What's a Girl to Do?

7:30 AM


Discerning God's will takes on a whole different level when people have you pegged on a blog. You start thinking that adoring fans love you merely for supporting their paradigm - not for you, not for your spiritual journey. You start to cater to what you think they think...and then you start wondering what on earth you think.

So it was when I stopped reading stay-at-home daughter blogs and started reading the Bible. I got some pretty radical ideas for how I wanted to serve the Lord - and I didn't know of a single popular blogger or writer who would support me on it.

I was terrified. Not because I didn't think I was right, not because I doubted God's calling but what would other people say? After all, girls looked up to me. Their mothers lauded my stance on home, daughterhood and Biblical femininity. For them, at least, I must keep up some pretense of being radically different from the world in everything I do - I couldn't let them down. I couldn't confuse sisters in Christ just coming to the idea that family could be the training ground for ministry.

I couldn't go to college. I couldn't say that I wouldn't mind being unmarried for the rest of my life. I couldn't admit I really, really want to teach and write instead of learn to sew and cook.

Plus the argument went that, well, marrying younger is all the rage in conservative circles, as is getting degrees online, or hey, skipping college altogether. The way to make a difference in life was bucking the trends, being smart without college and selling one's soul to motherhood and wifehood before the likely appearance of Prince Charming (or Ashley Newton, if you join the Midnight Sister Talks). The pressure to conform to unconformity is a very tight squeeze and not very pleasant with which to bunk decision-making.

Perhaps I should have said this before and avoided confusion, disappointment and anti-religious-freak attacks, but I must admit it before someone charges me with hypocrisy:

I'm not a stay-at-home daughter. Not once did I ever like the term, though certain brilliant young ladies redeemed it from the shallow labelling that made me cringe. Don't get me wrong: I love my home. I love hovering over my brownies to make sure they're perfect for company (and the dog, who found them tasty as well). I love cuddling with Daniel Franklyn and Caroline on the couch, reading Erik Carle picture books over and over and over. I love sharing with others how much I adore the maternal, sisterly, womanly work of learning to make home and cherish its inhabitants. No regrets there. This much I will admit, and proudly: I am a homemaker-in-training.

There's a difference. You tracking with me?

For a very long while, I followed the crowd of stay-at-home daughters - godly girls all, with grace, conviction and Bible verses to back them up. But I got stuck in the stereotype. I kidded myself that I was actually living Biblically - I wasn't at all. I checked what the Bible said to what the stay-at-home bloggers said. I hadn't dug into the Bible, hadn't learned to follow Christ, hadn't done anything but trade the world's cookie cutter for the "good Christian conservative girl" one. Either way, I turned out a lopsided cookie.

Understand, of course, that simply because I misunderstood what they said and turned conviction into law (a trend many other young ladies seem to capitalize on) doesn't mean that their position is wrong. I don't think it's wrong. I don't think it's antithetical to Biblical living. That's not what I'm saying.

I'm saying that the inferences we made from Biblical principles became binding and sometimes twisted to the extreme. We thronged together, on blogs, at conferences, with email loops, because let's face it - going anywhere upstream isn't easy unless you do it in a crowd. We encouraged one another, we admired one another, and somewhere along the line, we started looking like one another too.

So it is that, sadly, I can be defined as one of those types who wear ankle-length skirts, long hair, likes housework and avoids college like the plague rather than a passionate disciple of Christ. There's nothing wrong with ankle-length skirts, long hair, housework and forgoing college. To make a case that it is (like a woman who was offended by those who wore conservative swimsuits) is to make no case at all. But to be defined solely by those beliefs - to have my heart judged by both sides on these external issues - to check a little box on what type of Christian morality and practice I adhere to - that is not for me.

I've been inside and out of this issue. You do get cold shoulders if you don't fall into the cookie cutter, whichever it may be. You do get little side glances and half-smiles of disappointment when you step outside the boundaries. In some ways, the conservative Christian circle has become cliquish, judgmental and mostly external.

I know this may shock some of you, interest others and turn the rest away in droves. Perhaps I may be branded as just another black sheep, giving up because it's too hard to be different, backsliding like any other spineless Christian. You will not believe that I am sincere, thinking clearly and have studied my Bible. That is fine. I would have done the same thing had my favorite blogger written this post.

