Preserving Our Heritage That the Word of God May Not Be Blasphemed
Heart to Heart

Preserving Our Heritage That the Word of God May Not Be Blasphemed
by Candy Summers

 As a woman, even though I was still drawing pretty houses with flowers around a picket fence while I dreamed of becoming a wife and mother, I was told that I should look beyond the fence to the wide world, for I was a woman in an age where I could become anything I wanted to be. This of course did not include becoming a stay-at-home mom because that form of slavery was a thing of the past. A college degree was an absolute necessity, so I pursued a teaching degree and graduated Magna Cum Laude from UMSL receiving the highest score ever given to a student teacher. After my first teaching job, I was offered the school and grade level of my choice. My parents, however, needed help with their business, so I sacrificed the offer and instead returned to work for them. It was then that I became pregnant with my first child, but my parents still needed my help, so I promised to be back several days a week after the baby was born.
 However, that is not what transpired, and since Jon loves to tell this story to our children, I will let him pick it up from here. “Yes, your mother was determined to go back to work after our first baby was born. But from the first moment she held our baby in her arms and looked into those eyes, she fell headlong in love, and the first words out of her mouth were, ‘Jon, I am not going back to work.’ And since then she has dedicated every minute of her life to me and you children.”
 What was it that guided me in the right direction? Although my own mother instilled in me an appreciation for keeping a lovely home for my family, she worked all my life. So what was it that turned my heart home? “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps” (Prov. 16:9).
 How thankful I am that God created me as a helpmate to my precious husband and a mother to my precious children. For there is no profession I would rather possess or anything more delightful or fulfilling than to care for my family each and every day. To love, nurture, and comfort their bodies, minds and souls is my greatest joy and delight—the sun to my days, the moon and stars to my nights, the warmth to my heart, breath to my life, the air underneath my feet. Family is certainly the most blessed institution known to man.
 I shudder to think that I could have been like millions of other women who have lost their sense of purpose and vision. I could have missed out on my greatest blessing of being a wife and mother, nurturing my children and making a lovely home for my husband. I could have missed out on the greatest joy known to woman if I had listened to all that I was told and followed all that I was encouraged to do. For I, too, could have been one of them if it had not been for God’s tender, merciful Spirit stirring within my heart to come home. And that is why I do not look down upon women who work, but instead feel such a burden for all the women and young girls who are deceived to think that they need a college degree and career to earn merit in the eyes of the world.
 Truly there is no greater joy than being a wife and mother, for it is the sweetest and most rewarding role in all the world. How privileged I feel to have been created for such a blessed and honorable position in God’s design for impacting the world with His goodness, making me forever indebted to Him. I do not want our young girls to miss out on God’s blessed design for their lives, and so it is with deep gratitude to my Creator and loving Father that I have devoted my life to His grand and wise purpose for me, not only to serve my own precious family, but to help bring other women home as well. So excited and delighted I am with the blessings that I have enjoyed these past twenty-five years, that I earnestly desire to share this good news with all the young women of today who are struggling to define their existence, wandering on a sea of false philosophies, while caught up in the web of deceit that they can and should become anything they so desire, when the most wonderful job they could ever hope to find they are taught to despise.
 Unfortunately, they often discover too late that all they ever wanted was a husband, children, and a home to keep. I truly grieve for all the weary, worn women I see who have devoted so much time to their careers, with little or no time and energy to shape their children or to enjoy them, achieving success in the world’s eyes but displeasure in God’s. The enemy has robbed our sex of the most blessed of all careers by cleverly deceiving us with false hope that success outside the home is far superior to the tedious and menial task of laboring at home.
 It is a lie that we can have it all, because we cannot. We cannot serve two masters—manna and God. Even Jesus tells us that a house divided against itself cannot stand. My spirit just grieves when I think of all the worn out, tired mothers, some who do not know how to enjoy their families and others who want to come home but feel that they cannot afford it or whose husbands will now not allow them to. For it is often the case that when a woman starts off her marriage working, the husband does not want her to quit, just because of kids, because of the debt they have accumulated from a huge mortgage. Once we become accustomed to a particular lifestyle, it is hard to give it up. The course for the family should be set from the beginning so there are no temptations along the way.

