Raising Girls Who Long to be Keepers at Home

As we sit around the breakfast table, ten little girls and myself, I listen to their dreams; dreams of homes, motherhood and babies, lots of babies. These girls aren’t ignorant of the difficulties.  All but the youngest  have helped and watched as their mamas struggle through morning sickness and the exhaustion that comes with pregnancy, they’ve changed diapers, cleaned up toddler messes, had belongings ruined and helped care for cranky younger siblings and yet their dream is to be mothers, mothers to as many children as God is willing to bless them with.

Why?

I suspect that it helps that they are generally surrounded by women who love God and are striving to embrace God’s calling on their lives (Titus 2:3-5).  I also suspect that it helps that they are somewhat protected from the world’s message that this life somehow doesn’t measure up and so they are willing to reach for a reality that is bigger and more blessed than anything that the world offers.

The world shouts “Find yourself”, “Don’t waste your talents” “Make sure to get your ‘me time’ “, “A fulfilled life results in a paycheck or community recognition.”

God whispers, “Whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” “Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her.”

But mostly I suspect that God has been gracious to our family and has turned those little hearts toward home and I pray that He who has begun a good work will be faithful to complete it.

And so I’m surrounded by little girls who are reaching for a life of service and I rejoice that I’m blessed to have an opportunity to show them the beauty, joy and amazing blessing that flow from that life.

 

 

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51 Responses to Raising Girls Who Long to be Keepers at Home
  1. Cheryl @Treasures from a Shoebox
    May 3, 2011 | 9:07 am

    We have a few of those girls in our home (I have 7 daughters). People are often amazed at how each of our girls adore children; always ready to help a mom, always willing to play and care for toddlers, always excited to hold an infant. Their love for children encourages and inspires me!

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  2. Catherine
    May 3, 2011 | 9:24 am

    I love this! I am only blessed with three kids, that is all God had in store for me, unfortunately. I bet that if one of those girls said mama I want to go to school and be a doctor, to make sick little kids well, etc – you would also be supportive? I think it is about letting our kids follow their calling also, you just never know what He has in store.

    Catherine

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  3. Diana
    May 3, 2011 | 9:34 am

    The adjectives you used in your last sentence explains why they feel the way they do. Good job mom!

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  4. Rachael
    May 3, 2011 | 9:55 am

    I love this post! I pray each and every day that my little girl (soon to be girls) will grow up to be a loving wife and mother! I also agree with the struggle of fighting off what this world tells us our lives should measure up as. My older sister is not a Christian and she often lectures me on my “earning potential” and why I should work outside the home. I strongly disagree and am thankful for each and every day that I am blessed to be home serving my children and husband! Thanks for the encouragement and reminder of what God truly calls us to be as women! Enjoy those sweet girls and someday I’m sure you’ll be able to enjoy lots of grandchildren!

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  5. Beth@ Acorns and Oaks
    May 3, 2011 | 10:33 am

    Kimberly, I am curious as to what your plans are for your girls after home educating for high school. Our oldest is just a bit younger than yours, and this is something that has been on our hearts. Great post!

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  6. Heather
    May 3, 2011 | 10:53 am

    thank you for sharing. I was a little girl that wanted to grow up and be a Mama more than anything else, but pretty soon, I figured out that when people asked “what do you want to be when you grow up?”, that’s not the response they wanted to hear.
    I am trying to raise little girls who aren’t ashamed to say that. It’s hard…surrounded by a world that says that it isn’t good enough. Thank you for the encouragement :)

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  7. Nicki
    May 3, 2011 | 11:00 am

    I love it! My daughters and I are always talking about things they can do that don’t involve college. I do NOT want to send them to college.

    We are almost finished reading through Beautiful Girlhood, and then we will be starting Joyfully at Home together. I’m looking forward to it!

    I am always encouraging the girls to live at home as long as they like instead of having the “leave home at 18″ mentality. I look forward to sharing an adult friendship with them (and all of my kids) at home.

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    Lynn Reply:

    Hello Nicki-I’m curious as to why you don’t want to send your girls off to college? If they are never meant to marry and have kids, are they to live with you forever? What will they do to support themselves if they don’t marry (whether living with you or not)? Having an adult friendship with your girls is a great thing to strive for but it’s not mutually exclusive from them moving out and starting a life of their own! I would hope that if they do choose to move out at 18 or beyond that this is an option for them with your blessing.

