Why Millennials Need A Kick in The Rear

In 1968, about 40 percent of young adults aged 18 to 24 were married and living on their own. As of 2018 that number has plummeted for this group to around 7 percent. A third of young people in the US, 24 million of those aged 18 to 34, still live with their parents.  About 9 percent of this 18 to 24 age group that does not still live with their parents cohabitates rather than marrying.

All of these statics I have just stated can be found in two Census Bureau studies.  The first is from a study entitled “Living with an Unmarried Partner Now Common for Young Adults” just released on November 15th, 2018.  The second is from a study entitled “Jobs, Marriage and Kids Come Later in Life”  which was released August 9th, 2017.

Here are some more observations about millennials from the study we have just mentioned entitled “Jobs, Marriage and Kids Come Later in Life”:

“What was once ubiquitous in their 20s is now not commonplace until their 30s – a trend that some demographers describe as a new stage between childhood and adulthood. They call it “emerging adulthood.”

A look at this new generation of young adults:

1 in 4 young people aged 25 to 34 living in their parents’ home (about 2.2 million) neither go to school nor work.

Most Americans believe educational and economic accomplishments are extremely important milestones of adulthood. In contrast, marriage and parenthood rank low: over half believe that marrying and having children are not an important part of becoming an adult.

Young people may delay marriage but most still eventually tie the knot. In the 1970s, 8 in 10 married by the time they turned 30. Today, not until the age of 45 have 8 in 10 people married.

In 2005, the majority of young adults lived independently, which was the predominant living arrangement in 35 states. By 2015, the number of states where the majority of young people lived independently fell to just six.

More young men are falling to the bottom of the income ladder. In 1975, only 25 percent of young men had incomes below $30,000 a year. By 2016, that share rose to 41 percent (incomes in both years are in 2015 dollars).

    Between 1975 and 2016, the share of young women who were homemakers fell from 43 percent to 14 percent.”

These statistics confirm what I and many other older adults have observed about millennials in their everyday lives.

Millennials value education and economic accomplishments more than marriage and children.

When you couple this with the fact than one third of millennials still live with their parents it tells us two other things about Millennials.  They are both fearful and selfish.  They are afraid to go out on their own and struggle financially as most young adults have done since the beginning of mankind.  Millennials in their 20s think they need to make what their parents do in their 40s before they can marry and have a family.

But if you really talk to many Millennials as I have you will also find that for a lot of them while they will say they can’t afford to have a family the truth is they “Just want to have fun and enjoy their life. Marriage and children can wait for much later in life”.

Another problem with millennials is the utter lack of ambition in millennial men.  They are willing to take their sweet time climbing the economic latter and live with mommy and daddy for a decade or more into adulthood with no shame about it.  This is one reason young men’s incomes have dropped compared to what they once were.

The other problem with millennial men is that they don’t want to get their hands dirty.  Many of them want a cushy office job with corner view and a nice parking space.  The skilled trades like carpentry, plumbing, electrical and welding jobs are screaming for young people to come and be apprentices.  The older generation that did all this work is not retiring and its ranks have not been replenished.

My 19-year-old son starting apprenticing as plumber just before he turned 18.  He has worked hard doing all the dig-ups and dirty work but at the same time he was hungry to learn the finer parts of the trade.  Now just over a year later he has excelled so well and learned so much that they are gave him his own plumbing truck and he is now working on commission. He is looking forward to eventually getting his journeyman’s card.

My son told me a story about when he was apprenticing and shadowing another plumber.  They were working on bathroom at a local high school where the plumbing had backed up and they were fixing the issue.  As with many plumbing jobs it was messy.

One of the teachers walked by with a few young men and as they saw the mess in the bathroom, the teacher made the following comment “Boys – that is why you want to stay in school and go to college, otherwise you will end up doing that kind of work”.  The older plumber whispered quietly to my son “And I make twice what that teacher does. So, who is the smarter one?”

My 20-year-old son recently finished his two-year IT certification program at a local community college and he is now working full time in IT.  He was shocked to find out at his new job that the overwhelming majority of young men there who were in their late 20’s still lived with their parents.  My son knows that he needs to be preparing to go out on his own soon.  I have been preparing him for this his whole life.  The goal I have set for my sons is for them to be on their own and financially independent by age 22 or 23 at the latest. If they can do it earlier so much the better.  The way I reached that number was giving them 4 years after high school to get a degree or go through some trade school or apprenticeship program and by then they should be ready.

My sons would view themselves as failures as men if they were still living with me by their late 20s.

Millennials Were Brought Up Wrong by Their Gen X Parents

The Gen X generation, my generation, also bears much culpability for problems we see with millennials today.  For instance, the idea of a parent sitting down and setting life goals with their sons and daughters as I have done with mine is foreign to most parents today.  “It is their life” after all and we as parents have no business telling them what they should or should not do. That is what we are told and have been told for decades.

The Gen X parents have raised a bunch of fearful, selfish and entitled young people and my generation even encouraged their children to take their time, wait to marry and have kids and “just do whatever makes you happy”.

These Gen X parents of one third of millennials are culpable by allowing their children to remain in their home at such late ages.

Parents have a duty to teach their children and prepare their children to go out in the world.  As parents we should be doing this from early teen years on.  We should be preparing our young men and young women for the responsibilities of adult hood which includes marriage and having children.

When Does a Person Become an Adult?

From a biological development perspective, girls begin the process of puberty at age 10 or 11 and typically finish puberty between 15 and 17.  Boys typically start puberty at 11 to 12 years of age and finish by the time they are 16 or 17.  This is why it was common in older civilizations for a girl to be entering womanhood by age 12 (because most girls would have their first period before this age)   and for a boys would be considered to be starting manhood by 13 because they would be showing signs of puberty before that age.

But the question we are posing is not one of biological adulthood, but rather one of social adulthood.

I want to return to this statement from the Census Bureau study I cited above:

“Most Americans believe educational and economic accomplishments are extremely important milestones of adulthood. In contrast, marriage and parenthood rank low: over half believe that marrying and having children are not an important part of becoming an adult.”

So, by our modern standards, if a person finishes college and has a good job and a nice new car in the drive way, they are considered to be an adult.  Whether they still live with mommy and daddy is secondary.  And even for those who consider that a person must move out of their parents to be considered full adults, many today do not consider marriage and having children a critical part of becoming an adult.

But this thinking is in stark contrast to what has defined social adulthood throughout the history of the world.

Before the millennial generation, young men learned their trades from an early age and in their early teens they were often working full time in their trade.  By no later than the early 20s in most cases, and often times earlier, young men had saved enough money to build or buy a home and then they went and took on a wife to have children.

Young women often married in their early or mid-teens and became wives and mothers. Unlike how we raise our girls today, they witnessed child birth at much younger ages, learned to cook and sew and they were excited about and looked forward to marriage.

It was marriage and then having children that were considered critical milestones in becoming a full adult man or adult woman.

Today these milestones have been cast aside by millennials and Gen X parents’ bare responsibility for utterly failing to teach their children the importance of striving for these two milestones as soon as possible.

Secular Humanism Has Corrupted Parenting

What we are experiencing today can be very much explained by the definition of Secular Humanism found in the article “What is Secular Humanism?” from secularhumanism.org:

“Secular humanism is comprehensive, touching every aspect of life including issues of values, meaning, and identity. Thus it is broader than atheism, which concerns only the nonexistence of god or the supernatural. Important as that may be, there’s a lot more to life … and secular humanism addresses it.

Secular humanism is nonreligious, espousing no belief in a realm or beings imagined to transcend ordinary experience.

Secular humanism is a lifestance, or what Council for Secular Humanism founder Paul Kurtz has termed a eupraxsophy: a body of principles suitable for orienting a complete human life. As a secular lifestance, secular humanism incorporates the Enlightenment principle of individualism, which celebrates emancipating the individual from traditional controls by family, church, and state, increasingly empowering each of us to set the terms of his or her own life.

What do we see today as America has immersed herself in secular humanism for more than a century and removed all these “traditional controls”?

We see sons and daughters freed from the control of their parents.

We see wives freed from the control of their husbands.

We see church members freed from the control of their Pastors.

We see anarchists marching in the streets wanting to take down nations and borders.

The result of removing all these controls has been the devastation of marriage and the family unit not to mention the devastation of personal morality.

While the Bible absolutely shows certain “inalienable rights” as the United States Declaration of Independence states, it does not grant the rights that our modern American society has given its members.  God instituted the spheres of authority of the family, the church and the civil government.  He gave to each of these spheres different controls for the betterment and stability of society.  And now that we have removed all of these “traditional controls”, we are reaping the consequences of those choices.

Now I want to bring this back to Gen X parents.  The Gen X generation has helped advance the ideals of secular humanists more than any other generation of American parents.  Who could have imagined back in 1960s or 70s that gay marriage would not only be legal, but that gays and transgenders would then take their new-found freedom to launch an all-out assault on religious liberty in this country in only half a century?

The Gen X parents took off the controls of family, church and the state. It told its children they could do anything they wanted.  They could live with their parents as long as they wanted.  Get married or don’t get married.  Have children or don’t have children. Get a job or don’t get a job.  They taught their children to worship the false American gods of equality, education and the pursuit of individual happiness to the detriment of society.

And now we are reaping what the Gen X parenting generation has sown.

Feminism Has A Lot to Do with The Problems with Millennial Men

While Feminism had its origins in the egalitarian movements of the mid-19th century its most devasting blow to the institutions of marriage and the family were not felt until the rise of second-wave feminism in the 1960s.  Up until that point feminism had only been dropping small bombs on the God given institution of patriarchy in the home, the church and society.  But in the 1960s, second-wave feminism dropped the societal equivalent of a nuke on traditional gender roles and by extension marriage and the family.   It was also during second-wave feminism where feminism became more than just an equality for women movement, it became a full-on misandrist movement.

The Apostle Paul asked the following rhetorical question in I Corinthians 9:5:

“Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife?”

Now before anyone gets silly about this when he said “sister” he was referring to a “sister in Christ” meaning a Christian woman.  What he was saying is “Don’t we have the right to lead about a wife as long as she is Christian?”  Most new translations say “take”, “take along” or “be accompanied by”.   But the KJV’s translation is actually the most literal of commonly used translations when it says “lead about”.   It literally has the idea of man leading his wife through life. This is why in Biblical times and still some older cultures today when a man walks his wife walks behind him and then their children behind her.  This was a symbol in pre-modern cultures of the order of the family.

In Ephesians 5:23 the Bible tells us “the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church” and in Ephesians 5:29 we read that husbands have a sacred duty to “nourisheth” meaning “to provide for” and “cherisheth” meaning “to protect” their wives.

God has literally designed men with this natural instinctive desire to lead, provide for and protect women.  God also gave men a strong physically based sexual desire toward women and that is why in Proverbs 5:15 he commands them to liberally drink of the well that is their wife’s body and in Proverbs 5:19 he tells men regarding their wives to “let her breasts satisfy thee at all times”.  In the New Testament the Apostle Paul tells men in Romans 1:27 that sex is “the natural use of the woman”.

It is a statistical fact that the vast majority of married men with children go much farther and faster in their careers than men who never marry or have children.  Why? Because men are given a strong desire from God to seek out women so they can have sex with them, lead them, provide for them and protect them.   And without a woman and children to provide for most men are far less driven in their careers.

Feminism has robbed men of the ability to lead women, provide for them or protect them in marriage by making them independent of men.  It has robbed men of having wives who actually need their provision and appreciate it.  It has robbed men of having mothers to care for their children and homemakers to care for their homes so they can excel in their careers.  It has robbed men of their sexual rights in marriage.  It is a common joke today that the best sex and the most sex a man will ever get from a woman is before they are married.

Feminism has so radically redefined marriage, sadly even amongst many Christians today, that women no longer seek a leader, provider and protector in a husband.  Instead they just want to “marry their best friend”.  Friends are great and even friendship in marriage is wonderful and should be a goal in marriage.  However, friendship is not the core purpose for which God designed marriage.  God designed marriage to paint a picture of Christ and the Church.  The husband is to emulate Christ in how he lovingly leads, provides for and protects his wife.  And the wife is to emulate the Church by following his leadership and submitting to him everything as the Church submits to Christ.

Before 19th and 20th century feminism economically freed women from men, women were highly dependent on men in order to survive.  Except for rare instances, women could not own property and it was difficult for women to work and make money except through their father or husband.

So it was primarily through economic means that a man acquired a wife.  Men did not have to “win the heart” of a woman in order to marry her.  They did not need to be the most handsome man .  They did not have to flatter the woman and tell her they wanted to worship her with her their lives.  They simply had to make enough money to support her and then if her father was impressed by his economic means then he would approve the marriage.

This is not to say that fathers did not often consider the character of a man to whom they would give their daughters in marriage in addition to his economic means.  But the point is, it was not the woman that the man had to impress in order to marry her, but rather it was her father.

