Saturday, December 26, 2009

Busyness and Thank-Yous! :)

Hello, everyone! How are you? Did you all enjoy a beautiful and memorable Christmas with your families? I sure hope so! I also pray that through the joys and fun of decorating, making Christmas cookies and candies, wrapping gifts, unwrapping gifts :), etc., we remembered the greatest and sadly, most overlooked gift of all-our merciful Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who came to earth, died and rose again that we might have everlasting life. Glory be to God!

I'm sure all of you are just as busy as the rest of us, and are feeling as if time is simply flying by! That's the way we've been feeling lately! :) As you've all probably noticed, I'm taking a break from the stay-at-home daughterhood article series right now, due to this busy Christmas season, along with the fact that we will soon be out of town visiting family in Arkansas and our old home state of Texas. For these reasons, there will not be a stay-at-home daughterhood article posted until Friday, January 15. So, mark your calenders now and be sure to join us for the continuation of this series! If you have been unable to read the past articles, I encourage you to do so now during this little break from the series!



I now want to publicly thank some dear young women who have supported me in amazing ways. I have been so very, very blessed by ladies who have read my article series and who are posting about it on their sites, in the hopes of telling more and more people about it, so that they can read it, too. That means so much to me, and I therefore what to publicly mention the three that have done so and encourage you to learn from their great website ministries, as well!



The first young woman to link to my series was Erica over at A Still Small Voice. Miss Erica is such a sweet young woman with a great website! :) I have benefitted greatly from her writings since I first came across her site when she mentioned that she had linked to me, and I'm sure you will, as well. Please go take a look at her site! And, Erica, thank you so much for linking to me; that was sweet of you!



A huge thank you to Miss Courtney and Miss Katie from Stay-at-home Daughters! This is a really awesome site owned by two wonderful young women who are dedicated to being godly daughters. I was so blessed to discover that they had posted about my series on their site. Please go take a look at their great work!



Last, but by no means least, Miss Sarah Kanz, a 33 year old stay-at-home daughter, deserves a big thank-you. She, too, has supported my series in a special way. I have learned so much from Sarah since I came across her site via Stay-at-Home Daughters a couple months back, and I am thrilled to say that she will be joining us near the end of this series. She has agreed to be interviewed and to impart to us the wisdom she has aquired through her years as a joyful and faithful stay-at-home daughter.



Again, thank you so much, ladies, for spreading the news about my series! May the Lord greatly bless each one of you!



And, thank you readers, for sticking with me every step of the way. May God bless you with a wonderful New Year!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Sufficiency of Scripture Conference was a success!

Praise the Lord! The Sufficiency of the Scripture Conference, held this past weekend in Kentucky, was a resounding success! We wanted to attend, but were unable to do so. Praise God for what He is doing, however! If you'd like more information about the conference or would like to order the messages from it, please check out these links:




http://ncfic.org/conferenceaudiopreorderIC



http://ncfic.org/conferenceaudiopreorder



http://www.facebook.com/NCFIC?ref=ts



If you'd like to enter a giveaway of the CDs, please click here. Hurry; the giveaway ends tonight!

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Biblical Case for Stay-at-home Daughterhood Part 3

Last Friday we studied a most important chapter of God's Word, Numbers 30. We discovered that this is a passage which so eloquently reveals to us the Lord's plan for daughterhood. It is now time for us to delve into further passages pertaining to the God-given roles and sphere of unmarried daughters.




Psalm 45

This psalm is a beautiful portrayal of a royal wedding, a wedding which is symbolic of our Lord and His chosen people (I encourage you to read the entire psalm, but again, for our purposes today and due to article length, we will only be addressing certain verses of this passage). In this wonderful account, we see that a royal daughter is marrying a great king, and through this story, I believe there are two lessons for us to grasp.

First, in verse 15 we see that this young woman is entering into the king's palace to be joined to him in marriage. At the very time when she is entering this royal home, she is admonished to, "Forget also thine own people, and thy father's house" (vs. 10). Now, because this psalm is ultimately dealing with those the Lord has saved and the relationship they have with Him, we should interpret this verse as meaning that when we are joined to our Savior through His blessed salvation, we are to forget our old ways, old passions, sinful desires, and habits which are at odds with our new life in Him. However, we must not lose sight of the fact that this psalm is also referring to an earthly wedding, and so there are principles concerning family life for us to consider as well. Notice at what point she is commanded to forget her father's house. Is it when she reaches some magical age and goes off on her own, to be independent and autonomous? By no means. Rather, she is never admonished to forget her own people and her father's house until at the precise moment when she is entering the royal palace to unite with the king in marriage. Likewise, it is noteworthy to see what she is told to forget. Is she told to forget her independent life out on her own and her apartment? No! She's told to forget her father's house, thereby implying that she is in his palace (remember-her father was a king, as well!) up until the time she leaves to marry her future husband and to begin a new life in his palace. Verse 10 is in this psalm for a reason-it presents a picture to us of where a daughter is residing leading up until the time of her marriage. This interpretation is in keeping with Numbers 30 and other passages of the Scriptures (such as 1 Corinthians 7:36-38, which we will be studying next week) which present to us a picture of stay-at-home daughterhood.

Second, notice verse 13: "The king's daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold." Commentators such as C.H. Spurgeon and Matthew Poole believe this verse to be referring to the fact that she is all glorious within, meaning that she has great inner beauty and strength of character. They also view verse 13 as addressing the fact that she is all glorious within the palace, a phrase which the NKJV adds to the verse in italics. Therefore, one of the clear meanings of this verse is that she is all glorious in her father's house (please note that it is likely referring to her father's house and not her husband's as the next two verses speak of her entering her future husband's palace to be wed). Not only is she not a drudge in her father's house (the sphere where she is up until her wedding day!), she is glorious within the royal palace! She is attractive and productive there. In fact, it is glorious for her to be in this sphere! It is a good thing that she is in her father's palace; it is not something to be shunned! She seems to be content in this sphere and is praised for being so. If she were a couch potato who heartily wished to be removed into some other home or sphere, she could not have been referred to as being glorious within the palace. Rather, I believe that this royal daughter knew well the fact that this was her God-given place and rejoiced in the thought of residing and working in this sphere which the Lord had prepared specifically for her. She was not pining away for Prince Charming or wishing she could lead an autonomous life out on her own somewhere. No, she was glorious within the palace! It would not be a glorious condition if this unmarried woman were off on her own, in her own home, independent from her family. She is glorious in the palace, partaking joyfully of the protection and authority it lovingly provides for her.

Also, from a study of the entirety of Psalm 45, it becomes clear that verse 13 could also be used to refer to this woman's future life as the wife of a great king, as commentators agree. She is glorious within his palace, for she is a true Proverbs 31 woman. Therefore, we see from verse 13 that it is glorious and noble for a woman of any age to be in the important, influential sphere which the Lord provided specifically for her-the home.

So, before continuing on to another verse study, let us recap. First, we saw in verse 10 that this royal daughter is in her father's home until marriage, and that upon the arrival of her wedding day is told to forget her former home. Second, we saw in verse 13, that prior to her wedding, this daughter was glorious within her father's palace. Verse 13 did not say a thing about her being glorious elsewhere, but expressly stated that she was glorious in the royal palace. Besides this, she is also glorious in that she has great inner beauty and is graced with upright character, and will likewise be glorious in her future husband's home.

Psalm 144

Now we can turn to another of my favorite passages, Psalm 144. This is one which we will be referring back to numerous times throughout the remainder of this series, so I will not address every detail of it here. However, it is a verse which most certainly needs to be addressed in this current article, because it, as well, provides us with a glimpse into God's plan for unmarried daughters.

Psalm 144 is a beautiful and eloquent psalm as well, and holds many similarities with Psalm 45. For example, Psalm 45 speaks of a woman being glorious within the palace, while Psalm 144:12b speaks of an unmarried daughter's role in the family palace. Likewise, while Psalm 45 speaks of the Lord and His relationship with His people, Psalm 144 outlines the many blessings enjoyed by a family who follows after the Lord and obeys His commands. I encourage you to read this psalm in its entirety, but for our purpose today, we will simply focus on verse 12, which says, "That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace." When addressing the subject of stay-at-home daughterhood, this verse is a very noteworthy one for several reasons.

First notice the differences between sons and daughters. They and their roles are not the same, nor should they be. The family who has been blessed by God has sons who are characterized by one certain set of traits and daughters who are characterized by another. Sons are referred to as plants grown up in their youth. God desires for young men to act as men-not as immature little boys. Now, what do mature plants do? They send out their seed. The seeds of the plant do not remain in the "home plant", so to speak, but are dispersed, much as arrows in the hand of a mighty warrior are dispersed (Ps. 127:5). These young men grow up and one day leave home to make a living for themselves, to search for and marry a wife, and to begin a family of their own. In other words, they leave. Remember this fact next week when we address the subject of sons leaving, but daughters being given!

