It is now time to study the third reason why stay-at-home daughterhood is so important. This third lesson can be stated as follows:
The stay-at-home daughter has the time and opportunity, unlike non stay-at-home daughters, to follow in the footsteps of the Proverbs 31 woman, in that she can more fully study the characteristics thereof and better prepare to be a true Proverbs 31 woman herself. Satan, by luring daughters away from home and family into a more autonomous lifestyle, is slyly and destructively keeping them from striving to be as God’s ideal woman, a woman, in fact, after God’s own heart. A woman who finds her work, mission, and duty primarily within her home.
Following high school graduation, what does the life of most young women today look like? Well, for the vast majority, post-high school life is comprised mostly of attending college for the sake of obtaining a degree in preparation for a future career in the workforce. Part-time or full-time involvement in the workplace is also oftentimes included. What else? Not much. Note what is oftentimes not included in the pursuit of most female high school graduates: homemaking studies, Biblical womanhood studies, preparation for a future life of wifehood, mommyhood, and hospitality from the family home. These subjects are, in essence, ignored and little to no thought whatever is given to them. If any thought is given, it is solely in the arena of preparing for wifehood. However, the preparation that many college age women give to that position is contained in trying to snag a guy or writing out a list of “must have” qualities in a husband. Seldom is any thought given to becoming “Miss Right” or learning how to be an intelligent, capable helpmeet. As one can readily see, the overarching pursuits and priorities of nearly all female high school graduates are attending college in order to obtain the coveted degree, working in the workforce in some career, and striving to go up the corporate ladder. While the world (and sadly, even many professing Christians, as well) view this as normal, good, and the way things ought to be, this condition is tragic from a Biblical viewpoint. From the perspective of God’s Word, everything is upside down in the lives of many college age women today. What they should be pursuing, they are not and what they should not be giving their time to, they are. For the Biblically minded Christian, this should be heartbreaking, for God’s way is so much better and far more fulfilling than rising to the top of any corporate ladder or graduating from a university summa cum laude.
What if I told you that the God of the universe, the Sovereign of heaven and earth not only made Himself known in His Word, but also provided a complete blueprint for how He wants you, as a woman, to live your life? Would that not astound you? To think that the Most High God, the all-wise, all-loving Creator of the world would not only design womanhood in a beautiful way but would also give to you a complete model for how to live your life in a fulfilling, exciting, influential, adventurous, mission-filled way is simply breathtaking! Realizing that we have just such a blessing in the Bible, would we not excitedly run to it and read it in order to discover what the Most High wants us to do with our lives? Well, one should think this would be the case for professing Christians who claim to be sold out to the Lord and love Him above all else and desire to live for Him. Sadly, however, it is oftentimes not. While we may give Christ lip service on Sunday mornings, many of us take His Word for granted, do not treat it as the treasure it is, nor strive to study and live by it. This is tragic, for it is only through following God’s Word and making it the blueprint of our lives that we find the mission and duty we were specially created for as females. The world is all too happy to lend to us its own design for womanhood and is anxiously providing us with what it thinks we ought to spend our time doing. The result is that countless girls and women today are frustrated, exhausted, and burned out. They have been trying to heed to the world’s expectations of college and career while at the same time striving to stay true to what their minds tell them they should do-look after their families, care for the home, and reach out to their neighbors. My heart breaks when I think of the countless young women today who are confused as to what they should be doing with their lives after high school. They keep asking themselves questions- “What should I be doing?”, “Do I have to go to college?”,“What is expected of me?”, “What kind of career should I have?”, and the list goes on. Sadly, the answers they are receiving from both the world as well as many “Christian” churches is that they should go to college in order to get a degree that will pave the way for a successful life-long career. This is not at all what girls should be told, for it is not what God proclaims to them in His Word. As we have seen in a previous article in this series, God decrees that women be homemakers. This is the glorious fulfilling “career” that He designed and prepared specifically for them.
Someone once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” By following the lifestyle of most female high school graduates today, young women are planning to fail in that which God the Almighty Himself has called them to do-be homemakers. Contrary to popular belief, Biblical homemaking is about far more than merely baking cookies, cleaning bathtubs, and washing dishes. While each of these things are indeed aspects of good homemaking, they are not the sum total by any means. However, if you heed the world’s teachings on homemaking-that it is mindless drudgery, comprised only of cleaning up messes, looking pretty, vacuuming, and baking cookies, then why not go off to college or begin a career after you graduate high school? After all, how long does it take to learn how to vacuum or clean toilets? However, the world is sorely deceived when it comes to homemaking! Homemaking is not merely some cultural duty of women; rather, it is a command issued by God to women. Furthermore, as the Scriptures beautifully and eloquently present, homemaking is so much more than baking cookies-it is a lifelong mission, duty, and world-changing “career”. Becoming a godly homemaker that lives up to the Bible’s expectations does not happen overnight, nor does it suddenly happen when a wedding ring is placed on your finger. In fact, when one studies the Scriptures, it would be rather easy to despair at the picture of Biblical homemakers-it can seem so daunting and unable to be lived out in daily life. This is precisely why girls are blessed by God with the years in between high school and marriage. This is a time like no other in one’s life when a girl can learn what it truly means to be a Biblical homemaker and can begin putting into practice some of the characteristics of just such a woman, thereby preparing for future life while at the same time greatly blessing and ministering to those around her. Yet this is the precise time when so many girls are instead chasing after college degrees and successful careers in the workforce. Something is wrong here!