But because of feminism there has been a massive paradigm switch in how men come to marry women.  No longer are fathers the ones who determine who marry their daughters, but it is the women themselves who set the terms.

And because women no longer want leaders, providers and protectors in men and because of how women routinely sexually deny men in marriage many men see absolutely no point in marrying.  Their core drivers to seek out marriage have been removed.

Marriage used to offer security for both men and women.  The man knew his wife would belong to him and him alone.  No other man would have her sexually or otherwise.  She would bear his children and care for them.  She would care for the domestic needs of his home.  The woman knew the man would provide for physical needs and the needs of her future children.  He would also be a source of protection for her and her future children.

But feminism has now all but shattered the security that marriage once offered to men.  Men risk a 50 percent chance their wives will grow tired of them and divorce them within the first four to seven years of marriage. And our society has made it so easy for women that in divorce they will walk away with half of everything the man has and most likely majority custody of the children unless the husband fights hard for 50/50 custody.

Sex is the most powerful driving force for men to seek women for marriage, but now that women freely offer sex outside of marriage men can get that need met without risking the damage women can do to them in marriage.

So, it for these reasons that we see many millennial men giving up on the institution of marriage altogether.

So How Do We Turn the Millennials Around?

So how can we turn back the tide of secular humanism and feminism that has so poisoned our millennial generation?

First and foremost, we need to pray for our nation and our world each and every day.  We need to pray that God will bring about a revival amongst his people.  That he will raise up a new generation of young pastors who call out secular humanism and feminism as ideologies that are evil and opposed to Biblical values.

And even many who are not Christians in America would agree that the Biblical values we once held as a nation resulted in far better marriages and families and individuals than what we have today.  People in America used to respect their parents and their country. They were proud of their families and their country.  They proudly served in the military.  And they were excited as young people to marry as soon as they could and start a family and raise children.

Millennials are not focused on finding a person who would make a good spouse to them and a good parent to their children. Starting a family is for “older people”.  It is not surprise that more and more millennials do not marry until they reach their late 20’s or earlier 30’s if they ever marry at all.

They are focused on what video game is coming out, what movie is coming out and talking with their friends on the phone or online.  They are focused on parties and taking trips around the country or even around the world.  They are obsessed with education and material things.  Homes get bigger and fancier each year and so do cars.  And these new fancier homes and cars come with much higher price tags that many millennials are willing to pay.

And to get and do all these things millennials sacrifice what matters most in this world – God, marriage and children.

But there are some other things that we who believe in Biblical values can do. We can encourage the young people we meet to do what is right.  We can tell them about what truly matters in the world.  We can teach them the Biblical concept that you will never be happy focusing your life on yourself and your own desires.

Millennials need to be taught that true happiness only comes by serving God and serving others for his glory and honor.

In my personal life I have made an effort both with my son’s young college age friends and even the young men I work with at my job to encourage and admonish them to do their duty that first to God and then to their society.  I have a duty to pay forward what their parents did for them and what their grand parents did for their parents.  They have a duty to marry, have children and love their spouses and children.  They have a solemn duty to the next generation.

Many of these young people will at first laugh and joke when I say these things.  They will say things like “So do you think it’s wrong to have fun and enjoy life?”.  I have told them absolutely not! Its not wrong to have fun and enjoy life.  The Bible teaches us that God has given us things that were meant for our pleasure and joy in this life:

 “18 Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. 19 Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.”

Proverbs 5:18-19

“3 Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. 4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. 5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”

Psalm 127:3-5

“18 Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion. 19 Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God.”

Ecclesiastes 5:18-19

God has blessed us so richly and has given us many sources of happiness or “fun” as younger folks would call it.  God has given us companionship and sex in marriage.  Sex was definitely meant by God to be a source of fun! But God also gave us children and he tells us directly in Psalm 127:5 that he meant children to be a source of happiness for us.  I can tell you as a father of five children, while it can be hard sometimes, my children have been a great source of happiness and even fun.

I was a big computer game player in my youth.  But you know what is more fun than just playing video games? Its playing video games with your children! But we also watch movies together and go places together and we enjoy life together.  We learn about God’s Word together.

And God wants us to truly enjoy the fruit of our labors.  We don’t have feel bad if the Lord provides so that we can take a nice vacation with our family.

But what is my point to these young people? The point is the lie of this world is that marriage and children hold you back.  They keep you from truly being happy.  They tell you living for yourself is the only way to be happy. That is a lie! It is a lie straight from the devil himself.

We can serve God, marry, have children and serve our families and have a great joy in doing what God has designed us to do.

But when I speak to these young millennials whether at my house or at my job, I also express to them the darker consequences of the way they are living their lives.   I show them the fact of the fertility crisis that the world faces.  I show them UN studies that show by 2300 if the world continues living as American and Western millennials live the world population will drop to 25 percent of what is today.  And if no change is made in the selfish life style choices of future generations the world will die out within few centuries after that.  Literally the human race could become extinct by 2600 if the rising tide of secular humanism is not turned back.

I tell them this is why it is their duty to God, their parents, grandparents and other ancestors as well as their nation to marry and be fruitful and multiply.

A Message for Millennial Men Who are Afraid of Marriage

If you are millennial man who is a Christian reading what I just wrote on how feminism has robbed men of the security marriage you might have been saying “Amen! That is exactly why I am not getting married.”  While that might be an option for non-Christians, as a Christian man you don’t get to run away from marriage because it is scarier now than it is has ever been for men since the creation of the world.

God’s rule is marriage and his exception is celibacy for service to him. If you are trying to use God’s allowance for celibacy as your excuse to get out of marriage you need to re-read your Bible.

God’s first command to mankind in Genesis 1:28 was “Be fruitful, and multiply”.  He never rescinded that command, even in the New Testament.  In Hebrews 13:4 we read that “Marriage is honourable”.  In the New Testament he offers an exception to this command for service to him, not because one is afraid of the commitment of marriage or has a fear of divorce, but rather for undivided service to him.

The Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7:9 that “it is better to marry than to burn” with sexual desire. If you have the gift of sexual desire then you do not have the gift of celibacy.  God does not give these two gifts together because they are contradictory to one another.

God wants you to marry, have sex and have children.  He wants you to find a woman so that together you and that woman can do what he designed you both to do together and that was to model the relationship of Christ and his Church.

Even if Millennials Do Not Listen Things Can Get Better

Many people write me accusing me of being such a huge pessimist about our current culture and our immediate future and I plead guilty to that accusation.  I am extremely saddened and discouraged by many things I have seen happen over the last couple decades in this country.  And our immediate future, as in the next few decades or even next half century does look very grim.  It will get much worse before it gets better.

But I also find hope in the fact that not all millennials have gone down this selfish path.  Many millennials when they get a little older return to church.  And traditional minded millennials are far out-breeding liberal millennials.  So, it is very possible that we could sit back and watch as the conservative and Christian millennials who actually marry and have many children raise up the next generation.

In the same way that socialism can only survive on the back of capitalism, so too liberalism which is anti-natal at its core can only survive on the back of pro-natal religious conservatives.  Another way of putting this is, liberals need conservatives to have babies with the hope that they can convert those babies to liberals by they time they reach adulthood.

This is how secular liberals use their church, the American public education system, to indoctrinate the youth of conservative born children into their secular humanism.

For many years this insidious agenda was hidden and naïve conservative parents who failed to teach their children the lies of secular humanism would eventually find by the end of high school or college that their children had become converts of secular humanism.

Thankfully over the past couple decades with the rise of conservative radio and TV media this insidious agenda has been exposed.  Many conservative parents are now inoculating their children from the disease that is secular humanism.  They are prepared for the secular humanist arguments and can even challenge their teachers and professors.  The tide has turned and this is what has progressives more frightened today than ever.

They can’t reproduce by converting children from native born conservative homes any more. Even some liberals are sounding the alarm on this.  They see the demographic writing on the wall. The many children of conservative millennials could far outnumber the few children of liberal millennials in the next generation resulting in a sea change in this nation.

This is also why liberals are for the allowance of mass immigration from poor countries with people that are far less educated and dependent on government.  These people are much easier to indoctrinate into liberal ideology and it will often not be until the the third generation of these immigrants that their children may turn from liberal ideology to conservative ideology.

But the Scriptures give us this hope for our millennials and the next generation they will give birth to:

“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14

We need to continue to pray for a revival in our land and pray that God will bring up a godly future generation to replace the secular humanist society that has come to dominate America.

Can a Christian Woman Have Children Without a Husband?

Is it wrong for a Christian woman to desire to have children without having to marry first?  In other words, can a Christian woman simply adopt children and form a family without a husband? What if a Christian woman wants a husband and children but she wants them much later in life so she can pursue educational and career interests?

The questions above are a summary of questions I recently received from a young woman named Jill who is a college student.  Jill, like many young women in recent decades, would like to put off having children longer and even when she does she wonders if she needs to have a husband to have children.  But before I get to Jill’s email we need to talk about the unsettling fact that there are more and more women like Jill who are choosing to wait much longer to have children and if they have children at all they have fewer children than women of previous generations.

Women Are Marrying and Having Children Much Later In Life

wrote an article for BusinessInsider.com entitled “Why having kids later is a really big deal“.  In this article she made the following conclusions based on CDC study that showed women having children much later in life:

“The average age of first-time mothers is increasing because more women are waiting until their 30s and 40s to start having kids and fewer women are having their first kids in their teens and 20s, the CDC report says.

The majority of all births are still to women under 35 (about 85% of the total), but rates for all births, not just of a first child, to women over 35 have been rising over the past 20 years, while birth rates for younger women are stable or declining…

Data from the World Bank show the seven countries where the average age of women giving birth to their first child is above 30 (Greece, Australia, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Switzerland, and Luxembourg, according to the CIA World Factbook) all have general fertility rates below what’s called the replacement rate. That means the generation currently having kids isn’t having enough to replace itself. Countries with low fertility rates have populations that are aging and set to shrink, meaning fewer people of working age have to support more older dependents.”

Let me summarize what this article above just said.  If the world continues down the path of westernization with women becoming more focused on their education and careers than on having children it won’t just be a few countries where the population is shrinking.  Instead it will be the world population that begins to shrink.

Each generation will be smaller than the one that preceded it.   To say this will cause problems for governments and economies is a vast understatement.  And the world population will continue to decline unless this trend of women being more education and career oriented is stopped.

A United Nations Report entitled “World Population in 2300”  states that if the rest of the world follows western countries in having less children than the replacement level needed the world population will drop to 2.3 billion by the year 2300.  To put that in perspective, today the world has 7.6 billion people so that means the world population will drop by 70 percent over the next three centuries.

So as we can see Jill is not in the minority of western women with her thoughts about having a career and having children later in life.  She is in the majority of women who are choosing to put off having children to a much later age than women of the past and there are very real consequences for this decision by the women of this generation.

With all that said as introduction we will now dive into Jill’s email to me.

Jill’s Questions

“I am a Christian female university student in my mid-20s.  I am currently in a Bible college. I want to pursue a Master’s, and I want to be in charge of a library. I have a question. Is this considered “authority?” If I am in charge of a library used by men and women, and in charge of hiring men and women, is this wrong?

I am unmarried. I do not want to get married. I just am not interested in it. 1 Corinthians 7 says that it is okay, and even good, to stay unmarried. I often have asexual feelings and I just do not care for marriage.

I want to have children, much later in life. I know a godly woman who never married, though she wanted to. She adopted a girl who had little chance of ever being adopted by a two-parent family. The result has been beautiful. I have prayed about this, and I still am praying. I desire something similar in my life, if it is God’s plan.

If I ever have children, I will work in a school or other similar setting so that I am home when my child/children is home, and away when they are away during school hours. I will even work from home if I have to. I want to have a child or two, I want a dog, I want to direct a library and if I do not do that then I would like to teach at a Christian school or work in ministry. I want to be a kind boss. I want to show God’s love everywhere I go. I want to help people

If I ever get married, I feel led for it to be an equal-but-different partnership. I pray about these things. I feel led by God in this direction, at least for now.

I would like to hear your thoughts. Please comment on each of these paragraphs and tell me what you think. “

Now as Jill requested I will answer each of her statements.

Should Women Be in Jobs Which Place Them Over Men?

Jill ‘s Statement:

“I am a Christian female university student in my mid-20s.  I am currently in a Bible college. I want to pursue a Master’s, and I want to be in charge of a library. I have a question. Is this considered “authority?” If I am in charge of a library used by men and women, and in charge of hiring men and women, is this wrong?”

Yes someone who hires people is an authority.  If you are hiring men, then you are any authority over men.

The Scriptures tell us that man is to be the head of woman and this is not restricted to just the Church and the Home and would also extend to society in general:

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

1 Corinthians 11:3 (KJV)

In our modern culture we don’t want to admit it but we know it is unnatural for a woman to be in authority over a man.  Think male secretary to a female a boss. This is because God designed for man to be over woman in all things.

In the Old Testament we are told that women ruling over men is just as shameful as it would be for children to oppress men:

“As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.

