This weekend, we celebrated with several families, the high school graduation of their homeschool students. During the graduation ceremony that we attended, which included 36 home-schooled students, I was reminded how few there are, even among homeschooling Christian families, who share the same vision we do for our daughters.
The role that women are to play when they leave their parent's home is so clear in the Bible, yet the world has worked to dilute and ultimately overthrow this biblical standard from Heaven. Christian parents have either been influenced by the world to reject the biblical purpose God has given to women or have simply neglected to instill this wonderful vision of womanhood in their own daughters. Concerning the latter, it is not sufficient as parents, simply to conform our own lives to God's word. We must also cast a vision and teach our children to follow in our footsteps, providing not only the what and how, but also the why.
With the constant assault from the world on even basic common decency, Christians have lowered their expectations, satisfied simply with their girls continuing in the faith and avoiding promiscuity, rather than striving for the highest standards laid out in God's word.
God's Purpose for Women
The Bible states so clearly God's purpose for women: to help their husbands.
And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. Gen. 2:18
Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. 1 Cor. 11:9
God created man to care for His creation and take dominion over it, but He was not pleased that the man, Adam, would do this on his own. He provided the woman, Eve, to provide the help Adam needed in fulfilling his mandate from God. We aren't actually told here any details about how the woman is supposed to serve her husband, though we can look to other scriptures to expound.
Training Our Daughters to be husband-helpers
As we raise our daughters, we need to keep in mind that one day we are going to release them to go serve a husband. It's our job as parents to prepare our daughters for that role.
The Bible never mentions a woman serving her husband by being a provider or a co-provider. God lays the burden of providing squarely at the feet of the man. While it may be necessary or even convenient for a time for the wife to bring home an income, that is not her role. I've seen so many parents focus their daughters almost exclusively on getting a college degree with a view to starting up a career. We should be raising our sons to be providers, not our daughters. If we are concerned about financial provision for our daughters, let's find them diligent husbands who would rather work 3 jobs and 80 hours a week before they'd send out their wife to toil in the rat race. Let's not prepare them for husbands who'd prefer a roommate with half a mortgage payment to the responsibilities of providing for a wife and children.
While I believe there is a great deal of latitude in which a woman can serve her husband, we should be guided by some of the specific ways the Bible mentions that a woman should serve her husband.
- Train our girls to keep and manage a home (Titus 2:5; Prov. 31:27)
- Show them the value and worth of bearing children and teach them child-nurturing skills (1 Tim 5:14)
- Prepare them to feed a family nutritious meals on a budget (Prov. 31:15)
- Instruct our girls in shopping for modest clothing and even making them (Prov. 31:19-22)
- Guide them in buying and selling goods related to a household economy (Prov. 31:16,24)
Cast a vision
I also believe it's not simply enough to train our girls in the how-to's of managing a household and serving a husband. We need to cast a vision so that our girls look at serving a husband and family as a wife and mother not as a begrudging duty, but as something to aspire to. Our filthy feminist culture glorifies careerism and "independence" for women and demeans a life dedicated to serving “a man” and raising children. We can't allow that culture into our homes or into the minds of our children.
We should instead desire to regularly lift up excellent mothers and wives as role models and heroes for our daughters. We should also mock feminist attitudes and culture and communicate pity for women who, sometimes unwillingly, are subjected to the curse directed at man of toiling to feed themselves and their families (Gen. 3:17-19).
One of the most discouraging scenarios I've seen is families who have followed the Biblical standards of family life and even trained their children to follow in their footsteps, but have ultimately had their training undermined by the Christian community around them. It's not enough in this day and age to keep the world's grimy hands off your kids. Families that support the high standards of biblical womanhood taught in the Bible are few and far between. The community of Christians that we join ourselves to can undermine our hard work and training just as easily as the world can.
It is imperative that we find like-minded Christians to surround ourselves with who will both strengthen our resolve and expand our family's vision to follow God's standard for what it means to be an excellent wife. Our daughters need to be members of a community that will reinforce the biblical vision for womanhood, having friends who share the same aspirations, encouraging one another to pursue God's best and not settling into a compromised Christian culture.
Raising daughters who pursue this biblical path takes determination and effort. Let's count the cost and do what it takes to see God's purpose for families flourish in our household and in the many generations to come.