Chucking College?

Posted By on December 15, 2012

chuckcollege

Melanie Ellison has just published a little gem of a book that will challenge old notions of “higher” education and point readers to a better (and far less expensive) path. Melanie has done homeschool grads (and, truly, all high school students) a great favor by pulling together research, analysis of modern educational trends, and personal stories from the battlefront of “higher” education. If you’re standing at the fork in the road wondering which way to go, grab a copy of Chucking College today. Or if you’re a parent who isn’t sure what alternatives are out there to the (expensive) brick-and-mortar option, please read this book.

Below is a short excerpt from this excellent book:

What will it profit a girl if she gains the whole world but loses her soul, her lifetime financial freedom, her purity, her love of reading, her unique individuality, her entrepreneurial momentum, and four peak years of her life? A college degree may no longer be worth the world to us when we see what we have to surrender for it. The costs for that piece of paper—financial, emotional, spiritual, and temporal—rise higher with every graduation.

When we really think it over, a degree may not be necessary to equip us for each of our life purposes. Many college graduates discover (after the fact) that a degree was not a prerequisite for their success. 

Having to spend all one’s time jumping through an institution’s contemporarily-hip course hoops makes it very difficult to find the time to master domestic skills we will need as first ladies in our future homes. If a young woman spends four to eight years debating worldly philosophy and studying for a career, she is simply not going to possess as much competence in running a home and living a life of self-sacrifice for her man and her babies as the young woman who has been practicing those skills daily. College saps valuable time from preparing for the life many of us hope to live someday—that of a wife and mother.

Admittedly, college does have attractive benefits, but not without costs that most often far outweigh them. When family and friends say, “You’re strong enough to keep your faith through college!  You won’t become one of those statistics!” how do you know? Satan fell from heaven and Eve fell from the Garden of Eden!  Our hearts are deceitful, and they seek excuses to sin. “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall,” warns 1 Corinthians 10:12.

Doug Phillips has said, “College is a trip through Babylon. If the academics don’t get you, the dorm life will.” Proverbs 16:17 declares, “The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; he who keeps his way preserves his soul.” Therefore, according to Scripture, the descriptive characteristic of the righteous is that they are set-apart and holy—not loitering and trying to survive in the midst of those who habitually practice sin.

If we truly believe that college is often a type of Sodom, then longing for it could be as deadly for us as it was for Lot’s wife, when she looked back. Sodom, her home, was similar to college with all its attractions, stimulations, and ventures into the thrills of the world. She must have despised what was ahead of her by comparison—life in a cave. It was when she doubted the value of her forthcoming life of hardship that she longed for the familiarity she had with the worldliness of Sodom—”the treasures of Egypt,” so to speak. She looked back when she stopped looking ahead to her reward.

We can take encouragement from the historical fact that the Messiah Himself stayed home, subjected to His earthly authority until he was thirty years old! He neither moved out on His own, nor went to college. And we think it stretches us to be at home, single when we’re in our 20’s? The Author and Perfector of our faith did it!

The enemy desperately wants to get us young ladies out from the protection of our fathers’ homes. That is why we sometimes feel the draw to think that anywhere else would be more productive than being at home. He wants to destroy us, and cannot access us as easily while we remain under authority. Realizing this can help us feel validated at home, and help us move on to be productive (have entrepreneurial businesses and ministries, and exercise hospitality) from the hub of our home.

Skipping college does not imply that we are to also give up on advanced education or perfecting our talents. Skills are vitally important to bring glory to the Name of God. Excellence is a work’s glory. So we must look for unique ways to develop skills without necessarily conforming to the college cookie-cutter pattern. Training and education do exist outside the liberal college package.

***

Go to chuckingcollege.com to discover how skipping college may be the best educational decision you ever make.

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About The Author

Jennie is the wife of Matthew and mother of ten children, all of whom keep the household bubbling with life, learning, and levity. Jennie co-founded LAF in 2002 with Lydia Sherman and has been delighted to hear from women all over the world who enjoy their femininity and love to cultivate womanly virtues.

Comments

34 Responses to “Chucking College?”

  1. Opal says:

    Hello, Mrs. Chancey. This is my first time commenting, although I have been following LAF for some time now. I had to comment on this post because this book is so relevant to my current situation.

