got me a college girl

in celebration of formal education in the life of the Christian girl

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

coming to a homeschooling convention near you (Karen)

This is a excerpt from an article by John Thompson. He is often a speaker in home-integrated church conferences and homeschooling events and this article is linked to and referenced often by homeschooling leaders who bring this same teaching to conferences all around the country.


Any thoughts?


It was in the other two disciplines—the life skills and spiritual development—that we found substantial, gender-related differences which would affect the content of our daughters' education. Since the role of ninety-nine percent of young women is to be a devoted wife and mother (i.e., not remain single, Gen. 1:28), her training in life skills must prepare her to be a capable helper to her husband, trainer of her children and caretaker of her home (Gen. 2:18; Prov. 1:8; Tit. 2:5). Such skills would certainly include all that is involved in the spheres of cooking, sewing, home care, child care, health care, animal care, gardening, and domestic finances.

Further, if a young woman's spiritual role is to be a servant-contributor, the content of her training must equip her to be a submissive helper in the home as well as in the assembly, freeing up the men to exercise their God-appointed leadership (1 Tim. 2:8-15). Training of this sort might include a major ministry to mothers in the church (on Sundays and weekdays too) as well as helping with the church nursery, fellowship meals, home Bible study hostess, music ministry, hospitality, family evangelism, missions helper, visitation of shut-ins, etc.—all under parental supervision, of course.

In summary, a young woman's training should be modeled after the examples of Sarah, Mary and the virtuous wife of Proverbs 31, whose lives centered around their husband, children and homeworking (cf. 1 Tim. 2:15). A Christian woman's God-ordained "career" is not just in her home—it is her home (i.e., her husband and her children)!

Where is this training to occur? At some distant school, camp or other educational setting? Decidedly not! The fundamental tenet that distinguishes Christian home education from Christian school education is our belief that the parents are a child's God-appointed teachers (Ps. 78:1-8; Prov. 6:20) and that the family home (and its environs) is the God-ordained classroom—"when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way" (Deut. 6:7; 1 Cor. 15:33).

Then when do older children finally leave the family home? For young women, it seems, the Scriptural time for departure is at marriage, and not before (1 Cor. 7:36-38). Because God created the woman to be the "weaker vessel" (more vulnerable, 1 Pet. 3:7; 1 Tim. 2:14), He intends for her never to be out from under the protective covering of either a father or a husband (1 Sam. 30:18). She is to abide in the protective shadow of her father (Ps. 36:7) until she moves into the shadow of her husband (S.of S. 2:3). This is the clear implication of Numbers 30 which sets forth only three Scriptural marital states for women: a single woman in her father's house (normally in her youth), a married woman in her husband's house, and a divorced or widowed woman who is under the direct protection of God (Ps. 68:5) and the care of church elders (1 Tim. 5:3ff). There is no biblical marital status (and no normative Scriptural example) of a single woman who leaves her father's home for reasons other than marriage. Obviously, such a conclusion from Scripture had a significant impact on where we would train our daughters and where they would reside before marriage.

15 Comments:

  • At 11:00 AM, Blogger Dana said…

    Is the conclusion that there are only three Scriptural marital states for women drawn from the interpretive principle that whatever is not explicitly mentioned in Scripture is forbidden? I find this a questionable argument from silence, and a possible confusion of cultural norms with universal Biblical norms.

    (The quote also brings up indirectly one of my primary concerns with some patriarchal-homeschooling circles, namely, their tendency to allow the paternal authority to usurp the roles of other God-ordained authority structures, but that's another issue. :-)

     
  • At 8:30 PM, Blogger givengrace said…

    Is it really true that 99% of young women are wives & mothers? Somehow that seems contradictory to every statistic I've seen before.

    "In summary, a young woman's training should be modeled after the examples of Sarah, Mary and the virtuous wife of Proverbs 31, whose lives centered around their husband, children and homeworking (cf. 1 Tim. 2:15)"

    Is the Mary in question Mary of Bethany? If so, who was her husband?

    What frustrates me about this man's article (or this excerpt of it) is that he assumes so many things based upon his own opinions:
    1) A woman's role is homemaking--he bases this on Gen. 1:28, but was it not Paul in Corinthians who said singleness allows more time for serving the Lord? Should we not interpret the Bible as a whole?

