Thursday, June 10, 2010

What's a Godly Girl to Do?


"Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think; and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think."


Thomas Edison, 1847-1931
Inventor





What about those that are not encouraged or allowed to think??  Or what about those whose thinking (quality and quantity) is purposely controlled by outside forces?

I recently saw two videos that have me thinking...  After watching this and this (on this second one, only the first 10 minutes plus the last 5 minutes, thank you Cates), I decided to ask my girls what their passions are. In addition to giving them the academic school work that we think is important for them to know, wouldn't it be nice if we also provided a way for them to learn one or two things that they are really excited about?  Granted, it's hard to discover your passion if you have had little or no exposure to lots of places and things and activities in the world, and we do keep pretty close to home. There just isn't a lot of opportunity living in a relatively small town in the wilderness, far away from fun things like science museums, art classes, and the like (and no TV), to even see what the choices are for "passions".

So, I asked each of my girls, "If your could learn how to do anything at all in the whole world, and choose your own method of learning it," (knowing how one of my kids feels about school books, hee hee), "WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO LEARN?" The girls looked at me as if I were crazy, but after a few minutes they began to come up with some ideas.  The longer I waited, the bigger and grander their ideas were, and the more excited they got! Their answers were enlightening to me.

Why have I never asked them this question before??  Maybe because I am afraid of their answers!  You see, I believe that we all ought to develop our minds and bodies to our fullest God-given potential, as long as our pursuit of that fulfillment is truly for God's glory, and not our own.  But I also believe that as Christian ladies, our bodies AND our hearts belong at home with our families, and that the most privileged and fulfilling and noble thing a woman can do with her life is to love and serve the Lord and her family full time.  Does this leave room for an avid interest in microbiology, electronics, or travel??  Do I want to take a chance on steering my girls' hearts away from the home?!  No, I don't.  But did God not give us these other interests? How can they be used for His glory?

In God's economy, maybe the idea of "fulfilling our potential", at least intellectually, really has no value at all in the eternal scheme of things. (Do I hear cries of "BLASPHEMY!" from the education wing?  Hold your rotten tomatoes.)  Perhaps that is a humanistic philosophy.  Is it really right to teach our girls to be ladies for the Lord ("keepers at home"), and, at the same time, allow them to pursue the field of law or engineering or communications??  I am looking for your input on this, particularly from those of you believe the Book and who are committed to training up your girls God's way. Can a girl follow her passion for astrophysics, and still be a devoted, committed, wife and mother with a servant's heart?  Wouldn't the logical end of an interest in microbiology be research or medicine, and not a desire to be a SAHM?  How do I reconcile this?  Do we discourage them from pursuing things they can't do from home? Did God intend for a girl's passions to be limited to cooking and sewing and loving children, only those things which would create a warm and lovely home? Can her mind only be trained in those lofty philosophical areas which won't take her away from home?  Certainly a man wants a wife with some smarts, but what if he doesn't care about philosophy?

I am just not sure what to think about all this. Do we pursue our interests until we know they are conflicting with God's revealed will? How COULD a woman astronaut glorify God with her career, since God has already told us a woman's heart and body should be in her home?  If we ladies are supposed to "just" be cooks and house-cleaners and loving mothers, why did God give us brains?  I am apparently not the first to think of that, after all, girls in Western civilization were not even allowed to pursue an education until recent history.  I am not criticizing God's design, just wondering how to reconcile intelligence with womanhood.

Based on my girls' current "passions", I don't think I am at the crossroads yet.  Their passions mostly include cooking, sewing, pretending, making music, Legos, roller skating, and Swagbucks.  :D

4 comments:

  1. Groan! That is a huge question, Sally. I can see on the one hand, what if they never marry, because that is God's plan for their life. What then? An education in their passions in that circumstance would be prudent. I am aware of a single friend of mine who would love to get married, but it has not been His will and she is 40. She has purchased her own home and has a lovely life, career, and serves me and many others as a fantastic Bible study leader. I would not want to deny that to my daughter, if she wasn't a wife. We don't know what the Lord's plan is for our girls. I want Grace to be prepared for whatever He calls her to do. Look at me for example, I was raised in a non-believing home, divorced parents to boot. I was unaware of anyone staying at home to care for their children. I pursued my career. By the grace of God, I married at 26. I worked until the birth of my baby. The Holy Spirit called me to stay home and I obeyed. I could be a nurse making lots of money on the weekends. I have to believe that my daughter will hear the same call when and if she is a mommy. Sorry this is so LONG. And I wish I could help more...
    Jenn

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  2. If I may offer my young, biased opinion... I think it is best to encourage most passions, but also show them how it can be used while following the Lord. Almost every passion, I believe, can be used for Him. If we deny or lessen a passion, it may lead an individual to have an even greater desire to pursue it and ultimately lead them to pursue it in the wrong way. I think for a lot of people hearing "No, no, no" makes them want, want want. The whole forbidden fruit concept.