Endangered

 Most of us would agree that far too much publicity has surrounded the fate of whales, when the course of this nation is set towards destruction. For quite frankly, although we would hate for whales or any other of God’s creatures to perish, we do not believe that their extinction would alter our existence in any way. However, there is something that is far more endangered, and judging from past history, in conjunction with God’s Word, and from the present state of our country’s morality, we do know that the vast reduction of stay-at-home wives and mothers is dramatically altering the fabric of our country and the peace of our own existence. Without even reading the statistics on the drastic increase in depression, suicide, illicit drug use, STDs, pregnancies, and abortions among teenagers, it is impossible for even the naturally oblivious soul to be unaware of the results of the spiritual degradation that the absence of mothers at home has brought upon our country. We have only to step outside our doors to see the rebellion, degradation and hopelessness in all those around us.
 Endangered means “to put in hazard; to bring into danger or peril; to expose to loss or injury. We dread any thing that endangers our life, our peace or our happiness.” And we certainly should dread the danger that the lack of stay-at-home moms will bring to our own “life, peace and happiness.”
 To even the casual peruser of history, it becomes apparent that the strength of a nation lies within its homes, and one only has to go door-to-door during any weekday to realize that no one is there anymore. Whereas homes have always been the battleground on which every nation has either succeeded or been defeated, again, all we have to do is look into the homes of our community to realize the outcome of the battle—for the battlefield lies empty.
 As the state is merely a reflection of the condition of the church, and the condition of the church a reflection of the faithfulness of God’s people to fulfill their calling, we know that the responsibility for this peril rests squarely on the shoulders of the Body of Christ. For when fathers relinquish their responsibility to order their homes according to God’s Word, and mothers relinquish their responsibility to be keepers of their homes, their own families begin to deteriorate, which then adversely impacts the character of the entire nation, beginning a degenerate descent that ultimately culminates in national degradation and judgment from God.

We Will Let You Be the Judge

 “Isn’t homeschooling making a difference?” Well, let us look to see. How is homeschooling impacting society? It is accurate to say that from the world’s perspective and an academic standard, homeschooling has been extremely successful as students consistently outscore publicly and privately schooled students on standardized tests, while also earning recognition for outstanding achievement in both state and national competitions. Furthermore, homeschooled students are not only readily accepted at most universities now, but most are recipients of generous scholarships, with many students receiving full scholarships. Indeed it appears that we are on the path to success, but as with all evaluations, Christians must ascertain the obvious question, “According to whose standards?”
 Certainly the path we have chosen guarantees such rewards when we consider that even experts indicate that improved instructional materials and strategies assist students to be successful. One-on-one tutoring, even poorly administered, would have far superior success rates than a 30 to 1 ratio, and considering instructors’ lack of personal interest in their students, compared to a parent’s personal interest in his own child’s success, homeschooling is guaranteed a far greater success rate. For truly it is far superior to any other educational method. However, in view of the alarming statistics on the state of the family in America, it is of paramount importance that we examine the spiritual impact we are presently having on society, which is clearly seen in the following example.
 Several years ago at our graduation ceremony, out of 24 girls, only one said that she was aspiring to be a wife and mother, while all the rest were pursuing college degrees, careers, and the military. Over the past two years, in rebellion to their parents over 100 of our girls have left home without their parents’ approval to pursue dating, live-in arrangements with boyfriends, jobs, careers, and the military. These girls simply wanted to be free from any rules or authority. To our dismay, this travesty is happening all across our country.