Contrast the role of sons as plants with that of daughters. Daughters are referred to as "corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace". What is a corner stone and what are its roles and responsibilities? For millennia, pillars have been used to, in essence, hold up palaces and other structures. They were literally what kept the buildings from collapsing. Without the presence of pillars, the structures would have fallen to ruin. In his dictionary of 1828, Noah Webster describes a pillar as being "a supporter, that which sustains or upholds, that on which some superstructure rests". As one can see, a building's pillars served a crucially important purpose. Is it not amazing that daughters of the King are likened unto pillars? We know that daughters are called on to be pillars, but what are they to uphold? Verse 12 says that they are to serve as the kind of corner pillars which would support a palace. It is clear that the palace to which this verse is referring is the family home-our parents' household. Therefore, daughters are given the special role of literally upholding, stregthening and serving the home. This role is a crucial one which has been wisely given to them by Almighty God Himself- a role which, if not fulfilled properly, will result in the destruction and ruin of the household. Daughters are to help make their homes productive, hospitable, strong, comforting, welcoming havens. Clearly, therefore, the unmarried daughter is to be in her father's home, helping to fashion that home into a beautiful, thriving place and striving to make the household a more unified, thriving, loving unit. The Lord has given unmarried daughters a huge responsibility-a responsibility that simply cannot be obeyed or fulfilled if the daughter is not in the home she is called on to strengthen. Just as a palace without pillars will soon crumble and fall to ruin, so will a family whose unmarried daughters are not in the home, serving as pillars fashioned as for a palace. If daughters are not in the home, but rather off on their own somewhere, the household will begin to fall apart. The family will become less and less productive and will begin to lose some of its strength, productivity, and godly influence. It is therefore crucial that they remain in the home until marriage, faithfully submitting to and joyfully living out, the role of stay-at-home daughter which the Lord has ordained and fashioned for them. Families and homes whose unmarried daughters are busy about the home, seeking to make home life as productive and joyful as possible are described in verse 15 of this beautiful Psalm: "Happy is that people, that are in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord."

In Conclusion

Today we have had the privilege of studying two beautiful psalms which portray so eloquently the wonderful design God has fashioned for the home and for the lives of unmarried daughters. This design is not to be taken lightly, which we will discover even more in future articles. Next week we will continue to study passages of the Scriptures which portray stay-at-home daughterhood as God's plan for daughters. Following this, we will, the week after that, study daughters of the Bible and glean wisdom from their stories as to how we as unmarried daughters are to live our lives.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Homemade Christmas!

As many of you may know, my dear friend Emily Rose came up with a great idea entitled A Homemade Christmas.



Also, as many of you know, I operate a home business sewing and selling tea cozies. As my contribution to A Homemade Christmas, I wanted to share with you my 4 new Christmas tea cozies. They make delightful home decor and add a cozy touch to Christmas tea time. Enjoy!





Merry Christmas

Gingerbread Christmas


Country Christmas



Christmas Poinsettia


For Christmas last year, Mama made me a Christmas tea cozy (which became the inspiration for my home business), that made my Christmas tea that year all the more special!


To join in on the homemade Christmas fun, please click here!

Monday, November 30, 2009

My List of 1000+ Gifts......Part 2!

To learn more about Multitude Monday, please click here. I'm beginning my journey of dwelling on and listing out the 1000+ things I'm thankful for. Here are numbers 11-20:

11. Dear friends and godly mentors in the blog world, such as:

12. Jasmine

13. Anna Sofia and Elizabeth

14. Hannah

15. Breezy

16. Emily Rose

17. Sarah

18. Blair

19. Jocelyn

20. Their blog posts and kind e-mails are such a great blessing.



What are you thankful for today?

Friday, November 27, 2009

A List of the Current Stay-at-home Daughterhood Articles

Due to the fact that many are traveling, shopping, visiting with family, putting up Christmas decorations, etc. today, I will not be posting the next article in the stay-at-home daughterhood series, as I'm sure many will not be taking the time to visit blogs today. I do, however, want to provide for you a convenient list of the current articles in the series, so that you can easily read any of the past articles that you may have not yet had a chance to go through.



I hope you all had a very memorable and happy Thanksgiving yesterday! Due to the business of the holiday, I have been unable to respond to the most recent comments I've received regarding this series, but rest assured that I will definitely respond soon. Thanks for your patience and understanding! :) God bless!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation

Whether one agrees with Lincoln's politics or think he was way off base, I think we can all benefit from reading his 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation.



By the President of the United States of America.


A Proclamation.


The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.


In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.


Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.


By the President: Abraham Lincoln


William H. Seward, Secretary of State

He's so correct in that America has been blessed beyond measure, yet we have forgotten the One Who has blessed us. We have trusted in our own wealth, our own fortunes, our own "might", that we have forgotten that everything we receive comes from the hand of the Father. If it weren't for His great blessings to us, we would have nothing. As is so often the case, great material wealth is the predecessor to great spiritual poverty, and that is precisely what we are experiencing in America today. We have forgotten God. On this Thanksgiving Day 2009, may we repent, turn from our wicked ways, and cry out to Christ for forgiveness and newness in Him. May we commit to never again trust in what we can do ourselves, but realize that each blessing we receive is from His hand. Lastly, may we remember that the same One Who gives, also at times takes away. Therefore, let us be ever grateful for each day and each gift He so graciously bestows upon us.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

7 Random Things....

My dear friend Jasmine posted 7 random things about herself today and tagged any of her readers who would like to the same thing. I thought it'd be fun, so here goes! :) Oh, and if you're reading this, then consider yourself already tagged!



1. I'm a fan of the Texas Longhorns' quarterback, Colt McCoy. He's a very outspoken Christian who is not afraid to give glory and praise where it is due!



2. I love to read and have often been caught reading while brushing my teeth. :)



3. I still don't have my learner's permit. There have simply been other things I've wanted to do than spend my time reading the drivers' handbook. ;)



4. I would very much like to live on a farm one day, and am into Victorian-style farmhouses, with big wrap-around porches.



5. I'm currently working on a book project! :) More about that later.....



6. I was terribly scared of having my baby teeth pulled. For me, it was pure torture, and I NEVER would have pulled my own! I sure hope I marry a man who doesn't have a problem with pulling teeth, because I do not think I'll be able to pull my children's!



7. Mama pointed out to me that on Sunday, December 6th, I'll be the exact same age as she was the Sunday she met Daddy. They were married a year later, and have been married 20 years. :)



Now, what are some random thoughts about you?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Rejecting the Twilight/New Moon Saga

The Twilight saga is seemingly taking over the world. What should we, as Christians, think about this phenomenon? How should the Biblically minded Christian view the Twilight books and movies? Are they ok, innocent fun? Or are they dangerous and destructive?



One thing for which I am so thankful this Thanksgiving season is godly friends who are not afraid to take on the controversial hot topics of our day. Friends who bless me so much through their astute observations of what's going on in the world around us (and sadly, what's going on in the church today!).



Three of those friends are Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin and Jasmine Baucham. These ladies have taken on the Twilight subject head on, with a goal to uncover the dangers thereof and to give an answer Scripturally as to why we should avoid these materials.


~~~~~
Please read this great article entitled How Twilight is Re-vamping Romance by the Botkin ladies. They uncover the existence and dangers of emotional pornography and issue forth to us a sound, Biblical perspective on all things Twilight.



Next, please read a great article by Miss Jasmine Baucham entitled Abstaining From the Madness. She makes some great and much needed points, as well, as do many of the commenters who have left their thoughts.



I hope these articles bless you as they have me, and spur you on to rejecting Twilight and its dark influence and messages. Not only that, but I pray that you will stand up for the Scriptures and reach out to others and urge them Scripturally to reject the lies and evil intentions of Twilight, as well.



May God bless you as you strive to follow Him.

Monday, November 23, 2009

My list of 1000+ Gifts.....Part 1!

The other day, I came across a great (and very thought-provoking) post on my friend Breezy's blog. A woman had gotten the idea to begin on her blog a list of 1000+ gifts and blessings from the Lord which she is grateful for. In this Thanksgiving season (and beyond!), I think it would be good for all of us to really take the time to sit, be quiet, and ponder all the many, many blessings our merciful Lord has bestowed upon us.



I believe that so often we just give the Thanksgiving season merely a token nod. "Yes, we should count our many blessings", we say. But how many of us really take the time to do so? A subject I'm very passionate about (and there are many! ;) ) is slowing down and taking the time to be still and know that He is God. With that, comes the realization that we are nothing! Yes, we're created in the image of God and with that comes great worth. However, we are sinful, depraved, wretched human beings. Every one of us! With this knowledge, is it not amazing that our merciful Lord gives us the very air we breathe, let alone all the countless blessings we receive-and take for granted!-each and every day?



With that, I encourage you to join me as I ponder each Monday the many gifts and blessings bestowed so mercifully upon me by my gracious Lord. I know each of you has been blessed beyond measure, as well. So I encourage you to consider beginning your own lists!



Without further ado, here is my first group of great blessings which I am so very thankful for (and so unworthy of!).



~~~~~~~~
I am grateful for:



1. The fact that the Lord even created me and gave me life-simply an amazing thought!



2. My salvation-I have Christ's righteousness imputed to me, and now stand in God's sight redeemed. How blessed is this salvation!



3. My family! My loving, humble father is such a blessing. My mother has such a big, caring heart and derives such inexpressible joy through being a wife, homemaker, and mother; she daily makes it clear that there is simply no place she'd rather be than right here at home with us day in and day out. I am honored to be their daughter! My deep-thinking, very loving, joy-bestowing brother, Andrew. Being his sister is sheer joy each and every day.



4. My home! Not only do I have shelter over my head, but I have a warm, homey, inviting home to live in.



5. My pets. :) My sweet doggie Winston and my interesting cat Piper (named after John Piper) are such gifts. Observing their escapades and mock fights throughout the house each day brings such joy and fun to my life.



