got me a college girl

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

Thursday, March 30, 2006

plan A vs plan B (Karen)

One of my biggest concerns regarding those who do not believe a woman ought to go to college is that there is the assumption that all women will marry, or should marry, or should marry young, or that their greatest goal should be to prepare for all of the above.

I do not disparage marriage. In fact, I have enjoyed the fruits of said institution for over 31 years. I am a huge fan of marriage. However, I do not believe that all women are called to marriage or to raising children. If it were an absolute truth that all are to marry and raise children, then there would be an entire people group made up of past and present saints who have lived out God’s second best for them. They have embraced plan B and are either waiting for plan A to kick in or they have settled for plan B.

If we believe in a God who is sovereign, this cannot be. God only operates with a plan A that he fully intends to see to its completion. Here is a wonderful quote I read just this week from When Life and Beliefs Collide by Carolyn Custis James:

“The questions about God that seem to surface most often in conversations I have with women center on God’s sovereignty and character. Is God really in control, or does sovereignty change hands from moment to moment, shifting between God, the devil, and pure chance? Does God care only about the major events and choices of my life, or does he also rule over the details? What kind of God would allow such painful things to happen to us? Do I really matter to God, or am I less important than others who seem more entitled to his attentions? These questions about God (which weighed heavily on my own heart) send us back to read the Scriptures again this time with theological eyes, searching for God….When God is big, everything begins to look different…..

Those who believe that God has a plan for them sometimes encounter another problem…the conviction that they have lost God’s best plan for them. They believe that they have missed God’s best plan for them….

But if God is sovereign, then plan B is a myth. No matter how dark things look to us, or how big the mess we’re in, we’re in plan A. God’s plan for us is intact, proceeding exactly as he intended, neither behind nor ahead but right on schedule. Nothing, not our sins, failures, disappointments, bad decision, nor the sins of others against us, can deter a sovereign God from accomplishing his purposes.”


  • At 2:49 PM, Blogger Nikkiana said…

    I think you have a very good point. Often times there seems to be an assumption by others that a girl's life is going to take a certain path (ie marriage, kids, so on so forth) and that's not always the case. Sure, lots of women get married and have kids, but not everyone does... and I don't think there's anything wrong with that.

  • At 3:49 PM, Blogger Kevin & Amy said…

    A lot in life hinges on how "big" we think God is. I really appreciate this quote and reminder that God is sovereign. Thanks for sharing Karen.

  • At 8:10 PM, Blogger givengrace said…

    Amen, Karen.

    Custis James's book is one of my all-time favorites, too.

  • At 7:24 AM, Blogger Monica said…

    I remember reading a book that my parents had laying around the house that said that God's perfect plan for everyone was for them to be married because that's what He created in his perfect garden at the very beginning. I'm not even sure where they came up with a book with such nonsense in it, but it spelled out a lot of assumptions that seem to be pretty common.

    He explained single people by saying that whoever had been God's perfect plan had messed it up, so then both halves of the couple were stuck with the results. I can't imagine living under the weight of that kind of responsibility. You'd always be looking over your shoulder, wondering if you made the right choice, wondering if you're messing up not only your own life, but someone else's life as well. That's a heavy yoke to carry through life.

  • At 5:05 PM, Blogger Susan said…

    I know that God never has a plan B if that were the case then He wouldn't be sovereign, right?

    One of the things that I come across often in the church is this: Everyone agrees God is sovereign but when you press the issue further what eventually is uncovered is that they ultimately are in control.

    They want to have it both ways.
    I think Carolyn Custis James' book is great. Women these days are afraid to think deep thoughts about God and that theology is "too hard" to understand or that it isn't necessary.

    I think that the church has such a high view of man and a low view of God.

  • At 5:12 AM, Blogger prairie girl said…

    Hi Susan (reformed chick!)

    I agree that more people are centered on their view of man rather than on their view of God.

    I am just starting chapter 6 of Carolyn's book and I believe it is one of the best books I've read that discusses application of God's sovereignty. I know a woman who lost her 61 year old son to cancer a few weeks ago. I really want to send her a copy of this book, it is so powerful. A while back I read a commentary on the book by a pastor I know and am amazed at how unwarranted his criticism is of the book. I have yet to come across anything that is heresy, as he made it sound! Her book has inspired me to be a better theologian myself and if that is what it does for other women, how awesome would that be?

  • At 10:03 AM, Blogger Susan said…

    Hey there Prarie Girl!

    Yes, her book (James')inspired me too. Much of contemporary "Christian womens" books are so "navel-gazing me" centered, that when I saw this one, I grabbed it.

    It's a shame that more women don't read it. Women in my church aren't interested (after I suggested it). I don't understand the disconnect between sound doctrine/theology and everyday life?

    Doesn't what we believe about God play out in how we live our lives?


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