But this needs to be said:

It's disappointing when we can defend patriarchialism better than we can the gospel. It's counterproductive when we're defined by the work we do post-high school instead of the work of Christ Jesus in our hearts. Do we go the other extreme and say, "Forget about morality, forget about Christian living - let's love Jesus!"? No, of course not. That's not my point. It's that we've become accustomed to defending ourselves as stay-at-home daughters, as stay-at-home mothers, as homemakers-in-training to the point where Christ becomes less and less the purpose of our life.

It struck me as interesting how this verse rarely comes up among us Christian daughters, in comparison to Titus 2 and Proverbs 31 (directed to older, married women):

And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.
- 1 Corinthians 3:34-35
How does one reconcile this to the idea that she is essentially her father's helpmate, that the home she's now in is her primary domain and that to step outside that relationship and that domain is to disobey every ordinance laid upon daughterkind? In some cases, of course, it isn't hard at all - loving my siblings, supporting my daddy, serving my mother - these are all good, godly things that please the Lord and are acceptable as worship in His sight. There's no disconnect in serving the Lord and serving in the home.

So why then does Paul mention the difference between unmarried women and married women? There must be a difference. There must be some sort of freedom for unmarried women that married women do not have, that stay-at-home daughterhood in its most hardcore form doesn't allow because Daddy and his estate is by and large the daughter's domain.

I have not figured that out for myself, and I certainly haven't figured it out as a general rule. It may be a difference merely of priority without an outward change of, say, living arrangement or work, per se. But from now on I want to strive to be a Christ-follower, not a stay-at-home daughter, a truly Biblical Christian and not whatever's fashionably Bibley, and I want to emphasise that my service is a love offering to both the people and the God I serve, whether or not it fits into stay-at-home daughter labels.

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34 impressions

  1. Amen! I heartily agree!
    I once just 'staid home' without actually studying why, as you have. Now I am in the workforce because times changed, I got older, and I need to live! I've been put down by stay at home daughters for working a full time job, but not all daughters have rich parents, at least mine are certainly not anyway. God can be praised in so many ways! Marriage is wonderful, but I haven't found my true love (yet if at all) so I can't afford to burden my parents by staying with them (they would love if I did, but it wouldn't help dad).
    Thank you so much for this.
    For giving the needed encouraging words that it's not about staying home, but serving Christ.

    God bless you.
    Grace

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  2. I definitely know what you're talking about. At the same time, though, maybe patriarchy has more to do with what the father thinks is best for his daughter rather than his daughter being limited to his house: in other words, if your dad wants you to go to college, by all means, go! I could be another example for this same article myself. I am going with my brother to volunteer at a large Christian campus for six months, and that has earned some raised eyebrows, but I believe it's what I'm supposed to do right now, and my father thinks it's the right thing for me at this season. So there you go. I am inside my father's covering, even while I'm out of his home. I appreciate so much that you want to follow the Bible and not just another counter-cultural movement. I pray I may always do the same. God bless!

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  3. Kudos!

    Seriously, that's awesome. I have to admit, I will not pressure my daughter to leave the next until she is getting married, but I will support her if she chooses to. I want home to be a launching pad for life, not a place where she is held as my assistant. Ideally, I'd love for her to live at home if for no other reason than to free up her finances so that she can travel and learn and ready herself for the rest of her life. It doesn't matter what the outside looking in thinks - we do all things for CHRIST first and that may very well manifest differently for all of us when it comes to issues like this.

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  4. Very well written, Bailey. I've been taken aback by the "cookie cutter" look stay-at-home-daughters have taken on in many circles. It's so funny, because that's never been a problem in my family. Even though the three oldest are girls, we look nothing alike (style, haircuts, etc...) and are fine with that! We have different personalities. One of us wants to run her own dog-breeding business, one wants to be a writer, one doesn't know what she wants to do yet! We all would love to get married and have families, but we also know the importance of the single years. They aren't years of "waiting"... they are years of growing in the Lord and serving Him, the same as any other stage in our lives!