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    Nicki Reply:

    Lynn,

    I apologize for not making myself clear. I never said anything about my girls being “never meant to marry and have kids.” I just want to encourage them to stay home UNTIL marriage. We would prefer for them to find other means for education than college (and this is becoming more and more of an option) if they actually need education.

    I don’t necessarily feel that a college education is for everyone. I have one, and I don’t use it. My husband doesn’t have one, and he supports a family of 7 anyway.

    What I hope is for my girls to ultimately marry and have a home and family of their own. Until that time, they will be encouraged to live at home with us, pursuing their interests and/or education while still being part of the family.

    It’s a big, ugly world out there, and we want to provide a safe, loving home for our children (and that also includes the boys) for as long as necessary.

    My oldest is very artistic, so she is already leaning toward pursuing cake decorating, music, or some other artisitc pursuits that would allow her to earn an income if necessary.

    I hope I’ve cleared that up. I never intended for my daughters to be forced into old-maid-dom. : )

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    Lynn Reply:

    Thanks for explaining further. I have heard the not wanting to send our daughter to college comment a lot recently and it makes me wonder where people are coming from on this issue. Another family noted that they would not send their daughter out into the secular world of college so I was curious about your take on this. You said that you don’t think college is for everyone (I agree) but if your daughters are interested in obtaining a college degree are you against this? I know several people on here have mentioned obtaining a degree on-line from home which is an interesting thought if one wants to keep their kids away from the mayhem on a college campus. I agree-it is a scary world out there!

    By the “never meant to marry and have kids” I meant what if that is God’s plan for your daughters (not that you wished this upon them)? I have run across many nice, Christian, homeschooling families where their mindset seems to be one where their daughters don’t have many plans beyond high school except to wait for Prince Charming to come along so they can get on with the business of being wives and mothers (that sounds snarky and I don’t mean it to be but I am a little taken aback by this attitude as this lifestyle is very different from what I’m used to.)

    When I hear this, I think of the numerous women I know who did not marry until they were in their 30s or 40s (not because they didn’t want to!) and I wonder what these young girls plan to do with themselves if they are in a situation where Prince Charming doesn’t arrive until they’re 50!

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    Nicki Reply:

    Lynn,

    My prayer for all of my children is that they will follow God’s plan for their lives, and we regularly talk about what that might be. I also feel sure that God will reveal to my husband and me what that plan is, and how to help our children follow His lead.

    To that end, I don’t spend too much time worrying about or planning exactly what they will do. They already know they are welcome and even encouraged to live at home until they start their own family, or are otherwise ready to be on their own. We just want to assure them that they aare not expected to move out at 18 as so many others do.

    As for college, if any of my children feel led into a life or profession that requires higher education, we will not stand in their way. However, college is not the only option, or even the number one option for our family. : )

    I would also like to echo the recommendation for the book So Much More by Ana Sophia and Elizabeth Botkin. I think it would help explain the mindset that you see revealed in this post and in the comments.

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    Lynn Reply:

    Thank you for the reminder about not spending too much time worrying or planning. I am a big organizer/planner-a wonderful life skill to have. . . and one that often gets in the way of allowing the Lord to have his way with my life. :-)

    Laura Reply:

    I’ll throw in a comment too– my mom raised the exact same desire in my heart (to be a wife and mom), but I went to college first and became a teacher (someone who plays a similar role in childrens lives). While I went to college, I lived at home. The two (college and living at home) don’t have to be exclusive!

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  8. Andrea
    May 3, 2011 | 12:38 pm

    My daughter is just a tiny one right now but I hope that if she desires to be a mom, wife, homemaker, or career woman that she will feel confident enough in her own decision that nobody will bring her spirit down. I was raised being told that you get a job when you grow up and was not shown how to keep care for a house. It was a huge shock to me when I moved out and had to learn basic household jobs on my own. I panicked even more when my husband asked me to stay home with our children when I was pregnant with #2. I hope that I will be able to show all of my children that there are many happy ways to live life.

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  9. Deven
    May 3, 2011 | 12:51 pm

    Great Post!

    After I married & began to have children, I had to fight feminist expectations inside myself. It’s amazing that even when raised in a wonderful pastors’ home with a mother who was a SAHM. That a world view (via public school) can still take root. It took years before I became content. I often say that I didn’t truely become a mother until I began to sacrifice my desires for myself.

