Biblical Reasons For Being At Home

personal discoveries

(You might like to read Part One: Why Would I Want To Leave Home?)

In looking for Biblical instruction about the unmarried daughter’s role, something that really got my attention were verses like Colossians 3:20, which says “Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord,” and verse 18 of the same chapter which says, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.”

Obviously there is a principle here that a daughter who is a child is supposed to be in obedience and submission to her parents and a wife is supposed to be in obedience and submission to her husband.  So then does it make sense that a young lady who is no longer a child and not yet married, should be independent and submitted to no one?  According to Scripture, the answer is no.  In Numbers 30 we find that a father has spiritual authority over his unmarried daughter and can protect her from making a foolish vow or commitment, just as a husband has authority to protect his wife from doing the same.

We find several references to an unmarried daughter being in her father’s house in that same chapter, and in Leviticus 22, we also read that if a woman was divorced or widowed, she was to return to her father’s house as she was in her youth.  While these passages would seem to be a clear indication that an unmarried daughter remained in her father’s house, I think it is also important to look at the Scriptural examples that we have.  Here are some of the unmarried daughters that I discovered:

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  • Genesis 19; we find Lot’s daughters were in his house.
  •  Genesis 24; we find Rebekah serving her family and in so doing, she ended up serving the man who was to introduce her to her husband.
  • Genesis 29; we find Rachel caring for her father’s flocks.
  • Exodus 2; Zipporah and her sisters were also caring for their father’s flocks.
  • Judges 11; we find Jepthah’s daughter in his house.

I also found that the only Biblical examples we have of unmarried women living on their own, was Rahab in Jericho and the two harlots that brought the baby to King Solomon.  In saying that, I have to add the disclaimer that I am not accusing a woman who lives on her own of being a harlot!  Far from it!  But I do find it interesting that the only Scriptural examples of unmarried women who were not in their father’s homes were those of ungodly women.

But I think the most convincing passage is Titus 2:3-5, which says, “the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things — that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.”

Everyone is familiar with these verses, they are probably quoted more often than any other verses relating to a woman’s Biblical role.  I always understood them to mean that the older women are to teach the young wives how to love their husbands and children and keep their homes, etc.  But a brief study of that passage will reveal that the word for “young women” simply means “young, youthful, or recently born” … it does not indicate wifehood at all.

Our family came to realize that these things the young women were to learn, are things that must be practiced.  They are not accomplished overnight.  How can we expect a woman to train herself for a career, to practice being independent and self-sufficient … and then suddenly she is married and must submit to her husband and be a keeper of her home?  Personally, I feel that this verse is referring to the unmarried young women.  They are the ones that should be learning to love their husbands and children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good and obedient to their husbands … so that once they reach that stage of life, they will have the necessary training and practice for a smooth transition into the role of wife, mother and homemaker.

The exciting thing is – these are things that can be learned at home!  You won’t accomplish these traits by paying thousands of dollars of tuition for four years on a college campus.  And you can’t practice being a homemaker while working a regular, eight hour a day job.  But most young women are provided with the ideal circumstances for learning and practicing these aspects of Godly womanhood … and that is their homes and families.  What better way to learn to love and obey your future husband, than to treat your father in this way?  What better way is there to prepare to love your children, than to practice this with your own siblings?  What better place is there to learn how to take care of a home?  And think about all the things that you can learn and study, whether it be character traits, special skills, etc!

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This is why I am convinced that my place as an unmarried daughter is in my parents’ home, under their authority, serving my family.  It is the perfect training ground to prepare me for my own home and family one day.  Some people may think that I have a very narrow vision for the future, and in some ways, I do.  I believe that a woman should be a keeper at home, whether married or unmarried.  It is common to hear people say that you can be anything you want to be.  Just believe in yourself, dream big, and you can do whatever you want to do.  But this is not a Scriptural mindset.  Titus 2:5 says that the young women are to learn these things so that the word of God is not blasphemed.  I do not believe that it is pleasing to the heavenly Father when women do not fulfill the role for which He created them.  When we do not fulfill the roles for which we were created, we cannot expect positive results.

In saying all that, I must add that while I feel very strongly about what I believe to be right, I also know that there are many exceptions to the rule.  We live in an imperfect world and are surrounded by imperfect people and imperfect situations.  I know there are some girls who do not have fathers to provide for them, and there are other girls whose fathers want them to work or go to college.  I believe that each family and individual must decide how to walk out the convictions the heavenly Father has given them and it is not our place to judge whether they are doing it correctly or not.  This path is going to look different for each family, which brings me to the next topic I want to address … what does a daughter at home do?

(stay tuned for Part Three: What Do You Do With Yourself All Day?)

The Battle With Fear

The Battle With Fear

“… as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.” 1 Peter 3:6

In the passage above, we see that it is a blessing to be considered a daughter of Sarah.  But there are two requirements:

  1. doing good,
  2. not being afraid.

We have ample opportunities to practice both of these actions every day.  All throughout the day we can “do good”.  There are many opportunities to serve others.  We have many opportunities to choose to be kind … or to respond in irritation.  There are many opportunities to choose to be joyful … or to be heavy-hearted.  We can be thankful … or ungrateful and unsatisfied with what we have.  We can speak words of encouragement and life … or we can complain and bring discouragement.  Daily we are given opportunities to “do good”.