Isaiah 3:12 (KJV)

Even the heroine of modern day Christian feminists, Deborah, said this when the cowardly men of Israel insisted that she go into battle with them:

And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go.

And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the Lord shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh.”

Judges 4:8-9 (KJV)

We know that Deborah was refering to Jael, the wife of Heber, who eventually killed Sisera.  But Deborah talked about the honor being removed from Barak and these other cowardly men for insisting a woman go into battle with them. There was no praise  for these men in what they did.

So the second part of the answer to your question is – you as a woman should not seek authority over men.   Now sometimes because of this sinful world we live in women are sometimes placed over men – but Christian women should not seek this out.

Is Celibacy Right Before God?

Jill’s Statement:

“I am unmarried. I do not want to get married. I just am not interested in it. 1 Corinthians 7 says that it is okay, and even good, to stay unmarried. I often have asexual feelings and I just do not care for marriage.”

It is true that Paul calls celibacy “good” in I Corinthians 7 and he honors celibacy in service to God:

“26  I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be

32 But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: 33 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.

34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

35And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.

I Corinthians 7:26 & 32-35 (KJV)

Celibacy is an exception that God makes to his first command to mankind in Genesis 1:28 to be fruitful and multiply(to marry, have sex and have children).  God’s normative design was for man to image him by being a husband to a wife and father to children and going out in the world about his work.  He created woman to help man to fulfill his mission to image God by her dependence upon her husband for his leadership, provision and protection and by her serving him and submitting to him. In this way the husband and wife relationship pictures the relation of God to his people with man modeling God and woman modeling the people of God.

Celibacy should only be sought after either because a person has NO desire for a spouse and NO desire for children or their zeal and dedication to serve God is so strong that it makes any thought they would have of having a family seem like nothing. This kind of person wants to dedicate their life in a undivided way in service to God.  Now that does not mean celibate women have to be nuns.  They could be missionary nurses or doctors, they could be school teachers or a host other occupations in undivided service to God.

So yes, celibacy is a good thing and it is even called a gift in the Bible.  But it is only a good thing if it is pursued for the right reasons and not in order for someone to fulfill their own selfish ambitions or for someone to escape gender roles that God has assigned to marriage.

Can a Christian Woman Have Children Without a Husband?

Jill’s Statement:

“I want to have children, much later in life. I know a godly woman who never married, though she wanted to. She adopted a girl who had little chance of ever being adopted by a two-parent family. The result has been beautiful. I have prayed about this, and I still am praying. I desire something similar in my life, if it is God’s plan.”

Many Christian women have had children without a husband over the centuries.  But it is important to understand how they came to be the mother of children without a husband.

Some women were raped and then gave birth to their rapist’s child and they had to raise this child on their own.  Some women did have a husband, but perhaps they became pregnant and then he died.   Other single women have faced situations where they had no choice but to take orphaned or needy children in who had not place to go.   God honors all these situations where these women courageously raised these children on their own.

But these women did not purposefully seek to have children without first being married to a husband.  These situations were thrust upon them by God.

But for you to purposefully seek out having children (even through adoption) without first having a husband is a violation of God’s design for how we are to go about having children. 

The Bible tells us God’s design for when women should have children:

14 I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.

1 Timothy 5:14 (KJV)

God’s design for women having children is simple and straight forward.  First a woman marries a man.  Then she joins with her husband to fulfill God’s command to be fruitful and multiply by freely and regularly giving her body to her husband in the marriage bed.  Then she has children as a result of her obedience to give herself to her husband. She cares for the needs of her husband and children.  She also takes care of the affairs of the home after marriage.  This is God’s order, this is God’s design.

Jill, you are making up your own design for the family by even entertaining the thought of trying to have children without first being married.   And yes God will sometimes still bless us in spite of the fact that we went about something the wrong way, but that does not make it right for us to do.

Can A Woman Work While the Kids Are School?

Jill’s Statement:

“If I ever have children, I will work in a school or other similar setting so that I am home when my child/children is home, and away when they are away during school hours. I will even work from home if I have to. I want to have a child or two, I want a dog, I want to direct a library and if I do not do that then I would like to teach at a Christian school or work in ministry. I want to be a kind boss. I want to show God’s love everywhere I go. I want to help people”

It is admirable that if you had children you would want to make sure you were home when they are home.  But being a wife and mother is about so much more than just being home when your children or husband are home.  It is about caring for the home while they are gone, taking care of their clothing needs, the house needs and preparing food so that when your husband and children come home everything is done and in order.  If you try and work while they are out and get home just before they do then you will have to do all these things in the evening and you will have little time or energy for your family.

A lot of women who aspire to have careers do not consider these things.  The greatest lie of feminism is “you can have it all”.  No you can’t.  You must make a choice. Will you fully dedicate your life and time to your family and the help-meet position God made you for or will you try and dedicate half your time to your own desires and give your family what is left?

You desire to help people is wonderful.  And I think working in a Christian school or other Christian ministry in a full time capacity would be a wonderful thing for you to do.  But you have to make a choice.  You can help people by dedicating your life in celibacy in service to God in a Christian school or other Christian ministry giving up having children and a husband OR you can choose to help your husband and your children by caring for their needs and the needs of your home.  You must be 100 percent dedicated to one or the other – if you try and do half and half you fail at one.

Is Marriage an “equal-but-different partnership”?

Jill’s Statement:

“If I ever get married, I feel led for it to be an equal-but-different partnership. I pray about these things. I feel led by God in this direction, at least for now.”

The Bible tells us we cannot live by how we feel, but by instead by what the Word of God says despite our feelings.  The Bible tells us this about trusting our feelings:

“26 He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.

Proverbs 28:26 (KJV)

It is foolish for us to follow our feelings, but rather we must trust in the Lord with all our heart and allow his Word, and not our feelings, to direct our path.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV)

Also in regard to feelings – we can with the Lord’s help over time change our feelings and direct them as he would have us to.  That means that we can as we surrender to  God’s will for our lives come to love what he loves and hate what he hates.  We can feel good about what he wants us to feel good about even if we did not feel good about it before.

So this brings us to the next question. Does the Bible teach marriage as a “equal-but-different partnership”?

“23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.  24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

Ephesians 5:23-24 (KJV)

The passage above from Ephesians tell you as a young woman why God created you.  He created you to play a part in painting the beautiful picture of the relationship of God to his people.  In this model, you play the part of the Church who submits to Christ in everything.  Your service to your husband, who represents Christ in this model, is your service to God.  The only exception to this design is celibacy in service to God – but only if you are truly called to it for unselfish reasons.

“1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear…

6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”

I Peter 3:1-2 & 5-7 (KJV)

While women and wives are joint heirs with their husbands of the grace of life, the Bible never calls husbands and wives equal partners – it fact it never calls them partners (despite the NIV changing the translations to “partner”).

Women are called to submit to their husbands as the church submits to Christ.  Are the Christ and Church equal partners or is one the subordinate to the other?

And God did not just flip a coin and put man in charge of woman.   He made woman for man as the Scriptures tell us in I Corinthians 11:9 “Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”   Woman submitting to and serving man is a beautiful picture of mankind submitting to and serving God.  And the man lovingly leading, providing for, teaching and protecting his wife is a beautiful picture of God doing all these things for his people.

Conclusion

As I close let me just point out something based on this statement you made “I want to have children, much later in life.”  Let’s be honest – why would you want to have children much later in life? The honest answer is because your love for education and your career ambitions to be a librarian are more important to you than having children, yet you desire children.  But you desire children outside of God’s designed path which is marriage.   This is by definition a selfish ambition.  Anytime we desire things that outside God’s design for us that is a selfish desire.

When a woman desires to have children without a husband that is just as selfish as a man who desires to have sex with a woman without having to marrying her.  Both the desire for children and the desire for sex are God given desires, but when we seek to go about to fulfill those desires in a way which violates God’s design we sin against God in doing so.

So Jill– you have a choice to make.  If you feel you cannot fulfill the role God designed women in general to fulfill – to be subordinate helpers to men to help them paint the picture of God and his people – then you can exercise the celibacy option in service to him.  But you cannot take half measures and actively seek to have children and make a family the way you want it, instead of the way God designed family to be.

Even if you decide you will follow God’s design for having children and marry a husband first if you do as you have stated and “have children, much later in life” this could still be selfish ambition on your part.

It is one thing if you are vigorously as young woman pursing a husband and family and during that time you are working to support yourself.  There is no sin in this.  But God knows your heart.  If in your heart you know that you are purposefully delaying finding a husband and having a family so that you can pursue educational and career interests and then later you will do the “family thing” that is utter selfishness before God.  That is NOT why God created you.  He created you for man, he created you marriage and the only exception to that is true dedicated celibacy in service to him.

 

The Sacrifice God Calls Christian Wives To

Many young Christian women today have been raised their whole lives to believe feminism’s greatest lie – “You can have it all”.  “You can have a career, a husband and children and you should never sacrifice any part of your dreams”.  This is the core of feminism today and it is the primary reason that the family unit has been so decimated over the past century.

Even in Churches today women are taught a corrupt and twisted view of the Scriptures using passages like Psalms 37:4 to tell them God wants them to have all “the desires of thine heart” and it is a male dominated society that has held them back from having everything they want – not God.

Sacrifice is a part of God’s will for both men and women

The Bible tells us in the New Testament letter to the Hebrews that Moses sacrificed his position as a prince of Egypt and all the pleasures and riches that came with that position to follow God’s will for his life even though it would involve suffering and pain and perhaps even the loss of his dreams as a prince.

“24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; 25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.”

Hebrews 11:24-26 (KJV)

Many Christian women today struggle with a similar choice to sacrifice their career ambitions to follow the path God has for them in their home. Recently I received some emails from a woman who is experiencing this very struggle and I thought it might be beneficial for my readers to hear her story.

Courtney was on a successful career path to becoming a doctor later this year and looking forward to having a husband and many children along with that career. As a young Christian woman, Courtney had been raised all her life to believe the greatest lie of feminism – “you can have it all.”

Then she found this site and it has completely rocked her world to say the least.  It has caused a conflict in her where none existed before.  It has caused her to question how she has lead her life up to this point and if it was all a waste.  Why did no one ever show her the Scripture passages she found on this site? Why did no one ever share with her God’s design of Biblical gender roles and what they represent? To say that she is now very frustrated and hurt would be an understatement.

So, with that as an introduction here is Courtney’s story.

Courtney’s Story

“I’ve recently become enthralled with your website but the more I read the more I just wonder what this life is supposed to be. Why give us the capacity to learn so much, dream big and have talents if, we were would later be forced to break our own hearts.

I thought having a happy family was what God wanted but now after reading the Bible passages you present I know it’s more than that. To say a woman can’t have it all is not true if you look at it in the same lens that most of us do. Happy family that never wants for anything great kids that excel in everything they do, a loving husband and happy functional home. To know that “having it all” as I just mentioned and how God wants it, don’t even run parallel just hurts.

I’m in my fourth year of med school and I’m in my ophthalmology rotation, but it means nothing and it’s worth nothing. To be told your ambition is misguided sucks, I’m not doing this for selfish reasons. I genuinely love medicine and helping people. It’s not fair, but hey none of it was meant to be right?

I was taught in church that loving God with my mind consisted of striving for academic success because it would bring honor to my family and God, but why say that if it’s not true. Why did I even go to school? I read about history and I think this would hurt less if we lived in biblical times when women didn’t know they had the capacity to learn how to do things. By June I’ll be a doctor but for what? I’ve interviewed for residencies and dined all this work, was it a waste of time?

As a Christian I know that being a parent is the greatest responsibility you could ever bare, but why does having a career have to diminish that? Honestly it seems easier to be a man because your role is as a provider and a man can have his career goals and his family but women have to choose not because someone will be unhappy but it seems like God expects us to. It just hurts.

One of the doctors that I’ve shadowed is an oculoplastics surgeon and her husband is the head obstetrics in another clinic. They meet for lunch several days out of the week, they even kind of brag on each other, they have 3 kids the youngest is a year old. I’ve asked how she does it and she has said it is hard but she makes time. She sees about 12 to 14 patients in a half day 3 times a week, surgery once a week and a day at the county clinic once a week.

She makes it to every recital and soccer game. When she gets home, she cooks and she typically gets home around 4 or 5 most days.  She and her husband always look like newlyweds even though they are going on 8 years. The kids send videos from home doing cute stuff like coloring or dancing or playing a game. She and her husband are never on call at the same time so when that comes once a month the kids sleep in bed with either parent. Of course, they have conferences to go to on occasion so grandparents may keep the kids if one parent accompanied the other. Her life was my definition of “having it all”.