    I've felt pressured sometimes to dress a certain way and like certain things, but God has really given me peace in being who He created me to be. His daughter; a gal who would rather be taking a walk in the woods than cooking dinner. :)

    We also can't forget though that IF God does bring marriage into our lives, that we must be willing to sacrifice some of our preferences for the benefit of our husband and children. So I say, in the meantime, enjoy being single instead of pining away! You will never have an opportunity for ministry like these special single years!!!

    In Christ,
    Rachel

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  5. The last 2 posts have been extremely encouraging and convicting, Bailey. I found you through a friend of mine. I love the way you write.

    I had to laugh. I've never like "stay-at-home-daughter" as a title either...and I've never used it in reference to myself. Instead I've told them exactly what I do which doesn't exclusively include "homemaking stuff" like cooking, baking, sewing, etc. :-)

    Your posts have been very timely for me and very thought-provoking. Thanks! :-)

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  6. Wow! I have to say I was extremely blessed by this post, even more then your last one.

    I often feel alone because my heats desire is not to be married, it is to follow Christ wherever he leads me. I know feel less alone.

    You have inspired me to write some blog post of my own on these subjects.

    Sarah

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  7. That post was what I've been needing to hear for a long, long time. It's hard for me, sometime, because I was raised without the understanding that GOD had created men and women differently, and for two years I was in rebellion against Biblical womanhood. I didn't want to get married, I didn't want to be a woman. I wanted to a protector, not a nurturer. But GOD changed my heart, and made me willing to be a godly woman... So I started reading blogs and books about being a stay-at-home-daughter, and throwing myself wholeheartedly into this new way of living.
    And then, of course, because GOD has a sense of humor, He called me to do something that does not fit the cookie-cutter image of a stay at home daughter/wife/mother. I've been wondering for a long time if this could possibly be His will, because it doesn't fit what I've been taught... And then you posted this. So thank you.

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  8. Very interesting post, and interesting thoughts. As a mother of a teen daughter, we are both still trying to figure out this very issue. Thanks for sharing this :) ~April

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  9. Hmmm...very thoughtful. *insert something sorta intellegent*

    But I'll have to say, I agree with you. Because I'm your sister, and understand you, I agree. But as warning, others won't because they'll read it backwards.

    I'll have to admit, many people do put the home and their future marriage (etc) and such as priorities.

    Whether we marry or not, Christ is our priority in life. Serving in home is an excellent way to serve Christ. And serving Christ is an excellent way to serve at home.

    *hugs*

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  10. As the only guy to post on this I think I should make a point that is gender neutral: Someone once said that, and I'm paraphrasing, It doesn't matter what others think about so, as long as you do it for the Lord. That isn't exactly how the saying went but it means the same thing.

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  11. BAILEY! I have been hoping to see someone write this post for SO so so so long. Thank you. I am so tired of the "cookie cutter" stay at home daughter....the image you must conform to if you want to be considered a "righteous" daughter. The pressure to "conform to non-conformity", as you so eloquently stated. Where did this come from? How has the Christian conservative community become so rule-bound, so cliquish, so concerned with externals? Why is there a "one-size-fits-all" mold that every daughter must conform to, even though I don't see that model anywhere in the Bible?

    The single years are precious. They are a time to serve the Lord. To do great things for Him! Not to sit on your parents' couch reading stay at home daughter blogs so you can pat yourself on the back and say what a GOOD daughter you are because you fit into "the mold"! I still live at home, there is nothing wrong with that. I have five younger siblings that I Love very much. I love my family But I am going to attend college. A mind is a terrible thing to waste. God has college for me, I know that! And after that, I want to work and take mission trips, and make a difference for the Lord. If the Lord has marriage in mind for me, I would love that. But until that time, there is so much to be accomplished for His Kingdom.

    Sorry this is so long! But thank you thank you for saying this. My younger sister and I have been talking about this for a long time, somewhat saddened by what we are seeing the home school community! The looks, the barely perceptible signs of scorn when you announce that you are going to college, and that it's not online. Even if you do live at home while going to college, you are automatically labeled as someone who has "stepped off the path", or is missing the boat of holy daughter hood. It's sad. There is so much more to serving Him! It's not about the latest stay at home daughter blog. It's about what the BIBLE says.