    I am currently a senior in public high school, and both of my parents are atheist and feminist. I am a Christian and not a feminist, and I am so very thankful to the Lord for leading me to Him. My parents (and everyone around me) are pressuring me to go to college. We live in a college town, so I will be able to live at home while attending college. However, I have no desire to go and prepare myself for a career and become a “strong, independent woman.” My desire is to grow as a Christian woman and prepare myself for a God-honoring marriage and motherhood. I don’t feel that I can do this while attending college.

    Sometimes I feel that articles (and books) such as these are written with the assumption that the targeted audience all come from Christian families. What about a girl like me who doesn’t have the foundation of a strong Christian family on which to build upon? Where can I turn? While I fully trust that God will reveal His plan for me in His own time, I feel that there is much more I could be doing. I do not want to waste four years and thousands of dollars doing something that I have no desire to do and God is not calling me to do. Realistically though, it feels like I have no other choice. Do you have any advice for me?

  2. snvarbor says:

    I want to get this book, but does it assume that a girl would be leaving home to go to school? What about a girl staying home and doing classes at the local community college? Many of my daughter’s not homeschooled friends (male & female) are college age and are looking for life skills classes like Home Ec & Home Maint. The public schools used to have that in JH/HS but no more. Makes me want to create a CoOp to have classes on making simple meals and fixing small stuff around the house for these Pub School grads.

  3. Abbysmom says:

    Melanie Ellison’s book shows young adults and their parents to “think outside the box” regarding college education. She is to be commended for that. She is also obviously articulate, intelligent, and probably not upset if someone calls her a college dropout.

    She writes in the excerpt from her book available on the book’s website, “Outside of a handful of majors–engineering and some of the sciences–a bachelor’s degree tells an employer nothing except that the applicant has a certain amount of intellectual ability and perseverance.” She may discuss this in a different part of her book, but it’s not possible to tell whether calls health professions part of the sciences. Health professions require college and/or advanced degrees, with a consistent body of knowledge as well as the hands-on experience with patients under the guidance of their professors, and passing a licensing or registration exam.

    And many of these professions are those that young women may show interest in. They may even feel called to the mission field to practice as a nurse, physician, physical therapist, certified nurse midwife, etc. The mission field could be as close as working at a city’s health clinic or the Salvation Army’s medical facility for the needy or as far away as God calls her. Taking online classes for basic degree requirements from home is certainly possible. But one day a young woman will have to attend a college or university to finish her studies, hopefully in her city.

    If it’s truly her call from God to be a health professional, I believe it’s possible with continuing guidance from her parents, getting connected to a church near campus, living with other Christian women off-campus, and being involved in a campus ministry like Intervarsity or Navigators to receive her degree and grow in Christ at the same time. She’ll also learn how to live with roomies outside her own family (good preparation for living with a future husband, cook, manage her own money, and do her part in keeping their house/apartment/flat clean.

    Of course, I am not putting down young women who prefer to operate their own businesses or other lines of work while living with their parents. I’m just saying that this is not the only option for young women who need a degree to pursue their calling until they marry and have children, never marry, or return to their profession if their husbands become disabled or die prematurely, or their household needs a supplemental income for a brief period (husband’s unemployment, for example.)

    I realize that this is contrary to your opinion, Jennie, and probably to many, if not most, to the readers of your blog. I’m just trying to point out that college may be suitable for some young women and that parents should be open to that.

  4. Jenn84 says:

    Losing her unique individuality? In all sincerity, how is college more likely to do that than the Botkin type of system where daughters follow their father’s dream?

  5. Hello, Opal! It is absolutely possible to navigate through college alternatives even if your parents don’t share your views. I think perhaps the best (and most logical) route to take in discussing higher ed with your parents is simply to lay out the extreme debt burden you would have to shoulder to earn a degree. Even with a “full” scholarship, I came out of college over $10,000 in debt, because tuition went up each year, but my scholarship didn’t go up to cover the difference. I ended up signing college loans that I had never intended to undertake. And $10,000 would be considered a drop in the bucket today, when most college grads come out over $100,000 in the hole. With the jobless rate as high as it is now, it’s simply not practical to plan to work off the debt. At most, you can plan to barely keep up with payments. We’ve posted many, many articles over the years (by sources like the Wall Street Journal and NY Times) that point out the utterly impracticality of brick-and-mortar education. We live in a cutting-edge world where education is available through online sources and local coops at no or very little cost. I’d just lay out an alternative course for your parents that shows them you are financially savvy and planning for a debt-free future. Why perpetuate the system of debt-enslavement, particularly when the US economy is faltering so badly? It just doesn’t make sense. The argument here (despite the picture our detractors are fond of painting) isn’t higher education vs. NO education. It’s simply SMART higher education vs. debt and compromise in pursuit of a piece of paper. Hope this helps!

