Sunday, March 29, 2009

Free Women

Genesis 2:20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.

Women everywhere in America now do every type of job there is to do, from teacher to fireman, from doctor to governor, with much success. There has been a massive exodus of women leaving their homes to move into the workplace. Could this be freedom?

Everything that God created has a hierarchy to it, from the angels to any pack of animals. Human beings are not excluded from a God ordained order of headship and submission. What happens in a pack if one of the animals leaves to live on its own? The pack will no longer be able to hunt as efficiently or defend itself. What happens to the animal who has left? If he can survive at all, he is not nearly as safe or well fed. There is no one to watch over him while he sleeps; there is no one to help him take down bigger animals for food. It is a difficult life to say the least.

I believe that this can be applied to what happens when the mother of the house leaves to go work. Obviously, it's not exactly the same, but just as God made pack animals to live in packs, God made women to be helpers to men. Women have an extremely important role to play in the family. Without her the family becomes broken, you cannot raise your children if you are not there, and the husband does not get the many benefits that come from his wife's being able and willing to help him in his role as leader.

All of this comes down to submission. There is protection in submission to authority. Every time God tells a person or persons to submit, he then tells the head (leader or master) to love those under him and to treat them well.

There are many different life applications that can come from an understanding of submission. But these two are what seem to be most lacking in America today.

1. Submission to parents
2. Submission to husbands

My wife and I have come to see that girls need to be protected from the world. And sadly, most parents send their daughters off to college where they can no longer be watched over and cared for. God has clearly made women to be under authority. This is why scripture warns so often to protect and provide for the fatherless and the widows, because they have no protection or provision. Those with fathers or husbands have providers and protectors. If daughters go off to college or into the work force, they are either no longer under authority or they submit to the authority of another. Eph 5:22-24 says, "“Wives, submit to your own husbands." It does not permit for wives to submit to another woman's husband, which is what a woman does in the workplace where her boss is a married man.

Somehow, we have come to think that it is good for our girls to go and live by themselves. But that would leave women without a head, and if anything, the bible teaches that women only leave their fathers because they get married (Genesis 24 and 28, Judges 1:12-13, Exodus 22:17, 1 Samuel 17:25, 18:20-21).

God has convicted us about these things. If you are mad after reading this, search the scriptures for yourself, and see if God does not convict you also.


Jami said...

Would you agree to say women should go to college if they live at home under the leadership of their father?

Paul said...

I don't think I would say anyone SHOULD go to college. But the father will be held accountable for any decision made about college (every decision really.. whether or not he "leads"). So it really needs to be prayed about. Plus, I would say it's more than likely a waste of money. Instead, her parents could save that money for her husband (dowry). It would be quite a blessing.

Plus, this question goes into God's principles for handling his money. If you cannot pay outright for college, then God probably isn't wanting you to go. But that's an entirely different post.

Jami said...

I disagree that an education would be a waste of money. Where will our future doctors, lawyers, and teachers come from?

Paul said...

You do need an education for those professions, but I'm mostly trying to convey what the bible says about a woman's role. Those professions have a pretty high time commitment; if a wife has one of those jobs, I cannot see how she is fulfilling her purpose as a help meet to her husband. Of course if the husband were a doctor, lawyer, or teacher, then it might be very beneficial for his wife to have had some or all of the same schooling he did. But on the same token, if she is at the hospital with him, then who is watching and training their kids? There is no way another person can know your kids better and know how to better teach or correct them.

So, I would look at the purpose of higher education. If my daughter wants to take a science or math or photography or any class she has an interest in, by all means, she may. But if she wants to go to school full time to get a degree that she will most likely not use, then I would have to say no. If full time, very expensive education does not help her to be a better mother or helper to her husband, then I do not see God wanting her to do it.

Jennifer said...