I believe any child if asked if they could have their mother stay at home would say yes, but I never believed that it was a necessity. I know what the duties of a man are, but when I say it’s easier I’m referring to the fact that he doesn’t have to choose between his passions and curb his ambitions. I’ve never been materialistic, things would not be how I kept my children happy. No one forced me into being a doctor. My mom stayed at home and yes it was great so I know what could come of it I choose to do so, but to find out now that I’m simply not allowed to choose to have both (a career as well as a husband and children) makes me wish that I was born in a time when ignorance was bliss. When women had no rights, no voice, and weren’t allowed to have an education. Women knew what they were allowed to know to keep them in line and didn’t have false hope.

It’s like a carrot has been dangled in front of me my whole life. I’ve always said I wanted 6 kids, 2 boys to protect their 2 younger sisters then adopt two more boys. I have to decide between having a family or being doctor which means a loveless life and eventually dying alone.

Oh, I’m dating an orthopedic surgeon resident too he’s been super supportive, we’ve talked about me staying at home and he said he’d support me no matter what. His mom stayed home too but he also believes that women with carriers are admirable. I never thought that this was part of my salvation, is it really though? As I write this I cry. I cry because I thought I had a plan, I thought that what I was doing was honorable unto God and I’m upset because I thought Psalms 37:4 meant I could have this career as a doctor and also have a family, but I was wrong. Why didn’t God warn me before I took this path, or give me a sign, because now I’m in pain. Does God favor men? Is this a test? Because if it is my body aches with frustration and disappointment.”

My Response to Courtney and other women who face this situation

Courtney – I know the knowledge I have presented from the Scriptures troubles you. You never heard it before.  You want to run from it.  And you could.  You could find 100 different articles on line or Christian books that will tell you that you are perfectly fine to live your life as you planned it before finding out these truths.

But please realize it is not my words that have convicted you, but rather the Word of God. God tells us that the Bible has this spiritual power to convict:

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Hebrews 4:12 (KJV)

As you know from the posts you have read on this site the Scriptures are clear that if a woman is married her top priority, her most important priority is her service to husband, her children and her home.

“4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

Titus 2:4-6 (KJV)

“I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.”

I Timothy 5:14 (KJV)

She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.”

Proverbs 31:27

 

Proverbs 31 shows us the most detailed example of what God expects from wives and it tell us all the things “she” – the wife does.  Many women have tried to say servant girls could do all these things but the Bible shows her doing these things.  Yes, she may go out of the house to plant a field or buy and sell in the market.  But she never does these things at the expense of her household, but rather she does these things after she makes sure the needs of her household are cared for.

In no way does this picture a woman spending 40 to 50 hours a week away from her home delegating her home duties to others to care for while she was gone.  It also does not even tell us at what point in her life the woman was leaving her house to do these things.  Since we know there is no way a woman can care for her infant and toddler children while at the same time spending many hours and days away from the home each week this tells us her activities outside the home are when her children are older and or perhaps gone and not in need of her care.

In any case, the modern notion of a career woman having a baby and then leaving her infant child with a caretaker (even her husband) while she goes out to pursue a career has no Biblical support whatsoever. Every wife and mother is faced with a choice.  Will she be a full-time career woman and part time wife and mother or will she be a full-time wife and mother as God has called her to be.

Now I want to directly respond to a few statements you made.

Your Statement:

“I never thought that this was part of my salvation, is it really though?”

I wanted to tackle this first as I think it is the most important one to address.

We are not saved based on how we run the different races God has given us to run as men and women. In other words, we are not saved by adhering to Biblical gender roles.  But on that same note, we are not saved by giving to the poor, going to church, giving to our church or obeying God’s moral law in other areas. We are saved by the grace of God.  Many Christians do not run the race “lawfully” as the Bible talks about but instead they make up their own rules of the race and run it the way they want to. Will they lose their salvation? No because if they did then their salvation would be based upon their works and not by God’s grace through faith alone in Christ alone.

But even though it will not cost us our salvation – it will cost us our honor and reward in heaven. So, if you choose the celibate life in service to God as an ophthalmologist you will receive reward and honor from God for the race you ran because you did it lawfully. If you chose to give up your career as an ophthalmologist to marry a man, have six children and serve your family for the rest of your life as a wife and mother you will receive a reward and honor from God at the end of your life.

If, however you chose to change the rules of his race and make your own rules thus trying to have the husband, children and career which will cause you to not be able to fully dedicate yourself to your husband, your children and your home you will as the Scriptures say “shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire”.

 Your Statement:

“I was taught in church that loving God with my mind consisted of striving for academic success because it would bring honor to my family and God, but why say that if it’s not true.”

This false teaching is common in many churches today.  The church has been poisoned by the philosophy of the feminist world around that says a woman’s must have a formal education and a career for her life to have full value. In fact, while you love and respect your mom for staying home to care for you many in this world do not respect stay at home moms anymore.  They are regarded as lazy and ambitious.

But what does the Bible tell us a wife and mother’s greatest ambition was? It was her serving her husband, her children and her home.  It was her service to her family, not her career, that caused her children to bless her and her husband to praise her as the Scriptures tell us:

“Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.”

Proverbs 31:28 (KJV)

Your Statement:

“One of the doctors that I’ve shadowed is an oculoplastics surgeon and her husband is the head obstetrics in another clinic. They meet for lunch several days out of the week, they even kind of brag on each other, they have 3 kids the youngest is a year old. I’ve asked how she does it and she has said it is hard but she makes time. She sees about 12 to 14 patients in a half day 3 times a week, surgery once a week and a day at the county clinic once a week.

She makes it to every recital and soccer game. When she gets home, she cooks and she typically gets home around 4 or 5 most days.  She and her husband always look like newlyweds even though they are going on 8 years. The kids send videos from home doing cute stuff like coloring or dancing or playing a game. She and her husband are never on call at the same time so when that comes once a month the kids sleep in bed with either parent. Of course, they have conferences to go to on occasion so grandparents may keep the kids if one parent accompanied the other. Her life was my definition of “having it all”.

I realize you may have looked at this couple as the model for the life you want.  But let me break down what is really happening in this dream scenario this couple has painted for you.

Five times a week, sometimes for an entire day and others for half the day or more this woman leaves her most important duties of the home God has given her not because she has to, but because she chose to. Because she wants to.

Also, do you realize that people sometimes paint pictures of their lives for themselves and others that are often not true? I know this to be true with family members I have had that are career women.  They might say they normally cook at home but when you really drill down they may cook once or twice a week at home the vast majority of the time they are ordering carrying out because both they and their husband are too exhausted from their work day to cook.

Often career women are completely zapped for energy when it comes to having sex with their husbands.  When they get home whatever energy they have left is given to the children and their husbands are left with next to nothing. Even what they give to their children is not the best they would have to offer if they did not have a career outside the home.  Do you know how often we find that the couples who appear to have everything in order and are madly in love are just one step away from giving it all up and seeking divorce? It happens all the time.  But they lie to themselves for years telling themselves it is all ok when it is not.

But let’s say that everything this woman has told you is true.  That they truly have this perfect mix of family and career and she gets the best of both worlds working as a doctor and being a wife and mother and there are no real issues in neglecting their marriage or their children.  Even if all this were true it would still be wrong.

While God says “Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening.” (Psalm 104:23) he calls on wives to be “keepers at home” (Titus 2:4-6). This paints a stark contrast between the life of a wife and mother and that of her husband and there are more than physical reasons for this.  There is a spiritual reason for this.

This relationship of man going out to work and providing for his wife, leading her and protecting her is a picture of God providing for the needs of his people.

“22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it…

29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church

Ephesians 5:22-29 (KJV)

You see it is not just about following the letter of the law, but the spirit of the law. A woman might be able to be like your friend and try and cook meals every day, do laundry and never miss a kids’ soccer game.  She can have sex with her husband regularly and then do her career as well.  But being a husband and wife is not just about checking things off a list so we can go do what we want to do.  It is about modeling the relation of Christ and his Church.

A wife’s dependence on her husband for his leadership, protection and provision creates a beautiful picture for the world to behold. When a wife is less than fully dependent on her husband for his leadership, his protection and his daily provision for her it breaks the model that the Church should be fully dependent on Christ for her spiritual leadership, her protection and her provision.

We live in a sin cursed world that does not always allow us to keep this picture of marriage that God desires for us.  Husbands die, become disabled or take downgrades on their jobs that may force them to have to ask their wife to work for a short period of time or longer. Divorce happens and women have to go and out work.  All of these things break the model of marriage but they may not be the fault of the woman.  She did not choose to have to go and work – this was forced upon her and God understands this.

But for a woman before marriage to purposefully plan that she will not even attempt to keep this model but will go about her own way by making her own model is a direct affront to God’s will and even more so if she knows this is what God’s Word shows.

Your Statement:

“Why didn’t God warn me before I took this path, or give me a sign, because now I’m in pain. Does God favor men? Is this a test? Because if it is my body aches with frustration and disappointment.”

I wonder if Moses had the same thought? God let him live 40 years in ignorance as a Prince of Egypt believing that was the life for him before God put it in his heart that the Israelite slaves were his brethren and he knew the difficult path he had to choose.

I know you are troubled now.  You are hurt by the hard choice you know you must make based upon the Word of God.

But there are other Christians who face heart breaks like yours but for very different reasons.  Below is a fictional story I have written to illustrate such a scenario.

A new Christian learns a painful truth about his life

Robert is a man that was raised by a pair of Lesbian mothers.  They loved him and cared for him his whole life.  While he is a teenager he realizes, he is sexually drawn to men and is a homosexual. As a young man in college he meets a man named Andrew who becomes his lover and eventually Robert marries Andrew.  Robert and Andrew even adopt a baby girl together that they name Anna .

Then he meets a man named John at his work who is a Christian.  Over the next year Robert becomes good friends with John and they often go to lunch together. John talks about his wife and children and Robert talks about his husband Andrew and his daughter Anna. Eventually through various conversations John shares his faith in Christ with Robert.  Robert becomes more and more interested in John’s faith and John begins sharing various Scripture passages about the creation account, how sin entered the world and how God sent Christ to die for the sins of mankind.

Over the course of a few months Robert feels the call of God.  The next day at lunch he is asks his friend at work “I want to become a Christian, I want to be saved.  What must I do to be saved?” and Robert shares with him Romans 10:9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

Robert is so excited as he calls on Christ to save him.  John and Robert embrace and John welcomes him to the body of Christ.  John tells Robert the next step is for him to get baptized, join a local church and engage in his own personal study of the Scriptures to understand God’s moral law and will for his life. John knows that Robert will soon learn a difficult truth about how he is currently living his life.

Robert begins to intensely study the Scriptures as is common for many new Christians. He wants to learn everything he can about God and God’s will for his life. He decides to start out studying the book of Romans, because after all it was Romans 10:9 that taught him how to be saved. So he starts at the beginning with Romans chapter 1 and he comes across this passage:

“24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;”

Robert cannot believe what he is reading.  He had heard some Christians opposed homosexuality but he thought they were just bigots.  He thought they were just ignorant and prejudiced.  He reasoned to himself “But John never mistreated me because I was a homosexual. He never said anything to me about it. Am I misreading this?” Robert can’t wait for the next day at work during lunch to get the answer to his questions.  He calls his friend Robert and insists they talk.

John agrees and comes over to Roberts house to talk.  Robert shows him the passage from Romans 1 he has just read. Robert says “Is it true? Is my lifestyle a sin against God? Is my relationship with Andrew a sin against God? Was the relationship of the women who raised me a sin against God?”  John replies with a heavy heart to Robert – “Yes”. At this point Robert is overcome with grief and begins to cry. Robert asks John “Do I have to give up Andrew and our family together with Anna to become right with God?” John again answers him – “Yes”.

Robert still weeping asks John “Why did you not tell me this before I came to Christ?” John replies “Because it was not for me to try and clean up your sin before you accepted Christ. Christ died for while were we yet sinners.  He asks us to repent, to acknowledge our sin before him and our need for his salvation.  When you were first saved you asked God to forgive you of the sins you knew – that you had lied or cheated or mistreated others.

But you did not know your homosexual lifestyle was a sin.  After salvation God begins to show us sins in our lives we never knew were there.  His spirit searches us and reveals what is in our hearts.   After we are saved then he does the work of changing our lives and conforming us to his will.  For many Christians, especially those who are saved as adults, this is change can be a painful process.  But God calls us all to progressive sanctification, to daily die to our old sinful natures and to try with the help of the Holy Spirit to be people God called us to be.”

Sometimes God reveals to us some painful truths.  Sometimes he reveals things to us that will cause us to have to make very difficult and painful choices. In the Scriptures God did this with the children of Israel when they sinned by taking foreign wives in Ezra chapter 10. Israelite men literally had to send their foreign wives and children back to the lands they came from.   How heart breaking that must have been.  But it was necessary to make the people right with God in the same way we as Christians must sometimes make painful choices to make ourselves right with God and his will for our lives.

Conclusion

Moses though serves as a model for us in following God’s will for his life by giving up what he thought would be his life in service to a greater purpose that God had for him. Moses wanted to run the race God had for him, not a race of his own making or one based on his own rules. He valued the rewards of heaven over the riches and pleasure of this world. I hope that you will make that same choice.