  6. That’s absolutely another alternative. We’re all about alternatives to the debt-enslavement model currently on offer. Local coops? Great! Community college classes that teach real skills for very little money? Fantastic! Distance learning via the Internet? Bring it on! It’s just time to get our heads out of the box that is the brick-and-mortar model. There are so many good alternatives out there!

  7. There are times I read comments and scratch my head, wondering how I’ve failed to communicate clearly over the years. The number of straw man arguments that have grown up around biblical womanhood is truly staggering, and hearing words put into my mouth that I’ve never uttered (or penned) always leaves me wondering if it’s even worthwhile trying to communicate ideas online. Sigh. For instance, you write, “I realize that this is contrary to your opinion…” Actually, it’s not! Here’s what I wrote in 2003:

    Scripture also holds midwives in very high esteem (Ex. 1:17-20) and shows what a wonderful ministry they have to the women around them. Many women are gifted in this area and called to medical ministry. It is my personal belief that women are best suited to serve as birth attendants and to take care of “women’s health” issues. I know of one godly elderly woman who was not called to marry and has served a small rural community as a nurse practicioner for over fifty years. She is a gentle, kind and wise lady who truly loves the women and children she serves. Her outreach to the poor has been especially helpful where she lives, and she has shown the love of Christ to countless people. Nursing is something toward which women are often naturally oriented. Keeping order and cleanliness in the sickroom is an honored “profession” that goes back hundreds upon hundreds of years. I know of several young women who have apprenticed with midwives or served as birth attendants in the home and in the hospital, bringing comfort to women and skill to the tasks at hand. Helping to usher life into the world or to care for women’s health needs is something that will always be necessary. A woman who has a specific gift for or interest in medicine may certainly want to consider this avenue of ministry.

    Now, I don’t believe this is a calling that can be pursued when someone is also a wife and mother (there’s no way to “do it all”), but it’s ideally suited to women who are not called to marry and to older women who have already raised their children and can devote time to serving in this field. I’m very thankful for my wonderful lady OB here in Kenya, who is an older lady with grown children. She undertook her training before she met her husband, then “retired” to bring up her kids, then polished up her skills and serves women here in Kenya, where women’s health is a truly critical issue and competent OBs/midwives scarce. Her husband is also in the medical field, and they work together and manage beautifully.

    Also see the following articles/comments from years past:

    http://www.ladiesagainstfeminism.com/artman/publish/Comments_and_Letters_23/Can_a_woman_i_ever_i_do_work_outside_the_home_12641001264.shtml
    http://www.ladiesagainstfeminism.com/artman/publish/Comments_and_Letters_23/Are_Single_Women_Not_Needed_at_LAF_12521001252.shtml

    Carolyn McCulley also wrote a fabulous piece about how the women and work debate has turned into something of a “flat earth” myth. She captures so much of what I have tried (and obviously failed) to communicate through LAF over the years. We were all (male and female) created to WORK. Our creator has also designed us to work in complementary roles–some of which should overlap (like parenting) and others of which should not (like fighting on the front lines in the military). She notes:

    While recent history has made it hard to integrate productivity and family responsibilities, I see glimmers of change on the horizon, especially among the young adults I work with. Though Millennials are often maligned as a self-centered generation, I’ve been fascinated to watch many around me make purposeful and long-range decisions about how to integrate work, family and mission into a seamless lifestyle. Most of these couples have married in their early 20s and then built a family business together in some form of media. They intentionally pursue the work they enjoy as entrepreneurial filmmakers, artists, photographers, sound designers or musicians, but they build in flexibility for rearing children. Some have adopted internationally; others have given birth to their children. They work hard, but they work together as a family.

