially! I said if you are feeling a desire, or a calling AWAY from your home, husband and children, I don’t believe that the Lord would call us to that. That is what I meant when I said “selfish” … It could be pretty easy to attribute our own wants/desires to a “calling”…..
        If you have a job/career outside of the home, full time… between 35-60 hours a week… Then you are AWAY from your home and your first calling, Mentally and physically…… If your children spend far more hours away from you in any given week than they do with you…. I just don’t see that modeled for us in Proverbs 31…..

        • LVH says:

          You don’t think mothers can be nurses, or doctors or teachers or psychologists or social workers or scientists or midwives or speech therapists?

          That is based on your interpretation of the Bible.

          I don’t believe in your interpretation. I believe mothers can still manage the day to day affairs of the home and still work outside her home in many wonderful and amazing ways. I believe that men can still be the spirtual leader of the home even if he works outside the home.

    • Tami says:

      “SO if you are a Mother and a wife, and you are feeling a “desire” or a “calling” AWAY from your home and children, you can be pretty sure that it is born of a selfish, sinful heart.”

      Wow. April, while I respect your right to your own opinion, I must say that is a pretty judgmental statement.

      We are not God and therefore cannot fully understand His call/will for another.

      My deep desire is to see all women really begin to fully rally around each other (some are already doing this), supporting each other instead of judging one another.

      The fact is, God made us each different, with unique giftings and callings. Some of us may decide to work at home while we parent our children and others of us will decide that God’s plan for us/our family is for us to work outside the home.

      The bottom line is this – it doesn’t matter whether we work at home or outside the home – what matters is whether we are following God’s heart and desires for us and our family. And that is the point I take away from this discussion.

      Respectfully Sharing. <3

      • Word Warrior says:

        Tami,

        Discussions like these always cause me to think deeply and try to really see what God sees, away from our presuppositions, cultural sways, etc.

        These are questions to ponder…not a contrary rebuttal to your comment.

        “Does it have to be a certain way?” This is the question. Is there a standard, from Scripture, or are we free to follow our own personal calling in this area?

        I think certain differences of circumstances/seasons of life play do play a huge role in this question. But I still see a guiding principle that was clear in Scripture: a woman, particularly those with a husband and children, had a full time job, in addition to being called upon to “extend her hand to the needy”, “show hospitality to the saints”, and be available for these “good deeds”.

        It doesn’t seem like much of an option either. I repeat it again in case you missed it in another comment: Paul was very specific in who the church was to “take into the number” of widows to be cared for. He actually said a woman was not to be considered eligible for church help unless she had “brought up children, washed the feet of the saints and was known for her good deeds”…does that sound judgmental?

        I’m pondering this statement: “it doesn’t matter whether we work at home or outside the home – what matters is whether we are following God’s heart and desires for us and our family. ”

        What if God’s heart is clearly laid out in Scripture and what He desires for us is to read it, get it, and do it? Why would the Bible be so specific about what the older women are to teach the younger women if it doesn’t matter? Why wouldn’t there instead be instructions that say, “seek to find out what God wants you to do with your life”, or, “tell the young women that every family is going to be different and what may be right for one may not be right for another”.

        I agree that God calls people to all different things on a number of levels at different times. But it’s hard for me to extrapolate from Scripture that “it doesn’t matter” when it comes to the question of how a woman approaches her family responsibilities.

  41. Cathy says:

    I’ve heard many say “some dreams are God-given”, particularly the more noble dreams of helping others through nursing or teaching, but how can that be so if they contradict scripture? The Bible clearly states that wives should be keepers at home. Not keepers OF the home, keepers AT home. If a woman is not married, she is free to dedicate her life to Christ in various ways, as she is led through prayer. But when she marries she becomes a help-meet to her husband (helping him with HIS goals and dreams)and a keeper AT home. It really is simple and not complicated at all.

    • Jennifer says:

      Actually it is complicated. The Proverbs 31 woman is very active in market, and thank God for women being nurses and doctors; do I want a man doing my pap smears, or a sponge bath or cathater? Don’t think so!

      • Rachel F. says:

        I feel the same way you do about female health issues. This is an area that I struggle with because I do think it best that women are home taking care of their families. But what a relief to have a women take care of those more uncomfortable female health issues as well. Back when the bible was written, women were not birthing in a hospital with a doctor present, but at home with a mid-wife (female) or other female family member. I don’t believe their were male mid-wives. And I question what the writers of the bible would think of us allowing a man other than a husband “down there”. Interesting ideas to pray about.

        • Jennifer says:

          Thank you for understanding 🙂 Totally agree! I go to a family care clinic that’s all female doctors and PA’s, a Christian business, and they are SUCH a blessing; it’s a comforting and lovely place (with male nurses too, which is good for male patients, and who have also been nice and efficient with me when taking blood or something minor). Who knows, maybe some ladies could have home-offices or something similar.