    2) The skills of homemaking are purely domestic duties, with no mention of theological or academic pursuits--Aquilla AND Priscilla made known unto Paul the doctrinal Truths of Christ's. How did Priscilla know anything? Why wasn't she at home cooking while her husband taught?

    3) The Deut 6:7 passage means education can only take place in the home--is he serious? What kind of hermeneutic is he applying there?

    4)"There is no biblical marital status (and no normative Scriptural example) of a single woman who leaves her father's home for reasons other than marriage."--Correct me if I'm wrong, but was not Lydia a single woman? a woman who greatly ministered to the apostles?

    Also, his mentioning of the shadow principle (i.e.--a girl must be under her father and in his home until marriage when she can be under her husband) is something I have not researched, but it leaves me curious. What happens if the girl's husband dies? Does she move back with her father?

     
  • At 8:41 PM, Blogger blueyedtracy said…

    And so what becomes of a young girl whose father has passed away? What percentage of women does this apply to? The previous two commenters make excellent points as well. And what is the "God appointed leadership" he is specifically referring to? It seems to me that Jesus was pretty clear that His example was that of a servant-leader. Men are first and foremost servant-leaders in the home/to their families. (Isn't that the qualification of a leader in the church - one who leads his family to the glory of God?)

     
  • At 7:53 AM, Blogger Light said…

    Typical patriarchal thinking, totally ignoring the cultural mandate of dominion given to both man and woman, without qualification, at Creation. Typical patriarchal thinking, that the oft-cited verses in Titus and Timothy limit a woman, instead of seeing them as just some of the many responsibilities women are called to. Typical patriarchal hermaneutic, that women must model their lives completely after the cultural pattern of women in the Bible, but not applying the same hermaneutic to men.

    Blech.

     
  • At 10:26 AM, Blogger Kevin & Amy said…

    Drat! My parents forgot to teach me “animal care” as a child. Maybe they knew my future husband wouldn’t like pets!

    There are so many illogical assumptions in this article, I don’t know where to begin.

    Why should parents raise their daughters to be like Sarah (the homemaker) instead of Deborah (the judge)?

    The Proverbs 31 woman was a savvy businesswoman. She worked with merchants and went out on her own to inspect fields so she could purchase one and manage a vineyard. I doubt the author would approve of these activities for women. Under his view, she should’ve been playing piano and visiting shut-ins.

    As far as assertions that college away from home is sinful (second to last para), the verse from Exodus speaks to teaching God’s ways to your children, not to teaching them exclusively at home! And, I presume this argument for “home college” would apply to men as well as women because the verse used doesn’t differentiate between the sexes.

    What really annoys me about some of the legalists out there is that they START OUT with an idea they think is good and then they go cherry-picking for biblical support.

    The way to TRUTH is, instead, to start with the bible as the word of God and then to build your world view around it, regardless of where it leads you. Yes, and even if – God forbid – it means that it’s not a cardinal sin for an unmarried woman to attend college away from home.

     
  • At 10:58 AM, Blogger prairie girl said…

    "What really annoys me about some of the legalists out there is that they START OUT with an idea they think is good and then they go cherry-picking for biblical support.

    The way to TRUTH is, instead, to start with the bible as the word of God and then to build your world view around it, regardless of where it leads you. Yes, and even if – God forbid – it means that it’s not a cardinal sin for an unmarried woman to attend college away from home."

    Well stated, Amy.

    Now, here is something that I am only beginning to comprehend so any suggestions for further study are welcome. As I understand it, the majority, if not all, of those who are part of this nouveau-patriarchy movement believe that women were under subjection before the fall. I must be a dope but I never understood that this was their premise until the past few months as I have been reading. Does anyone know where that line of reasoning has come from, what theologians teach/taught it etc? Where can I read a good explanation of this and also of alternate views? also, how does it tie in with the church hierarchy views prior to the reformation as well as afterwards?

     
  • At 11:01 AM, Blogger prairie girl said…

    Oh, I almost forgot, I wanted to comment on this:

    "The Proverbs 31 woman was a savvy businesswoman. She worked with merchants and went out on her own to inspect fields so she could purchase one and manage a vineyard. I doubt the author would approve of these activities for women. Under his view, she should’ve been playing piano and visiting shut-ins."