    ;-) Now, I’m a mother of soon to be 5 kidlets. I have 3 girls (maybe 4 – I find out soon) ages – 7, 5, & 2. I’m looking forward to many years of such conversation.

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  10. Sophie
    May 3, 2011 | 1:12 pm

    I love this!! THank you so much for sharing this, I pray that my girl is a woman of God and not of the world. I’ve gotten slack from the few people I’ve told I will be homeschooling her, hearing that I will be robbbut a ing her of her social skills. I seriously don’t see a problem with that, my goal is not to have her be a social butterfly but a woman who strives to please God and glorify Him.
    Bravo to you for such a well written post.

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  11. Dawn@OneFaithfulMom
    May 3, 2011 | 1:34 pm

    My 4 daughters, ages 16, 11, 10, and 6, all want to have large families. My 16 yr old has helped to care for 7 younger siblings, and she is so attached to the 4 yr old, it is ridiculous!!
    I do plan to have her get her college degree, but from home. I want her to do this only because I think she might need it to be able to homeschool legally at some point in the future. I wouldn’t want her to not be able to homeschool only for that reason. So she is looking at online degrees right now, so she can get started soon and hopefully finish up here at home before marriage!
    I am soooo glad my girls love babies!!

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  12. Heather Anderson
    May 3, 2011 | 1:35 pm

    I appreciate your sharing. I have seven children, four of which are. This culture is not very supportive of women who choose to stay home and care for their families. It is great when our girls can receive encouragement in the pursuit of godly womanhood.

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  13. Lisa
    May 3, 2011 | 1:45 pm

    I hope my two daughters will feel as free to follow their dreams as my five sons. Not everyone is meant to be a SAHM, just as not every boy is meant to be a doctor. This is why the Lord gave us brains. I refuse to brainwash my daughters to believe that this is the ONLY way. It’s not fair, it’s not Biblical, and it spurs rebellion. Also – my eldest daughter has a 160 IQ. Perhaps she will discover a cure for cancer! Perhaps she will be Madame Curie.

    I am amazed that so many mothers can not see past their noses on this issue.

    Libby

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Libby,

    Thank you for taking the time to comment. I posted about Disagreeing with Love where I explain some of the ways that we as Christians can respectfully converse on issues about which we disagree.

    In your comment you accuse me of being unbiblical. This is a serious accusation that, if true, requires my confession and repentance not only to you, but also to the rest of my readers. I ask that you would point me to the Biblical passages and teachings that I’ve violated.

    You make the statement that “Not everyone is meant to be a SAHM.” True, God does not give every woman a husband, nor does He bless every couple with children. However, as I read God’s Word, I see that He calls women to be keepers at home. If I fail to encourage women to fulfill this calling or if I encourage them to reject God’s calling then I’m directly disobeying Titus 2.

    I also would like to point a presupposition that you hold, that is exactly what I was talking about in my post. I said,

    The world shouts… don’t waste your talents.

    You express exactly that sentiment,

    (M)y eldest daughter has a 160 IQ. Perhaps she will discover a cure for cancer! Perhaps she will be Madame Curie.

    as if somehow following God’s command to stay home, be a help meet to her husband and raise children for His glory would be beneath her, would be a waste of her talent or that this obedience would be less important than finding a cure for cancer.

    What does that attitude convey to the hundreds of thousands of intelligent and talented women who have chosen to follow what they believe is commanded in Scripture and fulfill the calling of helpmeet, wife and mother? This is the type of thinking I would like to shelter my girls from. The thinking that somehow only those with a low IQ or those who aren’t able to accomplish great and amazing feats should stay home to the task of raising children and helping their husbands. To the contrary, I want to teach them of the high calling that God has given to them and the extraordinary intelligence, creativity, passion and love that they will need to accomplish this calling.

    This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

    I think that the main difference between my view and yours is that you seem to think that being a homemaker is a calling only for those who have a low IQ or who are unable to contribute anything better to society, whereas I view the calling as one of the highest callings that God can give, it is a calling to the greatest love, that we lay down our lives, each and every day for our God, our husband and our children.