God only gives you two choices at this point in your life. You can choose to live in celibate service to God as a doctor and as a result give up your dreams of having a husband and children or you can choose to be a wife and mother.  But you cannot do both.

But I believe the passion you have for children and a husband outweighs your passion for medicine and God may have provided you with a man who will allow you to follow God’s will for your life in the home. I believe that if your heart is truly to be the wife and mother God called you to be that one day you will look back over the years you spent loving and serving your husband, your children and your home and the pain of this sacrifice will be forgotten.

A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.

John 16:21 (KJV)

Don’t fall for the feminist lie that women can “have it all”

The feminist lie that women can “have it all” has destroyed countless marriages over the last half century. Infants that are no more than a couple months old are left by the one person who God meant at this early stage of life to be the center of that little person’s universe. Sometimes they are left with strangers in daycare centers.  Other mothers who want to console themselves as they pursue their dream of “having it all” leave their young infants with their grandparents or their fathers. But no one, not even a loving grandparent or a loving father can take that special place that God designed only a mother to have in these early days of a person’s life.

Not only does a woman pursuing and believing the lie that she can have it all affect her children but it also affects the central role in this life that God designed her for – to be a help meet to her husband. There is absolutely no way a woman can go out and endure the stresses of a career and be involved all manner of activities outside the home and it not affect her moods and energy toward serving the needs of her husband and her home.

Dinners will be left unmade. The house will be in disarray. She will often be too tired and worn out to have sex with her husband as a direct result of her endeavors outside the home. There are going to be days when a woman is stressed and tired from fulfilling her duties to her children and her home – no question.  But God did not design a woman to shoulder the stresses of a career and her home and duties to her husband simultaneously.

Are some women forced to work outside the home by no fault of their own due to their husband being disabled or some financial crisis? Yes. Are some women abandoned by their husbands and have to provide for their children? Yes. We are not talking about those women.  These are women that had no choice but to go out and provide for their children. These women because of the sinful world we live in have had to step into the role of provider in addition to be homemakers and mothers. This is something that God did not intend in his perfect design of the roles of husbands and wives.

Today I received a letter from a woman who calls herself Jamie and she shared in her letter how she believed the feminist lie and tried to “have it all” only to realize how many years she wasted in that futile pursuit and how it affected her service to her husband, her children and her home.

I hope if you are a young woman reading this story that you will heed the advice of this Christian wife.  Don’t believe the feminist lie that you can do what God designed you to do and what the world tells you to do.

Jamie’s Story

“Dear BGR,

My husband printed off your article “How to help women learn their place” and encouraged me to read it. I read it, with a lot of pain, over the years that I wasted in trying to be all things that the World expected. Early in our marriage, I tried to be a successful working woman and a mom, and a wife, and a friend to all of my church friends, and the school volunteer of the year.

God eventually broke my heart and my husband’s heart about our family and that the family of 3 girls and 1 boy God have us was the most important. We began our journey by homeschooling through Advanced Training Institute International last Summer, and God definitely dealt with me in many of the areas you mentioned:

I stopped my work as a professional assistant in a real estate firm and had to learn to depend on my husband as the sole bread winner and decision maker. You see, when I earned money, I thought that it was ok for me to make the decisions because it was “MY” money…not Gods. I had to learn to budget and be frugal, something I had never really done before because of my second income.

Your article touched on our husbands desire to see us acting innocent and having childlike joy. Well, when I was working and being a “leader” volunteering in so many areas. I had little joy or spontaneity with my husband. God has changed my heart where I now relish in making him happy and surprising him with little things (cooking his favorite foods, detailing his car, or doing “diy” projects to beautify our home. His joy gives me joy.

In my appearance, I dressed very career like (slacks, some suits, and flat dress shoes to be comfortable at the office. When I started our mission at home, I had never considered what I needed to wear to please him and God and not wearing things “that pertainth to a man” My husband had asked for years for me to dress more feminine, and I would accommodate him for a special occasion. So, I told my husband that I wanted to dress more feminine, in a way that I would bring honor to him and God. And he delighted in this!! He splurged and bought me a new wardrobe of dresses and skirts…some casual and some dressy. We threw out my pants and flat shoes, and he purchased me several new pairs of heels, some casual and some dressy. (I realize that God doesn’t require a woman to wear high heels, but I do have the desire to please my husband and I know he desires me in them, so I love to do it for him. We discussed that while heels may limit some of my activities, that is where he must become involved with the children and take over the more boisterous or outdoor activities, while I watch and encourage all of them!)

My struggle is far from over. I do not get a lot of encouragement from friends and family. They do not understand the choices we have made, but I know I am honoring my husband and my God, and that is all that matters.”

Jamie – thank for your courage to share your story with us. If you ever need encouragement in being the help meet to your husband God designed you to be you will always find it here.

The Black Hole of Babydom

“It makes me sad to lose my friends and watch them throw away their promising careers and lives to enter the black hole of babydom” – my wife found this quote from a woman who wrote into an advice column that is featured in our local newspaper.

This advice column is written by a nationally syndicated columnist named Judith Martin a.k.a. “Miss Manners”.  Each week people write in asking her what is the correct way to handle different social situations.

This week a woman whom Miss Manners titled as a “Hater of baby showers” wrote  this to her about why she hated that her friends were having so many babies and baby showers:

I am also alarmed at the shocking number of otherwise intelligent people who, despite this being the First World with various forms of birth control widely available, still have unplanned pregnancies and make no secret of this fact...

For these reasons and others, I am generally not thrilled when my friends become pregnant. I love my friends, but once they have kids, they fall off the face of the earth. It makes me sad to lose my friends and watch them throw away their promising careers and lives to enter the black hole of babydom (which, despite common arguments to the contrary, almost all do).…”

You can read the full letter from this woman and Miss Manner’s advice to her here.

This letter is a pure and unabashed display of just how ugly modern feminism has become.

It is a direct contradiction to what God says about children.

“Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” – Psalm 127:3 (KJV)

“He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord.” – Psalm 113:9 (KJV)

While there has always been all kinds of wickedness in the world, never have we seen on such a wide scale the complete visceral hatred of motherhood as we do today.

God never intended for women to find their greatest fulfillment in a career, but rather he designed them to desire and be fulfilled in making and molding human lives.

Photo Source: Jason Ippolito  https://www.flickr.com/photos/jasonippolito/3686987657
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The biological case for Polygyny and marriage of young women Part 2

Polygyny

My first post on this subject, “The biological case for Polygyny and marriage of young women” sparked a lot of interest, and most of it was negative as I would expect. Most people have a hard time stepping outside their cultural norms and value systems and looking at things from a wider historical perspective – so the negative responses I received did not offend me or shock me.

What I wanted to do here is answer some of the objections and questions that people raised, as well as clarify some things I was trying to communicate in the first post.

In the first article in this series, I proved that men marrying younger women, and even multiple younger women (polygyny) in past civilizations was not wrong and it was not immoral even though our modern culture frowns on these practices today.

It is not wrong (present tense) in some cultures outside the United States that still practice it today (older men marrying younger women) as they are brought up in a culture expecting to be married at a young age.

Believe it or not there are still many states where the age of marriage with the consent of the parents is as young as 14. According to one study almost 9 percent of marriages in the United States are by those under the age of 18[1].  Out of those 9 percent of “child marriages” as they are classified – 1 out of 9 is age 14 while the remainder are between 15 and 17 years of age.

But what I was trying to say in the last article, and it somewhat got lost, is that even though we are living in a monogamous society, and an equal opportunity for both genders society, this does not change man’s biology.

All men, are biologically capable of impregnating 20 or 30 women in one month. A woman on the other hand, is biologically wired for monogamy, even if she has sex with 20 men in one month, she can only be impregnated by one man at a time. Yes I know there are rare exceptions where a woman has dropped two eggs and had pregnancies from two different men but this is not her design, this is not the norm of how a woman’s body operates.

Man’s biological capacity for polygyny, is not only located in his reproductive organs, but also in his brain. Even though Western men are living within the constraints of a monogamous society, they are still drawn to a variety of women. But in our society men are taught to hide and subdue this natural polygamous mental wiring, because they are taught that they should only desire one woman. There are of course expectations, where some men have a very low sex drive, and some men have no sex drive at all so they will not desire multiple women – but again these are exceptions and not the norm.

The key word is “capacity”

A word I continuously used in my first post, and I continue to use in this post is “capacity”. For instance all men and women (unless they are born with some rare medical condition) have the biological capacity for having sex. But just because they have the capacity for sex, does not mean they will actually ever have sex in their lifetime.

In the same way while all men throughout history have had the biological capacity for polygyny, it does not mean they were able to act on it, or even if given the choice, many did not act on it.

Someone might say, “Well we all have the capacity for sin too, but just because we have the capacity for something does not make it right”. I would agree wholeheartedly with this statement.

If we did not have examples of some of the greatest heroes of the Bible like Abraham, Gideon, David and many others who were practicing polygynists I might agree that man’s capacity for polygyny could be a sinful capacity.

If we did not have the Old Testament regulations specifically allowing men to take other wives through various means I might agree that man’s capacity for polygyny could be a sinful capacity.

If God himself did not say to King David that he had given King Saul’s “wives” into David’s “bosom” (II Samuel 12:8) I might agree that man’s capacity for polygyny could be a sinful capacity.

If God did not picture himself as a polygynous husband with two wives (Ezekiel 23) I might agree that man’s capacity for polygyny could be a sinful capacity.

If God did not have the names of the sons of Jacob, a product of a polygynous relationship with 4 different wives inscribed on his Holy City for all eternity (Revelation 21:12), I might agree that man’s capacity for polygyny could be a sinful capacity.

What about the 50/50 ratio between men and women – wouldn’t polygyny take away wives from other men?

The first problem with this train of thought it is that it assumes there has always been a ratio of 1 to 1 for men and women throughout history. We do not know that in the beginning God did not have more women than men born so as to populate the world faster.

Secondly, for arguments sake, let’s say that for all of human history since the dawn of creation there has always been a 1 to 1 ratio between men and women. Let’s go back to my key word “capacity”. Just because man has the capacity for sex, does not mean that all men are going to get married. Just because man has the capacity for polygyny does mean all men throughout history have been able to act on their capacity for polygyny.

Many men could not marry, either because they were slaves or servants (who could only marry if their master allowed them to), or they were in poverty and poor men generally were not able to marry. You usually had to show a father you had the ability to care for his daughter, before you could marry her. Some men would later fall into poverty after marriage, in which case they would have to sell their children as slaves so they would be cared for.

So my point is, there were a lot more eligible women for marriage, then eligible men, which made it possible for many men to have polygynous marriages.

But that brings us to modern times. In our modern America a man does not have to have the means to care for a woman to marry her. In fact it is very common for poor men and women to marry each other and not long afterwards go on public assistance, especially after they have children.

But even in our day, there are still many more eligible women for marriage than eligible men. The reasons are very different than they once were. Now many men don’t won’t want to marry, and our free sex society allows men to follow their polygynous urges without any sort of marital commitment so that is what men do now(they whore around instead of getting married). This is of course just many of the reasons men run from marriage today.

“In 2011, the Pew Research Center found that 51 percent of Americans were married, compared to 72 percent in 1960.”

Huffington Post – “Marriage Rate Declines To Historic Low, Study Finds”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/22/marriage-rate_n_3625222.html

This leaves a lot of women looking for men who are willing to enter a committed relationship and get married. There are many intelligent and economically well off men that would gladly take on multiple wives as our Biblical forefathers did if our society allowed.

There is no “one-flesh” mutuality in a marriage when a man marries a much younger woman or has more than one wife.

There is a sense in which marriage is a mutual thing.

“In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, and man is not independent of woman”

I Corinthians 11:11(HCSB)

Man needs woman, and woman needs man, we mutually need one another.

However that is where the mutuality of man and woman ends, and the differences between man and woman begins.

A man and woman do not need to be the same age, or the same maturity to be married. As long as the man is in a position to lead and protect his wife, she can be much younger, and much less mature.

Contrary to what modern America teaches, marriage is not a partnership of equals, but a patriarchy.

In the same passage above where Paul talks about men and women needing each other, he also talks about why woman was made:

“A man, in fact, should not cover his head, because he is God’s image and glory, but woman is man’s glory.  For man did not come from woman, but woman came from man. And man was not created for woman, but woman for man.

I Corinthians 11:7-9(HSCB)

“Now as the church submits to Christ, so wives are to submit to their husbands in everything.”

Ephesians 5:24(HSCB)

What does “one flesh” mean in the Bible?

““Haven’t you read,” He replied, “that He who created them in the beginning made them male and female,” and He also said:

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?

So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.”

Matthew 19:4-6(HSCB)

“Don’t you know that anyone joined to a prostitute is one body with her? For Scripture says, The two will become one flesh.”