    GO BAILEY! I am so proud of you for saying this. I have a good friend who is going to Hillsdale. He loves it.

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  12. Great post! I'm so glad you pointed out those verses. As someone who married young, I've often regretted that I had spent so much energy towards my future husband as a young Christian, instead of toward the Lord.

    ♥e.e.

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  13. Bailey, thank you so much for reminding me that it's okay to break out of the "cookie cutter"! Just because girls should learn homemaking skills, and prepare for marriage, that does not mean they have to stay. It works wonderfully for some girls, but, once again, it is not "one size fits all".
    Trying to conform to the cookie cutter has caused me a lot of pain.
    <><

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  14. And P.S.
    It looks like the people who would be offended all left long ago. I've seen only thanks and agreements for the last few controversial posts. Hmmm.
    <><

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  15. I was just thinking about this the other day. Of course, you put way more eloquently than I ever could! I too have been convicted of how I so often try to fit into the mold of a particular christian circle, instead of just looking to Christ.

    Question: if we all sought to be like Christ instead of trying to be like the people who follow Him, would we have such stereotyped groups of christians?

    Does my question make sense? Just food for thought. (Or discussion, anybody?)

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  16. I've wondered the same thing. If Christians believe the Bible speaks to our lives today (which it does) and if we all followed the Bible exactly (which we should), won't we all kind of look the same?

    If we're conforming to Christ, aren't we being conformed to the same image...and will be the same?

    I laugh whenever I read posts about breaking out of the stereotype - like this one - because isn't the "breaking out of the stereotype" type a stereotype? :P

    Maybe the concern of stereotypes is not wholly a Biblical issue - I mean, of course we shouldn't let others dictate how we live in contradiction to our conscience - but I sometimes think we become obsessed about our individuality. Like the hysteria over going to prom in the same dress as Susie Q. Maybe looking like each other wouldn't be such a big deal if we focus simply on conforming to Christ...regardless of whether anyone else looks like us too.

    Your thoughts?

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  17. Another great post! Keep them coming... :)

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  18. Maybe the key is balance.

    We shouldn't be obsessed with individuality, thinking we're doing something wrong if someone is like us or we're like them.

    Conversely, trying to be like someone else (or fit into a certain stereotype), consequently losing the individuality that we've each been given by Christ, is equally wrong.

    How do you balance between the two? Christ. As soon as the focus is off of Him, the scale begins to tilt.

    I feel like that was too wordy. Do you get me? I don't know if I'm getting across the point I'm trying to make!

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  19. Hi Bailey!

    I am so glad to have found your blog! It is very thought-provoking and well-written. Welcome to your newest follower (I'm going to click "follow" as soon as I finish commenting). :D

    I love the way you state things. I especially liked how clearly you pointed out issues in your "Schoolyard Feminism" post - well done!

    I have not reached the point yet where I'm brave enough to state my opinions -on some of the topics you've tackled- on my own blog... but I might get there someday! :D

    Anyways, just wanted to comment and thank you for writing this blog. It encouraged me today. :)

    Blessings!
    Julia

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  20. Mia - I get you, loud and clear. I think you hit the nail on the head.

    Hi, Julia! Welcome! I actually think I'm crazier than I am brave, but if the Lord lays it on your heart to say something, you've just gotta say it! I'm sure He'll give you His words in His time.

    To all you other girls: I am shocked I'm not the only one who thinks this way, and I have been so encouraged by your unique examples of loving family, loving Christ and loving uniqueness. You bless me - each and every one of you.

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  21. Hi Bailey

    I've recently discovered your blog and this is my first comment.

    I knew that I wasn't called to be a stay at home daughter stereotype and it isn't something that my parents encouraged me in; I'm blessed with intelligence and I spent 4 years at Oxford taking my degree and completing law school and I've worked as a solicitor since. I married my university sweetheart and I'm now the proud mama of a one year old so my change in season has been working out what GOD says I should do to be the best wife and mother I can be.

    Just as with your choices, there are a myriad of cookie cutter options for wife and mother out there in books and blogs, but there's only one person that I want to mould myself into and that's who I'm working towards.