6. This season. The Thanksgiving and Christmas season is always so special. There's nothing quite like the feeling of this time of year! :)



7. My church! The Lord has brought us to be a part of a wonderful, intimate family of families. What a gift!



8. warm tea or hot chocolate on a cold winter's night



9. a rolling fire on a frigid night! :)



10. Christmas decor that adds such a festive touch to our humble abode.


~~~~~~



Please join me next Monday for my next list, and please really do consider making your own!



What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? What blessings has this past year brought you? How has God been so good to you? I'd love to hear all about your gifts and to share in your joy!

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Biblical Case for Stay-at-home Daughterhood Part 2

*If you have not yet read the previous articles of this series, please click here to do so before continuing on.
 
~~~~~~~~
We discovered last week that even if God had not, in His Word, provided for us specific passages relating to the roles and duties of unmarried young women, we still would see, through observing the roles God has fashioned for women, that it is only proper that a young woman live at home with her parents until marriage. After all, she is a female, so why not prepare for (in the case of the roles of wife, helpmeet and mother) and live out now (in the case of being under the leadership, provision and protection of a man) the roles and responsibilities given to females? So, our main discovery last week regarding the Biblical case for stay-at-home daughterhood was that God provided for us a foundation for the doctrine of stay-at-home daughterhood when He issued forth to us His teachings regarding the roles of women. Our gracious God has, however, provided us with numerous passages on the topic of unmarried adult daughters as well-one of which we will be studying in detail today. Through the course of the following few weeks, we will continue to come into contact with other passages relating to the topic of unmarried daughters and the subject of what pursuits, and in what sphere, they are to spend their time.


Numbers 30


The first passage of Scripture we will study is the beautiful one of Numbers 30. What a rich treasure of teaching on Biblical daughterhood (and Biblical family life, for that matter!) this chapter presents to us! Through the reading of this passage, we can't help but discover the reality of the special love and special place our great God has in His heart for women, the weaker sex. He has provided a gracious design of special protection and provision for them. This chapter of the Bible reveals that a female's protection and a father's and husband's authority and leadership are of paramount importance in the sight of God. I encourage you to read the entire chapter of Numbers 30; but for now, we are simply going to focus on verses 2-9 which proclaim:


"2 If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth. 3 If a woman also vow a vow unto the LORD, and bind herself by a bond, being in her father's house in her youth; 4 And her father hear her vow, and her bond wherewith she hath bound her soul, and her father shall hold his peace at her; then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she hath bound her soul shall stand. 5But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth, not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand; and the LORD shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her. 6And if she had at all an husband, when she vowed, or uttered ought out of her lips, wherewith she bound her soul; 7And her husband heard it, and held his peace at her in the day that he heard it: then her vows shall stand, and her bonds wherewith she bound her soul shall stand. 8But if her husband disallowed her on the day that he heard it; then he shall make her vow which she vowed, and that which she uttered with her lips, wherewith she bound her soul, of none effect: and the LORD shall forgive her. 9But every vow of a widow, and of her that is divorced, wherewith they have bound their souls, shall stand against her."


This passage of Scripture is one of the most eloquent and beautiful examples in God's Word of the fact that His design for the lives of unmarried daughters is that they live in their father's homes under their protection, provision and leadership until they are given in marriage. Some view this passage as one that simply proclaims that if an unmarried daugther in in her father's house, then he should exert authority over her, and that it is not expressly presenting a picture of stay-at-home daughterhood, or the precepts thereof. However, I think the truths of this passage are much richer and go far deeper than this notion allows. There are numerous points I would like to make regarding this chapter.


First, as you can see, a man is required by God to fulfill each and every vow and oath he has made, regardless of how unwise, detrimental, or rash it may have been. Our Savior in His abundant grace and mercy has provided a special blessing of protection and "a way out" for females, however. Women are, simply by nature, more gullible and rash (take the example of Eve, for instance), and so we sometimes find ourselves in uncomfortable and damaging situations due to our rash utterances, agreements, oaths and vows. The Lord is so gracious and forgiving, though! If a daughter or wife finds herself in an awkward or damaging situation due to some agreement or promise she has unwisely made, the Lord has so designed matters that her father or husband can reverse that vow-he is now responsible to the Lord for the oath or rash agreement, and the female involved is now mercifully released and forgiven, for her protector has overruled her-she is no longer required to fulfill that oath. The grace and mercy of the Lord shown forth in this beautiful passage amaze me! Women are more emotional beings, whereas men are more logical. This is how God has so designed us (these characteristics correspond perfectly with our roles!), and in so doing has provided women with a covering-a protection fashioned and ordained by the Almighty Himself! Why would any daughter want to be out from under the precious protection and authority that the Lord has lovingly placed over her and designed especially for her?


The Grave Importance of Vows


Lest we begin to think lightly of vows and fail to understand just how amazing our Lord's teachings in this passage are, let us study for a moment the dire importance of oaths made unto the Lord. The teachings and implications of Numbers 30 are simply astounding when one studies Ecclesiastes 5:4-5:


"4When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. 5Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay."


Clearly, the Lord places a huge importance on vows and the keeping of them. Vows and oaths are very serious utterances which are not viewed lightly by God. When a person makes a vow, he is not only binding himself to the person to whom he has vowed, but ultimately to God Himself, as well. This is precisely why vows are so important and are not to be taken lightly-they are promises one has made in the sight of Almighty God. We read that it is better not to make a vow at all than to vow and then not pay. In fact, our God views the vow-maker as a fool who is not pleasing to Him if he fails to carry through with his promise. Yet Numbers 30 teaches us an amazing truth-despite the huge importance in God's eyes of vows being kept, there are two things of even greater importance in the eyes of God: 1) the leadership and authority of a father and husband and 2) the protection, care, and security of a wife and daughter. In God's eyes, these roles are crucial and of more importance than the keeping of vows. Is that not amazing? Does this not provide us with a glimpse into the heart of God as it pertains to the lives of unmarried daughters? This eye-opening passage shows that it is of paramount importance in God's eyes that a female be under the protection and authority of a man. Numbers 30 shows the importance God places on this. Christians, we must strive to obey and live out this passage! However, it simply cannot be lived out and obeyed as it should be if an unmarried daughter is off on her own, independent from her father. If our Lord's teachings, as presented in Numbers 30, are to be fully embraced and lived out in day-to-day life, an unmarried daughter must be in her father's home until marriage-she simply cannot be on her own. This chapter leaves no room for "in between time" where a daughter is on her own, separated from and void of her father's full protection and authority between the time when she finishes her secondary education and when she finally gets married.


Some would attempt to point out that when Numbers 30 refers to the daughter in her father's house, it uses the words, "in her youth", striving to imply that this means that this passage before us is only referring to female children and married women-not grown daughters. There are a few points I would like to make in response to this argument, as well as to the argument outlined above which says that this passage is not teaching that unmarried daughters are to live at home until marriage, but simply that if they are at home, their father is to exert authority over them. I pray that this presentation would be a blessing to you.


Various Observations on the Text of Numbers 30


1. Notice the Context


Knowing the context of a verse, rather than trying to take a word or phrase from its context, is crucially important. Notice verses 5-7 of Numbers 30: "5But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth, not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand; and the LORD shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her. 6And if she had at all an husband, when she vowed, or uttered ought out of her lips, wherewith she bound her soul; 7And her husband heard it, and held his peace at her in the day that he heard it: then her vows shall stand, and her bonds wherewith she bound her soul shall stand." Notice the end of verse 5 and the beginning of verse 6. This woman goes directly from her father's authority and protection to that of her husband. There is simply no in-between time between verses 5 and 6. This daughter is never autonomous or separated from her family. She is, quite frankly, in her father's home until she lives in her husband's home. This is precisely what is seen in the context and the wording of these verses.


2. The word "woman"


When this passage refers to the daughter under her father's roof, it uses the word "woman". Numbers 30 is clearly not referring to a female child, but rather an unmarried adult daughter-a woman. Our Lord does not desire for His Word to be mysterious and unable to be understood. He has laid out His precepts in a clear fashion and they are to be taken literally. The Scriptures mean what they say and say what they mean. Thus, our Lord could have ordained that this passage said "little girl", "female child", or "maiden" (a word which usually refers to a young lady) if He were speaking of young girls. That is not the word presented in this passage, however. Instead, the word woman is presented, thereby showing that it is expressly referring to an adult daughter. In addition, little girls would not have been making vows, which further illustrates that our Lord is referring to adult daughters.


3. "In her youth"


Interestingly, the precise phrase that many attempt to pull out of its context in order to support their view, actually proves them to be wrong. Many take this phrase and say that it proves that only little girls are being addressed in the verses dealing with daughters. However, this kind of phrase is a common one in the Scriptures, and refers to the normative age of one who is getting married. In other places of God's Word, the terms "of his youth" or "in his youth" refer to the time of marriage or procreation. For example, consider Proverbs 5:18: "Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth" (see also Malachi 2:14-15). Likewise, Psalm 127:4 says, "As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are the children of the youth." Through study of these verses, we are presented with the true meaning of the phrase "in her youth" as presented in Numbers 30- an unmarried daughter who is of marriageable age is under the direct care and protection of her father until marriage. In speaking of the phrase "in her youth", in verse 3, Mr. Poole writes, "In her youth; and this clause is added not by way of restriction, as if virgins in their riper years were freed from their parents' jurisdiction, and at their own disposal, (which undoubtedly they are not,) but way of addition, or amplification..." (2)


4. "In her father's house"


Verses 3 and 16 speak of an unmarried daughter being in her father's house. Some, when addressing this passage, say that an unmarried daughter can be under the authority and protection of her father while living on her own somewhere. However, I beg to differ. This passage is not simply referring to a father's authority, provision and protection over his daughter. Even if it were, it would still imply that in order for a daughter to be fully under her father's care and leadership as outlined in this verse, she would need to be in her father's house-not somewhere separated from him and fending for herself. Rather, this passage shows unequivocally that, according to the law of God as presented in this chapter, an unmarried daughter is living in her father's house until marriage. Likewise, a father would not be able to hear his daughter's vows if she was separated from him in location, which further expresses that she is to be in her father's home. Speaking on the phrase "being in her father's house" in verse 3, Puritan Matthew Poole (1624-1679) writes, "Being in her father's house, i.e. under his care, power and government, which she is whilst she continues in her father's house, being a virgin, as appears by the opposition of a married woman, ver. 6, and of a widow, and divorced woman, ver.9, and by this phrase of being in her father's house, for when she marries, she is removed into her husband's house, Ruth i.9." (1)


5. The status of a divorced or widowed woman


Very noteworthy is the fact that the only women not under the authority of a husband or father is a divorced or widowed woman. A woman in this position is in charge of her own vows. Thus, the unmarried adult daughter is not to be on her own, for the only group of women that is to follow through with their own vows, no matter what, is the women who are divorced or widowed, as they are their own authority. The unmarried adult daughter, therefore, is not to be on her own fending for herself!