    • Colleen G says:

      I think what got the comments so hot is that some of us read the article as “follow God’s will for you” BUT “God’s ONLY will for a woman is to get married and have children” The authoress says that it not what she intended but it can be read like that. This is one of those topics that can be very hard to convey in writing especially with most everyone is reading it with pre-existing baggage on the topic, myself included.

  42. Laura says:

    Sometimes, we also have little hidden agendas that we won’t tell anyone about. say a young woman (or man) has a talent for musical performance. He or she is encouraged to pursue this dream or talent. That person, while they are singing hymns and doing moving, “spiritual” concerts at churches, perhaps they are hoping secretly that they’ll make it big–would they say that to anyone? Probably not. I knew a lady who felt this way, and dragged her children around the country to her concerts, and after awhile they came to dislike their mother’s “calling”. That too can “provoke children to wrath”. The question keeps coming up as to “why God would give this or that talent or ability, if I’m not supposed to use it?” Well, to test our loyalty? To see if we will put that ability or interest on a pedastal? or HIM?

  43. Jim says:

    I think one can go anywhere and still be a light of God. Not saying you should do whatever you want. You should make decisions through God and ask God to guide you through things. But I think you should do something you love and surround yourself with people and things you love. Shoot for your dreams through GOd nd if he doesn’t want you to do that, he’ll tell you.

  44. Larissa says:

    I am a 28-year old single lady. I feel your daughters’ pain Keri. Knowing that a home and family of your own may not happen for you can be a horrible feeling. It feels very insecure, you worry about the future a lot. Not to mention the loneliness.

    I agree with your daughter, I do not love my job, but it would be a waste not to work. A waste and a burden on my aging parents. To get a chance to meet all types of a people and interact with them is priceless as well. I am serving my family by not being a financial burden on them.

    • Keri says:

      Larissa,

      I often tell my daughter(who is your age)..that she most certainly is not an old maid..and that she is really going to be better off waiting for the right man to come along then being hasty.She has worked with young woman and known others where she would not want to be in that situation.I’m sure your parents do not feel that you are a burden to them.I think it has been a good thing for our daughter to learn so much responsibility financially.She has bought her own vehicle(debt free)..we let her drive one of ours for a while or drove her to work while she saved money.It is very practical right now for us that she has her own vehicle as my husband and I right now share a vehicle.She pays all of her own bills,car ins.,health ins,through work,and pays $25 per week in rent to us.She knows it’s alot cheaper then living on her own right now.She also likes to come home to family at the end of the day..lol.

  45. 6 arrows says:

    My first impression of the “…follow her dreams…” part of the opening quote was that it sounded like the typical sentiment on a graduation card, to which, if I have to buy a card like that, I’ll add a personal note to the graduate about following the will of the Lord on whatever path He has chosen. So I agree with you, Kelly, that we should impress on young people, especially our own children, that following Christ must be paramount in our lives.

    I also found interesting (at the end of the quote) the juxtaposition of the two phrases “to stay at home” [and] “to follow her dreams”. To me, the word “stay” sounds so inactive, like a young woman at home is doing nothing but waiting for Mr. Right to come along. Contrast that with the word “follow”, which implies action. Who wouldn’t want to DO something?

    It seems there’s such a lack of vision regarding what one can DO in the way of home and ministry, and difficult for people to understand that there are young ladies who desire to be BUSY with home and ministry (a much more descriptive phrase than “STAY-at-home” daughters, IMO). Furthermore, these young ladies DELIGHT in home-based pursuits, rather than merely having to endure it, as though any young adult woman who works from home must have been “pushed” into it and would never voluntarily choose to be home beyond girlhood.

    I do think we need to train all of our daughters to be keepers at home (and do it joyfully so they can understand the deep joy that comes with that role) because statistically, as you said, Kelly, it is likely they will be married and managing their own home someday. I also believe Titus 2 commands us older women to teach and train the younger women in those things the passage mentions.

    Having said that, though, I must express my concern about what I understand to be a misapplication of the Titus 2 passage (specifically verses 4 and 5). The question has arisen here and other places about who that passage applies to, and how it plays out in the lives of unmarried women.

    4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children.
    5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

    I firmly believe that the command issued in that passage (I’m speaking particularly here about the “keepers at home” part) is aimed at MARRIED women, and not unmarried women. In other words, it’s my belief that unmarried women are NOT blaspheming the Word of God by working in a context that could be considered blaspheming the Word if it’s a married woman we’re talking about. (Please know that I’m not accusing anyone here.)

    As an aside: I’ll just say right now that I’m not interested in a debate on married women working outside the home, when it’s OK, when it constitutes blasphemy, etc. I’m speaking only of unmarried women.