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    Brit @MomAnswersWithBrit.com Reply:

    I agree with everything you are saying and I want to raise my children this way, but what if I can’t. Reading post like this make me cry, because it makes me feel I am not a Godly women/mother for having to work outside the home. I want to be a stay-at-home mom more than ANYTHING in the world, but it is not an option right now. My husband doesn’t have a job, and we can’t sale our house because of the economy. If we sold our house, we would have to bring nearly 20k to closing. We tried lisitng it for 6 months anyways, but no such luck.

    I agree that God’s plan is for women to stay home (which is why I’m sick to my stomach about not being able to) but I don’t believe God gives everyone that opportunity.

    We are trying everything to get to the point, but for 2 years now God has yet to open that door for reasons I don’t know.

    I don’t mean to sound mean, really. It’s just that I cry almost everyday about not being able to be a SAHM and then when I read this it makes me feel that I’m not a Godly person because of it.

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Brit,

    First and foremost as your sister in Christ I grieve with you in the difficulty of the path that God has called you to walk. It is difficult when our lives do not follow the pattern which we think they should follow. Please understand that as I write and post on this blog my intention is to encourage Christians to look to God’s Word as their standard for thought and conduct and to challenge thinking and assumptions that are counter to that. It is not my intent to condemn individuals for specific choices that they make as they strive to live lives that are holy before God.

    Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. Romans 14:4

    When it comes to working outside the home, we believe that husbands have a lot to consider when it comes to the authority and protection principles laid out in Scripture, but ultimately that is their responsibility and God will give them the wisdom needed to make those decision if they ask for it.

    Another difficulty is that because of the abdication of responsibility and leadership in the church and Christian community at large, some families are put into untenable situations and are not offered support of the body of Christ.

    I don’t have all the answers to difficult situations such as yours, but I know who does have those answers and I’m convinced that my Titus 2 responsibility is to encourage women to be lovers of their husbands, lovers of their children and keepers at home, I can do nothing less. Your responsibility is to obey God and submit to your husband to the best of your ability.

    Many blessings.

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    Lynn Reply:

    But why censor Kimberly? People can learn just as much from the tone and content of other posts, even if negative, as from all of the ones that agree with you.

    Quite frankly, while I enjoy your posts, I get tired of the typical 18 comments all in agreement with your viewpoint every time. Dissenters can teach us something too. I realize it puts you in a position of having to respond then but if you didn’t want viewers and people commenting I assume you’d choose to write a journal instead of a blog.

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    Brit @MomAnswersWithBrit.com Reply:

    I agree with Kimberly. It’s about the tone, not the fact that you disagree. I know that I have a blog, and I’m open to opinions, but I want my blog to me uplifting and encouraging (and have that right since it’s MY blog).

    If people say things cruelly and not because of sincere differences in opinions and trying respectfully work through those differences/understand, then I don’t think they should be up there either. It will become a drama blog instead of an informative blog.

    If people only have cruel comments to make and are so angry with what your are saying then they don’t have to look at that blog.

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Lynn,

    Why censor?

    Until Aug. 23, 2010, I posted every single non-spam comment I received. Then I posted these guidelines. I continue to post the VAST majority of negative comments that I receive (probably over 97% of them).

    By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

    I believe that it brings dishonor to the name of Christ when people visit and see those who call themselves Christians spewing all types of vitriol in the comment section. Loving disagreement and conversation, yes, name calling, mocking or criticism just to criticize, no.

    I do not think Christians should be involved in this type of behavior and I choose not to condone it by refusing to post such comments on this site.

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  14. Ruth Adams
    May 3, 2011 | 2:41 pm

    So encouraging, Kimberly. I feel like I am almost on an island trying to teach Biblical Womanhood to my girls. Very few people understand my vision for them. Every single part of our culture is screaming to them to be women of the world rather than women of the Word. I just feel the raging battle all the time. I love to read things such as you just posted.

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  15. Joy
    May 3, 2011 | 3:36 pm

    Eloquently put! I’m having our fourth baby girl this fall and I know my older girls absolutely love babies and home and family. I see it when they play “house” and dream about future weddings. So sweet!