We Can Easily Fall Prey to Indoctrination

 Many years ago, we had a speaker relay an inspiring story about an elementary student’s eloquent response to what she would do if she were President. Apparently, she understood her God-given role as a daughter of her heavenly Father and said that she would never be President, for girls were not created to lead but to raise men who would. The speaker shared this to make his point on the effectiveness of the principle approach, which taught girls their proper role and purpose in God’s kingdom. Yet to our surprise, several years later this same speaker’s own daughter went to college to become a lawyer. What happened?
 Although Abram and Sarai knew that God had clearly commanded that marriage should be between one man and one woman, polygamy had become so acceptable in society that instead of following God’s way, they had been sucked into the world’s way, subsequently resorting to human reasoning to bring about what they thought to be God’s purpose for their lives. They both believed in God and earnestly desired God’s promises, but their actions were not in accordance with His will, and sinful means are never blessed by God, regardless of the right motives. From the beginning, God created marriage as sacred, yet Abram and Sarai perverted its sacredness and consequently reaped the sad consequences, which unfortunately have impacted generations to this day.
 The fruit of rebellious seed is rebellion. “The angel of the Lord said to her, ‘… you shall bear a son; and you shall call his name Ishmael … And he will be a wild donkey of a man, his hand will be against everyone, and everyone’s hand will be against him; and he will live to the east of all his brothers’” (Gen. 16:11,12).
 This is a perfect illustration of what happens when we do things according to our human reasoning rather than following God’s will. So let us be extremely careful to guard ourselves against the world’s indoctrination, which not only ceases to acknowledge sin, but also practices it openly with no regard that it is in direct violation to God’s law.
 “For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman. But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise. This is allegorically speaking: for these women are two covenants, one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother. For it is written, ‘Rejoice, barren woman who does not bear; break forth and shout, you who are not in labor; for more numerous are the children of the desolate than of the one who has a husband.’ And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise. But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also. But what does the Scripture say? ‘Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be an heir with the son of the free woman.’ So then, brethren, we are not children of a bondwoman, but of the free woman” (Gal. 4:22-31).