    My concern (and I want to tread very carefully here) is that if the “keepers at home” part of the Titus 2 passage is (IMHO) erroneously seen as a command to unmarried women, a lot of familial tension and heartache can result if young adult daughters feel led of the Lord to pursue something outside the home that isn’t necessarily viewed by the parents as an extension of home or ministry. I think all parents need to examine the scriptures carefully, to discern its commands and to whom they’re directed, and not constrain our adult children to obey something that is not actually a biblical command for them, or to make our children feel that we would be very disappointed in them if they chose differently from what we see as the ideal for them.

    We as parents are commanded not to exasperate our children, and I think requiring something of our children that the Bible itself doesn’t require (or requiring abstinence from something the Bible doesn’t forbid) can (and reportedly already has in some cases) exasperate our children, with very unfortunate results. I would also add, and again, I’m not saying you or anyone else here, Kelly, has done this, that putting undue pressure on our adult children to follow our desires rather than their own, even if we’re not expressly forbidding them, carries with it the possibility of breaking the bonds of fellowship we as parents all desire to have with our children.

    I think it goes back to what you said, Kelly: we desire our children to follow Christ. If they have been immersed in the Word in its truth and purity and have a personal relationship with their Savior, we can have full confidence that instead of our children being ruled by “my dreams, my goals, my ambitions, my desires” (and the word “my” could refer to any human’s wishes for our kids), our children will be guided by the Holy Spirit, Who will lead them into all Truth in the Lord’s good and perfect timing.

    Thank you for helping me to think through these things, Kelly. Very timely as we are there right now with our nearly 19-year-old daughter. I also appreciate your focus on serving as the starting place. That is so important to grasp.

    Love and many blessings to you and your family. 🙂

    • 6 arrows says:

      I should clarify something I wrote toward the end of my fourth-to-last paragraph above: “…putting undue pressure on our adult children to follow our desires rather than their own…”

      I don’t mean the “our desires rather than their own” part to sound contradictory to the idea of following Christ and His will. That is the ultimate question for parents and their children (and everyone): What is God’s will for my life? Not my will, but Thine be done.

      I do believe some of our desires and dreams (adults and children) come from God, and other desires do not. The point I want to make is that we should be trying to keep the lines of communication open with our young adult children, continuing to discuss the scriptures, as we did in their childhoods, helping them to discern whether their dreams and desires are rooted in Truth, and letting them proceed with our blessing if it is, even if the path the Lord has for them looks different than how we envisioned.

    • Word Warrior says:

      6 arrow,

      Very thoughtful, and well-stated sentiments.

  46. Larissa says:

    I like the terms “help-mate”, “homemaker”, “domestic artist” etc.. so much better than “stay-at-home” mother or wife. I agree with 6 arrows, it implies inactivity. And the influence of these women reaches far beyond the home. I wish there were a better phrase to encompass all they do.

  47. Wonderwoman says:

    Quite an interesting conversation going on here. I think I get the underlying meaning of your post, in that we are to seek God’s will for our lives and I agree, yet I can feel some of the frustration spoken. I love reading blogs for encouragement, yet I frequently find myself steering clear of blogs that seek to “tear down” women who work outside the home. I am not saying that this is your intent, but sometimes what is unsaid is more uncomfortable than what is said.

    To be a “keeper of the home” means just that. What frustrates me is women who think that a woman that works part time to bring in needed income for her family cannot keep a home? I work part time at a good paying career with a flexible schedule, I home school my kids, I work in church youth ministry, I teach at a co-op. I do all of these things. I also sit and read the Bible with my kids every morning and talk about the things of God, speaking of them as we rise, walk by the way, etc. Is it hard? Yes. And very worthwhile. My husband, children, and home take high priority over my job. Please understand, I am not trying to put words into your mouth or accuse you of saying something you are not–like I said it is in what is missing and tone sometimes, not what is said.

    Sometimes punching a clock on someone else’s schedule is necessary. If we desire to help our husbands, then we will pick up the slack when he cannot. But I guess my biggest point is this: I do all of this and I keep a home. I keep my laundry up, cook healthy meals, clean, organize, train my kids and I also have a part time career. I am wounded when it is implied that I cannot “keep a home” and do all of the other things I do. It also pains me to see people who tear down stay at home moms. People who say: just a mom. That is a hard job and anyone who says different has obviously never done it! We really need to seek to love and walk in unity despite our differences. I really believe that this topic divides greatly.

    • Wonderwoman says:

      And I have to add that while I would encourage my girls to stay home if they can, I see great value in them having a higher education or degree in the event that they do not get married or are widowed at some point. Or, they could end up like me–having to help out a bit–and the more they love what they do, the more content they will be with their circumstances.

  48. Maude says:

    You say ‘Obedience requires faith to do what I cannot understand; to believe what may not make sense.’ However, If God called your daughter to be a Ruth or a Deborah, for example, and pursue something other than, or in addition to, being a ‘keeper at home,’ I wonder, would you sill hold to such a philosophy, or would you insist otherwise? Also, I see nothing in Jesus’ words that oppose Feminism (that idea that women are people).