I would say that "education" has been narrowly defined by our culture and generation. Learning is incredibly important but the thought that college is the only acceptable avenue of higher education is not only extremely limiting, but it is also not always the best and many times unsuccessful depending on where our priorities lie.
In biblical culture, the passing down Christianity through generations was of utmost importance, which can be seen in the descriptive texts of scripture where God is referred to as the "God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob" and the "God of our fathers." This inheritance of faith was celebrated in reflection of the place God/Salvation was esteemed. In contrast, our culture/generation the transfer rate of Christianity is 30% with 70% of children from Christian homes abandoning the faith during their college years which is incredibly indicative of a lack of protection/authority but also of misplaced priorities when a degree or particular career and the worldly success it may bring is valued over the eternal things of God. If we prepared our children for the transfer of Christianity throughout generations half as well as we prepared them for the SAT we would see a much different statistic.
Christian education should always be evaluated in light of God's will and purpose. Of highest priority should be a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and an expansive knowledge of God's creation and how it works along with how His attributes and character can be seen through the all studies and schooling. Children should be taught that knowledge is at their finger tips and that a constant state of learning is the most prized education one can get. All education should be tested:
1. Does it draw a person closer to God or away from Him?
2. Does it equip them to serve the will and purpose He has called them to?
Another thought, if women returned home to raise the next generation, 50% or more of the jobs now occupied by women would be available to men. Demand for workers would increase which means salaries would rise and once again would be substantial enough to enable the "one income family". Mothers would be enable to daily train their children in the nurture and admonition of the lord and perhaps our transfer rate of Christianity wouldn't look as highly unsuccessful as it currently does.

Jennifer said...

My other thoughts, which will not allow me to sleep so I better get them all out so that I can :), are as follows:
When we talk about the "future doctors, lawyers, and teachers", have we ever stopped to question why those particular professions are so esteemed in our culture? I think it is prudent to do so, as it is reflective of where our trust is and what we value. It could be said that those professions are named because of their prestige or the financial success such careers would afford. However, in the case of teachers, I do not think this could be argued. I think the case is more likely to be that we see these professions as having the greatest sphere of influence. It begs the question, "where are mothers in this list of highly influential professions?" Is it not the "hand that rocks the cradle that rules the world?" Aside from their perceived influence I also think it shows misplaced trust on our part.
To illustrate that statement, let us consider that as previously mentioned 70 percent of children raised in Christian homes fall away from the faith during college. Why is this? In Deuteronomy 7, God warns the Israelites not to give their daughters over to the Canaanites or to let their sons take Canaanite wives, "for they will turn your sons away from following me to serve other gods..." When we turn our children over to the Canaanites of today to be schooled, why are we surprised when 70 percent fall away? In a college classroom, without God as the center of all knowledge and learning, students are daily indoctrinated with secular humanism. Believe it or not this is true even in Christian Colleges today. (If anyone is interested on sources or references for that I can get them some)In personal experience, at first a student is repulsed and emboldened to speak up for Christ as their professors display a completely unbiblical world view, but by the end of year four, after hearing "foreign gods" preached over and over again, one becomes desensitized and actually begins to buy into it. Their world view radically but ever so slowly begins to conform to that of the world's. This is why we are also warned in Deuteronomy 11:18-21 to keep God venter in all that you teach to your children, "Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on your door frames of your houses and on your gates; so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land..." Again He warns us in Proverbs 7:2-3 to keep God's teachings as the center/forefront saying, "Keep my law and my teaching as the pupil of your eye. Bind them on your fingers and write them on the tablet of your hearts."
So, back to how this illustrates our misplaced trust in the future doctors, lawyers and teachers...
As Christian parents when the end justifies the means (ie. the profession justifies us risking our children's salvation)we are misplacing our trust. When we so greatly desire our children to become the world's future physicians to the point that we would risk their relationship with the Great Physician, we are mistaken. When we so greatly desire our children to become the world's future lawyers to the point that we would risk their relationship with the God who wrote the laws into being and through whom true freedom is found indeed, we are mistaken. And when we so greatly desire for our children to become the world's future teachers that we would risk their relationship with the only Rabbi (teacher) that gives life abundantly through his teaching, we are mistaken. And lastly, when we encourage our daughters to be out unprotected, working in the world in a career that will pull their feet out of their homes like the foolish woman in proverbs 7:11, "whose feet do not remain at home" instead of instructing them as we see in Titus on how to be "keepers (literally guards or watchers)of their home", we are mistaken. How can they guard that which they do not dwell in?
I am afraid the church today is in a state much like the Israelites found themselves in living amongst the pagan Canaanites. We have so intertwined our lives in the world, we no longer know what it means to be holy and set apart.

Paul said...