We Must Examine Where We Are Headed

 In view, then, of how easy it is for each of us to fall prey to the indoctrination of the world, we cannot overemphasize the importance of examining where we are headed and judging if our actions are in accordance with His Word. For we have been so ingrained to think according to the world that I fear that most of us have lost our way even though we desire the right one. So my desire is for each of us to examine our own philosophy of a woman’s role and do a serious study of the Old and New Testament references to women, which certainly discloses God’s plan for us, to determine if our thinking and our actions reflect a Christian philosophy or a worldly philosophy. For how we view our roles inevitably reflects the sovereignty of Christ or of man.
 Christians are always required to give scriptural support for their course of action; therefore, it is absolutely necessary that we know God’s Word thoroughly so that we know how to please Him. “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them … Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Eph. 5:6-17).
 The following are just a few scriptures that point to our purpose and role as women, but I encourage you to read further about Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Naomi, Ruth, Hannah, Esther, Mary, Elizabeth, Anna, Dorcas, Priscilla, Lois, and Eunice, and all other references to women and their assigned role in God’s kingdom.
 When God created the world, He designed each thing and each creature for a particular purpose in His kingdom, and from the very beginning God defined His purpose for woman when He created her to be a suitable helpmate for man. “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.’ … And the Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. And the man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man’” (Gen. 2:18,22,23).
 “Be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church” (Eph. 5:21-23).
 “But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint” (1 Tim. 2:15).
 “In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear” (1 Pet. 3:1-6).
 “Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips, nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored” (Tit. 2:3-5).
 “An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life. She looks for wool and flax, and works with her hands in delight. She is like merchant ships; she brings her food from afar. She rises also while it is still night, and gives food to her household, and portions to her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; from her earnings she plants a vineyard. She girds herself with strength, and makes her arms strong. She senses that her gain is good; her lamp does not go out at night. She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hands grasp the spindle. She extends her hand to the poor; and she stretches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household, for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She makes coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies belts to the tradesmen. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future. She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and bless her; her husband also, and he praises her, saying: ‘Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all.’ Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her the product of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates” (Prov. 31:10-31).
 Now allow me to make a few comments about the Proverbs 31 woman, whom many Christians point to as their excuse for condoning women working outside the home for other employers. First of all, it says that this woman fears the Lord, which means that she would revere His divine appointment for her life and therefore would follow His Word accordingly. And since throughout scripture God requires women to be submissive to their husbands and workers at home, she would not have possibly violated her Lord’s commands since she feared Him. She would not have worked for someone else, thus placing herself in submission to an employer. For once a woman enters the workforce outside her home, she comes out from the covering and jurisdiction of her own husband and comes under another man’s authority, which is contrary to God’s law. Jesus Himself said that we cannot serve two masters and that a house divided against itself cannot stand.
 It does say that she buys a field and plants a vineyard, but she did not have to work outside the family to do this, and since she was under her husband’s authority, he had to approve the purchase. It also says that she sells her linen garments, but of course these were made at home, and again, it never talks about her working outside the home away from her family or working for someone else, which would have been contrary to God’s Word and to the culture in which she lived. Furthermore, she could not possibly have had time to accomplish all the things that she does for her own household, indeed, looking well to the ways of her household, caring for the needy, and work outside the home as well. The family always suffers when a woman works outside her home, and it is apparent that she provided well for her family. And finally, anyone who studies history knows that women did not work outside their homes apart from their families, except under unusual circumstances, for the working woman is a phenomenon unique to our time.
 How could anyone, then, look to these scriptures and deny the blessed role that God has ordained for women? This is actually a beautiful testimony of a woman who devotes her entire life to her husband and her home and of God’s blessings on such devotion. Women working outside the home just does not stand up against Biblical scrutiny.
 Many try to suggest that these verses are just not relevant to our society today and will not work. We actually had a pastor from a very large congregation say this exact thing, even though he agreed that all the verses we shared with him were biblical. It is the foolish man who dares assess God’s Word from his own point of view. Indeed, anything that bypasses the Word of God, suggesting any other course of action other than the one laid out by God most assuredly comes from the father of lies who portrays himself as an angel of light. And those who profess to be disciples of Christ, but refuse to submit to His will, are lying to themselves. For God is a jealous God and does not share His position with any god, including the one we create when we hold to our own philosophical opinions mixed with the inspired doctrines of our own choosing.
 God’s purpose was forged in stone from the beginning. Our roles are not up for conjecture or a matter of individual preference. For the Creator of the world and author of scripture will not change, and indeed cannot, for God cannot lie against Himself. Besides, nothing could be more pathetic than to believe in a god who changes with the times. How blessed we are to serve a steadfast God, whose will was perfect from the beginning. “Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the outcome of their way of life, imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever” (Heb. 13:7,8).
 How can we be so arrogant to think that we have a right to dispute God’s divine will for our lives and so insult God’s divine judgment? Nothing threatens our happiness more than taking hold of the reins and running our life the way we deem best. From the very beginning, woman tried independence when she ate the apple, and this desire to be our own god has been the downfall of our sex ever since. Men never want to be like women, so why do women want to be like men? Is it not rebellion of the heart against whom God created us to be? Is that not the real issue—rebellion to authority? What woman can say that she has not struggled with submitting? However, when we come to the realization of the underlying issue, we can better deal with resolving the conflict within ourselves. Are we content with whom God made us to be?
 A thorough understanding of the character of God reveals His divine perfection and His perfect will for our lives, which He ordained from the beginning for our own good. And isn’t His fatherly provision and care for us assurance enough that we can place our complete happiness into His hands? Instead of bemoaning our duties, as if we know better than God what is best for us, we should be reverently delighting in His wisdom and goodness. Not only is it wrong to waver in our distrust of His providence, but worse that we should complain to the Potter to whom we owe our very existence. Our happiness ultimately depends on our submission to His perfect divine purpose for our lives, for everything is divinely ordained and divinely judged.

How Do Our Daughters Differ from the World’s Daughters?

