On Women and Their Role

On Women and Their Role September 20, 2006

There have been, of late, a number of provocative questions launched in the comments section. I want to take a day and answer some of the fair and interesting questions that I’ve seen.

We are concerned here with the idea that girls should be raised to be homemakers and moms.

Claire, a dear friend from college and an awesome Christian girl, asked what I meant by saying that many Christians raise their girls to be economically and politically ambitious. She asked how she was to practically understand this statement–did I mean that she was simply supposed to cook casseroles all the time and not work? I would reply to this by saying that it is well and good for a Christian girl to work after college. There is a big difference, though, between working (and doing one’s best in one’s job) until marriage happens and working with ambitions of a long and accomplished career. These are polar opposites. The first, which I would strongly encourage, means a girl goes after something until a man gives her the opportunity to be a wife and mom. The second means a girl intentionally avoids marriage until she has fulfilled her careerist goals. This I do not encourage, and this I do not think a good model of femininity. I myself have come into contact with the second brand of femininity and have observed a number of young Christian young men fall victim to it. In a good number of cases, godly young men have pursued godly young women and have been rebuffed, in large part because the young woman wishes to fulfill her career goals and delay marriage for a while. That is the triumph of feminist ideals over biblical principles.

Feminism’s promise of the joys of careerism is a lie. As a dear mentor and wise brother once said of women of a particular city who come to make a career, “Many women come here with dreams of upper management and huge influence. A few years later, when they’ve gotten a raise and moved up a post, and the world still isn’t conquered, and their friends are experiencing the joys of childrearing and homemaking, they leave, disillusioned.” The feminist push to play the role of men ends in fruitlessness and unfulfillment. Well, perhaps worse than this, it leads a woman to a fulfillment she was never meant to have.I will state this again so I am not misunderstood. Women may well be single for a time, and they may find it difficult in places to find the godly husband they desire. But they should seek marriage in prayer and decorum, and when a godly man who they are attracted to and who will lead them well shows up, they should lay aside their career goals and take up the joyful work of the wife and mom. I know numerous women who have done so, women who were going to be doctors and media professionals and political dynamos, but who have because of Scriptural conviction joyfully exchanged the work world for the home world.

To conclude on a personal note, my own wife is an omni-talented woman. She could have been a concert pianist, an actress, or a professor (several of her college professors urged her to be one). Where there were hundreds of capable, bright young men who could have been a Teacher’s Assistant to one of her college’s most popular professors, she was asked to fill the role. She had every opportunity before her to make a career in a theology career, an acting career, or a music career. Bethany is godly, smart, beautiful, and talented. How incredibly thankful I am, then, that she was trained by her father not to aspire to a career, but to aspire to be a godly homemaker. She was trained, and trained by the excellent example and teaching of her mother, to be a wife and a mom. Our marriage is young, and she will have to work for a little while to help us through school, but suffice it to say that I am reaping the fruits of this training. These fruits are not bitter, friends. They are delightful. Bethany’s decision to be my wife and homemaker means that our ministry will, Lord willing, multiply many times over as I am freed to fulfill my role, which I am gifted for as a man, and she is freed to fulfill hers, which she is gifted for as a woman.

Such is the plan that only an all-wise God creates.

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