    Working together as a family (something we’ve done since we were newlyweds) means JOY. It means fulfillment. It means no work-family conflict, as what we do we do together (and we’re equipping our children to think entrepreneurially as well rather than hoping for a packaged job offer). If we have a daughter who is not called to marriage, we would be delighted to see her undertake medical training. But, nope, we would not be posting her alone to another continent and watching her shoulder hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt to do so. There are other (better, smarter, cheaper) ways to pursue that training, many of them right here on our doorstep thanks to the tireless medical missionaries working in our part of the world.

    Hope that clears up some things!

    Warmly,
    Jennie

  8. Jenn, you don’t know the Botkins very well if you believe they’re being programmed to “follow their father’s dream.” I would suggest it makes much more sense to get to know people in person rather than relying on the totally one-sided and one-dimensional portrayal you’re likely to find online (all written by people who don’t know them). But, you know, I’m living my father’s dream. He hoped I would grow up to marry a godly Christian man, have children, train them to love Christ, and have as happy and fulfilling a family life and marriage as he did. That’s a fabulous dream and one I thank God daily my father pointed me to! :-)

  9. mellison says:

    Hello all, thanks for your thoughtful comments digging into this important issue. As the author of this book, I can tell you that many, if not all, of your questions are answered to some degree within the book.

    Opal: often it is easiest to help family/friends to understand your decision about college by giving them resources such as this book and The Freefall of the American University, and Better Than College, instead of having to carry the dialogue yourself. If they see that people other than you are coming to the same conclusions about college (and it is not just your crazy idea :) ), they will be more likely to agree that you are making a good choice to take a unique route. Bless you for your heart to follow God!!

    Abbysmom: I think you, also, will find it helpful to read the book, because it addresses several of your concerns from unique angles. Believe it or not, there are creative ways to enter health professions (especially for the mission field, where skill is needed, but not necessarily certification) without having to endure brainwashing about evolution (in biology classes), etc.

  10. Abbysmom says:

    Hi Jennie,

    I’m sorry to have not read some of your other posts on the subject of women in the health professions before or forgetting what I might have read earlier. I don’t agree with everything that you did write, but now I do understand where you’re coming from and find that we’re not apart on this subject as I thought before.

    Sincerely,

    Sue a/k/a AbbysMom

  11. Jenn84 says:

    I’ve read the Botkins’ own words about being their father’s ambassadors, princesses, furthering his vision and assisting in his plans. In fact, in answer to a letter by a young woman having a hard time at home, they said, “Our first concern is that, for all your attempts to help your father, your focus appears to be more on yourself – what will stimulate you, what will challenge you, what will teach you new skills, what will use your gifts — rather than on what will fulfill his dreams and use his gifts.” The general view of women like that who stay home is that they need to do what their father wants them to do.

  12. DLight says:

    Jenn, why is there anything inherently wrong with living daddy’s dreams? I’d think that all good fathers have the best dreams and hopes for their children. A godly father may have general dreams for his daughter: he wants her to pursue knowledge and wisdom, to cultivate godliness, goodness, femininity…, to marry a good man, to be happy and fulfilled etc. Within these “dreams”, there is much freedom for individuality and uniqueness; and as he guides her and leads her towards them, there is protection and security from him.

    I did not have the good fortune of having Christian parents to guide and pray for me as I matured, so I praise God that He has created various means for me to acquire the knowledge and wisdom I so badly need. But the lack of fatherly (and motherly) guidance impacted my life negatively, leaving me with many sorrows. I cannot make light of the importance of a good, involved father and his dreams in a girl’s life. There’s nothing wrong with daddy’s dreams. In fact, there’s everything right with them.

  13. mellison says:

    Hello Jenn,
    The reason I wrote that college often causes youth to lose their unique individuality is because even with the possibility of speciallizing in specific majors, the required gen. ed. courses tend to create a kind of cookie-cutter education for everyone. The evidence of college trying to merge the individual into the grander scheme is felt when one attempts to stand up for a position (that she believes in as an individual) which is contrary to what is taught in the classroom. Instead of that kind of interation and discussion being encouraged as healthy and thought-provoking, more often than not a student is graded down until she learns that it is better to simply parrot back what she is taught. Thus the loss of unique individuality.

    On the contrary, a girl has a lot of say in designing her own independent higher education. Yes, many of us believe that seeking our fathers’ counsel in that is wise. He knows his daughter better than an academic counselor at college might, and therefore usually wants to support her in the educational choices that he sees would best equip her.