  49. Valerie says:

    I suppose that what could be the point of statements such as, “You are judging, thinking you’re the only one who knows the right way.” – (which is met every time with responses like, “God’s word judges. He gives us the right way, we’re just repeating it.”) – is really more of a statement suggesting that you are convinced your interpretation of God’s word is the only right way.
    Stick with me a minute.

    Christ absolutely tells us to deny ourselves, to take up our crosses, to lose our lives to follow Him. What’s baffling to me is how that’s translated: stay at home, with your families, building a loving comfortable environment for them and putting them first in all situations. (particularly when we put those commands in their actual context, as we’ll see below)
    For one – staying home would’ve been much – much – easier, and more comfortable for *me* to do. To stay at home with my family (especially if they were actually people who sought to glorify God, which they are not) would be the single comfiest way I could think to live, specifically if I was putting their wants and needs ahead of my own. Sound insane? It’s not. Think of all of the conflict I could avoid, all the peace I could keep, all the people-pleasing I could get done simply to avoid the guilt and the pressure and the angst of disappointing and ‘abandoning’ the people whom I actually do love so much it hurts. So when I come to Christ’s words, “Deny yourself,” and “Lose your life,” and “Take up your cross,” I’m not going to interpret them quite like you may want me to. The most painful thing I’ve ever done was separate myself from my family for the sake of following after Christ.

    Which brings us right to the real clincher for me… Note something, in *scripture*. When Christ tells others to deny and lose their lives, to take up their crosses, what is His actual message there? “Follow me.”
    It was like His motto, to the point where He demanded that His disciples *leave* their *families* in order to be considered His… Oh yes. The disciples learned quickly what it meant to deny and lose their selves. It meant loyalty to Jesus Christ alone, even at the cost of their families.
    I’ve seen few stay-at-home daughters/wives/mothers tackle Jesus’ words in Luke 14 head on, where Christ urges His followers to *hate* their families, or in Matthew 10, where He strongly charges people to realize that He did not come to bring peace (particularly familial peace) but a *sword* – to *separate* father from son, mother from daughter. Back in Luke (12, this time), we find that He came to cast fire upon the Earth, and was getting impatient for it! Quote here, straight from the place it counts – scripture: “Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father…” (and so forth)

    So when we throw out scripture – which is indeed God’s word – which does indeed judge – let’s let Him fully do the judging and fairly and fully present His Word.
    When we share select commands like, “Deny yourselves,” let’s not use them to argue that Jesus meant, “Deny yourselves by *not* leaving the home,” or anything even remotely close to it. But to present His command to “deny” and “lose” our lives, and to take up our crosses to follow Him… and put those words of His exactly where they belong, which is ironically with the passages given above – where Jesus is bursting all the bubbles of anyone that thinks, “Home, sweet, home – where the heart is. Where my family is. I love my family more than anything or anyone. That is the selfless way.”

    It’s not.
    I’m not saying that. Well, I am, but most importantly – Jesus said that. In several places in Holy Scripture. Shoot. Jesus was starting to sever the ties with His family at age twelve. (Luke 2) Even as a twelve year old, He was putting God so far above His earthly family that pleasing them actually mattered zero.
    When it comes to following Christ, the pattern should not be: God first, family close second.
    We see clearly from Jesus’ own words and life that it was God first. God second. God third. God fourth. God… God… God… God.
    Family became basically irrelevant, and our lives are not to revolve around ours.

    So really – I’m not saying these passages I’ve addressed from God’s Word are the only ones that mention “family matters” in all of the Bible. What I’m suggesting is that they get recognized, not plucked from, and that *other* select passages don’t get pulled out and used as singular orders for all of the world at all time. There’s more to God’s Word than we think and when we note passages like the ones shared here – intense, harsh, striking – we might start to realize that God’s “job description” for His people is not as cut and dry as we’d like to believe.

  50. Summer says:

    Kelly, I love you. Do not be discouraged in your writings. You are understood and God is honored by your heart and what you say. You are so very brave to do all that you do and your example of service, love, and patience amazes and challenges me. I pray that God will fill you with peace and strength. He is so amazing, as you know.

  51. Diane says:

    Yes yes yes. Great post. When asked often how I keep going thru my own struggles I reply “it’s not my job to understand – it is my job to trust and obey.”

  52. karen jones says:

    I have not read many of these comments …but I think of my neice who has wanted to marry and have children..she also has a deep interrest in animals but not PETS. Her school councellor kept telling her to dream big!!! what ever she could imagine follow your heart!!So she said well if I could dream anything…she picked a job that will cost 50 thousand dollars in college and will only pay 25 thousand a year at the highest pay. how will she afford to do that job pay off student loans and pay day care for her babies?? I finally sat her down after the first year and said I hate to be a kill joy but what about doing something that you could be a help to your husband eventually? (She was always interrested in marrying a farmer) and many people in her family work for themselves.Well another year of college and she says her abilities are woking with numbers and she would really rather think of doing accounting ,now she is changing course to something that makes much more sence I. look at this “follow your dream” as it could turn into a nightmare unless God is leading it.