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  16. Kallie
    May 3, 2011 | 7:02 pm

    I am just curious, do you do anything to mentally prepare your girls for the possibility that God doesn’t bless them with children?
    I ask because my husband and I are one of ‘those’ couples from whom God has witheld children, despite nothing being done on our part to prevent that blessing. All through our dating/engagement/marriage I’ve heard – “Oh, it’s so good you’re waiting awhile to have kids until you’re ready” – even though we haven’t been waiting. No one ever even suggested the possibility of infertility to me and now here we are.
    Thank you for your time! I really enjoy your blog.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    That is a great question Kallie.

    Yes, I would say we do try to prepare our girls for the possibility of infertility. We are constantly reminding them that children come from God and that we have no control of when, if or how many He will bless us with. We also frequently talk about God’s sovereignty, contentment and the fact that many families who would love to have children have, in God’s sovereign goodness, not been given them.

    We also regularly pray for people we know to be blessed with children. In addition to infertility our girls are very aware of the possibility and pain of miscarriage.

    I don’t know that we’re ever fully prepared until we’re actually facing the circumstance, but I hope that as we teach them to be in relationship with our Lord and Savior and as they learn to turn to God for all things that they will be prepared to handle whatever future God has in store for them.

    I pray that God will grant you His blessing in His timing and through His means.

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    Lynn Reply:

    Kimberly-I think you are raising your family in a very honorable and Godly way but what if your daughters are not meant to marry and have children-ever? This is one aspect that I have trouble reconciling. I understand that you are raising them in God’s sovereignty and contentment which is a valuable lesson for whatever life throws at them. I think from your guidance they would be ok with a life of no husband and children in those terms of accepting it. But from a practical sense, are you preparing them to support and take care of themselves if this situation does occur (no husband/children)? I know many women who did not marry (& not because they were career driven and purposely putting it off) until their 30s, 40s (& some still haven’t into their later years.) I don’t see anything wrong with furthering your education (whether it be through college, trade school, etc) to have a skill that could be used if this type of situation of no husband/children occurs. Or if God chooses to not bless a couple with children for a long time (so the woman may choose to work in the meantime to prepare financially for being home with children) or if their husbands choose for them to work. You can still desire to be a mom and wife if pursuring a higher education as there is no guarantee if or when those things will happen for you.

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Lynn. Thank you for the kindness you’ve shown in how you’ve chosen to word your question.

    Our family seeks to start with the Word of God as the one and only standard for our life and for each decision that we make. We strive to look at every issue in light of God’s Word and make the decision that most closely conforms to the commands, patterns and principles that are taught in it. In contrast, it seems that many Christians begin with societal norms in regard to goals, opinions and lifestyle choices and then strive to bring their lives into conformity to God’s Word by excluding attitudes and actions that are expressly forbidden by the Bible.

    Because of this, I’m going to ask you to consider the standard for your thoughts and opinions. What is God’s plan for women whether married or single as revealed to us throughout the whole council of Scripture?

    {1 Cor. 11, 1 Cor. 14, 1 Tim. 2, Num. 30, Titus 2, Prov. 31 and 1 Tim. 5 are a few places to begin. Also read about Deborah in Jud. 4, Esther, Ruth and Naomi. These are by no means exhaustive of what the Bible says about women, their calling and His provision for their protection and I would highly recommend that you prayerfully read through the entire council of God’s Word as you seek God’s will in this matter.}

    Where does the Bible command, require or allow single women to support them self (per your question of whether we’re preparing our girls to do this)? Where is it taught that women without children have no necessity to be keepers at home? What is God’s provision for the protection and welfare of women?

    Here are a couple of clarifications. 1. We do not believe that the Bible teaches that it is necessarily sinful for a girl to obtain an education beyond a high school degree. 2. We believe that the Bible clearly teaches that women are to be a vital part of the family economy and as such may earn an income, be involved in business ventures and/or contribute to the family finances and wellbeing in a variety of other ways. 3. Since wives are commanded to be subject to their husbands as to the Lord, if a woman’s husband requires her to work outside of the home, she should do so cheerfully to the glory of God.

    We’ve found So Much More to be a thought provoking book about the role of single young women within the Kingdom of God.

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    Nicki Reply:

    So Much More is a great book. Love it.

    [Reply]

    Lynn Reply:

    Hi Kimberly- I’ve rattled down 2 paths here that were separate but intermingled so hopefully it makes sense-it’s late! One about your daughters and what the Bible says is acceptable tied in with where I think you were coming from & recent comments I’ve gotten from other women about working outside the home and keeping my home.