  14. Glad that helped, Sue. I think a lot of funny cobwebs have grown up over “biblical womanhood,” because I have read views attributed to me that I’ve never embraced, taught or believed. I wish I had more time to write these days just to let some light in through these dusty windows. Stacy McDonald and I are revising our book (Passionate Housewives Desperate for God) to address a lot of questions readers have sent in over the years and to dispel some of the myths that have grown up since it was published. One is that we believe in a cookie-cutter “Mrs. Cleaver” vision of wifehood and motherhood, complete with apple pie and chats over the back yard fence. That’s so incredibly far off, it’s not even funny. I love pie and the back yard and clean laundry as much as the next gal (and I can rock a pair of high heels, too!), but biblical womanhood isn’t frozen in the middle of the last century. It’s a living, breathing vision for life lived REAL in the real world by our husband’s sides and walking with our children. Here’s hoping I can do a better job of communicating that next time around! Warmly, Jennie

  15. Misstery says:

    Thank you for this post. I am excited about this book, and will be adding it to my Christmas list (hope it’s not too late).

    Our daughter just graduated from high school (at home), and is breaking quite a few cultural norms! She isn’t going to college. She doesn’t have a regular ‘job.’ People don’t seem to get that she doesn’t want a traditional job like most people her age end up getting so they can help pay for college, or whatever. They don’t get that this just defeats what we’re trying to do as her parents. She desires being a wife and mom over a career. She is being trained for this – her highest calling, which means she is taking on more responsibilities here at home (things like grocery shopping, cooking more often, being more available to help me, in addition to her regular chores). She is learning skills that will help her manage her own household some day. She is using opportunities to take care of young children, and occasionally spends time with large families to learn how they operate. She is able to continue to function as part of the body at our church, and makes herself available to serve in several ministries (she couldn’t do this if she were away from home). She would marry right now if it were God’s will. She doesn’t strive for independence because she isn’t supposed to. She continues to submit to her father as he guides her, protects her, and walks with her, and will do so until the day he transfers that authority over to her future husband. She wants more than 1.8 children. In fact, she wants several children…as many as the Lord will see fit to give to her!

    She is very gifted in photography, and now has more time to devote to stepping out and doing more paid photo sessions. I truly never realized how hard it would be for CHRISTIANS to accept this path our daughter is on right now. We finally stopped getting the question, after about four years: “So, where are you going to college?” I think we’d fall over if someone asked: “So, how’s your preparation for Biblical womanhood going?” Not only do we receive blank stares when we say she’s not going to college, but everyone keeps giving us photography career ideas because they feel she needs to be out and about, doing SOMETHING worthwhile because what she’s doing now simply won’t do (at least, this is how I interpret it). They look at her dependence on her family as a bad thing, and think it’s strange that she isn’t out trying to earn her keep. Photography is something she thoroughly enjoys, and it will be nice to see what she does with it, but it’s not our daughter’s goal in life to be a professional photographer! So many around us seems to think it should be, for that’s all they want to talk about. It’s her goal to be a helper to her future husband, and mother to their children so that they can receive a heritage from the Lord as they glorify Him and enjoy the fruit of the womb. Such a desire is treated as though it’s foolish, unrealistic, and somehow something that doesn’t really require much skill or a need to prepare for. It’s quite discouraging, and though I’m thankful for the many opportunities that have come her way, it has been a difficult season of adjustment for our daughter as well.

    This blog has been very encouraging and helpful for me. Thank you.

  16. Jenn84 says:

    Light, I don’t think you understand whose dreams I’m talking about: this isn’t even about a father wanting a daughter to fulfill his dreams for her, but about wanting her to help fulfill his dreams for HIM. If a daughter feels called to be a missionary, she won’t be able to stay home and jelp him extend HIS company, or whatever work he’s doing.

    Mellison, thanks for explaining. Your words, “On the contrary, a girl has a lot of say in designing her own independent higher education. Yes, many of us believe that seeking our fathers’ counsel in that is wise” also miss my point. The words I quoted from the letter had to do with daughters helping their father in HIS dreams, not following his advice in how to pursue THEIR dreams.

  17. Faith says:

    Dear Mrs. Chancey, I need to tell you that I admire you as one of the most Articulate, Feminine, Intelligent Ladies I have ever met.