  53. David says:

    I’d like to weigh in as a non-feminist unmarried man who is still eagerly awaiting the arrival of his helpmate. I’ve been studying this subject for a very long time, and one chronic frustration i’ve experienced in these kinds of discussions is that the idea of a woman being a man’s “helper” seems to be relegated to the arena of managing the domestic environment. So many biblically conservative women and men who rightly adhere to the biblical teaching on manhood, womanhood and marriage, make a jump in their logic and assume that there is only one possible model for a woman’s being a man’s helpmate, and that is for her to keep house and raise children.

    I noticed that one of the respondents above mentioned, almost in passing, the possibility of a woman sharing in her husband’s vocation / career / calling. That’s my dream! Not every man has been wired by God with the same needs. I suppose some men want to marry a woman and be “helped” be her in the domestic arena. I figure my wife and i can cover that one together; the thing that my spirit cries out for, and always has, is for a woman to be my battle-mate, working with me in ministry, education and cultural analysis, helping me with administration, editing, that sort of thing. That’s the stuff that lights the fire in my belly! The thought of obtaining a “helpmate” who will keep house for me does not excite me at all, and i am in no way motivated to seek a wife who will be walking in this role exclusively. I would just as soon remain single. I need a wife who will be in the trenches with me, a woman of education (perhaps… ooooohhh… COLLEGE education?), a woman who is savvy not only in the area of theology but also in the humanities and cultural studies.

    I think it’s unhelpful to assume that God has called every family to look exactly alike in terms of what the woman’s contribution is. Do i think there’s anything wrong with the woman taking on the role of homemaker? Not at all! That possibility is certainly introduced in the Scripture. And i recognize that for many men who work 9-to-5 jobs outside the home, it would be awkward and impractical for him to try to integrate his wife into the carrying out of his calling. But i know there are many men like me out there, who yearn for a woman to share in their calling with them, and i know furthermore that this is a yearning that God has placed deeply within me, at the same level as my desire to worship Him and to walk in holiness. It is not a carnal vision. It is my most basic architecture.

  54. Keri says:

    6 Arrows and David..

    6 arrows..your post was right on.Thanks..and have a Blast with that 4 yr.old today.

    David..a good majority of the women who wrote on here are probably
    not only homemakers..but also share their husbands calling with them!My husband is in construction and I couldn’t tell you how many times I have been on a ladder opposite with him or typing out work invoices for him to send over the computer.I’m sure there are lots of women who have commented on here who have also worked with their husbands on many occasions..Just thoughts I’d let you know that we are all just not home daily making bread and scrubbing toilets…lol.and yes that is meant as a joke!! Have a great day!!

  55. David says:

    Jeepers… i replied to this a few minutes ago, and the system for some reason did not take my reply. Too incendiary, i suppose. Trying again.

    Thank you, Keri, for your response. That was helpful. If what you’re saying is true, i can’t help wondering why this aspect of the whole “helpmate” theme is not emphasized more, in discussions of this type? The two options that one hears discussed are, “Can a woman have a career outside the home, independent of what her husband does,” or, “Must a woman be a helper-at-home, which entails a range of domestic tasks, including childrearing.” And, man, those are just not the only two options! What i envision for my marriage is completely different from both of them!

    • Valerie says:

      I’d encourage a word study for ya, David. 🙂
      I’m noticing your lean on the word “helpmate,” which is often used because women were created when God decided to make man a “helper” suitable for him. (I’m not arguing semantics here.)
      My point here is that many use this piece of information from scripture as a way to suggest and push the idea that women are to assist, work for, support their husbands in some form of a distinctly subordinate role. Like a company staff member would “help” the company director. (I’m definitely not saying that’s what you’re doing – it doesn’t seem that you are.)

      But if we look at the original language of the text – the word “helper” is literally translated: rescuer, protector, or strength-provider. It’s also the same word used in the Old Testament – multiple times – to describe *God* in relation to His people. And we know He is not subordinate in either status or role, to us!

      So a woman really was created to come alongside a man and work with him, providing strengths and insight only she possesses, to perform tasks and walk through seasons as complete equals in status, roles, and competence.

      I guess my question to you is: Are you looking for a woman who will be *willing* and even eager to come alongside your calling and be in the trenches with you, despite anything else she may be wired to do?
      Or are you saying you’re looking for a woman who God has already – in His awesomeness – given the same calling and who will be able to move forward with you *in that* in a way that is honoring to Him?

      Just wondering.

      • Word Warrior says:

        Valerie,

        As a complementarian AND author of this blog, I’ll not argue with you, but for the sake of others reading, point out that while I agree with some of your points here (“So a woman really was created to come alongside a man and work with him, providing strengths and insight only she possesses”), and that yes, husbands and wives are “equals” in their personhood and value as a human, they yet are given distinctly different roles, supported by Scripture, and in these roles they complement (bring each other to completion) one another beautifully.

