Last weekend I was in a discussion among a group of about 15 women. The split was pretty even between older, married "moms" and single women about my age.
"Do girls need to stay at home "under their fathers authority" until married?"
This topic is one that is a bit close to home for me. As many of you know, I moved out of my parents house (with their help and blessing) to apprentice to a midwife back in 2010; and haven't moved home since. I have gotten some flak about that, and several people have asked if I'm in rebellion. I'm not! My life is just in a different direction than some other young women my age. Does that make it sinful?
For many girls that were raised like me (Home-schooled Christian Conservative) it's NOT the norm to move out before you're married. In fact, it's rather frowned upon.
Based on the verse in Titus 2:
(3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good,) 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
Many of the older women in the discussion believed that their daughters were to stay at home, learn how to cook, clean, help with the children, and be content- until such time as the Lord brings a husband. While there is nothing whatsoever wrong with this... I have a question. What if... a girl was 20...25..30...35... before she got married.
The marriage gap is quite a bit bigger these days than it was when Paul wrote his letter to the Corinthians. What's to do in the meantime?
1 Cor. 7 says "the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. "
(bear with me, I do have a point coming...)
Take into consideration the Proverbs 31 woman. The proverb speaks of her "maidens"... well.. who are they? I contend that it's the single women, either daughters or other single women. Caring after the things of the Lord! These maidens are helping the Proverb's 31 woman with her tasks and caring for her family! Whether her own family, or another woman's family.... it's still a ministry, and possibly working outside the home as a mothers helper.
What if women my age (23) were to drop all that we are doing, watching children at home, nannying, caring for sick people, learning nursing or another profession, (midwifery?).... where would we be? Where would our society be?
I think this illustrates the importance of single women both inside the home, and elsewhere, if led to go.
We can't just wait around!
My questions are this....
What does a home ministry or business look like?
At what point or age is it okay for a girl to get a job?
Or to move out?
Or to move out permanently?
What about college or more education? (which is frowned on by alot of people)
Does physical proximity have anything to do with being "under your fathers authority"?
I believe there is no blanket right answer to any of these questions.
What may be right for one girl, maybe completely WRONG for another!
I DO believe however, that like any education, learning to be a "discreet, chaste, keeper at home" has it's graduation date. There's a day where you know how to make bread in your sleep, and can wash dishes like a pro. Etc.
I believe the "under the father's authority" is not necessarily a physical proximity; but actually a heart issue. If you're 10000 miles away, and you're heart is right, you're in your parents blessing, and there is no tension- Then you're under your parent's authority. If you are in the next room, and your heart isn't right. You aren't under your parents authority.
I believe that "under your parents authority" is also limited. You are an adult. You have a choice. And unless you're in direct rebellion, your parents (who should love and trust you, and have raised you right) will allow you to make decisions.
I believe that it's not a sin to get a job. If you're able, willing, and skilled... why be a financial burden? My parents encouraged me to make money, save, and become skilled with my finances while I was still able to be at home. That way it would be SO much easier on my own.
Most importantly, I believe that wherever you go, whatever you do... you should listen to God's direction, and have that direction validated by your parents. Just remember God's not a God of boxes, so prepare to step out of your comfort zone every once in a while. :)
In closing, we should be using our time of singleness for His Glory. Not for waiting for a husband. We are created to be used for a purpose greater than ourselves.
There are things a woman shouldn't do (I believe) simply because we aren't suited for it! Such as the army, or police work. But there are also things men shouldn't do! Such as midwifery, or other "womanly" pursuits. The midwives in the Bible were honored and respected, they needed training, just as I need training to become a nurse.
I have several friends who have gotten degrees at home online, will be going on missions trips, or are thinking of starting other ministries from home. That's absolutely fabulous!
Not everyone can do these things, however. Either because they aren't called to, or aren't able.
So, whatever you're called to do, do it with all your heart!!!
I for one, am not going to sit back and cry for a husband like Beatrice did.
There is too much to do!!
Everyone will have a difference of opinion on this subject. (So, let's not go banging anyone, myself included, with a 2x4)
Stop and think, though... what is your opinion based on? How can you think outside the box on this issue?
After all, there is more than one way to skin a cat. (Or kill a chicken, for that matter)
I'd appreciate your feedback.
PS. This is a bit scattered, I realize that... so I may rewrite a bit later. But for now, I haven't the time.
(Part 2 to follow at a later date)