I Corinthians 6:16(HSCB)

So what the Scriptures tell us is, a man can become “one flesh” with his wife, and a man can become “one flesh” with a prostitute. What is the only two things those two relationships have in common? Sex.

This tells us that the primary meaning of “one flesh” when it comes to the relationship of a man and woman refers to their sexual relationship.

The sex act is the binding symbol of the union between a man and woman. In Biblical times, a marriage was not sealed until a man had sex with a woman, which then bound them together by law. I am not saying that there is not an emotional connection that often occurs between a man and a woman as a result of sex, we know this can and often does occur.  I am also not arguing that in marriage there is not more to the one flesh concept than just the sexual reference.

Is there a secondary meaning to “one flesh” in regard to marriage?  Yes. Christ shows us this in the Gospel of Mark:

6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; 8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.

Mark 10:6-8 (KJV)

So the Bible refers to “one flesh” in regard to a man and woman in two ways.  We are told that a man can become one flesh with a prostitute and we are also told that in marriage that a man and woman are no longer two, but one referring to the spiritual, intellectual and emotional union of a man and his wife.

But here is the issue – in our current culture Christian teachers primarily emphasize the second way one flesh is used(one in spirit and mind) and they place little to no emphasis on the most literal meaning of a couple becoming one flesh which is the sexual aspect of it.

But how can a man become “one flesh” with more than one wife?

But how can a man be “one” with more than one wife? Would that not make them many? If this was an intimate relationship of many people with one another, then that would be a polyamorous relationship which is different than polygynous relationship.

In a polyamorous relationship there can be multiple men and women all married to one another.  So you could have three men and two women or one man and three women.  They all consider each other’s spouses in every sense of the word.  Of course we know that such a relationship is a wicked perversion of God’s design for marriage.  A woman must always be married to one spouse and that spouse must be a man who is called her husband according to Romans 7:2-3.

In a polygynous relationship, a husband has a separate and distinct relationship with each of his wives(the wives are not married to each other – they are married to him). He is a husband to each of them, just as God pictured himself as a husband to two wives in Ezekiel 23.

I understand that may be a difficult concept to understand but this is all based in the Word of God. You may struggle with this concept in this life but if you are a Christian when you get to heaven you can ask Jacob – whose sons from his polygynous relationships with 4 different woman are inscribed on the city of God for all eternity (the twelve tribes of Israel).

I encourage the reader to look at my series on “Why Polygamy is not unBiblical” to understand this better.

References:

[1]Yann Le Strat, Caroline Dubertret, Bernard Le Foll (2011), Child Marriage in the United States and Its Association With Mental Health in Women, http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/128/3/524

Women’s ovaries don’t agree with Feminism

Biological Clock

“The biological reality that female fertility peaks in the teens and early 20s can be difficult for many American women to swallow, as they delay childbirth further every year, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. In the District, the average age of initial childbirth was 26.5 years in 2006, up 5.5 years since 1970, the highest jump in the country…

“While we may not be mature enough to conceive at a young age, nor should we, that is still when the body is most adept at conception and carrying a baby,” says Claire Whelan, program director of the American Fertility Association. “Our biological clock has not kept pace with our ability to prolong our life spans.” Stillman agrees, pointing out that research about advanced maternal age and motherhood today is clear: The older you get, the more difficult it is to get pregnant and the higher the chance of miscarriage, pregnancy problems such as gestational diabetes and hypertension, and chromosomal abnormalities such as Down syndrome, among other concerns…

“Society has changed, ” says Stillman, “but the ovaries will take another million years or two to catch up to that.””

These statements were taken from an article in the Washington post by Carolyn Butler entitled “Ovaries have not adjusted to many women’s decision to delay having children”.

You can read the article in its entirety here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/22/AR2010022203639.html

While I strongly disagree with many conclusions and opinions in this article, the biological statements of fact are indeed accurate.

We agree there needs to be an adjustment, we just disagree about where the adjustment needs to be made

In the article, one of Carolyn Butler’s contributors stated that “Society has changed” but that basically women’s ovaries need to evolve to our societies’ desires.  This is the height of arrogance toward our God and creator.

What never occurs to modern women, is maybe, just maybe, we need to “adjust” as a society and return to respecting a woman’s most important role in our society, being wives and mothers.

What all societies knew for thousands of years and has now been all but buried in our society is admitted in this article:

“While we may not be mature enough to conceive at a young age, nor should we, that is still when the body is most adept at conception and carrying a baby

Newborn baby

Of course before they admit this extremely important biological fact, they have to put their value judgment in about maturity, but they cannot escape the biological FACT that women bear the most children, and the healthiest children from the teenage years to the early 20s. After the early 20s miscarriages, birth defects and all kinds of other issues come into play, besides the fact that it is simply harder to get pregnant.

The maturity argument

Dennis Prager, a syndicated radio talk show host has addressed this “maturity argument” many times. Dr. Prager states things like “marriage breeds maturity” and “after marriage having children breeds even more maturity” and he is absolutely right.

In addition to the fact that marriage does mature people, and so does having children, he talks about the need for people to get married younger and have children younger as they used to in the pre-modern era.

I would add to what he has said that as parents in the 20th and 21st centuries we have messed up (myself include in some ways). Each generation of parents over the last century has grown softer and softer on our children.

We hear people say things like, “we have to let children be children”, which basically means that our children have little to no real life responsibility until they reach 18, besides keeping up with their schooling in most cases. Even then we extend the childhood years with college, where they can party and have more fun for about 4 years before they graduate at 22 and are forced for the first time in their life to take on the full responsibilities of being an adult.

In pre-modern times, the idea of a child hood experience with absolutely no responsibility was a very short period. By the time children were 6 or 7 they were being taught the realities of life.

Boys hunted with their dads at a very young age, and girls learned to cook and make clothing at a very young age. By the time most children reached the age of 10, they knew what a hard day’s work was, the boys knew about hunting, farming and fighting, and the girls knew about caring for infants (helping their mother, or cousins or aunts) and they had seen many births. These girls were excited about the day when they would have their first period, and they were excited about when they would be able to marry and have children (usually around 13 or 14).

God created woman’s ovaries the way they are, and they are not going to “evolve” or “adjust”

Most Christians believe that God created and designed human beings perfectly. That means a woman’s ovaries, and her reproductive peeks as well as her eventual reproductive decline were perfectly designed by God.

So we ought to reject this idea that women’s ovaries just need to evolve to the life choices of modern women (and as Christians we know they won’t evolve or change). The fact is that as a society, we have made policies, laws and other accommodations that completely go against God’s design, whether it be in marriage, the family, and especially in how we come to women’s reproductive issues.

God designed a woman’s body to be bearing children at a young age. I stated in a previous article that the vast majority of Biblical Scholars believe that Mary, the mother of Jesus probably had him at about age 14. This was the normal age that most women had children in pre modern times. I completely realize that this is appalling to most westerners, to think of a 14 year old girl having a baby.

I have a 12 year old daughter, and I could not imagine her having a child in just 2 years.

But in recent years I have had to really come to the conclusion that not all our western values, or even our American values, match with God’s design.

Before we decided as a society that women were not mature enough to have children till they are in their mid-20s, almost all human civilizations knew when it came to women producing, strong and healthy children that “the earlier, the better” was the best way to go.

A woman’s most important function in society

pregnant belly

Before the rise of modern feminism in the mid 1800’s, virtually all civilizations throughout history knew that a woman’s most important function in society was as a wife and mother. I link wife with mother, because societies also realized that women having children out of wedlock, was not good for society.

God’s design was that women would have children with the confines of marriage so that the mother would have protection and provision for the children she would bare.

Whether you are a Christian or not, the facts are unescapable. If women stopped having children, the human race would die out.

Not only do we need women to have children, we need them to have healthy children, strong children and well-loved and care for children. This goal is best achieved by women marrying and having children at a young age.

This completely conflicts with the values and thoughts of our modern society but this is how God designed the world to be.

But women are still having babies, just later in life

Some have responded that there is nothing to be concerned about. After all, women are stilling having babies, just later in life. But the unpopular truth is that woman who have children later in life tend to have fewer children.

In his book “What to expect when no one’s expecting”, author Jonathan Last states gives some startling facts on the coming fertility crisis. To summarize what he says in the book, a society needs women to be having on average 2.1 children in their lifetime, just to keep the population level from dropping. The way they come up with 2.1 is, you obviously need each woman to have two people, one to replace mom, and one to replace dad.

But the .1 comes from the fact that some woman are incapable of having children, as well as the fact that some children dies before they marry and have children of their own. So basically we need a certain about of women to have 3 children to make up for the women who can’t have any children.

America’s fertility rate has already dropped below the 2.1 replacement level, and we are now at 1.93. The only reason our population continues to experience modest growth is because of immigration. Many European countries are even lower than America’s fertility rate.

Mr. Last says that in 1970, the world fertility rate was 6.0. It now sits at 2.52 and continues to decline as less developed nations use more birth control and become more westernized.

While I think Mr. Last offered some great statistics in this book, he like many conservatives did not have the courage to take on the true source of this problem – modern feminism and woman’s rights.

In fact he offers no real solutions in the book, but only shows the problem, and it is a real problem. It is not a liberal or conservative issue, it is not a Christian or non-Christian issue, it is simply an issue of math. We are not having enough children because women are delaying having children so long.

You can find the book on Amazon at:

http://www.amazon.com/What-Expect-When-Ones-Expecting/dp/1594036411

Who cares if the population declines?

I have seen people online, mostly liberal, that recognize these facts that world fertility rates are indeed falling, and they think it is a good thing. After all – man is menace to the planet then we have the whole “urban sprawl” problem. Thy population bomb myth was debunked years ago. The only reason we feel more crowded is because we have chosen to crowd ourselves in cities. If you go a few miles outside any major city and suburban area, you will see millions of acres of uninhabited land.

As Christians God has commanded us to “be fruitful and multiply”. He did not just command us to replace ourselves (have two kids), he commanded us to “multiply”. That means we should be having at least four children per husband and wife.

The non-religious problem with population decline is that economies are based on populations growing – not shrinking. When populations decrease, it decimates towns, cities, states and countries.

One of the dirty little secrets of why we are having all the debt issues in the United States is because our population is not growing at the rate it once did. If we had the population growth we once did, we would not be having the Social Security Crisis we are now currently facing.

Am I saying a woman’s only value is in her reproductive capability?

I am not saying a woman’s only value is in her reproductive capability. But a woman’s most important function biologically (and Biblically I might add), is the bearing and caring for children – her body is perfectly designed for this task. My heart goes out to women who are barren – to use the Biblical term. My second wife is one of these women.

While my first wife was extremely fertile (we had several children together before we were divorced). My second wife was never able to conceive, but her heart’s desire was to have children, as should be the desire of every woman who knows her creator’s design. Now she is a great step mother to my five children. A woman has value in other areas as well, whether she is artistic, or musically inclined, or intelligent and well read, but her abilities in other areas must always take a back seat to her primary biological function of motherhood.

So what is the answer to this crisis?

Am I saying I need to go out and find a husband for my daughter who is 12 year old as I write this in August of 2014? No. But my reason for this is not because I believe my daughter would be wasting her life if she did as women earlier in history did, and married young.

The reason is simply because of the culture she has been raised in it would be too traumatic for her since she has not been raised her whole life preparing for marriage at a younger age as women of old were prepared.

But let me give a scenario that could happen in the future.  What if a Christian man from my Church or another church in my area approached me to court my daughter when she was say 15 or 16? Let’s say he was in his mid 20’s and he was a successful software developer or mechanical engineer making a good living? What if he had a home prepared and could show how he could support my daughter? If I checked him out and met with his friends and family and his church elders and they confirmed that he was a good Christian man would I consider letting my 15 or 16 year old daughter marry him? Yes I would definitely consider that.

In most states marriage is allowable at the age of 16 with parental consent. New York actually allows marriage at the age of 14 with parental consent, and some other states allow marriage at 15 with parental consent.

This what I believe Christian parents should be doing.

Our Christian sons have a different responsibility, Biblically speaking than our Christian daughters.

The primary responsibility that God has designed men for is – to lead in society, the church and the family. Men are built to work, to provide for their families, and they are built to protect them.

The primary responsibility that God designed women for was to be wives and mothers. Women are meant to come along men as soon as possible and bare and raise as many children as they can.

Ours sons should NOT be marrying before they can provide for a wife and family. This would mean that a man should not marry until he has steady work, and a home(or at least apartment). Some men may not be college material, so these young men should be encouraged to take up a skilled trade.

Other young men who are intelligent, should be strongly encouraged to attend and finish college so that they can provide to the best of their abilities for their future wife and children.

Our daughters on the other hand, do not have the responsibility to look for how they will provide for themselves, this is their future husband’s job. God designed our daughter’s to be wives and mothers first and foremost. They should be encouraged to seek out older men(preferably mid 20s) that are well established and can provide for them and their children. As Christians we should be teaching our daughters to seek out good, Godly men that will lead them, provide for them, and protect them.

