In this brief introduction, I want to quickly address various issues pertaining to stay-at-home daughterhood. What I want to begin with is the question that I'm sure is on the minds of many, and that is-just what is stay-at-home daughterhood? For years, I had never heard of such an idea, and I know there must be countless other young ladies who are currently in the same boat I was. They have either never heard of stay-at-home daughterhood, or have heard the phrase but don't know what it's referring to. There are many misrepresentations alive today concerning this doctrine, so I want to shed some light upon stay-at-home daughterhood's true nature, thereby clearing away some of the chaos and confusion that abound when this topic is raised. Some entertain the thought in their minds that this belief is one that was specifically designed to enslave young women, and that a stay-at-home daughter is a mindless, wimpy, mousy young lady who is chained to and slaving over a hot stove all day long. They seem to think that this poor daughter never sees the light of day, but is instead locked away in a dungeon-like basement in the family home, ruled by an overbearing and abusive father. While this portrayal may seem rather humorous (and very outlandish!), there are some who truly believe this is what we are referring to when we speak of stay-at-home daughterhood. When you begin to fully grasp this fact, and realize that these people, because of their misunderstandings, are seeking to lead others away from the beauties of Biblical daughterhood, the above notion loses all its humor rather quickly. While this is one notion some have regarding this doctrine of daughterhood, others think that stay-at-home daughters are alike in all respects to stay-at-home wives and mothers, in that they take over and replace all aspects of their mother's work and influence in the home, and in so doing, become a sort of second wife to their fathers and mother to their siblings. Neither of these notions is based in reality or Biblical teaching. While some daughters may live in one of the two scenarios mentioned above while at the same time call themselves stay-at-home daughters, these portrayals are not faithful to the picture of stay-at-home daughterhood found in the Bible.
We must be careful when we newly discover a Biblical teaching on daughterhood (or any other subject, for that matter!), for we too often take passages and run with them, forming legalistic and unBiblical thought patterns. Stay-at-home daughterhood is a valid, Biblical and beautiful doctrine, but must not be taken so far as to morph the daughter into a wife and mother or to enslave the daughter by putting her into the status of a second class citizen. When followed and practiced Biblically, stay-at-home daughterhood is a wonderful blessing by which a daughter is able to fully exercise her God-given talents while remaining in the protective realm of her father's house and striving to do all within her power to bless her family and others who enter that home.
Simply put and Biblically speaking, stay-at-home daughterhood is the belief that an unmarried daughter is to remain in the home of her father until the time when she is given in marriage by him. I can already see some of you who have never before heard of this doctrine incredulously raising your eyebrows. This is a common reaction, but a sad one as well, for this practice used to be viewed as a "no-brainer", so to speak. It was once simply assumed that a grown, unmarried woman would enjoy life in her father's home, filling her days with hospitality, productivity, industry, projects dedicated to ministering to others, and various accomplishments in her God-given, womanly work. What a contrast this expectation is with the one all-too-common today that if you're a high school graduate you must immediately be ushered off to a college or full-time job somewhere! It is a relatively recent notion-and a sad and destructive one at that- which says that if a daughter is in her father's home until she's married, there must be something wrong with her, or her father must be a brute who wants absolute, totalitarian control over her. Neither could be further from Biblical truth, and it is high time that we as Christians become more Biblically literate when it comes to the question of what a young woman is to do between her high school graduation and her wedding day. Instead of succumbing to the world's teachings and today's cultural norm with unquestioning, blind obedience, we should be actively seeking to know the heart of Christ when it comes to issues pertaining to a daughter's life. We are to be in this world but not of it. However, too many Christians today are not actively seeking God's will on the subject of daughterhood, but are rather following after the world and its ways, visions and plans for today's daughters. Christians today aren't even bothering to second guess the world's expectations and priorities. So, it is time for God's people to step up and start discovering for themselves what God's Word teaches daughters to spend their valuable, God-given time doing. And second, once they discover God's thoughts and commands on this topic, must seek to proclaim these truths to others. Clearly, feminism has attempted to tarnish and obscure the shining, radiant truths of God's Word (which is the true liberator of women!) in the hopes of somehow giving females "a better life". It is beyond time that the dust and filth which feminism has showered on the beautiful portrait of daughterhood which the Scriptures present, be brushed off and that the ancient truths of Scripture be raised up once again! That is just what I'm seeking to do through this series.