Not to be confused with Paul.. this is Paul.. Keagy

Wow.. ok.. So.. I love you guys and I understand where you are coming from Paul and Jen. Just as there are extremes going both ways in faith, politics, and any other view in life.. I feel that you may be nearing the extreme towards the view of women in the world even though I agree with many of the problems you see. I feel that it is very important for us to protect our children and prepare them to not to be our children, but God's.. so that they may enter the world (Phil 2:14-16, 1 Peter 4:1-4, Mark 16:15) , not be entangled in sin (jms 1:27, 1 john 2:15-17, Phil 2:14-6, 1), and answer Gods will for their lives to live for the Great Command and Great Commission (Matt 22:37-40, Matt 28:18-20). I also feel that education (college) is a way for us to send our children into the world allow them to serve God and grow. Some of the previous scriptures note that through entering the world and experiencing personal sin, we may grow in faith. I don’t know of a place in scripture that says that we should arrange marriages or keep our daughters constantly under our sole, physical protection of our fathers. Today, many women are marrying at a much older age than 20 years ago.. not even compared the age that people were probably getting married thousands of years ago. When using laws and teachings we must also look at the difference in cultures. I believe the world and culture has changed dramatically. Arranged marriages were very prevalent and it is very different from what we experience today.

Prov 7:11 is talking about an evil seductive women who has obviously rebelled against God and most likely her parents. I’m not sure that this scripture is purely stating that she should not have physically left her home.

Jen.. mentioning Titus is great. In Titus 2:4-5, God is urging older women to teach the young women to love their husband and children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, and being subject to their husbands. Just because this verse shows us that women should be “workers at home” does not mean that their home should be their only worries and concerns, but it must held as their greatest responsibility. If a women can have a job and yet still do all these things and honor God. I see nothing wrong with a women to have a job while also staying committed to their home. I work with basically all women. Some of them hold a full-time job and are still able to stay devoted to their home while some of them aren’t. Obviously some professions would not allow a woman to stay devoted to their home, family, and God.

“I am afraid the church today is in a state much like the Israelites found themselves in living amongst the pagan Canaanites. We have so intertwined our lives in the world, we no longer know what it means to be holy and set apart.”

Jen… I am not only afraid of this, but I am fairly confident that this is a true statement. The Church is very messed up as a whole. We have become more worldly than holy and our ability to allow the spirit to flow wildly through the world is very sad. Because of us and our sin we have lost touch of what it means to disciple, have fellowship, pray/study scripture. This effects everyone being raised inside or out of the church. Even though my parents believe in God.. the role they took as parents did not fully teach me how to live like Christ.. It didn’t teach me discipline.. It didn’t allow me to understand the role of a Godly Man and Woman in marriage or in any aspect in the world. The most upsetting thing is that if you compare my parents.. our parents.. to others in the church and the world.. They were probably closer than most in living their role as parents. We need to be teaching our children and instilling these things in them; Acts 2:42, Matthew 28:18-20, Matthew 22:37-40, and so on. Our culture is so far from God.. It should scare the crap out us.

Paul said...

Hey Paul, it's Paul.

I don't know how close you are to your co-workers, but try to see if they feel like they are good keepers of their homes. All of our women friends (give or take) have talked about how they are very stressed out, and feel like they can't juggle it "all." We've heard some women say they are going to try to find a daycare or babysitter to have more time at work!

In Genesis, man sins. As a result of that sin, God curses us. But it is a different curse for men then women. The woman's curse is about pain in pregnancy and pain in child birth, and her desire for her husband, and that her husband will rule over her. The man's curse was very simple in comparison, he must work, and will eat by the sweat of his brow.

In our culture today, it seems that women have fought for, and have attained our curse! And now even Christian women are spending most of their time outside the home to "bring home the bacon." Even one of our pastors (at a church we use to attend) started staying home full time while his wife worked full time!

We believe that women have an all important job. God has made them special for raising children and keeping the home. It seems to me that women's desire for their husbands has won out, and they now are "free" to work, and most are more of a leader than their husbands. It makes me hurt for their children and for the women who have burdened themselves with our curse.

Jennifer said...

You can find and exegetical defense of woman as "keeper at home" or the greek "oikourous" here if you are interested:

In reference to, "I don’t know of a place in scripture that says that we should arrange marriages or keep our daughters constantly under our sole, physical protection of our fathers."

Neither Paul or I would argue that we should still have arranged marriages. We do believe that the father should be involved which is the sole reason that the tradition that our culture practices today of the father being asked for his daughter's hand in marriage as well as the "Who gives this woman..." section of a wedding originated. Even our culture acknowledges a father's role in passing care of his daughter on to her husband.