        • Valerie says:

          I simply don’t see distinctly different roles presented in Scripture, and not for lack of studying it. 🙂
          Sure understand your right (and obligation, perhaps) to make clear where you stand on even your readers’ comments though.

        • LVH says:

          Kelly,
          I think what Valerie, myself and others are pointing out that we have come to different conclusions on what scripture says about the role of women. Our interpretation is different than yours.

          I support your viewpoint when you say that all Christians must seek God first in everything; especially in regards to our paths in life. I agree that God may call a mother to stay-at-home full-time to raise her children.

          I disagree that God does not call mothers outside the home into the working world; to be doctors, nurses, scientists, midwives, mathematicians, teachers, political leaders, or a variety of other professions. My view is supported by what I believe to be sound doctrine and “supported by Scripture.”

          I will support my daughter in her vocation(s) whether that means God calls her to live out his purposes as a stay-at-home mom or a pediatric brain surgeon. 😀

          • Jennifer says:

            Awesome! 🙂

          • Word Warrior says:

            LVH,

            I rather fell out of this conversation for a number of reasons, one of which I was out of town. I understand that your interpretation is different, and so this comment isn’t to change your mind, but to clarify for other readers why I hold the stance I do and feel it is a biblical position.

            Everything we read from Scripture supports the idea that women who are given families are given the priority to care for them.It’s not just Titus 2, though strong evidence is there that a woman should be “at home” caring for her family.

            We see it in the narratives of Scripture where it a high exception for a woman not to be in a full time occupation in her home. And we see it, perhaps the most clearly, when Paul sets forth the criteria for widows who are to be considered “in the number” to be taken care of. It is explicit that she is “not to be considered” unless she has cared for children and met the needs of those around here (in a voluntary, hospitable fashion which requires a great deal of availability).

            All that we have from Scripture meets the very real reality that a woman cannot hold 2 full time jobs well. Something will be neglected.

            Now does that mean she is “in sin”? I don’t know that answers. And I know women who have had no choice but to work outside the home for circumstances they cannot help. But there is a difference in “allowing” this to be so in needful circumstances, and *encouraging* it as normal or even preferable. I think there is a “preferable” place for wives and mothers, abounding with opportunities for making income, serving, volunteering, exercising her gifts and abilities but still maintaining her home with the hours that requires.

            Hope my point is clear…typed in a hurry 😉

      • David says:

        Hello, Valerie! et al.

        I’ve read loads of stuff and have done the word studies (including the notorious “kephale”) in my effort to weave my way through this labyrinthine issue. I’ve read the traditionalists, the feminists, the complementarians. I tend to find the account given by Wayne Grudem, John Piper, Mary Kassian, etc. the most satisfying.

        Anyway, my position is that i unambiguously DO adhere to the Biblical teaching that the wife is the complement to the husband, to work alongside him as his companion and assistant, with the husband providing the overall vision and authority structure. It’s just that i’ve always objected to the idea that this model can only be interpreted in one cookie-cutter way. (The “keeper at home” idea, which is often presented in a doctrinaire and stereotyped manner.)

        To be honest, i think there are potentially hundreds of millions of individually-tweaked models, one for each marriage, all framed in keeping with the larger reality of the man’s authoritative headship and the woman’s equality of dignity and giftedness, and the overall Lordship of Christ. I suspect that my view is not very satisfying to you, Valerie; it’s not the feminist view. But my journey out of feminism and into a more Biblically sound understanding of marriage has taken the past 25 years or so, since my college days. It’s not a position that i have arrived at glibly or without doing my share of “word studies.” 😉

        • Valerie says:

          My satisfaction with a person’s view is kind of irrelevant. 🙂
          I do not even consider or call myself a feminist – there are so many different definitions people grab for that word it’s become impossible to use collectively. I bet anything there are even definitions under which you *would* fall under the category of feminist, and *many* which I do not.
          I do consider and call myself fully egalitarian though, which is not (not, not) the same thing, though many people would like to make the terms interchangeable. (Major misnomer, there.)

          I simply do not see where in Scripture we are told that men are *intended* to have authority over women in general, including in marriage, despite all of the arguments/defenses I’ve heard for the position – and even the ones I fully accepted growing up.

    • Keri says:

      I just have to clarify a couple of things here.Being a helpmate does mean that domestic tasks are done for the sake of my husband when he gets home after a long and tiring day.Also,there are different seasons of a wife and mom’s life.My husband Did Not want me helping him with his work when our children were small..toddler and baby years.He wanted Me to stay home and take care of them.It is much easier now to help him with his work because our youngest is almost 14.Just really wanted to clarify that!Taking care of domestic things in the home and raising children does not mean that you put your brain on hold..It is not a “Boring Job”..It is really the most fulfilling and challenging thing I have ever done!! From what I recall..Kelly has written a few posts on being a Helpmate!

