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Reconstructionists and leaders in the Homeschool Movement have been very vocal about the role of women as “keepers at home.” Is this completely Biblical?
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This article is the third article related to Reconstructionism, the Homeschool Movement, and women.
The first article, Homeschooled Adult Daughters Held Captive at Home, Prevented from Getting College Education, discusses how some homeschooling parents interfere and prevent their daughters from going to college, essentially holding them captive at home to be “stay-at-home” daughters. The Homeschool Movement has made the “stay-at-home daughter” a noble concept.
The second article asks the question, Are Daughters the Biggest Threat to the Christian Patriarchy Movement and Reconstructionism? This article takes a look at trend of building the father/daughter relationship by marketing this idea in books, videos, retreats. I now believe the focus on the father/daughter relationship is an attempt to sell their daughters on their future “position” in the home as homemakers or “keepers at home.” If daughters do not embrace this concept, the future of Reconstructionism is at stake because it requires adult daughters to procreate and adopt these ideas to keep the ideology extended throughout the generations.
Today, I want to continue the discussion on raising daughters in the Homeschool Movement, but will extend it to discuss wives as homemakers in this Movement.
Raising Homemakers is a blog “dedicated to inspiring, teaching and blessing mothers who have an interest in raising their daughter in godliness and preparing them in the arts of homemaking to the glory of God.” It appears to be a pretty popular blog when I checked the Alexa ratings. I spent a considerable amount of time reading blogs like this when I was “in” the Homeschool Movement. My frequent hang-out was the Titus2.com forum by Steve and Terri Maxwell, which is no longer in existence, but they still maintain a blog at the site.
Yesterday, I found a post at the Raising Homemakers blog written by Kathy, a mother, giving advice on important skills daughters should learn before marriage in an article entitled, Before You Give Her Away. The skills mentioned are important ones. I would teach these skills not only to my daughters, but to my sons as well. They include:
- how to do laundry
- how to make an apron (this one made me laugh, I’ve been a homemaker for 28+ years and have probably donned an apron 10 times)
- how to clean house
- how to cook
- how to grow a garden
- basic auto maintenance
- basic money management/budgeting
Financial advice included how to budget and live on a budget for a year, how to fill out tax forms, etc. She says this is important because, “The husband may choose to handle the money and business, but she NEEDS to know how to do it and be willing, especially if he were to die before her.” (bolded by JA)
The author makes mention of quilting, crocheting, or cake decorating as ways to make money from home, if need be.
So, let me get this straight. It’s important for daughters to know how to handle the money and also have money-making skills like quilting or cake decorating. So, if her husband dies, she will know how to handle the money she makes . . . . . from where? Quilting or cake making or crocheting?? Really???
We all want to give our children a good start in life and that includes the skills and character they will need for marriage and family life.
The normative is that most women will get married and have children. According to Scripture they are to be a keeper of their home; a ruler of their home. This is their primary way of being their husband’s helper. (Titus 2)
We want our daughters to be a blessing to their husband, to help him take dominion of the earth for God’s glory.
In the event that they do not marry, these skills will only enhance their lives!
(Pssst . . . . in case you missed it, the “take dominion of the earth” phrase is coded language, screaming: RECONSTRUCTIONIST. It’s interesting, when you are in this Movement, you may not even notice the wording, I think I have the lingo down now. )
Ok, back to the topic of women – – – I get concerned when we have whole movements sucking people into their rhetoric and telling people how to live based on one specific phrase in the Bible, rather than from the Bible in its entirety. This is what I have seen in the Homeschool Movement.
The author mentions Titus 2 in reference to women. I checked Titus 2 and this is the only reference to women in the chapter:
Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Titus 2:3-5
The Homeschool Movement puts a whole lot of emphasis on words/phrases like: homemakers, keepers at home, stay-at-home mothers, stay-at-home daughters. Many blogs have jumped on this “keepers-at-home” bandwagon and there are scores and scores of blogs perpetuating the same kind of teaching. I believe this stems from that sole phrase in Titus 2 ,”working at home,” and it dominates their whole philosophy of what the Homeschool Movement believes as far as a wife/mother’s role and responsibility in the family.
It is important to note that so much of the focus on wives in the Homeschool Movement refers to wives being at home. However, if you take a look at the Proverbs 31 woman, this stellar Proverbs 31 woman is knowledgeable about real estate and buying fields. You can’t do that sitting at home, can you? It says she seeks out wool and flax. I don’t have any wool or flax growing in my home. This is obviously done away from the home. It says the Proverbs 31 woman’s merchandise is profitable. I don’t imagine her house to be a makeshift market. She must go out of her house to sell her wares, in addition to gathering her food from afar.
Reader, Anonymous 2, had this to say about the skills required for Proverbs 31 women:
Well, the Bible has very high requirements for women:
Proverbs 31 alone…
1. Run a profitable import/export business
2. Manage a staff
3. Purchase commercial real estate from her profits
4. Purchasing raw goods for manufacturing
5. Runs a manufacturing facility
6. Active selling her manufactured goods.
(Notice that “profits” and “earnings” and “selling” are mentioned many times in this passage.)
Christians ought to make sure their daughters all get MBA’s if they take Scripture seriously.
So, my question is this – why are the leaders in the Homeschool Movement remiss in mentioning other ways for women to earn money outside the home like the Proverbs 31 woman? Does the Proverb 31 woman not meet their standards? Why not? She seems pretty amazing to me. Is the Homeschool Movement hand-selecting only a specific phrase in one section of the Bible to promote their agenda, resulting in sequestering women to the home, even adult unmarried women?
I have no doubt that if the Proverbs 31 woman’s husband died, she would be able to take care of herself and her family. She had marketable skills and was respected in the community.
But what about the Titus 2 woman (the woman who bases her role solely on Titus 2)? I doubt many women who follow the Titus 2 “working at home” model would be able to have financial security should they encounter financial hardship, unemployment, disability or death or divorce of spouse. Money earned from cake decorating and crocheting or quilting would not make much of a dent in a family’s budget to be of real assistance.
It is my opinion that the wives and young adult women connected with the Homeschool Movement are not getting a full picture of God’s potential for them that we see in the Bible. They are only getting a limited picture based on the one phrase in Titus 2.
If you are a mom or a single adult woman who has been involved in the Homeschool Movement, I encourage you to find women in scripture and see for yourself. Women were not stuck at home, they were free to use their gifts, to earn money, to minister to others, to spread the gospel, etc. Our lot in life need not be limited to raising children, cake decorating, crocheting, and writing homemaking or stay-at-home daughters blogs. Sure, it’s good to have our family and home as primary focus, but the whole world is open to us, our talents, and creativity. At least that is what my Bible says. Ladies, let’s set this record straight once and for all.
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