    For example, if a daughter is in love with medicine, perhaps she can shadow a doula or a midwife. She could become a nurse while still at home for security when she has her own home. Perhaps she was given this passion because her future husband will be a missionary and her medical knowledge will be useful in the field. She can also help take care of her children when they are ill with greater knowledge and confidence.

    If a daughter loves astrophysics, perhaps she can use that to better homeschool her children or maybe teach a science class at a homeschool co-op. She could also help tutor other homeschoolers in science. Maybe a local Christian school is one science teacher short of opening before she has children of her own.

    I think it's important to teach young people that you cannot have your cake and eat it too. If you want to take care of the home and your family properly, that has to come before a career. Sacrifice is part of living and part of being responsible. You can still engage in your interests and passions while following the Lord and fulfilling your duties, some interests just require more creative thinking than others. It's okay to have interests that rest outside the home, our job is to find out how to use or fulfill these interests while remaining faithful to the Lord.

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  3. So much food for thought you have here on your blog. I hope you don't mind if I add you as a friend. Great posts on "Which Bible".

    Blessings!
    Sharity

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  4. Denise (heartnsoul)June 14, 2010 at 6:31 AM

    Hi Sally- interesting post.
    My daughter is very enthused about learning herbal cures. Homeopathy I think will be a very good thing to learn for the future. She has it all planned out- wants to take courses (I'm tagging along of course lol). But frustration of frustrations- she is only 15 and grrrr has to finish more years of non-relative meaningless classes (which curric. is probably one-sided propaganda) before she can get to "real life" lol. I keep telling her I started real learning after I graduated high school....

    But, we were just talking the other day about her talents and how instead of allowing the "pride of life", "lust of eyes, flesh" to rule, how to give those things to God so others could glorify Him. Like- writing. One reason why we are not blogging, b/c the 'pride' thing and it's all about "me" was out of control. We all had to really look at "why" we are an "online presense". Treasure in heaven or worldly nonsense chatter? A waste of time or good- and for what/who? Addiction (for some here!) or useful activity and how? Right now she is helping a Phillipino girl with grammar using story-writing, not because she applied for a job though- or even thought before hand that is what she should do! She is realizing that in "real life" when "loving your neighbor" there doesn't need to be a formal job title or even payment. Isn't that walking in the Spirit? Of course this is all just my opinion.

    Then there's my daughter's Artwork, and even milking goats- people appreciate a back-up milker :) One point is, that "we" can't or shouldn't just say "I'm going to have such and such ministry or career with my talent", I think we can give God back the talents we have from Him, and let Him shape it into what He wants and how He wants to use them and when. Which could be out of the box, could even get one persecuted by "well-meaning" trained in one mindset traditionalists, could keep one labeled 'unsuccessful' according to the world's standards. (hmm like me)...

    In my past, my parents forbade me to pursue my "natural" talent, which was art. Yep I was not allowed to take any art classes in college. Does one obey your parents then or rebel? arrgh. well I was just floundering around in school, not interested in anything else, my aptitude tests showed I was high in about 5 completely different areas which didn't help me any lol. Those areas were boring and life-less compared to what I really wanted to do. I ended up quitting college and going to the "School of Hard Knocks". I used to be pretty bitter about the whole waste of my life, but now I am able to see "on the other hand". Because I was not born-again then, what if my natural talent were used to further satan's kingdom on earth?? I really think I could have been pretty useful- I was a "good person", but sensual and secular. yikes- I could have even promoted feminism, atheism, even graphics that may lead others into sin.
    Now I believe I was actually saved from that by not pursuing my "natural" talents. The natural man has to be reborn, the mind regenerated to be truly useful-- Seek first the Kingdom of God, THEN all these things will be added as well. And here is a scary warning about "works of our hands":
    Rev. 9:20 "And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood..."
    worksG2041 of theirG848 hands,G5495

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