  56. Wow, this post has certainly generated quite the lively response ;o)

    Kelly, I just want to say thank you for sharing your heart. This post met me right where I needed it. I have had a particularly difficult couple of weeks lately. I have an 18-month-old and an almost 3-year-old, and we are in the midst of battling those strong toddler wills (times two). It has been a harrowing process, especially for me, being home with them all day every day, doing my best to offer them firm godly discipline in an attempt to bring their wills into submission to mine and to God’s.

    I have Christian friends who seem to be able to do it all, be moms and still have the great career, and I catch myself asking, “Is this really necessary? Does God really care one way or the other whether I stay home with the kids or put them in daycare so I can do something more ‘fun’? Is this *really* what God has ‘called’ me to, or am I just unnecessarily making a living ‘martyr’ of myself, so to speak.”

    In my heart, I know the answers to those questions. But I have to tell you, it is becoming increasingly difficult to remind myself of truth when so many *Christian* friends are speaking anything but truth to me, encouraging me to think about myself, pursue what makes me happy, put the kids in daycare and make life a little easier on myself, etc… not to mention what the world has to say.

    I guess I just want to say thank you for being that rare voice of reason, reminding me that the life I have chosen to live *is* the better choice, *is* more pleasing to God, *is* reaping an eternal reward that other lifestyles simply will never merit quite the same way. There is joy in the pain, and oh, there certainly is pain! But it is for the glory of God and the benefit of my children, and it is more than worth every moment. I can only hope and pray that my daughter is someday blessed with this same precious gift!

    Thanks for the reminder! God bless you!

  57. Rachel F. says:

    I am getting pressure to work from the most unlikely source, my husband! We agreed when our first was born that I would stay home. Now after four children he is questioning if that is the best decision! He hasn’t outright asked me to work, but he has been making comments like “Maybe the one with the degree should work, we’d probably make more money…” (I have a B.A., he does not), or “If we both worked we wouldn’t be so broke..”

    I’m sure the pressure of providing is getting to him. I can understand that, but his comments make me feel guilty sometimes. He may even been getting comments from others about me. I don’t know. I just remind myself that I am where I am suppose to be, where I want to be, and where I know the kids need me to be. I try to uplift my husband whenever possible by not complaining about money or the lack of it. And most of all I pray. And that brings peace. I know God already knows what is going on, and has my life in His hand. I just have to obey.

  58. Julie Perry says:

    Dear Kelly,
    I have believed these things for years about women being keepers at home and trusting in God’s will, and then my whole world was shattered. Now, although I still believe that being a keeper at home really is best for families, what about when tragedy strikes?
    My husband of almost 17 years died of cancer, leaving me with four children, no life insurance, a business that I don’t know how to run and am trying to sell, a mortgage on a home I can no longer afford, and the assurance that his well-to-do, but non-Christian parents would take care of us.
    The first thing my husband’s parents did was march me down to the social security office for survivor’s benefits. This is now what sustains me while I continue to home educate my children, at least until I decide what I should do. Although I am very grateful for the money that comes each month, I feel terribly guilty receiving money that I did not earn, but without much of an education I honestly don’t know what else to do. Am I stealing from the American people?
    Now I question what to teach my daughters and am just not sure of anything anymore, except for my faith in God.
    I know that my situation is the exception, rather than the rule, but it is a very real possibility for anyone.
    Would you mind giving me your thoughts on our situation? I respect your opinion.
    Sincerely,

    Julie Perry

    • Word Warrior says:

      Julie,

      I am so sorry for the difficult place you find yourself. It’s hard for me to give you specific answers, as I know you must be desperate for. From a “principle” standpoint, there are biblical “safeguards” for your situation. Of course ideally your family is first in line to care for you. But realistically, this isn’t always the case. Next in line if your family is unwilling/unable is the church. It is part of their job to care of the believing widow (our church practices this in theory and in practice). Unfortunately, when families and churches do not operate biblically, things go awry.

      In your case, if you do not have wise, helpful elders in your church, I would seek out some wise, Christian men who could advise you. You need some practical guidance, especially if you are still grieving (it can be very difficult to make decisions in that state). There are answers, depending on all the specifics of your circumstances, and you may have to walk through some undesirable places until things will allow you to be where you want to be.

      I hope you are encouraged and will find someone who understands your plight and knows how to help you.

    • Jennifer S says:

      Please don’t feel guilty about receiving the SS benefits. Those were earned for you by your husband’s work.

  59. Genieve says:

    This is a really good post. Thank you.

  60. Christina says:

    The best lies have a little bit of truth to them.

  61. […] good follow-up, I think, from my recent post that received so much […]

  62. Angela says:

    True, but often our dreams are placed there by God. He gives us the heart for it and the talents for it and then when we pursue it can use it to bless others. I would definitely encourage my daughter to pursue a dream we believed was in God’s will.

