Monday, January 4, 2010

What are We Teaching Our Daughters (and our sons)?

Homemaking Internship by Carolyn Mahaney

I sent this article out in an email to all parents of our church, but I thought I'd post it on here as well. This is a relatively short article about the importance of teaching our daughters the lost art of "homemaking." I predict that some of you reading this will cringe at that thought--saying that we've entered into a more modern era where gender roles aren't what they used to be. So it's too "old school" to teach our daughters to care for children, make meals, serve their husbands, etc. And I can understand a bit of where you are coming from. But Mahaney--and myself--are not saying that it is immoral for women to work outside of the home or for men to do the dishes. What she--and I--are suggesting though, is that God has given women (and men) a unique role in the family. And we do not pull that idea out of thin air.

This is just one example of a biblical passage on the issue, but read these words from Paul to Titus in Titus 2:3-5--

"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."

I won't launch into an extended explanation of the text, but a few notes...Older women are to "teach" younger women how to be good wives and mothers. This most naturally would take place in the home...They are to "train" them, which implies that their instruction is to be over the long-haul rather than just one-time lessons...And whether we like the concept or not, Paul does tell Titus that young ladies should be taught how to "work at home" and "submit to their husbands." These are not just roles that chauvinistic men have imposed on women, but are part of biblical femininity. They are beautiful in God's sight and should be taught to our daughters.

Disclaimer: Can a woman work outside the home and still be a "homemaker"? Yes. Although, honestly, I don't know that this is the ideal if it is possible to avoid it. And can a man help with dishes, laundry, or dinner and still be biblically "manly"? Of course! I do those things....But the Bible does depict our genders as having different roles within our families. And I think we need to let Scripture inform our views more than our culture.

So...if you have a daughter, moms make sure you are following Titus 2 and teaching your daughters the beautiful honor of homemaking. Don't let them enter adulthood without any training or knowledge about these things. Our culture might frown upon trying to teach her such things, but God does not.

And of course, fathers you need to teach your sons the honor and art of leading, providing, etc.

So read the article linked above and let me know what you think!

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