    Has it occured to anyone else here that the passage about the Proverbs 31 woman, the oh-most-favored passage for instructing women was actually the thoughts of King Lemuel's mom? That this passage of sacred text was handed down from a woman to her son? Theoretically, wasn't that a woman teaching?

     
  • At 1:59 PM, Blogger Camille said…

    **As I understand it, the majority, if not all, of those who are part of this nouveau-patriarchy movement believe that women were under subjection before the fall. I must be a dope but I never understood that this was their premise until the past few months as I have been reading. Does anyone know where that line of reasoning has come from, what theologians teach/taught it etc? Where can I read a good explanation of this and also of alternate views? also, how does it tie in with the church hierarchy views prior to the reformation as well as afterwards? **

    **think think** Augustine and Aquinas, I betcha, would add to the clues. Now, my resources are at school (and I'm at home), but I'm pretty sure that especially Aquinas will start the ball rolling in this regard. He pretty much hated women.

    But you're TOTALLY right that they see the subjection of women as a pre-Fall thing. In this state of pregnancy, I can't remember WHERE I read about this first. Let me chew on it some more. . . .

     
  • At 4:25 PM, Blogger Light said…

    Until the mid-20th century, most traditionalists believed that women were, in fact, inferior to men. Seldom was there any outcry when it was stated publicly; it was accepted in most circles as a simple fact. It was only after the suffrage movement in the early part of the 20th century and the women's liberation movement mid-century that that position became untenable. Hence, somewhere around the 70's, you began to hear the "equal in being, unequal in function" paradox from female subordinationists. The term "complementarianism" was chosen specifically as a more palatable euphemism than "patriarchalism" in the 80's. In fact, the term "complementarianism" has been used by both camps to describe their position. If it weren't such a mouthful, I'd be describing myself as a "non-hierarchical complementarian."

    I have to roll my eyes when they claim egalitarians have been influenced by the culture. For while it may be true, they themselves are guilty of yielding to cultural influence. They will no longer claim outright that women are inferior (though in my opinion, their actions speak louder than words).

     
  • At 4:41 PM, Blogger Light said…

    Prairie Girl said: As I understand it, the majority, if not all, of those who are part of this nouveau-patriarchy movement believe that women were under subjection before the fall. I must be a dope but I never understood that this was their premise until the past few months as I have been reading. Does anyone know where that line of reasoning has come from, what theologians teach/taught it etc? Where can I read a good explanation of this and also of alternate views?

    Run right out and get yourself Rebecca Merrill Groothius's book, "Good News For Women." She covers these very questions in depth. Here is just a snippet that may shed a little light on the subject for you:

    Unless Genesis 2 is interpreted in light of the traditional interpretation of 1 Tim 2:12-14, a doctrine of male authority cannot be derived from it. Genesis 2 taken on its own terms does not teach that because woman was created after man, she was created subordinate to man. John Piper and Wayne Grudem's comment on 1 Tim 2:13 illustrates the circular reasoning of traditionalists. "In the context of all the textual pointers" in Genesis 1-3, "we think the most natural implication of God's decision to bring Adam onto the scene ahead of Eve is that he is called to bear the responsibility of headship [i.e., authority]. That fact is validated by the New Testament when Paul uses the fact that 'Adam was formed first, then Eve' (1 Tim 2:13) to draw a conclusion about male leadership in the church." An implication that traditionalists believe is hinted at by "textual pointers" in Genesis becomes a veritable "fact" when it is perceived in light of the traditional interpretation of 1 Tim 2:12-13. But the traditional interpretation of 1 Tim 2:12-13 presupposes the traditional interpretation of Gen 1-3, which in turn relies on the traditional interpretation of 1 Tim 2:12-13 in order to turn the "textual pointers" in the creation account into actual "fact."

    Got all that? There will be a quiz later.

     
  • At 7:01 PM, Blogger God's Man said…

    To: JohnThompson@consultant.com

    Dear Brother John,

    I'm writing to inform you that many women are sinning against God and their Husbands by mocking your excellent article on this got me a college girl blog.

    As you can see from the above comments, these women actually rely on rational thinking and logic, which is not a woman's place. Your article, on the other hand, was carefully referenced with a plethora of insightful Scripture references and was completely devoid of rational thought.