    My bible reading today covered the parable in Matthew where Jesus asks which of two sons did his father's bidding - the one who said he would go to the fields and didn't or the one that said no and did it anyway. It's easier to find a set of guidelines or interpretations and adhere to them as rules rather than to search your heart for the narrow path.

    Sorry, I've wittered on far more than I mean't to - I hope it all makes sense and that you find the path you are meant to be on. I think you write beautifully and would make a wonderful teacher.

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  22. Bailey,
    I can tell this was a weighty post for you, one that you don't intend readers to take lightly. In many of your past posts, you've shared your desire to become a godly stay-at-home daughter, and you have been applauded for it. Now you pause and realize: it's not about conforming to the SAHD paradigm. It's about Christ.

    "If we're conforming to Christ, aren't we being conformed to the same image...and will be the same?" I would respond, absolutely not. Why? Because Christ is not a stereotype. He does not in any of the convenient little boxes we try to cram Him in. He is not a benevolent Santa Claus, ready to overlook faults and scatter goodwill. He is not a fire insurance salesman, selling salvation "just in case". He is the all-powerful, all-knowing One who sees the end from the beginning-- and chose us anyways. As we prayerfully and diligently seek Him in all things, conforming to His will, our view of self slowly dies. His will for each of us is different-- and thus each of our lives will look different. And our yearning for others' approval is replaced with yearning for His approval. When you switch the two, life becomes miserable very quickly.

    A while back, you gave me the very good blogging advice to never care about what other people think. And now I turn that advice back to you.

    *HUGS*

    ~Miss Madison

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  23. Miss Madison -

    "Christ is not a stereotype."

    Excellent point. That basically sums up the answer to my question in just a few words. Thank you!

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  24. You have absolutely no idea how encouraging and totally necessary that was to me at this very moment.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for opening your soul and heart to us like this.

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  25. Hey Bailey!

    Thank you so much for this post. Ach, I know I'm probably just echoing what everyone else has said, but I've gotta say it anyway. :-)

    I've been caught between hippie and head-coverings for years, and it's been tricky. It makes a girl rather insecure, trying to figure out how to be honouring to God without just inserting oneself into yet another (if smaller) cookie cutter. So here I am, some days I wear ankle-length skirts (which sometimes have crazy multi-coloured patterns), and sometimes I wear jeans. Oh well.

    And the whole education thing? Huge for me. I was going to go into music, getting a smaller associate diploma. Then I was going to go get a bachelor of midwifery, then I was getting married, each thing squashing the last. And now? I don't know. None of those happened, so I'm going to YWAM and doing a DTS. It's the bravest thing I've done in a while, and I'm just trusting the Lord, because there is no cookie-cutter for 'how Christian daughters should act' except, of course, to be under their father's (and therefore Father's) covering, no matter where they are. But it looks different for everyone.

    SO thank you. This post is pushing me both from complacency and laziness, as well as from fear of not doing enough. Both ends of the spectrum. :-)

    In Christ,
    Sheila

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  26. Wow! I really needed this! I just recently found your blog after having made a decision to remain home after highschool. And while I believe that God has led me to this decision, I have recently been guilty of the very thing that you are speaking against in this post. So, thank you for speaking what God has laid upon your heart, He is truly working through you.

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  27. Oh, Lindsey...thank you for your humility and your HEART to serve the Lord the way He has called you and to allow others to serve Him the way He has called them. You don't know how much this blessed me today. *HUGS*

    Be blessed, friend!

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  28. *Hugs* back to you Bailey! I'm just super excited to be finding a community of like-minded sisters, no matter how different we may be. And while I think that humility is the last thing anyone can accuse me of being I'm glad you think so. :)

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  29. I'm listening to epic music. Be afraid.

    OK, first off, I heartily applaud your stance on Scripture. May God be true and every man a liar. I have to wrestle with the same thing as I wrestle through the Doctrine of the Trinity. I have questions. I don't want to be a heretic and go against thousands of years of orthodoxy. But I even more fear to be one who fears man. Oh LORD, lead us into Your Truth...

    I love your core point. It's actually something I've been talking with my sister about. (And it's something, ironically enough, that I mentioned in that blog post that you read.)