So while it is abhorrent to many modern Americans, both conservative and liberal, I would see no problem with the idea of my daughter when she is 15 or 16, meeting and marrying a good Christian man(say 23 or 24) who is successful in his business endeavors and who is committed to his church and his God. There is nothing evil, or immoral about such an arrangement. Before the last half century, this would been honored thing for a young woman to do.

Once they are married – we should repeat God’s admonition to humanity to the young couple – “be fruitful and multiply”

Are you against women being educated or having careers?

A logical conclusion that someone might draw from this post, and this line of thinking is, that if women did indeed marry younger (as they still do in many non-western countries) then they will not be educated or have careers.

I am not against women being educated. But where I disagree with our modern society is, a woman’s education should always come second to her primary responsibility of being a wife and mother. Our society has it backwards Biblically speaking, we have made an idol out of education and made it more important than a woman’s first job of being a wife and mother.

So would I have an issue with a teen mom marrying, but then continuing her education from home as she bares and raises her children – of course not. Her continuing education would help her to teach her children, among other benefits it would offer.

As far as women having careers goes – I have written extensively on this subject and you can ready the related posts below to find out what I believe the Bible teaches on this subject. But as with education, a woman working must always come secondary to her primary role as wife and mother, if we want strong families, and a healthy and growing society.

Related articles:

Should women have careers outside the home?

The biological case for polygyny and the marriage of younger women

Why God made woman

Why God made man

 

 

The biological case for Polygyny and marriage of young women

PolygynyAndYouth

Previously I wrote about why polygyny is not only NOT unbiblical, but it was regulated, allowed and practiced by many of the Old Testament patriarchs. But what about the biological case for polygyny? Did God design men’s bodies for polygynous relationships? What about the marriage of young women to older to men?

Imagine that you were able to take a time machine back to a time in human history around 3000 years ago, deep in the Middle East. You meet a traveler who says he is coming back from a trade journey for his master. You ask him about how he became a slave and he tells you that his parents were in poverty, and that they traded him to his master for some cattle. He says this helped his parents to come out of poverty and to build a life for his other siblings.

He asks you to come meet his master. He tells you that his master was a great hero to his nation, and he is a kind and generous man, a man that worships the one true God. In the distance you can see what looks like a small village. You see what seems to be a celebration of some kind so you ask your companion “what are they celebrating?”

He responds that his master is getting married. As you come closer he points out his master and his bride to be sitting on the ground beside him. The man appears to be his mid-40’s while the girl sitting next to him looks no more than 14. This must be a mistake.

You ask him again – “that girl is his daughter right?” He responds – “No she is his bride to be. My master is very excited, she is his 15th wife and he is hoping she will give him his 70th son!” After wiping the shocked look off your face, you ask you’re travelling companion one more question – “What is your master’s name?” He responds – “My master’s name is Gideon”.

The story I have just given you, while fictional, is based on a true Biblical character and based upon what we know of the culture and times most likely happened (minus the time traveler with one of Gideon’s slaves- LOL).

“Now Gideon had seventy sons who were his direct descendants, for he had many wives. His concubine who was in Shechem also bore him a son, and he named him Abimelech. And Gideon the son of Joash died at a ripe old age and was buried in the tomb of his father Joash, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.”

Judges 8:30-32(NASB)

When does a girl become a woman?

While culturally we consider a girl to become a woman at the age of 18, biologically speaking, adulthood is reached when sexual maturity is reached. Before the modern era, a girl became a woman when she experienced her first period (usually around 12 or 13), she was then eligible for marriage and usually her father had her married off not long after this.

Lucien Deiss in his book “Joseph, Mary, Jesus” writes:

“How old could Mary have been? Young girls usually were betrothed as soon as they became a woman.  It was believed they reached puberty at about twelve or twelve and a half. Boys it was believed reached the age if puberty a year later. Marriage could take place one year after puberty a year later. In general, it was held that men could wait until the age of eighteen or twenty before marrying so that they could have time to build a house and plant a vineyard.”[1]

In “Jesus of History, Christ of Faith” we read:

“The women normally married as soon as they were physically able to bear children, which the Law defined as twelve and a half years of age.” [2]

Rev. Dr. Eugene Weitzel stated this about the Jewish view of early marriage:

“As we noted above, the Jews clearly understood that the first command that God gave to Adam and Eve was “increase and multiply” (Gen 1:28). In fact one rabbi firmly believed that “A bachelor is not truly a man at all.” Furthermore, celibacy was looked upon as an anomaly, almost a disgrace.  Now keep in mind that Jesus Christ, a devout, practicing Jew who dearly loved his Jewish faith, grew up with this view of celibacy.  He also knew that his people believed in early marriage.  Many rabbis, even during Jesus’s time, taught that eighteen was the ideal age for marriage for a man but certainly not later than twenty-four. He knew too that girls were ready for marriage as soon as they were physically ready to conceive and bear children, which according to the law was twelve and one-half years. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was probably no more than fourteen years old when she gave birth to the Son of God.” [3]

Zvi Yehuda in his book on Jews that came to Iraq from all over the world for over 400 years writes:

“Where traditional family structure was unchanged, Jewish girls were betrothed by their parents at age 9-11 and married at age 12-13. A Jewish girl who reached the age of fifteen and was still unmarried was considered an old maid with no chance of a husband.  A girl bride was not asked for opinion in choose her mate and parents occasionally married off their daughters to men dozens of years older than the bride.” [4]

The evidence is clear. Both in Jewish tradition and over historical accounts we know that Jews married their daughters off young.  Why? Because of God’s first command to mankind to be fruitful and multiply.  Men needed more time to prepare a home for their wife – but women as soon they became women(had their first period) and passed the age of 12 were usually betrothed or married and most likely had their first child by the age of 13 or 14.

Teenage mothers were the norm before the modern era

As we have previously pointed out, most scholars believe that Mary was 12 to 14 years old when she was espoused to Joseph to be married. They believe she would have been between 13 and 14 when she gave birth to Jesus. While the Bible does not state her exact age, if she were older it would have stated this as it did with Elizabeth (the mother of John the Baptist).  Since the Bible makes no mention of her age, then it is assumed she would have been in the normal first child bearing age of women in that era, which would have been around 13 or 14. Joseph is thought to be a bit older than her (perhaps in his mid-20s or older) because he died well before Jesus’s ministry and Mary was a widow.

Just a note – if you look online there are a few Christians (but a small minority) that have tried to argue with the notion that Mary was a teenage mother and instead argue that she was at least 20 years old as this was God’s age of accountability and God would not have asked her to carry his Son at such a young age.

There are few problems with this theory of Mary being much older. The first problem is that first time mothers in their 20’s were considered to be older mothers, and the Bible would have said something about her older age, like it did with her cousin Elizabeth if she were in her 20’s.  Another problem with the magic “20” number is that in most instances of the Old Testament this applied to men being fully accountable, not to women, and even in the one instance in the book of numbers where men are not specified, it does not specify women either, so the assumption always goes to it talking about men aged 20 or older.

Women were accountable to their father as long as they were in his house. He could override any decision she made, financial or otherwise while she lived in his house. His authority over her then transferred to her husband when she got married.

Some Christians want so desperately to believe, against the evidence of historical and cultural data we have of the period and location, that there is no way Mary could have been a 14 year old mother. But this starts with their pre-conceived notion, based upon our modern western culture we have all been brought up in, that marriage of girls at such young ages is an immoral act.

Bearing and Rearing Children is a young woman’s game

Biologically speaking, a woman’s best time to conceive and bear children is from the time of her first period (for most girls between age 12 and 13) and age 24. After age 24 chances of birth defects and problem pregnancies begin to rise. At age 30, a woman has used or lost 90% of the eggs she will ever have and this is why women in their 30’s typically have a much more difficult time getting pregnant.

The reason that God designed a woman to have children at a younger age, as opposed to an older age(like 30s and 40s) is because of the extreme stress that is placed on the body during pregnancy, as well as the energy and physical stamina that is required to care for and wean a child in their younger years.

What about Sarah and Elizabeth in the Bible?

Yes there are few instances of God miraculously causing older women to conceive, but this was by no means the norm of his design. We cannot take these two special cases and try to make a doctrine that God intends for women to wait until their older years to have children.

“I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.”

I Timothy 5:14(KJV)

A teenage girl might physically able to bear a child, but she is not psychologically ready

This argument does stray a bit from what is strictly a biological topic, but I think it needs to be addressed. I completely agree that most teenage girls in our culture and time period are not psychologically prepared for having children. But that is because our culture babies children in ways cultures of the past did not.

In Jewish tradition, a boy began his journey to manhood at the age of 13, and a girl began her journey in womanhood at the age of 12. While boys were not fully responsible (for taxation purposes, and conscription purposes and some other legal purposes) until they reached age 20, they were in many ways treated as men from age 13 on. Since women did not have the rights men did, a woman was a full woman at the age of 12 and her status and rights did not change from that point forward.

A young 12 year old girl would have witnessed births by many women by the time she reached 12 and would be fully aware of periods, child bearing and birth long before these things happened to her. She would already have been learning about child care well before she reached puberty. Her whole life would have been leading up to the time when she could finally marry and have children of her own.

So in many ways, a 12 year old girl in pre modern times would have had the maturity level of what many 18 or even 20 year old girls have today.

Also we must keep in mind that before the modern era, families took care of other and were much closer. So when a 13 or 14 year woman had her first baby, her female relatives, whether they were cousins, or aunts, or even her mother were all there to help her learn the ropes of motherhood. Today the tribal family structure has all but been eliminated.

Men can father children at any age beyond puberty

Unlike women who ovulate once a month, and are only fertile for about 5 days, the typical man (unless he has a medical condition) is in essence “fertile” every day. A man completely replenishes his sperm every 24 hours. Before recent research, doctors used to tell men to wait every other day to have sex with their wives during her fertile period. Then they discovered that is was in fact better for them to have sex every day, as all the sperm is at its best every 24 hours or so.

A man since he was not responsible for caring for the child, but for the teaching and disciplining of the child, did not need to have the physical strength and endurance that a woman needed in her duties of child rearing, and this is why a man has no expiration date on his ability to produce children.

The fact of God’s creation in human biology is, men are built for fathering multiple children with multiple women at the same time. They are also built for fathering children with multiple generations of women, as their first wives age and cannot have children, they can continue fathering children with younger women.

This is why men have such a stronger sex drive and can compartmentalize relationships with multiple women, much better than the average woman could with multiple men. Not to mention that a man has a never ending supply of child producing sperm. On the other hand, women are designed with a shelf life when it comes to having children. How else do you explain the extreme disparity between the male and female reproductive systems?

What about my own daughter?

As I write this article in August of 2014, my daughter is 12 years old.  I could not imagine her being married at such a young age. But why could I not imagine such a thing? Is it because it would immoral or wrong? The answer is no.

The reason I cannot imagine it is because of the culture I have been raised in and the culture I have raised my daughter in. Because she has not been raised to prepare for marriage at age 12 she is not ready to be a wife and mother yet. Could she be ready in a few years? Perhaps.

Let’s say my daughter was 16 and a wonderful Christian 25 year old man who was a mechanical engineer approached me about courting my daughter.  I was able to check out the church he attended and verify with many people his Christian character.  He makes over 100K a year, owns his own home and can provide for my daughter well. Would I consider letting him court my daughter and possibly marry her as a 16 year old young lady? The answer is yes. 

Just a quick note on the difference between courting and dating.  Dating is when a couple choose one another apart from any parental involvement and they go out alone together doing various activities together.  They may or may not be going out together with marriage in mind.

Dating is a relatively new phenomenon originating in the last century. Before that marriages were arranged either between parents or between the father of the daughter and a potential husband. Courting came on the scene later.  But courting, unlike dating, is always with the prospect of marriage in mind.   Also a big difference between courting and dating is the couple is never alone together.  They always have a family member from one side or even both sides along with them wherever they go.

How does all this apply to us today?

After reading all this, you might say – “so what if before modern times women got married and had babies way younger, and men had many wives – that’s not how are society is structured today, so how does any of this apply?”

There really are two issues here that apply to our modern times, and in this post I will only address one of them, as I believe the other issue merits its own post.

The first issue is the fertility crisis that the world will soon be facing in the coming century. In most modern countries, because women are waiting so long (average age of first time mothers is now around 26 in highly westernized countries) the birthrates in these countries among the indigenous populations has plummeted. Many European countries are far below replacement levels (just having enough babies to keep their population stable) and even the US population only keeps a modest growth because of immigration (legal and illegal). If we did not have the immigration we have now, we would be experiencing population decline.

I will reference this book in another article on this subject, but I highly encourage the reader to check out the book “What to Expect when no one is expecting” by Jonathan Last.

http://www.amazon.com/What-Expect-When-Ones-Expecting/dp/1594036411

The fertility statistics in this book are a real “inconvenient truth” to modern day feminists. We face a much greater threat from dropping fertility rates than any climate change, real or imagined. But I will have more to say about this subject in separate post dedicated to conflict between women’s rights and the survival of the human race.