6. Adult daughters are addressed


If one holds to the notion that an unmarried adult daughter is free to be out on her own, autonomously fending for herself and being her own authority, separated from the direct authority, protection, and provision of her father, then why is this group of female not addressed in Numbers 30? If the verses pertaining to daughters are only referring to little girls, then why does God not address the group of women who are unmarried and have never been married? Did God forget about them? Here we have a passage addressing the roles of women who are in each stage of life. So, if one believes that the verses pertaining to daughters is addressing only little girls, then one comes face to face with a problem: God forgot to address unmarried adult daughters! However, I think it is rather clear that God did not fail to address this age group and status of women. Rather, He clearly addresses them in the verses speaking of daughters in their father's houses. According to Numbers 30, adult daughters who are unmarried are to be under their father's roof. This is what Numbers 30 is teaching.


"Yes, but that is Old Testament Law!"


I believe we have outlined and expressed the fact, from Numbers 30, that God's design for an adult, unmarried daughter is for her to live in her father's home until marriage. However, some, even if they do believe that this is what Numbers 30 is clearly setting forth, are unwilling to abide by this passage, as they view it as Old Testament law which no longer is to be obeyed, especially not by New Testament Christians. However, there are a few points I would like to quickly make regarding this argument, as well. First, the Old Testament laws pertaining to sacrifices are fulfilled in Christ, and no longer have to be obeyed by us, for Jesus Christ was the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of our sins. Likewise, the ceremonial laws, laws pertaining to feasts, special days and celebrations, etc. are no longer binding either. Paul writes in Colossians 2:16, "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of a new moon, or of sabbath days." However, the Old Testament moral law is still binding to this day. Included in this is Numbers 30 and its teachings, for this passage refers to the roles of men and women and to Biblical family dynamics-topics which are unchanging in God's Word. Second, there are passages in the New Testament itself (which we will study in the coming weeks) which speak of unmarried women living at home until marriage. Clearly Numbers 30 is a portion of Old Testament law which is still binding on the followers of God today and thus is to be obeyed.


In Conclusion


In closing, I pray that you have been blessed through this study of Numbers 30. This chapter is a wonderful, yet often overlooked, ignored, and misunderstood one. It is of just as much importance today as it was in the day it was first proclaimed. God has ordained by His wisdom, love and grace, that an unmarried, adult daughter remain in her father's home until he gives her in marriage. This design is not made in order to try to enslave her, treat her like a child, steal opportunities from her, or any such thing. Rather, it is made so as to strengthen the family (and as a result, the church and society as a whole, as well!) and to lovingly protect the women involved. Our God knows our weaknesses, knows our need for protection, care, and security, and so has fashioned our unmarried years and our roles so as to keep us in a sphere of great importance, safety, and productivity: the home! Blessed be the great name of the Lord!


Footnotes:


1. Matthew Poole, Matthew Poole's Commentary on the Whole Bible Vol. 1: Genesis to Job, pg. 327 (Hendrickson Publishers, 2008)


2. Ibid.


Any thoughts?

Though you all seem to be very interested in the stay-at-home article series (for which I am very thankful!), I'm sure there are other topics you would like to see covered here. Some time ago, I began Question and Answer Week, where you could ask me questions and then I would post my answers for everyone. I'm going to begin doing this again, in the hopes of better serving each of you and answering any questions you may have.

Perhaps you are in a different boat and instead of having a question, you would simply like to see me write about a certain subject. Please let me know what you would like to see covered here in the next few weeks.

Thank you for your input!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Biblical Case for Stay-at-home Daughterhood Part 1

If you have not yet read the first articles in the stay-at-home daughterhood article series, please click here and do so now.



For centuries, the cultural norm here in the West was for a daughter to remain under her father's roof until the time when she was given in marriage. This becomes evident through a study of history and through an observance of the books, laws, and other works produced through the ages in the countries of the West (America and the United Kingdom being especially noteworthy). These works portray the cultures of these countries as they were years ago and reflect the fact that stay-at-home daughterhood was once a popular, common-place, and even expected way of life for unmarried daughters.



For example, in Jane Austen's famous novel Emma (published in England in 1816), the central character, 21 year old Emma Woodhouse, joyfully spends her unmarried years in her father's home. She makes it clear time and again throughout the novel that she could not be happy living anywhere else, but rather delights in serving her father and caring for his needs. Likewise, we see in Pride and Prejudice (another of Miss Austen's books, this one published in 1813) that characters Mr. and Mrs. Bennet have five unmarried daughters (who range in age from 15 to 22 when the novel first begins), all of whom are living at home with their parents. This was typical! It was the norm that unmarried daughters would remain at home, caring for the needs of others, furthering their educations, etc. until the day they married. This is how family life operated at that time. Whether a family was Christian or not, during that time period, the family held to and functioned according to Biblical teachings on the subject of the role of unmarried daughters.



Changes for the Worse

This slowly began to change, however, with the advent of feminism and the "women's rights" movement. Now daughters were being told that they could not possibly be happy or productive at home (I think, however, that Emma Woodhouse proved that wrong, don't you?). Daughters began to be brainwashed into thinking that they were succumbing to a life of victimhood, slavery, and inferiority to men if they continued to live and work in their parents' homes until marriage. Slowly (at first!) but surely, daughters began to buy into these lies and in response, left their homes and families in pursuit of college educations and independent careers. Rather than delighting in the work and sphere of womanhood and diligently furthering their educations while remaining in that sphere, women began to seek the roles and responsibilities of men. Through doing so, they began to lose pieces of their distinct femininity. They began to give up the unique glories of womanhood as created by God in order to trade them in for the life of the double curse and pseudo-manhood. With the coming of the radical, militant feminism of the 1960s came an even greater reduction in the number of young women remaining at home until marriage. From the late 19th century to today, the number of stay-at-home daughters has been dramatically reduced. No longer are unmarried daughters who are joyfully and productively living at home a common sight as they once were. Instead, the rise of feminism brought with it a new occurance.

Today, following high school graduation, unmarried females are expected to leave home to pursue an independent job or college education. They are being surrendered to the world by their families, thus becoming cut off from the care, provision, authority, protection and leadership of their fathers. Young women are, in startling numbers, being shipped off to colleges, and following their college graduation, are then expected to find a home and job of their own, independent from their families and their father's roof, care and counsel. As Mr. Voddie Baucham has so truly and aptly put it, these young women are being surrendered to the wolves to fend for themselves and to take on lives as pseudo-men as soon as they reach that magical age of 18.

Many view this now common occurrence as "progress" that frees those "poor female victims" from the leadership, provision, security and protection they were under as children. Others do not hold to such a radical stance on the subject, but they, as well, support this way of life for daughters, for they view it as a way to "broaden a young woman's horizons and opportunitites".

Sadly, there is just as much confusion in Christian cirlces today regarding the roles and responsibilities of unmarried females as there is in the world. Countless Christians are so caught up (as I once was!) in the culture and its teachings that they have given little to no thought to the question of what a newly-graduated young woman should spend her time doing. They've simply bought hook, line, and sinker into the lies of this world which proclaim that the college and career lifestyle is the only acceptable one for young women. Unfortunately, they also hold to the belief that the lives of their unmarried daughters can and should look exactly the same as that of their sons, with no uniqueness between the professions and pursuits of the two genders. Very few Christians today in an age of relativism and Biblical illiteracy have the slightest idea that there may be a better way for daughters, and even fewer take the time to study God's Word to seek to discover what God Almighty has to say on this subject. After all, many hold to the idea that God does not even address this topic, but rather just leaves us to our own wisdom, plans and desires. Nothing, dear reader, could be further from the truth God has provided for us in His Word everything we need in order to live lives of godliness in Christ Jesus.


What Sayeth the Scriptures?

So if our Lord has not left us to ourselves to attempt to discover what unmarried women should be doing, just what does He, in His holy Word, say on this important issue? If we were to set aside our culture and its teachings, and we instead searched the Scriptures diligently and obeyed what we saw taught there, then which example of daughterhood would be normative for Christians? Would it be expected that daughters would be led, provided for, protected, cared for, and sheltered in their father's home until they were given in marriage? Or would it be normative for daughters to, once they turned 18, be shipped off, void of any protection whatsoever, into a dangerous, destructive, ungodly world to be educated and influenced by it? As Christians, all we have to go by in life is God's holy and inspired Word-it is unchanging and is to be our roadmap for life, being constantly obeyed and lived out daily by us. So, dear readers, I invite you to join me as I search the Scriptures for the answer to these very important and timely questions on the subject of daughterhood.