 Girls of the world are going to college to get degrees so that they can be successful in their professions; they are working; and they are joining the military. Now let us look at what Christian homeschooled girls are doing. They are going to college to get degrees so that they can be successful in their professions; they are working; and they are joining the military. Now some would argue that they are not going to college so they can work all their lives, but if that is not true, then why would anyone in her right mind spend thousands of dollars and four years of her life pursuing something she does not really intend to use?
 So what message are we sharing with the world? Oh yes, homeschooling works! My daughter received her degree from Harvard and now has a very successful job. And of much greater importance: what example are we setting for all other young women to follow?
 So while homeschooling continues in abounding growth and academic achievement, it is important to note that it also continues to make great strides away from God’s model of covenantal families. Even as we face impending dramatic changes to our society, homeschoolers continue to embrace the world and all it has to offer. And what can the world give our girls that we cannot? Nothing but worldly thinking!!!
 Do you fear for our girls, as Jon and I do, that they, too, will fall prey to the temptations that careers and money bring and that the world will lay claim to many more casualties in the King’s army? We must remember that the pivotal key in all the blessings of continued growth and achievement is God, and although He withholds His judgment for a time, a day of reckoning always follows unrepentant sin.
 If we seriously considered what the world needed most according to God’s plan, none of us could deny that our greatest legacy would be leaving this world with godly fathers and mothers who will raise their families according to His Word. And how is the world going to return to the biblical model of family if we are not leading the way?
 Why is it that for some of us, we feel that we must justify our homeschooling skills by saying that our daughters are in college? Why is it so hard to say that our daughters are at home serving their fathers in direct obedience to their Lord? Do we feel that we must justify our worth to the world? Sadly, women today are entrapped in a devastating identity crisis in which they feel compelled to define their existence in terms of measurements and degrees. As Christians, our worth has nothing do with anything we do. Our worth lies in the fact that our heavenly Father, while we were yet sinners, died for us because He loved us and created us for a purpose. And what is His purpose for us but that we should be a helpmate for man (father and husband whom God placed over us), to love him and serve him at home.
 If you feel that you must justify to your friends or neighbors your worth by laying claim to the world’s measure of merit, please examine where your heart is with the Lord. We should be defining ourselves by God’s rich mercy. And when someone comes upon our path, instead of justifying our value according to the world’s defining guidelines, we should be giving a message of the hope that we have in Jesus Christ’s mercy and grace, for apart from Him, we are all lost. We are not something because we taught our children Algebra and Biology or equipped them for the world’s institution; that means nothing in the scope of spiritual things. And anyway, the only reason that we are able to teach our children the truth is because the Holy Spirit graciously revealed His truth to us, not because of any wisdom of our own.
 On the other hand, why is it that some mothers want their children to have some fun before they are strapped with the responsibilities of marriage and children? What exactly are they telling their daughters about their God-given role when they say things like that? And wouldn’t it be wiser to further prepare them for their continued service to the men God places in their lives than to run away from their duty to Him? Is it because they themselves have never given up their own fleshly lusts? Feeling strapped? I think Jesus refers to it as taking up our cross. As a matter of fact He says, “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it” (Matt. 10:38,39).
 “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phil. 2:3-8).
 “Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be embittered against them. Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord…. Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men; knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve” (Col. 3:18-20,23,24).
 In the course of spelling out the roles of individuals, it is interesting to note that the only other role that God outlines is for a slave. There are no other roles mentioned besides these: husbands, wives, children, and slaves. From the beginning and throughout the Bible, God designed His people to covenant with each other within families, in which He then covenanted with them that they be used as His divine instruments to bring about the fulfillment of His purpose on earth.
 One pastor told us that he wanted his daughter to be independent. To which we replied, “Really! We know you well, that you have always expected your daughter to obey you. And don’t you want your daughter to submit to her husband once she is married?” He agreed wholeheartedly. To which we replied, “Then you want her to be independent from age 18 until she gets married?”
 What kind of training is that? Will she easily be able to suddenly submit after being independent for several years? When are we, as Christians, ever supposed to be independent? Quite the contrary, for all scripture points us constantly to submit to God, to our parents, to our husbands, to one another, and to all those in authority over us. For how can our children be dependent on God if we raise them to be independent at some point in time? Independence of God is rebellion, for independence means not subject to God’s authority.
 A friend recently told me about a conversation her friend had with her daughter leaving home against her mother’s wishes. After talking with this girl, the lady came back and asked my friend why she had a problem with her daughter being out on her own. The girl told this friend that she was not dating, was not drinking, and was not taking drugs. She just wanted to do what she wanted to do. So what was this mother concerned about?
 How sad that this woman, who calls herself a Christian, does not know that the basis of all sin is self-gratification—just wanting to do what I want to do—which is nothing more than desiring independence from God’s authority. Sin deceives, sin denies, sin lies, sin justifies itself to the eyes and ears of the onlooker.
 We are sorry, but the truth of God’s Word may be somewhat painful to the flesh. No, we are never allowed to do what we want to do. Self-gratification comes from the father of this world, while self-sacrificial living comes from the Father of heaven. We must not even aspire for a time when we can become independent. No, I cannot read a novel for myself, for I have dishes to do and children to read to. No, I cannot go fishing this weekend because my mother needs me to work on her car. No, I cannot go hunting with the men because I have my wife and children to take camping this weekend. No, I cannot go out to dinner tonight because I have two sick children to care for. No, I cannot stay out any longer because I need to get home and fix dinner for my husband who has worked hard all day and needs nourishment and love. No, I cannot buy that ring because I need to pay for my children’s shoes. No, I cannot afford that house because we live on one income so that my wife can stay home and raise our children. No, I cannot watch that show because it is inappropriate for my children, and if for them, it must not be good for me either. No, I may not buy that snazzy sports car because we have four children, so I must get a van instead. No, I cannot take tennis lessons because I need to buy my children’s curriculum. No, I may not so that others may.
 Is not self-denial the same as taking up our cross, which God requires of each of His children? Sadly, instead of trusting in our heavenly Father and committing all our ways unto Him, we have instead been carried away by our own reasoning and that of the world.
 But remember that what we offer God in the way of obedience is our sacrifice, our act of worship, which is best illustrated by the story of Abel and Cain. Abel offered what God commanded; Cain offered what he wanted to give, which was not according to God’s will, and so was found unacceptable. Loving our husbands, loving our children, and working at home is our sacred offering to God in worship of Him because it honors His divine wisdom and His divine will. And what could be more sacred than ministering to our families by being a helpmate to our husbands and training up our children for the roles that God designed for them as well so that they may be fully equipped to fulfill their place within God’s kingdom in their own homes, in the church, and in the state. Genuine worship must be measured according to His will, not ours, which He not only blesses in this life but in the life to come.