As far as our culture being different today in regards to marrying age, and the typical dating model that we see as part of the culture, I would argue that our culture would be better off to strive closer to the biblical "old fashioned" model than closer to that of the worlds. Today's culture doesn't shape scripture, scripture should shape today's culture. As a resource, if you are interested, I recommend the book, "What He Must Be" by Voddie Bauchaum. He describes in detail Old Testament culture and how it should be looked at when living in a New Covenant World and what laws were really done away with after Christ's death and which principles stand.

Matthew 5:17-20

Jennifer said...

Grr... the html link didn't post the whole url. I will try it again:

I had to break it into sections but if you piece them together- it should get you there. :)

Paul said...

Paul.. its Paul
When reading people’s interpretation of biblical understanding I am somewhat hesitant to believe exactly what they say. When studying a subject I try to use scriptures from both the old and new testament to come to a better understanding of the topic. This is why I want to look other places in the bible to confirm what this guy is saying.

From looking at Genesis 2:
Women was the last piece to God’s creation.. creating a helper for the man to complete his work to cultivate and keep the garden. Women’s curse for their sin was a significant increase in pain of child birth. God states that her desire will be for her husband and that he will rule over her.

Man and women was now also broken from eternal life and death now existed for them. Man’s curse seems to be the difficulty of preparing and producing produce and food from the land. The difficulty of work will be greatly increased from now on.

I am reading from the New American Standard Bible which can sometimes be difficult to read, but is very literal and accurate. If I am missing something.. please let me know.

It seems that in Genesis 2 the only responsibility and purpose God gave and cursed to man vs women (this vs that) was the increase in childbirth for women.. and an increase in the difficulty of work. God gave the woman to man for the purpose to be a helper to man and that the man should rule over her and be her leader.

Roman 7:2 reiterates mans rule over women. “For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living.”

1 Corinthians 7:8 says to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I (single). But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

1 Corinthians 7:25-40 .. now this scripture is very long, so I will give my short understand of the meaning.. Paul firsts notes that what he says isn’t a direct order from God, but he gives his opinion as one that is trustworthy from the Lord. Paul encourages us to not marry.. and basically to encourage our daughters not to marry unless they can not contain their urges. So.. after reading this scripture I would think that arranged marriages shouldn’t be planned, so that our daughters and sons may have the opportunity to live more for God instead of living for the world.

1 Corinthains 11:7-8.. again it shows the role of man over woman

Genesis 24:10+ talks about how women would leave the house to do work (getting water from the well). When looking at the story of Rebekah, we may say that it is ok for women to leave the house to serve man. I can’t find scripture that actually agrees with this. There are many stories of people and how they lived their life.. They were sinners and did not always answer God’s calling in their purpose of life. I feel that if we look at a lifestyle or story of someone’s life.. we can not expect their actions to be honoring of God unless it is spoken as if this person was living within the perfect will of God in that part of their lives.

1 Corinthians 14:34.. “Women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak , but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says. If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church.”

This verse is showing that men should be the leaders and preachers in the church. I am not sure if this applies to bible studies and other matters in the church, but it shows that man should be the leader and teacher of God. If a woman has a problem with something happening in the church or has a question that relates to the church, they should learn and ask through their husbands (men should rule in leadership over women).

Titus 2:3+ tells us that older women should be active in teaching the younger women. They should teach them how to love their husbands, their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind and being subject to their husbands…

It is obvious that it is woman’s responsibility to keep a godly home for their husband and children. There is nothing that should keep a woman from fulfilling this role in their life. This verse doesn’t seem to set any rule against a women having a job outside of the home.. but if they aren’t able to do their work with a job outside.. they are sinning and rejecting God’s calling on their life. Even though many women are not answering this calling.. I still believe that it is possible to have a job at both home and outside of the home. I feel that it would be impossible with children at a young age.

Paul said...

I mostly agree with you. If a woman is able to be a helper to her husband and a keeper at home, then an outside job is fine. I'm not sure that it's possible to do. I think she should help her husband in his job, and she can run a business from her home (like selling clothes, or soap, or some other product, etc.). Plus there's the whole thing about her being under the authority of another man other than her husband. It can easily lead to unintended consequences.