    If you're checking boxes, putting on an act, and being a good girl, then that's not just shallow- it's sinful. It's not of faith.

    I, furthermore, agree with most of what you said. You just went about it in a way that threw me.

    I believe that there's a danger in going about it like this, because it sounds like- *even though you explicitly stated otherwise*- that being a SAHD is not good.

    The post confuses me. Do you want to never marry, or do you want to become a homemaker? Do you want to go to college or not? Does getting into God's Word pull you away from doing what the SAHD crowd advocates or are their statements Scripturally based? So on.

    So what bugs me about this post is that while your core point is not only true but thunderously true, the... uncore parts of the post can lead to a myriad of interpretations.

    "There's a difference. You tracking with me?"

    No. I'm not seeing the difference. I see your point, and it resonates powerfully with me and is something that girls *need* to hear. You can read the right stuff and wear the right stuff and not date or go to college and still be a little heathen.

    But I don't see the difference between SAHD and homemaker-in-training.

    Unless it's simply a matter of desiring to be unbound by stereotypical constraints. Which appears to me to be semantic dancing.

    As to the verse, I totally understand your question, and it's one that needs to be asked. But we must interpret this verse in the broad context of Scripture. Whatever that looks like.

    Well, that's all. For now. Mwahaha...

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  30. Epic music is so epic.

    Man, oh, man, where do I start? First off, much of this is semantic dancing -- because many of the arguments involving SAHDs are just that. Much of this is very subtle, almost nonissue stuff.

    And that's why it's so huge.

    If you read the comment thread above, you saw that this resonated with many girls -- many of whom are adults and still stay-at-home, many of whom like and use the term "stay-at-home daughter." We're girls who have read every major blog and book regarding the subject. At first bite, everything sounded very Biblical -- and it was, when it focused on the core point of discovering our womanly place according to the Bible and not a feminist agenda. But much of the movement shifted to "do this, do that, this is womanly, this isn't" and a lot of us are fed up with extrabiblical extrapolation paraded as truth.

    Many of us who try to speak up for diversity among the SAHD movement got kicked out. Like me. Because in some ways, the SAHD movement isn't based on Biblical truths alone but on stereotypes and a pendulum swung way too far to the right.

    Have you ever read Jasmine's Joyfully at Home? Toward the end of her blogging career and her book she issued warnings to girls who would pursue SAHDhood as a cookie cutter way to being a Christian. She was used to the stereotyping too. (And I love Jasmine. She has a very balanced, Scriptural approach to the SAHD movement.)

    There are two ways I used SAHD in the post: one as a valid option for young women, one as the stereotypical, no diversity allowed option, where girls who go to college are harlots, where girls who get a job are dishonoring their father and womanhood, where everyone has to look alike in order to combat the Marxist-Feminist agenda.

    There is nothing wrong with a girl who wants to stay home for whatever reason -- for protection, for guidance, for financial reasons, for working with the family, whatever. Sometimes that's the best place for a girl to be. That's up for her to decide. I don't believe there's a Scriptural mandate for them to do so on pain of becoming a feminist, but I do think that if a girl is called home, more power to her!

    I take issue with those who presume to know the mind of God, individual fathers and individual girls with regards to their futures. That is the SAHDhood I reject.

    So the difference between that and being a homemaker-in-training is really an issue of patriarchy and heart. A homemaker-in-training -- it's a semantics issue, again -- is more someone who loves home and who desires to be a homemaker someday. A SAHD, in the stereotypical sense, is one who views herself as Daddy's second helpmeet, who cannot leave home or do anything without his approval.

    It is semantics, but if you've been in the battle long enough (it's heated enough to call it that), you know semantics matter.

    The reason I wrote this post was not to bash SAHDs. Most adopt that name because it describes their situation. I wrote it because so many girls are following after other fathers', other girls' and other people's opinions on what they should do to further Christ's kingdom and proclaim His name. It's frustrated and shamed many women who are truly called to be something different than SAHD. That is wrong, and I do believe that in some cases, it is not wise or God's will for a girl to be a SAHD.