But the second issue, and the one that this post is primarily dedicated to is the biological capacity of men for polygyny.

Even if practically speaking, we as men in western culture are for the most part living monogamous lives it helps us and our wives to understand ourselves better when we all come to the realization that men are biologically built with the capacity for polygyny.

There are some men who have lower sex drives, and have less polygynous natures than other men, so that they would never desire to act on their capacity for polygyny. But the vast majority of men have a high sex drive, some higher than others, and definitely if our society allowed it would act on their natural polygynous desires and biological capacity of for polygyny.

This is why happily married men still routinely check out other women.

This is why it is not perverted for a 50 year old man to check out an 18 year old woman.

This is why men typically want to have sex multiple times a week, whereas many women would be happy with sex a few times a month.

Man’s capacity for polygyny is not only Biblical, it is also biological.

References:

[1] Deiss, Lucien (1996), Joseph, Mary, Jesus, Liturgical Press, p. 25, ISBN 978-0814622551

[2] Zanzig, T. (1999). Jesus of History, Christ of Faith. Terrace Heights, Winona: Saint Mary’s Press, Christian Brothers Publication. p. 89

[3] Weitzel, Eugene. J. (2010). I Want to Be a Husband and Father for Life and a Catholic Priest Forever. U.S.: Xilbris Corporation. p. 113

[4] Zvi Yehuda, “The New Babylonian Diaspora: The Rise and Fall of the Jewish Community in Iraq, 16th-20th C.E.”, p.97

Related posts:

The biological case for Polygyny and marriage of young women Part 2

Women’s ovaries don’t agree with Feminism

How did God make man?

How did God make woman?

Why polygamy is not unBiblical

Removing the cultural lenses

Why You’re More Stressed by Home Than Work

Surveys and articles like this one from Time are pathetic in my view. Of course being at home can be more stressful than being at work. There are more responsibilities and especially when a mother is raising young children I would totally agree it can be harder and more stressful to be a stay at home mom than a working mom.

I understand the article is trying to address stress issues in both genders, but anyone reading it can see they are trying to say it is better to be a working mom than a stay at home mom.

Doing the right thing is often the harder thing. Taking the easier way out is often the wrong way. Yes ladies you can give yourself an 8 to 10 hour break every day from your children, and have less stress by letting some daycare workers take care of your kids while you have “adult time” at the office. But is this what is best for your child? Is this what God intended? The answer is most assuredly no.

“I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.”
I Timothy 5:14

“…Teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
Titus 2:4-5

God did not say “hey ladies I know being at home can be stressful, especially with young kids, so go drop your daughters off with other women and go have a less stressful time at your career”.

Is pregnancy stress free? Is giving birth stress free? No these things take great tolls on a woman’s body but it is all worth it when a mom holds that young infant child in her arms for the first time.

What studies and articles like this don’t tell women is what they will lose by “relieving their stress”. You lose those special moments with your child. Instead of you being the first person to see your child walk, some day care worker gets to experience that special moment. Instead of hearing your child’s first words, a day care worker gets to hear them.

When you see your child grow up to be a stable and loving adult and you watch them graduate from high school, and maybe college and then get married – all that “stress” you went through at home will have been worth it.

Don’t take easy way out, do the hard work and you will reap the rewards God has in store for you when you follow his design.

Can a woman work outside the home?

photodune-3326876-mother-in-career-s

This question would seem to evoke laughter in the majority of American and Western households today. Why ask such a silly question when we all know the obvious answer is YES!

This is a serious question though, for those in America and across the world who hold the Bible to be the perfect Word of God. There are still millions across the globe who treasure every word of the Bible, and do not believe it teachings are “outdated” or “antiquated”.

But even among those who believe the Bible is the Word of God there is still some debate on this question. The reality is that women have worked outside the home since the beginning of mankind. In ancient times women helped tend the fields, or care for the livestock.

I believe the real question is not really one of a woman working, but of a woman being a “full time career woman” and thus a “part time mom”. I think Barbara Rainey really summarized this issue well in the book “Starting your marriage right” that she coauthored with her husband Dennis:

“I am not opposed to women working outside the home. But I want to discuss the issue of mothers-especially those with young children-devoting time and energy to another full-time occupation.

A majority of mothers now work outside the home either part-time or full-time. Reasons include survival needs, lifestyle needs, and personal fulfillment needs. Some women work because they fear a possible divorce would leave them unable to provide for themselves. Let’s look at what is really taking place in our culture.

Working mothers are not a new phenomenon. What is new is the shift in career focus: from full-time mother with a job on the side to a full-time career while attempting to mother in whatever time is left over.

I don’t believe Scripture supports this notion. A familiar passage in the New Testament summarizes what young wives and mothers are to do: “To love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be dishonored.”(Titus 2:4-5).

Notice the priority of commitments given women in this passage: husband first and children second. Based upon this instruction, I think every women needs to ask herself, “Is a job the best use of my time? Will I have more influence for the future through my employment or through my children?””

Starting your marriage Right, pg 126

All I have to say to this sister in Christ is – AMEN, AMEN and AMEN.

No two Christians are going to agree on everything, and I am sure that Dennis and his wife Barbara would not agree with everything I write on my blog, nor would I agree with everything they write in their books or say on their radio shows. But having said that, I consider them to be kindred spirits in the Lord who are fighting the good fight for the family and the Biblical view of marriage.

I think it is wonderful that not only did Mrs. Rainey give her opinion as elder woman in the Lord, but she backed it up with Scripture. She is even doing what the passage says to do – in this same passage she quotes, guess who are the ones to teach women these things?

Titus 2:3-5(NASB)

Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good,  so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,  to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.”

It’s the older women who should be teaching the younger women these wonderful Biblical truths. But unfortunately, not just in the non-Christian community, but also in the Christian community, feminism is running so rampant in Churches today these truths are all but silenced, instead of being proudly taught from the Scriptures as they once were.

But what about….

So as Mrs. Rainey stated, this is not really about women working outside the home, but about priorities. It is one thing for a mom to work outside the home part time because she has to. Perhaps her husband already works sixty hours a week and he can’t really do more and the bills demand she works, then she must.

But I believe Christian families really have to look at their financial priorities. If a woman is working just to help put food on the table and a roof over her family’s head the Bible does condemn her actions. The Bible never condemns a woman working outside the home for just this reason, God knew sometimes it demanded by the circumstances of the sin-cursed world we live in that woman sometimes have are called on to provide in addition to, or in the absence of a husband.

But the Bible does not release a woman from her duties to the home either. Her husband, her children and her home are always her first priority. That is why I believe it is unfair for a man to have his wife work unless it is absolutely necessary.

Yesterday I heard a Christian’s woman’s heartbreaking story of why she has to work fulltime. Two years after she married her husband some ten years ago he was diagnosed with a brain tumor, he has suffered memory loss and other cognitive abilities ever since and this stops him from being able to work. Her mother helps watch her kids and when she has to travel often her mother will come with the kids and watch them for her while she is working. This woman is a perfect example of why a woman might have to take on the role of providing for her family that normally the husband should be doing.

But the reality is, if we are truthful this is not the case in most instances of women working today. Many women today consciously plan a career and full time work long before they are married. Then when they get married and eventually have children, a few months after the baby is born mom drops her baby off at day care and back to her career she goes. She does this for the next child as well and the probably stops having children(statistics show most full time career women don’t have more than two children).

I know of a man whose wife runs an in-home day care center and he explained how sad this is. He said many of these career moms drop their infants and small children off with his wife at 6 AM each day and most don’t return till at least 6 PM or sometimes 7 PM each night during the week. That means someone else is caring for their infants or small children for twelve to thirteen hours a day!

These are exactly the kind of moms Barbara Rainey is taking about – “Full time career women” and “part time moms”. Yet our society praises this! Women are told this is a fulfilling life!

Just like abortion, I believe many career women block out what they are doing to their infants and small children. They tell themselves “it is for the best, I am setting a good example for my kids, especially my daughters on how successful a woman can be. I am providing a better life for them than if we just had their father’s income. In fact if we had only his income, we would not be able to afford the new cars and the big house and nice family trips, those things are more important than me looking after them right now, I have left them in good hands.” This is what millions of woman across America tell themselves everyday as they go to achieve “great things” in their careers. But does God see this as a “great”? Or is he saddened by this instead? Is this what he meant them for, to leave their mothering and nurturing duties to someone else?

A mother is not just someone who reads a bed time story to her kid each night. Especially in the first few years of life a mother is everything to a young child. So every time that child falls, or is scared, or needs comfort for those 12 hours a day she spends “fulfilling her dreams” – who is the one who comforts them? I can tell you this, it is not the person that God designed for this privilege. A mom is the one is makes the young child their favorite lunch, who reads them stories during the day, who holds them when they are sick or scared. She bathes them, she teaches them about God and the world. A mom is there when her child takes their first step, who hears their first word, in fact moms usually get to see most of their kids “firsts” and they get to deliver the happy messages to Dad.

Instead today many women sacrifice all these beautiful moments for a career, for paycheck. How sad. Instead mom gets to hear second hand from someone else, someone who got to experience the special moments that God meant for her.

So women can’t use their talents?

The next question I am often asked is, do I believe then that women just have to sit home knitting, cooking and cleaning for the entirety of their lives?

No way. Even the Bible shows a woman using her talents in Proverbs:

Proverbs 31:10-31(NASB)

An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. 11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, And he will have no lack of gain. 12 She does him good and not evil All the days of her life. 13 She looks for wool and flax And works with her hands in delight. 14 She is like merchant ships; She brings her food from afar. 15 She rises also while it is still night And gives food to her household And portions to her maidens. 16 She considers a field and buys it; From her earnings she plants a vineyard. 17 She girds herself with strength And makes her arms strong. 18 She senses that her gain is good; Her lamp does not go out at night. 19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hands grasp the spindle. 20 She extends her hand to the poor, And she stretches out her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household, For all her household are clothed with scarlet. 22 She makes coverings for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies belts to the tradesmen. 25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future. 26 She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. 27 She looks well to the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her, saying: 29 “Many daughters have done nobly, But you excel them all.” 30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. 31 Give her the product of her hands, And let her works praise her in the gates.

Some have mistakenly tried to point to Proverbs 31 as showing a full time career woman and this passage shows nothing of the kind. The woman in this passage is intelligent – “she opens her mouth in wisdom”. She is resourceful when she “She considers a field and buys it; From her earnings she plants a vineyard” and when she “makes linen garments and sells them”.

So I would agree with my Christian feminist and Egalitarian friends that this woman is not always at home, however the passage shows the focus of her life is in fact her home. Every one of these things she does is focused on her home. In fact the vast majority of things she does here would allow her to work from home. A few times she may go out to buy things, or plant a vineyard, but in now ways does this show a woman that is gone from her home 40 to 50 hours a week pursing some career and leaving her house undone or duties to her husband, children and home to others.

Just as back then women could run a business out of their home (such as selling fine clothes), so to today women can run businesses out of their home. They can have in-home daycare, do telemarketing and host of other things. They can write books, they can run blog sites.

My daughter who is in the fifth grade (at the time of writing this post) is a very talented writer. Her teachers tell me how she excels in English and creative writing and I am very proud of her accomplishments. I am teaching her though that she needs to channel her gifts and use them in a way that would honor God and his commands.

I encourage my daughter to go to college and expand her writing abilities, but I also tell her that a career outside the home and without a family is not what God teaches in his Word is right for her.

I Timothy 5:14

“I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.”

I teach my daughter than unless she is called to full time Christian ministry, and also called to be celibate in life(as few are called too) she needs to marry and have children.   When we combine the teaching of Titus 2:3-5 with this passage from I Timothy 5, as well as the example of women throughout the Bible going back to the Garden of Eden we see God’s Word is clear on his priorities and design for woman.

Woman are to marry, love their husbands, bear children, love their children, be workers at home, manage the home and be respectful to their husband’s guidance. A husband is not commanded to be a keeper of the home, or to raise children at home, but instead he is to go out and provide for his family. He is called to be the head of his home, and to protect his home.

Conclusion

So no I do not believe every case of a woman working outside the home is wrong. Many are necessary and for good reason. Some women are able to work part-time and not neglect their husbands, their children or their home and in this case a woman working outside the home would be fine. Some women are forced to work, because their husband is either unable, or unwilling to work to provide, or they are a single parent. God understands all these situations.

But a woman who works outside the home, simply to get more material things and because being a house wife and mom are just “dull and boring to her”, should examine God’s Word. A woman who is unwilling to sacrifice her career to care for her children – needs to examine her priorities in light of the Scriptures. She should open her heart to God’s design for her life, only then can she find the true joy that only he can offer. But it will require a surrender to her creator’s will. I pray if you are that woman reading this, you will let God speak to your heart today.