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!


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! :)