    From “Where is it taught that women without children have no necessity to be keepers at home?” I do believe that woman (with or without children) are to be keepers at home/home lovers/keepers of their own houses/busy at home, etc (depending on which translation you use) which has been defined as “one who is occupied with domestic affairs” (or “looks after domestic affairs with prudence and care.”) As an aside, any reference to “busy at home” I don’t interpret as you must be at home and be busy there. I take it as, if you ARE home, you are not to be idle and sit around eating bon bons all day!

    Something I’ve been coming across lately from other women is this belief that you can’t be a keeper at home AND work outside of the home. Not sure if this is where you were going with that but from your comment I listed above and some of the Bible references you noted, that’s how I’m taking it.

    What exactly is a keeper at home? Someone who is frugal and deals with the household finances? That’s me. Someone who keeps their house clean, cared for and child looked after? I manage a cleaning lady who cleans for us, a teenager to cut the grass as well as a wonderful caregiver (who comes to our home to help with our daughter, cook and do some chores) like the P31 woman managed her servant girls. Someone who has furnished and decorated a home to make it a comfortable place of rest for my family and guests? I do that. Someone who loves the Lord and tries to educate herself in numerous ways about being a Godly wife and mother and is trying to live this out? Yes, I’m not perfect, but I work at this every day. Someone who plans meals to try to feed her family in a healthy way? You get the point.

    My home life is not neglected because I work outside the home (& I don’t think working is a free pass to not be a keeper at home) but I do do some things differently than others to manage it all. I’m not sure if some of these women are trying to envision how my life works from their realities. In other words, I’ve had older woman comment on how I can work, maintain the home and care for a child as they can’t imagine it but I personally know their circumstances-husbands did not lift a finger around the house, or with the kids, or cook, or know where the grocery store was let alone do the shopping, etc. So, no wonder they can’t imagine how I can keep up. God has only blessed us with one child at this point as well so it’s not like I’ve got 6 little ones to look after.

    I have a husband who enjoys cooking so he often does the grocery shopping, cooks once in awhile, picks out recipes and makes grocery lists. He’s a very hands-on Dad & there isn’t any task he won’t do as he loves spending time with our little one. He’s dealt with vet appts, pediatrician appts, unloads & loads the dishwasher, etc. This works for us and I’m able to work outside the home/out of my home because of all that my husband is willing to do & the flexibility I have at my job. He has also always been very encouraging of my career and proud of my accomplishments (not that they are what matters in life-just a reference that he takes joy in my work situation & is happy about it.)

    P31 woman was a manufacturer, importer, manager, realtor, farmer, seamstress, merchant, etc and A LOT of what she did was away from the home (as well as many things inside the home.) While it’s her character and not necessarily her activities we are to strive to emulate, she is held up as the gold standard for all wives (or wives to be as in your daughters’ cases) to aim for. So to me, that gives the ok for any woman to do this type of work and support themselves or contribute to their family in those ways (as are unmarried women to sit around not perfecting a skill or furthering education to all of a sudden be the superwomen that P31 is once married and while having children??? Seems like one should get started working on those character traits and skills from a young age.) And from your Numbers 30 reference, it seems if your daughters want to work outside the home to support themselves and your husband OKs it, then they are free to do this. I was just curious about your take as to what to do with daughters after high school if Mr. Right isn’t knocking. Education & a good job were the only paths I heard of as a child. We’re currently discussing saving for possible college education in the future which has this all rattling around in my head.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I find this statement of yours fascinating,

    Something I’ve been coming across lately from other women is this belief that you can’t be a keeper at home AND work outside of the home. Not sure if this is where you were going with that but from your comment I listed above and some of the Bible references you noted, that’s how I’m taking it.

    My comment was actually a question asking what the Bible teaches

    Where is it taught that women without children have no necessity to be keepers at home?

    so you are the one who interpreted the passages of Scripture to teach that you can’t be a keeper at home AND work outside the home. Sometimes when we honestly look to Scripture for answers we find them.

    I would encourage you once again to examine the whole council of God’s Word on this point, not your thoughts based on societal standards

    Education & a good job were the only paths I heard of as a child.

    or your experience

    My home life is not neglected because I work outside the home

    Keep in mind the differences that I explained above. Is it your goal to conform your life as closely to God’s standards as possible or simply to avoid transgressing explicit commands and/or prohibitions?