To present to you, statistically, just how far we've regressed when it comes to what we believe an unmarried young woman's role is to be, consider these reports:
- In 1946, more than 90% of young women ages 15-24 lived at home with their parents
- According to a survey conducted in a bridal magazine c. 1970, 67% of young women lived at home until marriage
- In 1995, 30% of young women remained at home until marriage
- According to the 2000 census, 20% of young adult women lived with their parents
- In Britain, during the second quarter of 2008, only 18% of women aged 20-34 still lived at home with their parents**
I read somewhere that during the first years of the 20th century only between 3 and 5 percent of unmarried young women lived away from their parents. Contrast that with the 2008 report from Britain, which says that 82% reside away from their parents! Do you see how far we've come? While feminists would see this downward spiral in the number of unmarried women living at home with their parents as progress, the Biblically-conscious Christian should view these statistics as tragic regression.
You may be thinking, just why did the percentage of women remaining at home until marriage drop so dramatically? Well, it is my goal to answer this as well as many other questions pertaining to stay-at-home daughterhood through the course of this article series. I believe it is imperative that we as Christians understand the history surrounding the decline in the number of stay-at-home daughters so that we may better know how to combat the lies and sly plans of those who oppose Christian family life. Throughout this study, we will be covering such topics as:
- What is God's design for womanhood and how does stay-at-home daughterhood pertain to and correspond with it?
- Where in the Scriptures is stay-at-home daughterhood taught and presented?
- Why is stay-at-home daughterhood so important?
- What effect did feministic philosophies have on stay-at-home daughterhood and why?
- What about college and higher education?
- What about a young woman taking a job outside the home?
- What is a stay-at-home daughter to do with her time? What are her roles and responsibilities?
- Can a stay-at-home daughter truly be productive and further Christ's kingdom while remaining at home?
- What are some ways that a young woman can earn money without leaving the protection of her home?
- What are some ministry ideas for a stay-at-home daughter?
- What if a young woman has a father who no longer sees the importance of protecting her, and wishes to send her off on her own? What is she to do?
- What if a young woman has an abusive father?
We will also be joined in our study by several young women who are committed to joyfully remaining at home under their father's authority and protection until the day they marry. I will be conducting several interviews with these various ladies over the next few weeks, in the hopes that they will serve to be an encouragement to you, and serve as a picture of just how happy, exciting and productive the life of a stay-at-home daughter can be!
So, whether you are a committed stay-at-home daughter who just needs a dose of encouragement, or someone who is passionately against stay-at-home daughterhood, or someone somewhere in between, this article series is for you!
I pray that the Lord would bless you richly through the reading of this series, and that He would open the eyes of those who need their eyes opened, and would encourage and strengthen those who need edifying. In order to see the impact of this series on those who read it, I put a poll on my blog a couple months ago, asking my readers to please vote in response to the simple question: What are your thoughts on stay-at-home daughterhood? The poll was responded to with 186 votes and the following are the results I received:
- It's 100% Biblical and such a blessing--88 votes (47%)
- I don't see it taught in the Scriptures--48 votes (25%)
- It enslaves young women--39 votes (20%)
- I don't fully understand what it is--20 votes (10%)
- It's weird and wacky--11 votes (5%)
- I've never heard of it--8 votes (4%)
At the end of the series I'm going to reopen this poll. While I understand that not all of those who voted in the poll the first time around will necessarily come to my blog and vote again, while at the same time new people who did not vote in the first will vote in the second, I still hope to attempt to see what effect the series has had on the way some of my readers view the subject of stay-at-home daughterhood.
Throughout the course of this series, I would appreciate your prayers! Please also spread the word as much as you can! Thank you all for the part you are having in making this project a success! May all glory, honor, and praise go now and forevermore to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
** Statistical Information courtesy of research conducted on Google