The Roles of Women and How They Pertain to Stay-at-home Daughterhood

As discovered in the previous article (entitled Beginning at the Beginning: The Lord's Beautiful Plan, Design, and Purpose for Womanhood), God fashioned woman into a being unique from man and gave to her unique roles which can be outlined as follows:

  • Women are to be helpmeets to their husbands
  • Women are to be mothers
  • Women are to be homemakers (keepers at home)
  • Women are to be under the authority, protection, and provision of men

Through studying the roles our Lord gave to women, we are provided with a glimpse of what unmarried women are to spend their time doing. In fact, the roles given to women are the very foundation upon which stay-at-home daughterhood is built. After all, what should a daughter be doing, but preparing to be a woman and to one day take on the roles and responsibilities of womanhood?

Each of the special roles God designed solely for women is directed towards her home and family-each one! Therefore, is it not clear that, in order to prepare for these roles, unmarried women should remain at home with their families? If a woman's place, according to God's Word, is in the home, then it follows that the place God desires unmarried women to be is in their homes with their families, preparing for the very roles they will be called on to fulfill when they have their own households.

For example, let us address the role of homemaker for a moment. Just as young men should prepare for the vocations, roles, and responsibilities they will have later in life, so should young women! As we would expect a man who wants to be a lawyer to attend law school (or acquire a law degree online!) or to apprentice under a lawyer, so we would expect a woman who is called to be a homemaker to prepare for that high calling. We would by no means expect a young man who desires to be a lawyer to work towards becoming a doctor! We also would have little respect for the man who desires to be a doctor, but is too busy to prepare for that vocation because he is immersed in engineering studies. Likewise, we should not expect a young woman, with a calling from God on her life to be a homemaker, to be preparing for or pursuing a different vocation. So, if God has commanded women to be homemakers (which He certainly did, as we discovered a couple weeks ago), it would make sense for them to prepare for that high calling by remaining in the best training ground and place of apprenticeship available for future homemakers-the home!

Let us now consider the role of helpmeet. This is by no means a responsibility that should be taken lightly. It cannot be fulfilled without much training, as each of us is born as a selfish human being who does not desire to truly serve, help, or strengthen others. Nor are we born knowing how to do so! These characteristics of a Biblical helpmeet must be learned and practiced. Therefore, would it not make much more Biblical sense for a young woman to remain at home with her parents, striving to help and serve them and learning to bend her will to theirs, rather than immersing herself in the college and career lifestyle, both of which provide little to no training for how to be a godly, visionary helpmeet? After all, a young woman's unmarried years are great gifts. For one thing, they prepare her for her future life as a wife, mother, and homemaker. Why, then, do so many advocate a young woman leaving home and preparing for the roles, responsibilites and vocations given to men rather than those given to women? No college or career can prepare us for the offices of helpmeet, mother, homemaker, and submissive, dependent woman. Colleges may offer classes in home economics, but no courses are offered in Godly Motherhood 101, How to be a Helpmeet, or How to Submit to Your Husband. If God desires for women to be helpmeets to their husbands, then it goes without saying that this is something a young woman should plan and prepare for, and the best place to prepare for this role is in the context of the home and family-the sphere where a married woman and helpmeet will spend the majority of her time.

Likewise, as we saw last week and are going to discover in future articles, women are to be under the protection, provision and authority of men. We see that in Numbers 30 and other passages. This, then, would also lead us to say that the place designed for unmarried young women to thrive is the home, under the protection and authority of their fathers.

If God created roles and responsibilities for women which are centered on home and family, then what makes us think that He would support and condone us when we, as young women, leave the place He has so lovingly and wisely designed for us in order to pursue plans and vocations outside the home? The home is the place designed by God for women, so would it not follow then, that this is the place unmarried and married women alike ought to be? Unmarried women are not a different kind of woman. Yes, they are unmarried. But simply because they are unmarried does not mean they are left to assume the roles of men-they are still very much women whether married or not, as marital status does not determine your gender or your roles.

Even if our Lord had not placed passages in His Word which specifically address the very subject of the God-given sphere, duties and roles of unmarried daughters (which we will see in the coming weeks He did do!), it would be clear through His teachings on the roles of women alone that unmarried daughters should remain at home under the care of their fathers. After all, a young girl is in a sense a mini-woman. She is not a man or a pseudo-man. Therefore, she is to prepare for womanhood! If a woman's place is in the home, then a young woman's is, as well.The place God has designed for unmarried women is the home-not the workforce or the dangerous college campus (this is a highly unpopular stance today, but bear with me through the remainder of this series as I appeal to the Scriptures for support of my belief in this area!).

In Conclusion

As we have seen, womankind is given the sphere of the home and family in which to operate-all her unique roles are centered on the home and family. This knowledge alone should lead us to assume that God's place for unmarried young women is also in the home with their families. However, our great God did not leave us simply with this knowledge-although it would be enough to defend stay-at-home daughterhood as a Biblical doctrine. In addition, He also placed in His Word verses pertaining to unmarried women, their roles, duties, sphere, etc. We will be studying those beginning next Friday (Lord willing). Until then, study the Word and immerse yourself in the glories of womanhood in preparation for the next few studies we will be undertaking.

God bless you, and may He use these articles to encourage you, strengthen you, and edify you in your great privileges and duties as women bought by Him (1 Cor. 6:19).

Friday, November 13, 2009

New Article Coming.....Tomorrow!

Daddy usually reads over my articles on Fridays, but as he had to work longer today and had a meeting at work (which is very rare!), he has not been able to read my article and give me the ok to go ahead and post it. Therefore, I will be posting it (Lord willing) tomorrow instead.



Sorry for the delay!! Thank you so much for your patient understanding! :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thank you, followers! :)

I'm always so excited to discover that new people have decided to follow this blog. I was amazed when I discovered through the course of one of my most recent polls, that during the time the poll was open, over 70 new people had visited this site. Praise the Lord! That's exciting. :)

I would love to get to know you better, so would you please leave a comment telling a little bit about yourself and describing how you came across By His Grace and For His Glory?

Thank you, readers, for being so interested in this blog! I'm so thankful for everyone who links to me, follows this blog, and takes the time to read these posts. It's quite a blessing to serve you through Christ. I pray that this site would be a great blessing to each of you!

Recommendations, anyone?

My desire for By His Grace and For His Glory is that it would glorify God and serve and minister to its followers. I'm always striving to come up with new ways by which I can better serve you, my faithful readers. So, I'm asking for your input! :)

Are there changes that you think should be made here to make things smoother, more God-honoring and more productive? Should there be changes in the look of the blog, etc. that would make it more homey and inviting? If so, please leave a comment now or drop me an e-mail. I'm all ears and would love to hear from you! :)

God bless!

Friday, November 6, 2009

What's Coming in the Stay-at-home Daughterhood Article Series!

Due to a few unforeseen events, and thus a change of schedule, I will not be posting a stay-at-home daughterhood article today. However, I didn't want to leave you without a post on the subject, and so want to share with you what you have to look forward to in the next few weeks! :)

Next Friday, Lord willing, I will be posting part 1 of The Biblical Case for Stay-at-home Daughterhood. This article will likely be comprised of two, perhaps three or more parts, and will thus cover the span of two or more weeks. Through the course of this particular article, we will study the passages of Scripture which address the topic of unmarried women living at home until marriage. We will also cover Scriptural examples of stay-at-home daughters, as well as examples of young women who did not follow the Biblical plan for unmarried women. I think this article will be quite eye-opening!

Once the above mentioned article is completed, I will be moving on to an article entitled Why Stay-at-Home Daughterhood is so Important to God and Why the Enemies of God Wish to Destroy it. This article will address the topic of why daughters remaining at home is so crucial to the health of the home and family (not to mention the Church and society!). I will also address the history and teachings of various movements and worldviews such as feminism and socialism, explaining why each one is so set upon destroying the practice of stay-at-home daughterhood. This article, as well, (which will likely be posted in various parts) will likely be quite eye-opening!

Following the posting of this article, I will move on to address the subject of The Father's Home- a Safeguard for a Daughter's Purity. In this article, I will cover why the safety of a daughter's purity is largely dependent upon her relationship with her father and her secure place in the home.

Once each of the above articles is posted, I will be moving into the topics of college and higher education, what a daughter is to do at home, what a daughter should do if she has an abusive father, etc.

I'm so excited about the upcoming articles and pray that you are, as well. Please take time this week to spread the word about this series and read the previous articles if you have not yet done so.

Thank you for your interest in this series and may the Lord richly bless you!




*Exact titles of above mentioned articles subject to change!

Please return next Friday for the next article in the stay-at-home daughterhood article series.

Monday, November 2, 2009

How great is our God!

I don't know about you, but so often I find myself rushing here and there, not taking the time to sit quietly before the Lord and to just relish Him and His creation. The Lord shows me over and over the folly of this, and I always find myself heartsick when I realize that I've done it yet again. God has created us with a desire for Him; as some have said, "There's a God-shaped hole in all of us". That's so true. We were made to honor, glorify and delight in Him, and yet so often, we strive to fulfill our desires, our plans, and our schedules.



Now is the perfect time to repent of this and turn to our Lord for forgiveness. Autumn is probably my favorite season (although God has created a unique beauty in each one!). Here in mountainous Tennessee, God has painted our terrain with the most beautiful reds, yellows, golds, light greens, magentas, oranges, browns, and the list goes on. There is a mountain behind our house, and there's nothing like coming home after a day of busy errands to see that beautiful, exquisite example of the creativity and greatness of our God. This mountain is currently (although the leaves will be gone all too soon) adorned in the most radiant of colors. And to think-He has painted it this way for us! He didn't have to create all the colors He did. He didn't have to provide us with this breathtakingly beautiful creation. But He did, so that we might see His glory displayed each and every day.