Many daughters today, even Christian ones, are unknowingly falling into Satan’s hands. Satan is so crafty that he sets out to seductively lead away girls completing high school into lifestyles of college and career. Why is this? Because, as Proverbs 31 and other passages reveal to us, the secret weapon of the Church is women who understand their roles, delight in and embrace them, and strive to joyfully and diligently live them out with everything they’ve got. As we will see in future articles, the woman who lives according to Proverbs 31 standards is a world changer for God’s glory! She is a powerhouse of Biblical influence. This, of course, is highly dangerous to Satan and his plans, and so he therefore must come up with a way to keep girls from preparing to become like these amazing women. He must do whatever it takes to prevent them from aspiring to God’s standard for homemakers. He must blind their eyes and deafen their ears to God’s Word and instead lead them to focus all their time and attention to becoming independent career women who are intent upon providing for themselves and leading their own lives, with their own missions, plans, and desires in the forefront. Satan, if he hopes to be successful in lessening the influence of God and His Word in the world must keep girls from desiring to be wives, helpmeets, homemakers and mothers. He must not even allow them to know that God expects them to live out the roles and duties of homemaking. Or, if they do know it, Satan must so disfigure the beautiful picture of homemaking and Biblical womanhood into some caricature of worthlessness, being a doormat, being chained to a stove, and accomplishing nothing of importance. In other words, Satan must get daughters to dedicate their unmarried years to pursuing college degrees and working in the workforce alongside men, so that their lives will be more like that designed by God for men, with no time to dedicate to learning homemaking skills. Sadly, he is doing a very good job at his mission isn’t he? Not only does he have the world following in his footsteps, he also has Christian girls falling in lock step, as well. Clever, isn’t it? Indeed it is a rather clever ploy of Satan. By distracting young women in the prime of their youth from using their youth fully to serve the Lord (1 Cor. 7:34), he is able to bar them from following after Proverbs 31 and seeking to live in obedience to God and His expectation and will for women. What folly of highest proportions for us to buy into his ploys, and to dismiss God’s blueprint for womanhood with a dejected belief that to live like the Proverbs 31 woman is either an impossible, unattainable goal or a worthless one!
What comes to mind when you think of the Proverbs 31 woman? If you are like most of today’s Christian women, you get a little squeamish when she is mentioned. In Christendom today, many woman try to simply pass over the chapter of Proverbs 31, specifically verses 10-31, distressed, for they view the Proverbs 31 woman as some “superwoman” whom they could never in reality be like. I even read a book a couple years ago where the author stated that she was now going to turn to Proverbs 31. Instead of praising this passage, she, in essence, apologized to her readers for turning to that chapter that none of them really wanted to deal with or be intimidated by. Dear ones, this is a disgraceful way to treat God’s Word! We should be nothing short of ecstatic that the Lord would take the time to lay out in detail His will for us as females! That is a glorious blessing and yet we so often view it as a hindrance. Why is this? Could it be because we understand that the Lord calls us to be homemakers, and yet we instead want to heed the “wisdom” of the world, with its belief that homemaking is somehow demeaning and archaic?
It breaks my heart when women treat Proverbs 31 as some burden to carry around on their shoulders. The Lord does not desire to burden us or intimidate us. His reason for issuing forth to us the precious passage of Proverbs 31 was so that we as women would be able to grasp just what it is the Lord has for us to do and what He expects of us. He was showing us what our callings are and what our life work is to be. Our God was revealing to us the recipe, if you will, to living a world-changing, fulfilling life as a female.
If this is the case, though, why do so many women view Proverbs 31 with disdain and feel that they could never live up to its expectations? Well, over two years ago I spoke briefly with Anna Sofia Botkin about this very issue and we agreed that these women who feel so intimidated by Proverbs 31 likely would not feel like that today had they, as young ladies, prepared themselves for a life of following in her footsteps. How much closer to the standard found in Proverbs 31:10-31 would many women be today if they had put into practice duties and characteristics of the Proverbs 31 woman while they were yet unmarried young women! I do not write this to belittle Christian women. Rather, I write this with the desire to open the eyes of Christian girls to the importance of living out daily life in such a way that we might bring the most glory to God through living the way He expects us to, and to show why it is so important that we prepare now for our future lives as wives, helpmeets, mothers, and homemakers. We simply cannot go through our unmarried lives focused on the sole priorities of school, college, and work and then expect to become the model housewife when we marry, because that is not going to happen no matter how much we might like it to! In the 1850s, Mr. Harvey Newcomb wrote page after page in his excellent book, How to be a Lady, on the topic that what we are when we are girls, we will be when we become women. How true that is! The pursuits we spend our time on while we are yet little girls and young women and the character we build (or fail to build) at those ages will mold us into the kind of women we will be. While the Lord can certainly change adult women and reform them more into His image, it remains true that the fact is that, largely, the way we are as young women will dictate what kind of adult women we will be. So, dear ones, if, as young girls, we fail to put into practice the virtues and duties of the Proverbs 31 woman by learning and practicing various homemaking skills and the like, we will likely fail to live up to the Proverbs 31 standard as women, and we, too, will despair as many of today’s adult Christian women do when they read this passage of Holy Scripture.
As expressed at the beginning of this article, many female high school graduates are confused as to what they are to spend their time doing. While I will write far more on this topic as we continue this series, suffice it to say now that if the Lord expects us to be Proverbs 31 women, women who love the home and work therein as opposed to being independent career women in the workforce, then what do you think the Lord would desire for us to spend our unmarried years doing? Would it be to go off, live on our own, go to college for a degree in some sort of career, and work in the workplace? This sort of lifestyle seems contradictory to the one God designed for women, does it not? Instead, may we as young women delight in what the Scriptures proclaim to us should be our priorities and pursuits! May we learn to delight in the glories of stay-at-home daughterhood and the advantages such a lifestyle brings to us as we strive to be godly women.
Please return in two weeks on Friday, October 8th for the next article in this series!