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Girls Shouldn't Be Highly Educated...

... is something I've never said, nor believe, but often assumed about me because I advocate homemaking and the role of a stay-at-home mom.

I regularly receive emails and comments from people who are concerned I'm propagating the idea that girls need just enough schooling to get by as a wife and mother. Combine that false assumption with my real disappointment in secular colleges and the effect they have on women, and you'd think I was lobbying for discriminatory practices against my own kind.

I get letters everyday from earnest, sincere, highly-educated Moms that go like this:
"I feel so overwhelmed! Do you have any tips on how to stay on top of everything? My house always looks like a disaster and I just can't seem to figure out a schedule... ""What do you do when your husband wants to start a new business? I'm nervous about the idea and there's tension in our marriage. I know he's supposed to be the leader and I'm supposed to be submissive, how do you deal with this kind of situation?" "Do you have any healthy snack ideas for toddlers? I'm not really handy in the kitchen, but I know sugar isn't good for them so I'm wondering if you have any recommendations... "I'm always surprised to discover these questions typically come from college graduates; teachers, nurses, and others turned homemakers. They have exchanged their diploma for their MRS degree, believing (as I do) that the most important place for a mother is in the home. In the face of cultural opposition, they see the value of a homemaker and understand her importance in light of Scripture.

But they feel lost and overwhelmed. They anticipated this was a role they could just "slip into" when the time came, but now that it's here, they wonder why they invested all those years and all that money into a degree that feels useless.

Why did no one ever encourage them to study how to be a good wife and mother? Isn't it supposed to come naturally? If homemaking doesn't take much thought or foresight, then why this feeling of being caught off guard? How can the most difficult thing they've ever signed up for require no intentional study or preparation? Why don't they offer homemaking degrees? There's a lifetime of material to study here!

What does submission look like? If my husband does something I don't agree with, how do I make an appeal? What system should I use to stay on top of the laundry? How do I decide what's the best method of education for my child? My husband loves steak and potatoes, but I've never grilled before. How do I know when the meat is done?

Our culture tells our girls they need to pursue a degree so they can be independent, and be able to provide for themselves (neither of which are biblical concepts). "Not everyone gets married," they warn, "and not everyone is able to have children."

We encourage them to pour their energies into one career, instead of recommending they study them all. We prepare them for singleness instead of God's normative plan for women: to be wives (love their husbands), mothers (love their children), and homemakers (keepers at home... that the word of God be not blasphemed. Titus 2:3).

Then, they find themselves married. They want to be godly wives but after years and years of being trained to think as an independent rather than a co-dependent, they don't know how. They have children, but not a clue how to raise them. They have a home to manage, but are lost in the logistics of it all.

Homemaking quickly becomes burdensome and frustrating. This "mindless" occupation feminism tried to protect them from is more challenging than they thought. Contrary to popular ideology, it takes a great deal of intelligence and gumption to be a glorious homemaker (see video below for a 2.5-minute look into a stay-at-home Mom's typical day).

3 Queens from Matt Bieler on Vimeo.

How many unhappy marriages, broken homes, miserable, desperate wives, and rebellious children will it take before we admit that intentionally preparing our daughter to be keepers of the home is not just "a nice idea," but a necessary one? Harvey Bluedorn in Teaching the Trivium writes,
"We cannot prepare for all future possibilities. There is only so much time in the day. How is a young woman's best time spent? Should we spend much time preparing for the possibility that she will die in an automobile accident? Obviously not... The independent career woman should neither be the ideal or the norm. Emergencies may require that a woman take on tasks which should ordinarily be considered a man's calling, but a good education and training in all of the skills of a normal family will prepare a woman for almost any emergency. On the other hand, if we prepare our daughters to marry - to have a submissive spirit, to care for others, and rule their homes - then will we be surprised if they become loving wives and mothers with orderly and peaceful homes? Should our daughters never marry, what harm will come from having learned to have a submissive spirit, to care for others, and to rule their homes. Rather how much more good would come!" Chapter 15, pg. 438 (emphasis mine)Should a girl be highly educated?

Yes, yes, YES!

Let her study the culinary arts so she can grill a fine steak and bake a mean loaf of bread for her family.

Let her pursue reading, writing, and rhetoric so she can teach her children with confidence and excellence.

Let her learn all she can about medicine and herbs and vaccines so she can make informed decision regarding her family's healthcare.

Let her study child development and parenting techniques.

Let her explore birthing methods and midwifery so she can deliver her babies without fear.

Let her learn accounting so she can manage the books and balance the budget.

If she learns all these things well, she'll enter motherhood well prepared, and if she never marries, she'll have more than enough tools in her box to "make it on her own."

A godly keeper of the home is vital to a healthy family, which is the fundamental building block in every society. Without strong families, everything falls apart. If we truly want to start reforming our culture, we have to:

  • Stop telling our girls that the purpose of their education is their future career
  • Stop assuming they'll be the exception to God's normative call for women (Titus 2:3-5; Proverbs 31; Genesis 3:16 )
  • Stop insisting that they should be able to provide for themselves (1 Peter 3:7; 1 Timothy 2:13; Ephesians 5:23; 1 Timothy 5:1-16)
  • Stop encouraging them to further their studies in places that detract from the end goal
  • Stop belittling girls who choose to further their education from home under the protection of their Dads
  • Stop putting so much faith in degrees over real life skills and experience.
  • Stop saying things like:
"Sorry, what's that sweetheart? You want to be a Mom when you grow up? Well, you don't have to you know. You can be whatever you want to be, like an important Doctor or even an astronaut!"

"It's nice that you want to be a Mom, but it's just not realistic. Nowadays you need a degree is you want to be able to provide for yourself (which is not necessarily true)."

"It's so cute she wants to be a Mom. That'll change soon enough when she realizes how much work it takes!"

Imagine if virtuous wives weren't so hard to find! Boys would have to be men, and our culture, by God's grace, would be transformed from a familial wasteland where feminism runs amok, to a landscape of beautiful marriages and healthy homes that picture the love between Christ and His Bride.

It's never too early to start preparing our daughters for the glorious future God has in store for them! Currently, we're using The ABC's of Godly Girls Bible Curriculum by Lindsey Stromberg, designed for girls aged 4-11. You can read my full review here.

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