  63. Kate says:

    Are you all serious???? Pray to change your heart before you pray to have your husband’s heart changed??? What wife would even think of praying for her husband to have a change of heart before she had prayed long and hard about it? This advise is as close as it gets to condoning abuse, wether mental, emotional, or physical.

  64. Well – I am not sure, but I may be the only male commentator here. I hope that’s allowed, and I hope I won’t get mauled by all the ladies – I haven’t seen any rules stating men aren’t allowed to read and comment here.

    This is a very good post and challenged my thinking – only because I never actually considered that thought before. Following God rather than your dreams WHEN your dreams clash with God’s Word is absolutely true. But I have a few questions to put forth.

    Is there any scripture OTHER than Proverbs 31 that suggests women are supposed to be the home makers? If the answer is no, then we must ask whether Proverbs 31 is commanding that only women be home makers? I do not believe it is.

    What if you have a home in which the male figure is more suited to taking care of the children? It DOES happen, you know. What if the woman is more suited to bring home the money needed for the family? Is there scripture that states this is wrong? Is the husband supposed to fix the car while the wife cooks dinner? What if he doesn’t know beans about cars and she could be a mechanic, and what if she burns water while he is a chef?

    In my own life, I never married and I have no children. I’m suited to this life. Does this mean, since I have no wife, there is no home maker? Think again if you think that! Low and behold, I have curtains on my windows! Pictures on the wall! I know how to clean house, I do my own laundry, and my underwear has not turned pink because I mixed the colors and the whites. I can even iron. And as for cooking! I love to cook, I have had plenty of women ask me for my recipes, and should I ever marry, sorry, but I am not giving up the cooking I love doing so much. I actually hope that if I ever marry, it is to a woman who can’t cook.

    And here is one other question thrown in for good measure … what if a woman does not marry? Is there some scriptural maxim demanding that all women marry?

    • Jennifer says:

      Excellent questions and points, Vincent. No, there is no command against women working; many simply think that a woman can’t be a proper homekeeper if she does work. I think the Bible strains more on men being providers because back then, work to earn bread was strictly a man’s thing, based on both culture and natural strength. Plus, most men are driven to work naturally.

    • Word Warrior says:

      Yes and no. Women are commanded to be keepers at home, but also allowed to be “biblical business women”. I just answered this to someone else and I’ll paste what I wrote to explain:

      “Does the “job” she has allow her the freedom to say “no” at any time, contingent upon her family’s needs? Is she required to be subject to someone else besides her husband? Is she allowed flexibility (preparing her “wares” around her family’s schedule)? Can she keep her home priorities? Is she still free to handle the needs around her (a sick friend who needs a meal, etc.)? All of those things help us answer what is “acceptable” or not. I think this is what is so beautifully illustrated in Proverbs 31 and doesn’t contradict Titus 2. There are lots of unconvential directions she could go with this. (Selling stuff at craft shows, speaking engagements, etc.) So, that’s how I’m able to be a HUGE advocate of a “biblical business woman” and a Keeper at home, all at the same time ;-)”

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  66. Val says:

    Hi,

    From experience, my parents encouraged me to pursue my dreams but I truly think that your dreams are actually from god as long as it serves humanity and does not cause any harm. Jesus told us not to hide our talents, what unique gift god gave you, I think we have to let it shine.

    With lots of persistence, I became a film composer. When people tell me that they cried because of my music, this is payday, I touched someone’s heart, it is a great feeling. I think we can contribute through our gifts.

    Like in the film Charriots of fire : When asked if running is in opposition to god’s will, the main character says : God made me fast and when I run, I feel his pleasure.

    If your kid has a dream, not a megalomaniac one but something that comes naturally to him and that he would love to pursue, I think that denying this dream would be denying himself and ultimately, god’s design for that kid.

    About marriage : Saul said that the man should be in christ so if you live in an abusive relationship, praying to change his heart or worst your heart (hello, it’s not your fault!!), you are litterally denying yourself the right to live a happy life. Marriage is not a prison.

    I have known a very devoted christian woman who got raped by her husband for 15 years and received death threats from him. She was going to church everyday to “accept” the situation and change her heart. She received very easyly a marriage anulment from the church and understood that living with a severe abuser was not marriage.

    Thank You for reading my opinion, god bless you all.

  67. […] One blog I follow in particular made a profound impact on me when I read this post about teaching our children not to follow their dreams. Her wisdom BLEW me away. And her words I felt were God speaking straight to me.  Read it here. […]

  68. 6 arrows says:

    This is an old post, but it came to mind today when I came across this video looking around for videos on haiku. There’s a lot more than haiku going on in this follow-your-dreams “song about female empowerment”, lyrics and music written by a class of 3rd-grade girls.

    http://youtu.be/-lqjNm3iycQ

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