    Do NOT grow discouraged about trying to boldly preach God’s standard of excellent womanhood online. The only people who are “misunderstanding” what you are saying at LAF are those who are willingly ignorant, those who malign the Word of God and hate His people. Keep building the Kingdom by serving your husband and children and when you have time, please do keep posting here! Love in Christ, Faith, age 18. Stay at Home Daughter.

    I must add it was absolute Honey to my Soul to hear that I am supposed to have a Father to help, and a Family vision to further. Living in the Joy and Work of this calling is the biggest blessing I can think of!

  18. Jenn84 says:

    “She doesn’t strive for independence because she isn’t supposed to. She continues to submit to her father as he guides her, protects her, and walks with her, and will do so until the day he transfers that authority over to her future husband”

    That’s part of the sum of my concern, Misstery. Thanks for expressing it.

  19. Jenn84 says:

    Jennie, I’m very glad you and your dad had such great dreams. Your life is awesome, and while our views greatly differ in some ways, I’ve been blessed by your writing and surprised to see strong similarities in other places: as a child I loved traveling with my family (still do), dreamed of doing the same with my husband (with numerous children), read voraciously and kept numerous diaries, has a dad who loves being a pilot and sometimes calls me Jenny B.! :)

  20. Thanks, Faith. I’m glad you’ve been encouraged. But, you know, I don’t think most people are “willingly” ignorant. When I was a “Christian feminist,” I really thought I was well-informed and doing the right things (though I was unhappy deep down). I am just glad godly friends didn’t leave me in my willing ignorance but gently pointed out the flaws in my thinking and practice. I’m grateful for them more than I can say! God bless you as you enjoy the fulfillment of being an integral part of your family’s vision!

  21. Jenn84 says:

    “The only people who are “misunderstanding” what you are saying at LAF are those who are willingly ignorant, those who malign the Word of God and hate His people”

    That’s quite an accusation Faith, and not one I think you should be aiming towards other Christians. Many have politely disagreed with Jennie, and naturally been confused at some of the beliefs of some conservative ladies concerning women’s roles and what they feel they should be doing.

  22. heather says:

    “We can take encouragement from the historical fact that the Messiah Himself stayed home, subjected to His earthly authority until he was thirty years old! He neither moved out on His own, nor went to college.”

    We don’t know that. No one knows what he did.

  23. Faith says:

    O dear, I am so sorry, thats not what I meant at all! I never meant Christians who disagree, I meant non-Christians who attack all of us and say things like “a Christian has no brain”- one I saw recently on amazon. I never meant to hurt you, Jenn84, I never meant Christians! I saw that Mrs. Chancey seemed discouraged, and wanted her not to be afraid of attackers. I never meant to accuse you of being willingly ignorant!

  24. Faith says:

    Mrs. Chancey, I am so sorry, I did not mean to attack Christians. I wanted to remind us all to stand firm against those who misrepresent us all, and I did not want to hurt Jenn84! Please forgive me. I was thinking of the willful ignorance of those who deny Creation, and was thinking the same rabid feminists who malign you are doing the same thing about God’s role for the family. I was hoping to encourage you not to give up trying, because you are making sense, and if somebody misrepresents you, then it is because they want to, not because they misunderstood.

    Once again, Jenn84 was not who I was attacking. I am sorry Jenn84, I did not mean to hurt you. I love seeing conversations between you all here, even when you disagree I learn a lot. The trouble I have is when you go on amazon and read the one star reviews and see people who are truly attacking Christians simply because they are Christians! I am sorry. Growing in Grace, Faith.

  25. No worries, Faith. I don’t actually read the attack stuff at all. I prefer to use time to dialog with those who respectfully disagree and can carry on a conversation without turning it into a mud-slinging fest. We’ve got lots of those folks who comment on LAF, and we always welcome them. Being misrepresented is just par for the course if we live in this world with fellow human beings; it doesn’t discourage me. ;) But thanks for sticking up for us!

  26. Jenn84 says:

    That’s quite all right Faith, and I wasn’t hurt on my own behalf. I truly appreciate your heartfelt apology and explanation; thanks!

  27. mellison says:

    Heather, I wrote that based on John 7:15, which states, “How does this Man know letters, having never studied?” From that comment made by those who knew Him, we can deduce that He was not known to have taken several years to go study in Rome or under the teachers of the Law, for instance. Based on what the gospels show of His character (making sure John would take care of His mother after His death, etc.), as a young man He most likely would have been taking care of His widowed mother and siblings rather than seeking His own educational advancement at their expense. I go into all this in the book :).