Please, don't fall prey to all the hustle and bustle that this time of year brings and lose sight of the little blessings all around you! Delight in the Lord and breathe in all the beauties of His creation. Thank Him for His goodness, and rest in His love. Don't rush ahead to accomplish the next thing on your to-do list. Instead, take some time to simply glory in Him! Immerse yourself in His Word and surround yourself with the beauty of His handiwork. Maybe you'll want to go outside to be surrounded with the Autumn beauty and take your Bible with you for a special time of study. Be creative with these times and make them special.

I gaurantee that you won't regret it! :)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Beginning at the Beginning: The Lord's Beautiful Plan, Design, and Purpose for Womanhood Part 4

*If you have not yet read the previous portions of the stay-at-home daughterhood article series, please do so now, by clicking here, before you continue on. Thank you! :)

The following is the final portion of this article! Next Friday we will, Lord willing, move into addressing and studying the Biblical case for stay-at-home daughterhood.

~~~~~~

The subject I will be addressing today is so very, very important. I know I've proclaimed that same sentence in the three parts prior to this one, but it is so true! Each and every one of these four roles of Biblical womanhood are direly important and lead to the health and vitality of families, as well as the furthering of Christian dominion. In a way, however, I believe the case could be made that the specific role we'll be studying today is the foundation upon which the other three are built and given strength. If this foundation is not upheld, embraced, and delighted in Biblically, all else will crumble. The hope of pursuing the other three responsibilities will be darkened and depleted if this one-which was also instituted in the Genesis, the book of beginnings!-is not obeyed and lived out in a God-honoring fashion. Because of its depth of importance as well as the lies, hatred, and misrepresentations hurled against it today, this is a topic which could easily take up the space of a completely separate article series (which may show up here on this blog sometime in the future!). Due to this fact, I will not even attempt to delve into the depths and widths of this beautiful role at this particular time. I will be addressing it further in the next article we'll be undertaking by God's grace, which will be "The Biblical Case for Stay-at-home Daughterhood". However, I do want to attempt to present to you at least a portion of the riches of this design of womanhood, as created by our Lord. May it serve to ignite in you a love for God's vision of womanhood, and may the Lord use it to develop in you a thirst to delve into a Scriptural study of this topic for yourself.

A Woman is to be...

...under the provision, protection and leadership of a man.

As I stated above, this is-quite sadly- a very hated concept in our current culture. When someone brings up the topic of a man's responsibility to lead, provide for, and protect his wife and daughters, our culture-and sadly, the Church!- has been instructed and fashioned to respond with hatred, misunderstanding and vast misrepresentation.

On the one hand, you have those who say that there is no such thing as "male headship". By proclaiming this, they basically say that there is no need for men. This may seem like a radical proclamation, but that is nonetheless the thought which under-girds the "no headship" worldview. They are proclaiming-whether they mean to or not-that there is no need for men. After all, men and women are exactly alike, so why have both?

On the other hand, there are those who utter the dark and unBiblical words that women are to be doormats, nothing but slaves, held under lock and key in the dark basement of the home, and not to be given honor and respect. They-perhaps unwittingly-are embracing the enslaving dangers and heresies of Islam and are abusing women in a terrible manner.

However (glory be to our great God!), the Scriptures provide us with a picture of what the true relationship between the sexes ought to be. Our Lord and Maker reveals to us His loving heart and perfect ways as they pertain to Biblical manhood and Biblical womanhood. We see in Genesis and elsewhere in Scripture that God had ordained male headship and female submission-and did so prior to the Fall! The Fall did not bring about male leadership and female following. The only change in these roles that the Fall brought about was that now, due to our sinful natures, women desire to rule over men and men at times rule in a domineering, unloving fashion.

Indeed, it was not the Fall which brought about male headship and female "dependence". It was our all-wise, all-loving God Who ordained these wonderful, complementary roles. And I'm so glad and thankful that He did!

The Dangers of "Equality"

Feminism would have us believe that prior to the advent of the Women's Rights Movement, women were enslaved victims of domineering, disrespectful, power-hungry men. However, this simply is not the case. Were there men prior to this movement who dishonored and mistreated women? Of course-there have been since the Fall! However, it was much less common. The Declaration of Feminism even remarked in November 1971, that "all of history must be re-written in terms of oppression of women"! Rather than alleviating abuse towards women, feminism has instead brought about mistreatment of women on a massive, tragic scale! I was made aware of this terribly sad truth yet again through the reading of an article that was featured in our local newspaper just three days ago.

The article spoke of the horrible rape of a 15 year old girl in the San Fransisco area. Following a high school event one night not long ago (I believe it was reported to be a school dance), the young woman exited the school building and was attacked by a group of young men ranging in age from mid-teens to early twenties. They preceded to abuse and rape her-for two hours. As horrific as this alone is, the article went on to say that this was not the most gruesome portion of the story. What makes this event a hundred times worse is the fact that a large group of people gathered around the site. Not to help her, though! Rather, they simply stood there and watched as this poor girl was terribly abused. For two hours! Undoubtedly there were strong young men in this group of on-lookers. They no doubt could have banded together- they even numbered more than the attackers!-to defend and protect this young woman. Did they do that, though? Did they step in as men in the Titanic era would have, to defend, honor and protect her? Of course not-because men are not trained to do that today! Why? Because feminism has so maligned males into thinking they're good for nothing that now they believe it. Now they don't see any reason to defend helpless women. After all, feminism has, in the same manner, proclaimed to females that they ought to be "just one of the guys". Feminism has taught countless women and young girls that they should act like men, dress like men, think like men, do the work of men, heap upon themselves all the responsibilities of men, be "tough" like men, etc., for that's "true equality"! Do you see, however, where this sort of unBiblical indoctrination has gotten us? We were once a nation which bravely and dutifully proclaimed the teaching of "Women and Children First!", a nation which took great pride in defending, providing for, cherishing, and honoring women. We are now a nation that views women as men.....and treats them as such, slapping them on the shoulder, slamming doors in their faces, leaving them to fend for themselves, and the list goes on. Women have for decades now cried that they want "equality" (meaning that they want to be like men!). However, now that they've acquired it, they're not happy! Who could be when stories like that of the girl mentioned above take place day after day, thanks to "equality between the sexes"?

In great contrast to worldly pictures of equality, there is indeed an aspect of equality between man and woman which the Lord lovingly developed- that of equality in His sight. We are equal in worth, in dignity, and in the fact of our both being made in the image of Almighty God, the Maker of heaven and earth. What better equality could there be? The Lord created men with special roles and responsibilities fashioned solely for them, and because of this, they enjoy a special uniqueness among the Creation. Women are blessed in this same capacity, for they were issued roles and responsibilities which only they can enjoy and delight in. The uniqueness of man and the uniqueness of woman are kept safe in God's economy. However, man and woman lose their uniqueness and purpose when they are morphed together into one entity as they so often are today. Let us forsake the unfulfilling, fake, deceiving "equality" of today, so that we might enjoy and benefit from the glorious equality which God offers to us!

Man as Provider, Protector, and Leader

As alluded to in the previous installments to this article, man is ordained by God to protect, provide and lead his wife and unmarried daughters. We see in Genesis that while man is to provide for his family, his wife is to be a homemaker (and we daughters, homemakers-in-training!). Numerous passages of the Bible (some of which we will cover in next week's article) proclaim the duty of men to protect and defend their families-a role which represents the love of Christ for His Bride, the Church (Eph. 5:25, 28-33). Women are created as the "weaker vessels" (1 Peter 3:7) and are to be guarded and kept safe by men. And lastly, man is commanded by God to lovingly and wisely lead and exert authority over family, church, and state (Eph. 5:22-24; Numbers 30; 1 Cor. 14:34; 1 Tim. 2:11-14; Tit. 2:5; Is. 3:12; Ex. 18:21; Deut. 1:13). We will delve into this truth further, particularly as it relates to a man's protection and provision of and authority, over his unmarried daughters. We will be looking at and studying many of these passages beginning next week, with an article entitled "The Biblical Case for Stay-at-home Daughterhood".

In Conclusion

I pray that this article, "Beginning at the Beginning: The Lord's Beautiful Plan, Design, and Purpose for Womanhood", has served to endear you to the joyous, productive, fulfilling, highly important roles God has given to women. When we, as daughters of the Almighty, embrace and delight in obeying our gracious Lord and accomplishing what He has instructed us to do, we not only begin to greatly enjoy the fruits of such a life, but we also become an example to young women everywhere and a light in the midst of a dark and dying world. May we delight in and study the truths of God's unchanging Word, immersing ourselves in what He has to teach us. And may we live our lives in such a way that would cause those who see us to glorify our Father which is in Heaven!
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*Return next Friday for the next article in the stay-at-home daughterhood article series! Until then, please delve into God's holy Word and the truths which we have discovered through the course of this current article, in preparation for next week's study. God bless you!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Beginning at the Beginning: The Lord's Beautiful Plan, Design and Purpose for Womanhood Part 3

*If you have not yet read the first 3 articles in the stay-at-home daughterhood series, please do so now by clicking here before continuing on! Thank you!




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We have now come to the third part of this article, where we will be able to study yet another most important role graciously bestowed solely to woman by her Creator, Almighty God. This is a sorely misunderstood and belittled role, yet one which is crucial to the health of families, churches and societies. Without a woman fulfilling this critical role, the home, church and state are each weakened, deprived and drained of life. In this fact lies the truth which must spur us on to recapture the beauties of Biblical womanhood, putting into practice a role and responsibility which is designed not only for our comfort and protection, but for the furthering of God's Kingdom and the glorifying of His name. Without further ado, let us now delve into a study of this role.