In the same way, all throughout our day we can overcome fear.  I think one of the biggest problems with fear is how well it disguises or hides itself.  Fear slinks behind wisdom and “common sense”.  In some areas in which the Heavenly Father has asked us to walk by faith, like home-birthing or trusting Him for our healing, fear tries to hinder us by questioning the “wisdom” or “common sense” of our choice.

Fear tries to influence daily activities like being overly concerned about what our children may get sick from, or play with, or touch (have any of your children ever picked up bird feathers off the side of the road?).  Bad weather can strengthen fear.  Different conversations with others, especially about world events, can feed fear.  If our husbands are delayed without an explanation, we can give fear an opportunity to paint a vivid picture in our mind of him being involved in a 40-car pile up.  Financial stresses or health concerns are often magnified by fear.  And if by chance you listen to the radio or watch TV or see things on the computer, there is no end to the ability of fear to attach itself to your thoughts.

Something about fear: it is a very sneaky entity.  I often am not aware that fear is present and motivating me, until I notice an old familiar yucky feeling within me.  Sometimes it feels like confusion.  Sometimes it feels like despair and hopelessness.  Sometimes there is a lack of peace.  Whenever I notice I am feeling these things, I start to question why.

It does not take long to realize that fear has been whispering lies into my ears.  At that point, I rebuke the fear.  If I don’t feel any better, I ask the Heavenly Father where I let in fear … where did I open the door?  The Heavenly Father reveals fear’s entry door and I then repent for allowing it an in-road.  After repenting, I pray and tell it to leave me.  I then ask the Heavenly Father to come fill any areas within me, that had been occupied by fear, with His Holy Spirit.  It is an enjoyable and freeing experience.

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”  – 2 Timothy 1:7

The battle between faith and fear rages on.  Which side will you empower?

The Battle With Fear

Will You Color With Me?

Will You Color With Me?

“Hannah, will you color with me?” my nine-year-old sister Lydia posed the question and I hesitated to reply.  Part of me wanted to agree, knowing that I had not spent much one-on-one time with her recently but the other part of me was pondering a mental to-do list.

After coming back from Israel at the end of July, I had resolved to try to delegate some of my responsibilities to willing volunteers and have more free time to focus on my family and projects that I simply wanted to accomplish, not had to accomplish.  But I had to get prepared and organized to be able to do that!  There were emails to respond to, a few blog posts to complete, some pages on the dog website that needed updating, pictures from Israel that needed to be organized and uploaded, not to mention all the design/layout working with Shining Stars Magazine and the Hebrew language lessons to prepare.  It was nearly suppertime and I had been busy all day long … if I was going to stop “working” for a little bit, the most relaxing thing I would want to do was to read a book.

All of this rushed through my mind in a few seconds but as much as I felt the need to accomplish these tasks, I knew that the better decision would be to stop and spend time with my baby sister.  So without allowing myself to analyze any further, I sat down at her coloring book and was handed a green pencil.

Green – my favorite color.

I began shading in the tree and talking with Lydia, or rather … listening to her talk.  She showed me the picture that she and Abigail had colored and apologized that our picture didn’t have quite as many nice things as that one.  Then she talked about the one that she and Sharon had colored and showed me where Sharon had signed her name in Hebrew.  As she prattled on, I made an effort to be an interested listener but I couldn’t quite get the to-do list out of my mind.  Then she said it:

“Thank you for coloring with me. I like spending time with you!”

Will You Color With Me?Have you heard the phrase “like a brick between the eyes”?  That is what it felt like.  I like spending time with her too … why is it such a challenge to find the time for it?

This is my baby sister – the one who treated me like a second mother.  The one who was a toddler as we moved five times within approximately a year, including to Israel and back to the States.  I will forever remember how she would relax when she felt overwhelmed by all the activity or unfamiliar faces.  She would place her lambskin on my shoulder, stick her chubby index finger into her mouth and rest her head on me!

As my coloring pencil moved across the page, I pondered how I could let so many other things prevent me from spending time with my little sister and make her feel that she was not as important as “everything I have to get done”.  How many times had she, or one of the other children, asked me to color, or to play a game, or to go for a walk, or ride bikes, and my response had been, “I’m really sorry but I need to work on … fill-in-the-blank.  Maybe later …”

One of these days, YHWH willing, I am going to leave this home to go into my husband’s home and have my own family.  I know beyond any shadow of doubt that I am going to regret not investing more time into my siblings.  I can begin to remedy that by changing habits now but I know that I will be sorry that I neglected to spend more time with them.

Will You Color With Me?

Dear sisters, let me encourage you to spend time with your siblings.  They look up to you – or at least, they want to.  If your actions have caused a breakdown in the relationship to the point that they do not respect you, this is the time to rebuild and restore what was lost.  Little people look up to big people and they want to be noticed by them.  It makes them feel special.  Whatever their outward actions may look like, I assure you that deep down inside, they want to be your friend … they want to spend time with you … they want you to like them.  You have the ability to influence their lives for better or for worse – please don’t waste this precious time that has been given to you.

I feel like I am forever saying “maybe later …” to my siblings.  My hope and prayer is to change that and when they ask me to spend time with them, to stop saying “maybe later …” and start saying “right now!”  I encourage you to do the same.

“Hey Lydia, do you want to color?” 🙂