    When we read God commands that women are to be keepers at home our family asks, “What is the best possible way for us to fulfill that calling to the glory of God.” You seem to interpret it to mean that so long as the home is not neglected (husband is helping out, a nanny and house keeper have been hired, etc.) then the woman is free to pursue or set her heart toward what ever occupation, employment or entertainment she wishes. I would expect these and many other differences if our standards for obedience are different.

    The P31 woman does all of the tasks that you mention, but when we look closely, these tasks are part of her duties of being a keeper at home not separate or in addition to them. Perhaps more noteworthy for this discussion is what the P31 woman does not do. She is not placing herself under authority outside of her husband and in all of her activities she remains directly under his authority. This principle of authority is clearly taught throughout Scripture and in many of the passages I noted above.

    Our family takes the example of the Proverbs 31 woman seriously. We believe that it is a record of what a keeper at home should strive toward and we have been working to prepare our daughters to be Proverbs 31 women since they were born.

  17. Emily
    May 3, 2011 | 8:19 pm

    Sweet, sweet post! My husband and I don’t have daughters, only sons. It is a blessing to read of families that are training their daughters to be to be keepers at home as the Bible clearly states. I have always been a SAHM, even before becoming a Christian. One thing that puzzles me, after coming to Christ, (seven years ago)is the minority of mothers (even in the body of Christ) that don’t stay at home to raise their children!? Blogs like yours encourage & help other families grow in our knowledge of God’s Word and I thank you for that because you had to have know you would face some opposition. ;)
    Blessings!

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  18. Steph
    May 3, 2011 | 9:19 pm

    This is an interesting post to me as a single Christian young lady who is out on her own. I desire strongly to marry and raise a family, but God has not opened that door to me. Currently I am teaching in a local school. Do you and your husband prepare your daughters for the possibility of singleness? What would you counsel them to do?
    Personally, I have found the book Womanly Dominion by Pastor Mark Chanski very helpful. (He also authored Manly Dominion.) He encourages young woman to take an active role in the life of the church, and to work diligently in the job and service opportunities open to them. While his book is directed to wives and mothers, my single friends and I have also found it very helpful in combatting a feminist mindset with biblical wisdom. He encourages all women to fulfill the creation mandate by taking dominion over their work (i.e. subduing the schedule, housework, etc., completing the work we have been given.)

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Steph.

    Please see my responses to Kallie and Lynn (above).

    I hadn’t heard of the book you mentioned, but we have had our thinking challenged by So Much More. As always examine everything in light of God’s Word!! This book is written to encourage young, single women in the importance of the role that God has called them to. (And as you probably already know, it’s not just waiting around for a husband. :) )

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  19. Melissa
    May 3, 2011 | 10:39 pm

    I realize the irony of me asking this question just after recently telling my boss that I will soon be quitting my 2 day part time job to stay home with my children full time. Do you think that it’s possible to be a “keeper of the home” while maintaining an outside job? Just one of those things that seems to come up in conversations on occasion-and folks often think it’s ‘all or nothing.’

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  20. Allie
    May 4, 2011 | 2:19 am

    Such a wonderful post, thank you for sharing. My husband & I recently rented the “Return of the Daughters” documentary from Puitan Picks & it was so encouraging!

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  21. Suzanne
    May 4, 2011 | 2:22 pm

    Beautiful, Kimberly!

    I, too, told people I wanted to be a wife and mom when I grew up, and soon saw in the public schools that was the wrong answer. So I switched to something outlandish just to stop people from asking (Librarian on Mars…when we colonize, of course.) Hee, Hee. But my heart is SO full with the beautiful family I am raising.

    I did not feel freed from society’s expectations to work outside the home until our 4th child was born. I stayed home anyway but always got comments from people that I could do more, including heading ministries in the church. Now I see this IS the highest calling and ministry I can be the head over (under the leadership of Jesus & my Husband, of course). I feel so free to be able to do what I always wanted to as a little girl. With my 6th child on the way people have stopped assuming I should do anything but stay at home. : )

    Like one of the other readers, I too plan on helping my children get college degrees, but from home. I have no desire to turn my children over to the secular college system. My girls and boys can use this in what ever way God asks them to, but we will pray about what type of degree each of them will need before we embark on that journey.