A Woman is to be...

...a homemaker.

This is by no means a popular notion in many western cultures today. Homemaking is now seen as a waste of time, something which does not require special knowledge or preparation in order to complete successfully. Being a homemaker is viewed as a sad, enslaving, drudge-filled, unimportant excuse for a vocation. However, while many harbor these beliefs in their minds, our Creator God holds to a far different view regarding homemaking, and it is to His way of thinking which we must submit. We must embrace the high calling of homemaker which our all-wise God has so lovingly given to us (Titus 2:5). Just as our God views homemaking as a work of art which is of lasting importance, so should we. The Designer of homemaking has fashioned homemakers into women who exert a mighty, unparalleled influence on the world around them and upon the generations yet to be born. Let us, too, strive to view homemakers and the art of homemaking in the same glorious light!

It is oftentimes so easy for us to succumb to the world's expectations for females and to believe its terrible lies about and deceptive caricature of God's plan for the lives of women. However, we must refrain from doing so, dear sisters in Christ! We must stand strong on the sure foundation of God's Word, realizing that as homemakers and homemakers-in-training, we are among the most powerful and influential women in the world! We may be relatively few in number today, but because the Sovereign God of the universe is our Lord and Master, we have great power on our side and are given special dominion duty. We will influence the course of history through our faithful, dutiful, visionary work in our homes. The atmospheres of our homes, the training of the children, and encouragement and help of the husband residing there will have a tremendous impact on the future. We must never underestimate the power of influence God gave to us women when He commanded us to be homemakers! The Lord created the home to be a place of dominion work, love, joy, hospitality, creativity, education and training, evangelism, praise and worship of God, commerce, and industry. Our gracious Heavenly Father has chosen to bestow upon woman the high and glorious responsibility of working in and guarding this important sphere. This is a special opportunity, and one which all women should delight in and thank and praise God for, rather than placing the responsibility on others and spending time in an independent career which affords not the same fulfillment, impact or accomplishment.

If we were to succumb to the independent, autonomous careerism of today, we would be guilty of handing over dominion of the world to the enemies of the cross of Christ. Therefore, dear daughters of God, I urge you to relish your high and blessed calling and to not fall prey to the lies of the one who will do whatever it takes to keep you out of your homes. Mrs. Elizabeth George writes on this topic in her book, A Woman's High Calling, "Precious sister-in Christ, God in Titus 2:4-5 is sounding forth His high calling to you and me as His women "to be homemakers". True, we live in the world...but, dear one, we are not of the world (John 17:15-16). We are not to live as worldly women live. We are not to be conformed to this world (Romans 12:2). We are not to focus on what worldly women focus on. We are not to seek what worldly women seek. No, as God's women and as women who desire to live godly lives, we are to focus on being homemakers, home lovers, and workers at home." 1. (emphases in original)

A homemaker? What is that?

We have discovered clearly that it is God's will for His women to be homemakers, but what exactly does it mean to be a homemaker? Surprisingly, there are varying definitions in circulation today of a word which ought to be defined rather easily and quickly-it should be a "no brainer"! Despite these various supposed definitions, only one counts and should truly matter to the woman of God-the one which the Holy Scriptures proclaim clearly and unequivocally. Despite the confusion generated by the worldly definitions which abound, we have the opportunity to know exactly what the heart of God is on the topic of homemaking and what is His perfect and beautiful definition of "homemaker".

The Greek word translated "keepers at home" in the KJV is the word (in some manuscripts) "oikouros" (a compilation of "oikos" which means "a house, dwelling" and "ouros", meaning "a keeper or watcher") 2., thus indicating that the Christian woman is called on to be in her home, watching over it (Prov. 31:27a) guarding over it, and keeping it from all ungodly influences and ideas. Other manuscripts of Titus 2 contain the Greek word "oikourgos" (which is translated "homemakers" in the NKJV). The word "oikourgos" is constructed from two words-"oikos" (which we noted above means "a home or dwelling") and "urgos", which is from the root word "ergon" which carries the meaning of "to work or be employed". 3. Thus, put together to form the word oikourgos, we discover that, through the inspiration of God, Paul is commanding women to be, literally, employed at home, working at home, and guarding and watching over the home-a very lofty task! Thus, God's definition of homemaker and the phrase keeper at home is the same traditionally held by the masses-a homemaker is one who remains at home, diligently working there, as opposed to out in the workforce at an independent career.The phrase in the KJV makes this clear-women are not simply commanded to be keepers of the home, but rather keepers at home. They are to be employed at home, that the Word of God be not blasphemed (Tit. 2:5).

A notion prevalent today, especially in evangelical feminist circles, is that Paul is not commanding women to work at home full-time, but rather he is saying that he wants them to make sure they don't neglect the home. "Paul is simply commanding women to pay careful attention to the home and to make it one of their top priorities," they say. However, while it is true that women are to pay careful attention to their homes, the remainder of their belief is by no means faithful to the evident and literal meaning of the Biblical text. Paul did not, when writing Titus 2:5, choose a Greek word which carried the meaning, "to focus much attention on the home". This would have been an easy thing for Paul to do, if this was his (or, ultimately, God's) meaning or what he was wanting to teach. After all, Greek is a very detailed language! Instead, however, he chose, under the inspiration and guidance of God, a word which means "to be employed at home" (as opposed to being employed outside the home).

There is a second common notion which abounds today regarding Paul's meaning, which states that Paul is simply making it clear that it is a woman's duty to dedicate a little time each day to work inside the home. If this had been Paul's intention (which, according to the Greek text itself certainly was not!), there would not have been need for such a command. All women-even the most radically feministic, dedicated career women perform some manner of work in their homes, whether it be making a sandwich, rinsing out a kitchen sink, or rearranging furniture. Not only would such a command have been rendered useless, but there especially would not be needed the sobering phrase "that the Word of God be not blasphemed". This notion, as well, simply cannot hold up under the true teachings of God's holy and unchanging Word.

Despite the above false notions, Paul is clearly revealing to us in Titus 2:5-as he did in 1 Timothy 5:14, where he speaks of the roles God has given to abandoned women (4.)-that God's special place for women (the place He chose and prepared perfectly as her own highly important sphere to keep, care for, guard, and work in) is the home! He is boldly and unequivocally setting forth a picture representing the fact that God created a difference of roles in the family and division of labor in the Kingdom of God.

Beginning at the Beginning...Again!

As we did in part 1 of this article, we need to turn again to Genesis, the Book of Beginnings, this time in order to further study the division of labor God has created within family and society. The existence of a difference of roles between men and women, particularly pertaining to who is to provide for the family and who is to work at and care for the home, was a fact once commonly believed and embraced among Christians and non-Christians alike. A century ago, the vast majority of mankind knew what God's Word proclaimed in this area. They may or may not have all agreed with it and embraced it, but they were aware of it nonetheless. This is illustrated in the account of the 1873 U.S. Supreme Court case Bradwell vs. Illinois, where Justice Bradley proclaimed, "The paramount destiny and mission of woman are to fulfill the noble and benign offices of wife and mother. This is the law of the Creator. The civil law, as well as nature herself, has always recognized a wide difference in the respective spheres and destinies of man and woman. Man is, or should be, woman’s protector and defender." The Justices in this case further stated unequivocally, directly drawing and quoting from Genesis 3, that women were called on to be keepers at home and that men were called on to be the heads of their homes. This is what the U.S. Supreme Court once believed! How far our country and its leaders have fallen from God's Word!

So, what did the judges involved in the above mentioned Court decision see proclaimed in Genesis 3? Why did they believe that according to this chapter women were commanded and fashioned, by their Creator, to be keepers at home? Let us turn to this passage to find out!

Genesis 3 begins with the sad account of man's rebellion against God and the Fall which has affected all mankind through the passing down of sin and destruction. Following the act of explicit disobedience to God in the Garden, man and woman each received a curse as a punishment for their disobedience and insubordination. These curses were different, however, and reflected the differences which were infused into man and woman at the time of creation.

The man's curse was as follows: "And unto Adam He [God] said, 'Because thou has hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I command thee saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herbs of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.'" (Gen. 3:17-19) The curse on man pertained to his responsibility to provide for the needs of his family. The curse was not that he would now, as a result of sin, have the responsibility of caring for and protecting his family-that was God's design for men from the beginning (1 Tim. 5:18). Rather, the curse was that now, instead of his work and duty of providing for his family coming easily to him and always being enjoyable, he would now work with great difficulty-he would now have to suffer through back-breaking work full of hardships and challenges.