    So it's beyond just avoiding stereotypes: it's following after one's own call in Christ. After getting into God's Word, seeking His will and even asking my father, I have decided that SAHD is not what I'm called to...at least for the present moment.

    Clear as mud? I thought so. :o) Thanks for dialoguing with me.

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  31. Likewise, thanks for dialoguing with me.

    Also thanks for making your stance clear as mud.

    ;-)

    I think the question I asked on the other post gets more to the heart of the matter, so with your permission I shall direct this discussion in that direction.

    I will say, though, that I think that both your definition of the SAHD and the definition of the homemaker-in-training are good things. Of course we'd have to do a lot of defining and such- and I think that will come with the discussion on the other thread.

    Looking forward to it. :-)

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  32. Amen!

    From a mother of 4 daughters

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  33. Hey Bailey,

    I'm way late jumping into this discussion, but I just came across your blog today and this post really struck a cord with me because you appear to be seeking balance and God's will. This is huge for me because it seems difficult for a lot of us to avoid swinging the pendulum too far to one side or the other. There are so many statements in the Bible that tend towards balanced views on various issues.
    As I was going through the comments, one thing you said stood out to me:

    I've wondered the same thing. If Christians believe the Bible speaks to our lives today (which it does) and if we all followed the Bible exactly (which we should), won't we all kind of look the same?

    If we're conforming to Christ, aren't we being conformed to the same image...and will be the same?

    I laugh whenever I read posts about breaking out of the stereotype - like this one - because isn't the "breaking out of the stereotype" type a stereotype? :P

    Ironically, I was just thinking about this today! I was thinking of how Ephesians 4 talks about the unity of the Spirit, and I wondered, wouldn't we all be somewhat similar? But I think there would still be diversity, just a unified diversity, because we would all be focused on One Person. But we would all still have very different lives, backgrounds, situations, cultures, etc. Yet all those things would be subordinate to Jesus and dealt with according to His word. So in essence, the stereotype (if you want to call it that) would be that we all deal with our lives on God's terms.
    Hope it makes sense. :)

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  34. Thank you for this post! (Sorry, I just came across it!)

    I am a stay at home daughter (I don't object to the label, but it looks differently for each person and the vagueness is not helpful at all) but my life may not look like the stereotypical SAHD. In the 1 year since my graduation I have:

    Taught my little sister school 5 days a week (reading and writing- oh my, help!)

    Had the opportunity to volunteer for a whole week with a friend at a Voice of the Martyr

    Wrote/directed/choreographed/was in a 22 page Christmas program

    Lead the drama team at Church

    Played an instrument (guitar/violin) every Wednesday night at Church

    Was chairman of the local teenage Republican group

    Planned a homeschool War Between the States day complete with real re-enactors and a ball

    Taught 14 piano/violin/guitar students every week

    Worked 5 hours at a farm a week

    Took 7 hours of Spanish at a local community college

    Whew! And that's just been my first year home! I do not believe that my choice is mandatory (or even best!) for all young ladies, and my year does not necessarily fit the baking/sewing/housework image one might associate with a stay at home daughter but I am thankful the Lord lead me to this decision. Out of all the friends I know that graduated this year and last year, I'm the only one who felt lead to go this route and I'm just fine with that. Ultimately, it's a matter of following Christ's direction and conforming to His will. And that will look different for each one of us. I am following Him, step by step, wherever He leads. I am thankful for His grace and goodness.

    Thanks to all the modern technology, trade schools, apprenticeships/internships and more, the options are virtually endless. Yes, college is one way to learn, but it is by no means the only way. (I know you understand that idea!)

    For me, who, for my entire life was never thrilled, excited or interested in college but felt like that's where everyone HAD to go upon graduation, coming across the idea of SAHD was such a blessing. I do not think less of a girl for going to college, it's all a matter between her and God (ultimately) and her parents secondly. I'm so thankful for the freedom in Christ we have been given to pursue what gifts, talents and abilities Christ has given us!

    This may be all scrambl-y (like my brain) it's late, and I'm tired, so I apologize in advance for whatever my fingers typed up. Yes, always blame the fingers, they can't speak for themselves!

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Hit me with your best thought! I'm very interested in your unique perspective. If you'd like to discuss things in private, feel free to email me! :)