Saturday, February 11, 2006

Educating Christian Girls

I wrote the following in response to this (go read it, otherwise this post won't make much sense). And I liked it so much I decided to post it here as well.

Proverbs 31 is the picture of the perfect wife. "An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels." She is the perfect picture of what an Ancient Near Eastern man would look for. But do we have to do exactly what she did to be godly? Can’t we take the spirit of what she did but not exactly what she did? (We aren’t going to buy land and plant a vineyard are we? She was not slothful, she cared for others, her husband was blessed at the gate (in public) for all that she did, she was filled with wisdom and industry. If we follow her example, wouldn't we be wise and doing what God says in the rest of Scriptures?

As to the Titus passage, I do not think that this passage is limiting the women to staying at home only. What Paul may have been referring to is what was happening in Ephesus in 1 Timothy 5:13-14 "But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when their passions draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith. Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not. So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander.” The women were running around not doing their job – they were neglecting their duties and falling into sin due to their idleness.

Both of these passages refer to wives not daughters. There is no biblical mandate for our children to stay home. And BTW, there is no biblical mandate for women not to have a career, it doesn’t say that anywhere in Scripture but we do have examples of women who worked outside the home. Lydia sold purple (Acts 16:14), Priscilla was a tentmaker (Acts 18:3), and if you want an OT example, Deborah sat under a tree and judged Israel (Judges 4:4-5). Even the Proverbs 31 wife buys land and plants a vineyard (not your typical homemaking skills).

And I stand by my comment that all of us (are daughters as well) have been prepared for our vocations (Ephesians 2:10; Proverbs 16:9; Matthew 25:14-30). My husband and I are preparing our daughters to find out what gifts the Lord has given them so that they may pursue them so that in a time of need they will not be a burden (1Thessalonians 4:11-12). And in preparing them by sending them to college they will be free to make choices and not have the forced on them by circumstances. I believe that they will be more like the Proverbs 31 woman because of it. And there are Christian men who want their wives to go back to work after their children start school, shouldn’t a wife be submissive to her husband?

BTW, being a widow, unmarried or barren was not really unusual as we see throughout the pages of Scripture.

I am a stay-at-home mom so this is not an apologetic for working outside the home and I do want my daughters to marry and supply me with many grandchildren but I am also aware of my responsibility as a mom to prepare them to live in a way that is consist with the word of God.

8 Comments:

  1. Mike said...
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
    prairie girl said...
    Michelle,

    I so appreciate your post here.

    You, as a seminary student, need to check out this discussion. I think you need to participate in it, too!

    Be sure you scroll all the way down to the Phil Henry article, too.

    http://timbayly.worldmagblog.com/timbayly/
    michele said...
    Praire Girl,

    I am confused. What discussion are you talking about? And I searched for "Phil Henry" on that webpage but couldn't find anything.
    Moonshadow said...
    it's just the ol' stained-glass ceiling talk, Michele.

    Here's Phil's critique of an article on women theologians in the latest issue of the PCA magazine, byFaith

    Am I right, prairie girl?
    michele said...
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
    michele said...
    I have never wanted to be a feminist until I became a Christian. I was never this oppressed as an unbeliever (I could have any career I wanted to). I am still not a feminist but I can see their point :-).
    michele said...
    Why, oh why doesn't blogger let you edit your comment after it has been posted??? Don't they know that there are people who can't stand it when they notice that they wrote "there" instead of "their."
    prairie girl said...
    Moonshadow,

    I read that article and, honestly, am trying to understand the conflict. Carolyn Custis sounds like a student of Susan Hunt, to me, a woman I admire greatly.

    If the reformed church doesn't get it together on this issue, we are shooting ourselves in our own feet.

    I commented in length about it today on the bayly site.

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