Let us, now that we've grasped the curse released on man, focus on the curse issued to woman. Her curse is given and proclaimed by God in Gen. 3:16, "Unto the woman He [God] said, 'I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.'" The meaning of this curse is commonly misconstrued today. The feminists would have us believe that the curse means that woman would be cursed with children and that she would have to be in subjection to her husband as a result of the fall. Neither notion is Biblical or faithful to this text. 5. The curse is that child-bearing would now be an excruciatingly painful ordeal, and that woman would now, rather than joyfully submitting to her husband's leadership, would desire to rule over her husband and take over their God-given role of leadership, having a great disdain for the headship of man. In other words, the curse given to woman was tied to her family-her husband and children. While man's curse had to do with his role to provide for his family, woman's curse had to do with the people she was with day in and day out and her role to care for them in their home. Her curse is solely focused on her family. There is something very noteworthy here and that is the fact that woman is never commanded or issued the responsibility in the Scriptures to provide for herself. That role is given solely to the man, while the roles to women have to do with caring for and serving her home and family. However, countless women today are subjecting and enslaving themselves to the double curse. They are struggling with the curse given specifically to them as women, but they have also heaped upon themselves the curse given to man. Along with suffering under painful menstrual cycles, labor and childbirth, they are rejecting their lovingly God-given role in the home as well, for the purpose of entering the workforce and having an independent career. This is very sad, and yet it is embraced and praised in many Christian circles today. What makes this yet more tragic is that while women are willfully and blindly subjecting themselves to a life of the double curse, men can never do so! Men have only their own curse to deal with. Because they cannot bear children, they cannot encounter or deal with the woman's curse in addition to their own. Women only can struggle and suffer under the double curse, and many today are doing so-while we cheer them on. What a tragedy and an indictment upon us as Christians! God created one set of roles and responsibilities for men and another entirely different one for women, which, when fulfilled, harmoniously work together for the good of both. This is what Justice Bradley and his colleagues grasped in the 1873 case mentioned above. So may we grasp it and strive to save our sisters from the lack of fulfillment and destruction of the double curse so prevalent today!

The Home-Hardly a Cage!

Some reading this article may assert that the literal interpretation of Titus 2 puts woman into a cage, and binds her to a life of slave-like drudgery in the home. Nothing could be further from the truth! John 10:10 states that our gracious God came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. How does this precious truth relate to Titus 2 and the woman's role in the home? God has placed His daughters into a sphere which provides them with protection, shelter, security, a place to develop and put to use fully their talents and gifts to the glory of God, and a sphere which has been designed so as to exert a great impact upon the surrounding world. The godly, visionary, diligent homemaker and guardian of the home is an extremely dangerous entity to Satan and his minions, for she builds up her husband and trains her children. Truly, a home without a homemaker is like a man without a helpmeet. A husband benefits greatly from his wife's faithful work in the home and her obedience to her God-given role (Proverbs 31:23). Likewise, children desperately need their mother at home, caring for them, loving them, and training them. Many studies (which we will address in a future article) have shown the devastating effects which a life of daycare and after school care exerts upon children. These children need their mothers! Faithful homemakers are not only providing much-needed security and love to their children, but are shaping, forming, training, and teaching the future men and women of the world! Talk about abundant life! The worker at home has an abundant, productive, fulfilling life indeed! You see, commanding women to work at home is not a means of "caging and enslaving women". As sisters Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin have written, "Women were designed by God to be the happiest, most fulfilled, most productive, most appreciated and most honored as homemakers. No other career can come close to the importance of homemaking. Most other careers actually undermine God's order by cheating women out of their first and best calling and taking civilization in the wrong direction. This is because homemakers are so central to guiding and shaping civil society. When women leave that domain to pretend to be men, it's not just silly, it's detrimental to a woman's life and her culture." 6. These words carry such truth. God blessed women greatly when giving them the home to guide, work in, and care for.

Rather than desiring to give us abundant life as Christ did, however, Satan comes to kill, to steal and to destroy (John 10:10). This truth is evident in the mission of Satan to drive women from their homes into lives of wage slavery in the workplace. Rather than leaving her to work in a safe and secure place, serving family and visitors alike, he wishes to push her into an independent career, serving people who hardly know her, don't love her, and care little for her best interests. Let us not buy into Satan's lies any longer, but rather return to-or prepare for, as the case may be-the life of great productivity, ministry, joy, excitement and adventure which can be found through working at home.

Don't Fail to Plan!

There is a saying which goes, "Failing to plan is planning to fail". Too many young ladies are wasting their unmarried years, which should be some of the most fruitful years of their lives (1 Cor. 7:34), in trivial pursuits, rather than putting them to great use preparing for the life of the godly woman. Homemaking is not a vocation composed of simply folding laundry, vacuuming the floor, and working through a pile of dirty dishes! True homemaking Proverbs 31 style requires much work, a servant's heart that is dedicated to ministry, expertise in many areas, intelligence, Scriptural knowledge, and purposeful, Biblical, dominion-minded vision. Biblical homemaking is by no means something we are born knowing how to do! We are naturally sinful, selfish creatures and the last thing we tend to desire is to pour our lives into the lives of others. I will elaborate further on this topic in a future article, but suffice it to say that we as young ladies have a special role to fill in our current homes and must diligently prepare for the important roles we will be responsible to fill in our future homes!

In Conclusion

I pray that this article served to give you a glimpse (though it be imperfect and incomplete) of the mercy and greatness of God in commanding women to work at home. It's my heart's desire that we would strive to save our fellow sisters from the life of the double curse by revealing to them as well the height, width, and depth of the great work known as homemaking. I also hope and pray that the young ladies reading this would feel encouraged, and that they'd be spurred on to fine tune their homemaking skills, and to learn what it truly means to be a keeper at home. Lastly, I pray that this article would serve to impress upon you the great impact and influence the godly keeper at home exerts upon the watching world!

In closing, I want to leave you with the beautiful, eloquent words of Baptist pastor William H. Felix (1838-1912), as written in his work, "The Work and Sphere of True Womanhood":



"Woman's work is foundation work for society, for the state, for the kingdom of Heaven. In the homes of America are born the children of America; and from them goes forth American life. Who has the hand upon these springs of life? Woman. These children of American homes go out with the stamp of these homes upon them, and only as these homes are what they ought to be will these children be what they ought to be. ...Woman may think her sphere and work are limited and contracted, but in this she never found in a graver mistake. In the home she is imprinting herself upon the man; in him she builds up society, in him she builds up the state, in him she legislates, in him she executes, in him she rules. She makes man what he is, so far as human power can operate. Yes, if she never does anything else but "nurse babes,' she can do no grander work. May God impress upon our women the high, heavenly, holy duty of rearing the children of our country, and making our homes places of joy and comfort. Alas! for the state! if our women are to leave the work of our homes and run hither and thither in search of larger rights and larger powers." 7. (emphasis my own)

Lastly, dwell with me upon the articulate words of former President Theodore Roosevelt, as proclaimed in a speech given on March 13th, 1905:


"No piled up wealth, no splendor of material growth, no brilliance of artistic development, will permanently avail any people unless home life is healthy...unless the average woman is a good wife, a good mother, able and willing to perform the first and greatest duty of womanhood, able and willing to bear, and to bring up as they should be brought up, healthy children, sound in body, mind, and character, and numerous enough so that the race shall increase and not decrease. There are certain old truths which will be true as long as this world endures, and which no amount of progress can alter. One of these is the truth that the primary duty of the husband is the home-maker, the breadwinner for his wife and children, and that the primary duty of woman is to be the helpmate, the housewife, and mother...Into the womans' keeping is committed the destiny of the generations to come after us...The woman's task is not easy-no task worth doing is easy-but in doing it, and when she has done it, there shall come to her the highest and holiest joy known to mankind; and having done it, she shall have the reward prophesied in Scripture; for her husband and her children, yes, and all people who realize that her work lies at the foundation of all natural happiness and greatness, shall rise up and call her blessed." (emphasis my own) 8.

Please return next Friday for our 4th and final part of this article!


Footnotes:


 

1. Elizabeth George, A Woman's High Calling, pg. 237 (Harvest House Publishers, 2001)


2. W.E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, and William White, Jr., Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of the Old and New Testaments pg. 309 (Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1996)


3. See, for example, http://www.raptureready.com/faq/faq259.html and Martha Peace, The Excellent Wife, pg. 72 (Focus Publishing, Inc., 2005)

4. I'm aware that the word used in our English Bibles in 1 Tim. 5:3-16 is "widows". However, as John MacArthur points out, "The English word widow describes a woman whose husband is dead. The Greek word chera ("widow") includes that meaning, but is not limited to it. It is an adjective used as a noun, and means "bereft", "robbed", "having suffered loss", of "left alone". The word does not speak of how a woman was left alone, it merely describes the situation. It is broad enough to encompass those who lost their husbands through death, desertion, divorce, or imprisonment. It could even encompass those cases where a polygamist came to Christ and sent away his extra wives". (courtesy of The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: 1 Timothy, pg. 196 published by the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, 1995)


5. Children are not to be viewed as curses, but rather as the great blessings they truly are (Ps. 127:3-5). The phrase in Gen. 3:16 referring to the cursed woman's desire for her husband has to do with a desire to rule over him and to take his leadership role; it is not a sexual desire as some like to claim. Nor does it somehow prove the false notion that male headship is a result of the curse. Notes John MacArthur, "Just as the woman and her seed will engage in a war with the serpent, i.e. Satan, and his seed (vs. 15), because of sin and the curse, the man and woman will face struggles in their own relationship. Sin has turned the harmonious system of God-ordained roles into distasteful struggles of self-will. Lifelong companions, husbands and wives, will need God's help in getting along as a result. The woman's desire will be to lord it over her husband, but the husband will rule by divine design (Eph. 5:22-25). This interpretation of the curse is based upon the identical Heb. words and grammar being used in 4:7 to show the conflict man will have with sin as it seeks to rule him." (The MacArthur Study Bible (NKJV) pg. 21 (published by Word Publishing, 1997)

6. Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin, So Much More: The Remarkable Influence of Visionary Daughters on the Kingdom of God, pgs. 108 and 109 (The Vision Forum, Inc., 2005)


7. Ibid.

8. Ibid.