    I'm sure it grieves you, as it does me, that these women parade their college degrees around as a badge of honor. Heaven help us when women (who ought to be teaching our children) actually try to learn for themselves.

    Rather than fulfilling their God-appointed responsibility to bake bread, they waste their time on the Internet and blogs that stir up an attitude of ingratitude to their Husband-Providers.

    Please join me in praying for the women of our nation. I hope, for your sake, that you did not get you a college girl.

    (Can you believe my wife actually tried to review my comments before I posted?)

    Sincerely,

    God's Man

     
  • At 8:27 AM, Blogger prairie girl said…

    God's man,

    Just my kind of satire!

    You can keep us laughing around here any time!

     
  • At 12:27 AM, Blogger Laura said…

    I've enjoyed all the comments. I'm always perplexed by authors such as this gentleman who seem to see college more as the means to an end (a career) rather than as a vehicle for education, in and of itself.

    Looking at this article from another angle, it strikes me, in general terms, as having a curiously fearful attitude, which to me seems at odds with the confidence one should hopefully have as a Spirit-filled Christian.

    For instance, when I read the following cautionary anecdote, I couldn't help thinking that this daughter's foundation over 18 years seems to have been somehow built on sand, rather than rock, if she was completely ruined by college:

    "What we thought was a fine college ruined our daughter. A course in religion destroyed her faith in the Bible, a course in philosophy destroyed her faith in God, a course in psychology destroyed her faith in her parents, a course in biology destroyed her faith in the divine creation, and a course in political science destroyed her faith in the American way of life."

    I mean, what does this say, if a handful of courses over a year or two can completely destroy everything this young lady was taught? Are we to think so poorly of the children we have raised that we should expect that sort of response to being educated "in the world" as typical? What would that expectation say about us as parents?

    As the mother of a young lady who is herself in the middle of choosing a college (she has been accepted to Wheaton, as well as some "secular" colleges, and is waiting to hear from Biola) -- well, I just can't imagine this happening, and to expect it would be insulting her on multiple levels.

    Yes, we need to be aware that there are "issues" on college campuses, which I don't need to elaborate here, but hopefully between choosing a college prayerfully and educating our children carefully, they can go to college, further develop their education, and be an example of Christ's Light in the world. Best wishes, Laura

     
  • At 8:05 AM, Blogger Ben, Kyri & Rachelle said…

    Just an addendum to Laura: I have never known any person of "real" faith who has lost it in college. I have friends who earned degrees in sociology and psych from secular universities who have come through it stronger and wiser in their faith. I often think that the examples people give of their kids "losing their faith" in college have more to do with sending a weak-faithed child to a Christian college thinking they will be ok (sheltered) there. That is a fallacy. College is a time when you question everything, explore new ideas, make new friends, and finally figure out what you believe (vs. your family). When I was a teenager my dad used to harp on "peer pressure" and I would tell him that as far as I could tell, my peers found the people doing the things they wanted to do; that there really wasn't a lot of pressure to it. (Though some kids are weaker-willed then others.) Likewise, students in college generally find people who believe the way they want to, and latch on to them.

    Having said that, I think there is a lot that parents can do to prepare their children for this time. Teaching them to think and communicate, and then allowing them to bounce their crazy ideas off of you in the home without fear of repercussion is one. But ultimately, prayer is the difference. And trusting God with outcomes.

     
  • At 11:08 AM, Blogger Camille said…

    *** I have never known any person of "real" faith who has lost it in college.***

    *Or* the children *seemed* to have lost it to the parents when the child just chose a different way. I hear similar stories about *B*aptist children who turn Reformed **shudder gasp** at a Christian school, and the parents are up in arms. **roll eyes** One such student appalled his mother by asking that she serve rice with her chop suey instead of her usual mashed potatoes. :p She was appalled. Not only had he turned into a "sprinkler" instead of an "immerser," he didn't think her cooking was the be-all-and-end-all.

    Fact is -- college exposes you to so many new things. And not just new foods, new clothes, new words, and new people, but also new ideas and new aspects of your faith and new ways of talking about them. That's scary to the entrenched. And exciting to the rest!! :-D

     

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