    In response to another reader, I have a VERY high IQ, also. I received years of comments from people that I “could really do something with my life” like my aunt who is a molecular biologist and IS working on cures for cancer. But it is not wrong to use all of my God-gifted intelligence to raise mighty children who will bring good into the world through other means than through science and medicine. I would encourage you to pray about this subject. Not so you can agree with me, but so you heart is softened to other options for your girls.

    Just a question: Would you be supportive if your super-intelligent daughter chooses to be a stay at home mom? I’m glad my mom is. : )

    I do prepare myself for if one of my girls can’t have children or God wants her to be a full time missionary, or do work like Mother Theresa. It is a possibility, but since society already has those bases covered, I think it is wonderful that people like Kimberly are encouraging their girls, and us, to be happy to be keepers at home.

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  22. Learning to Abandon
    May 4, 2011 | 4:03 pm

    I just want to add one thing…I believe you can be a homekeeper and not be a SAHM. I know a lot of working women that still take wonderful care of their home and family!

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  23. Gabe
    May 4, 2011 | 5:57 pm

    Wonderful post (and replies to questions too)! I feel so blessed to be able to be raising my daughters in a very similar way. Even though I was raised by a SAHM I was encouraged by both of my parents to “do more with my life,” it took me a long time to be able to say “I want to be a wife and mother, that is what God has called me to” even though I had known it all of my life. I’m so glad my daughters are able to say that now, and know that it is a wonderful calling with so many opportunities to serve the Lord and the body!

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  24. Laura
    May 4, 2011 | 9:15 pm

    I’ll throw in a comment too– my mom raised the exact same desire in my heart (to be a wife and mom), but I went to college first and became a teacher (someone who plays a similar role in childrens lives). While I went to college, I lived at home. The two (college and living at home) don’t have to be exclusive! :)

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    Laura Reply:

    sorry, this was in response to someone else’s comment…not sure how I ended up posting it down here!

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  25. Brandy Knopp
    May 5, 2011 | 12:22 pm

    I only have one girl surrounded by brothers, and she is only 4….but that is such an echo of my heart – for myself and for her. How often do I still fight that voice that tells me to find fulfillment and meaning outside of my home? How often do I fight the lies – subtle and blatant – that tell me the daily grind of children isn’t valuable or good enough. I want to model truth for my daughter and walk with a heart that is personally turned towards home and that encourages her to turn towards home. Excellent post that encouraged me in the way.

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  26. Brandy Knopp
    May 5, 2011 | 1:38 pm

    Wow. Just read through the comment threads. Very thought provoking and extensive.

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    Deven Reply:

    I know! The Article is great but the comments add some much more. There have been several times they have made me examine my own heart & thoughts!

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  27. Dianne
    June 13, 2011 | 2:11 pm

    “And so I’m surrounded by little girls who are reaching for a life of service and I rejoice that I’m blessed to have an opportunity to show them the beauty, joy and amazing blessing that flow from that life.”
    I’m sure you do that well! Keep up the great work!

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  28. Marl
    August 2, 2011 | 2:55 am

    I’m not clear on what is expected of your daughters — are they to marry anyone in order to be married and have children? Are they to stay married to someone who beats them or cheats on them, just so they can bear children?

    Are your sons to not go to college and just be married to women who are willing to have children every year?

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Marl,

    I’m amazed at the conclusions that you draw from this post about little girls dreaming about growing up to be mommies. I can’t help but believe that you’ve witnessed a great deal sorrow and suffering in your life and wonder if there is anything that you’d like us to pray for you about.

    Feel free to use my contact page if you’d like to discuss this privately.

    I pray that the Lord will bless you with His peace and comfort.

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  29. Ann
    December 30, 2012 | 7:43 pm

    I was raised to believe that after high school graduation, one was to go out and get a job. So that’s what I did. I tried all different kinds of jobs. Nothing satisfied. I’d master one, and then need to move on to something new. I finally tried medical transcription, which I could do from home. I came home and continued doing medical transcription, had a baby and have never been more fulfilled and happy. I still do a very little bit of transcription from home, about 6 hours a week. It supplements my husband’s income. We do home educate also. No one ever told me I had the choice to be a keeper at home, never. It is the best place in the world for me . . . I thank the Lord for this occupation/role in life!

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