  28. mellison says:

    Jenn, something I realized not too long ago was that we are all interconnected as humans, and especially as women. So the question is not “Do I want to support someone else’s vision in life?”, but “Would I rather support my God-given authority’s vision, or a boss’s in the workplace?” As many of us have experienced, supporting one’s father/husband rather than a boss actually brings the most personal fulfillment for a woman.

    It’s just like a couple dancing—if they both lead, they’re not going to have a very fun time. Men and women are equal, because they were both created in the image of God; yet vastly different, because of the unique roles God designed them to fill.

    Just some more thoughts…

  29. Jenn84 says:

    The comparison of a father to a boss is not relevant to a grown woman; that’s the entire point. She does not even have a Biblically described relationship of loving submission with him. Daughters are not helpmeets or partners to their fathers.

  30. Jenn84 says:

    I also find the implication that submitting to a man means having little vision/goals of your own, or that a woman must have a boss SOMEWHERE, disturbing.

  31. Abbysmom says:

    mellison,

    You wrote:

    “So the question is not ‘Do I want to support someone else’s vision in life?’, but ‘Would I rather support my God-given authority’s vision, or a boss’s in the workplace?’As many of us have experienced, supporting one’s father/husband rather than a boss actually brings the most personal fulfillment for a woman.”

    I can speak only for myself, but I have supported my husband in his profession (editing his dissertation, doing research for him, helping him improve his computer skills, helping with creating presentations, etc.). But I’ve also grown in my the professional opportunities I’ve had outside the home at times of my life as well. I’ve had some crummy managers (male and female) and work assignments, but I’ve grown through these experiences.

    I’ve also grown when it’s felt like I’ve cleaned our bathrooms for the umpteenth time, too, if for no other reason to be thankful that we have indoor plumbing and can take a hot shower or bath whenever we want. Or scouring the Sunday paper and online websites for coupons, learning how to cook things for hubby that I can’t stand to eat, learning how to get along with a sweet, but atheist, mother-in-law…you get the picture.

    I don’t think the two are necessarily mutually exclusive. There’s also the idea of seasons in a woman’s life, which I’m sure you understand. Putting some of your dreams other than home and family on hold until children are older, for example.

  32. Maddie says:

    There is a line in “The Imitation of Christ” that I often remember: “Do not fret or worry about learned and obscure matters, about which we will not be questioned on Judgement.” And “There are many things, the knowledge of which does little or no good to the soul.”
    However…
    The ideal of a girl staying at home until she marries is not always attainable-perhaps not even always desirable. The case of a woman called to the single life and a medical profession has been mentioned above. It would be an error for such a person to marry or refrain from working out of laziness. The case I am most concerned about is, naturally, my own. My father encouraged me to finish my nursing degree because he knew he was dying and needed to know that I would be provided for. I have no family member to look after me. Despite a strong attraction to marriage and motherhood I have remained single. Not through choice- I wasn’t asked. I am 32. I look after other people’s babies in the Intensive Care.
    I would love to read an article on how to live a godly life as a woman alone in the world, how to maintain quietness and purity and patience. How not to lose hope although life has turned out anything like you planned. How to avoid gossip in the workplace and remain friendly. How to be obedient to a worldly authority in worldly matters without complaining. How to deal with loneliness and despair when a pastor says on the pulpit that single women are defying God’s plan. How to trust that God will fulfil your needs when you feel empty. How to respond when people say you’re lucky to be single because you only have yourself to look after and that hurts.
    OK. Maybe that would take more than one article.
    Thank you for all the lovely things already here on LAF. It is a beautiful site.
    Maddie.

  33. Thank you for the heartfelt comments, Maddie. We do need more articles focused on these very things, and we’ll work on that. We’ve got a new team of editors coming in to keep LAF more current, so stay tuned!

  34. Jenn84 says:

    Maddie, I don’t believe a woman in the medical profession necessarily has to refrain from marriage by any means. You were not asked? It is your life, between you and God. It sounds to me like what happened to you is the reverse of my concerns: you were hedged into singularity against your will. If you wish to look for a husband now, however, the choice and opportunity is yours.

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