What Is the Life of Your Dreams?

 Most often the path we take leads our own children onto the same path, leading them into either lifelong joy or sorrow. Is being a wife and mother the life of our dreams? Then why are we sending our children off to school to seek careers in something else? Why would we invest so many thousands of dollars and so much time into something that we don’t really want for our daughters anyway? The enemy always causes us to question God’s Word and intention, bringing doubt and fear into our minds.
 What if our daughter must support her family due to desertion or death of a husband? Adversity is certainly a part of life, and yes, it can greatly alter life, but is not the God whom you and I worship greater than all these problems, and doesn’t He love our daughters more than we could ever love them? Do we really think that our Father, who clothes the lilies of the fields and cares for even the sparrows, would place His child in a situation that was not for her good, especially since it was God Himself who designed her role to be keeper of her home? If she was fulfilling that role, would He willingly place her in jeopardy?
 Please understand that we are not condemning widows or deserted wives who are working outside the home because they have been forced to do so. However, even in adversity, God supplied a means for widows in need, which He outlined in scripture.
 “Honor widows who are widows indeed; but if any widow has children or grandchildren [the King James Version includes nephews here], they must first learn to practice piety in regard to their own family, and to make some return to their parents; for this is acceptable in the sight of God. Now she who is a widow indeed, and who has been left alone has fixed her hope on God, and continues in entreaties and prayers night and day. But she who gives herself to wanton pleasure is dead even while she lives. Prescribe these things as well, so that they may be above reproach. But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever. A widow is to be put on the list only if she is not less than sixty years old, having been the wife of one man, having a reputation for good works; and if she has brought up children, if she has shown hospitality to strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has assisted those in distress, and if she has devoted herself to every good work. But refuse to put younger widows on the list, for when they feel sensual desires in disregard of Christ, they want to get married, thus incurring condemnation, because they have set aside their previous pledge. And at the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention. Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach; for some have already turned aside to follow Satan. [This last verse I will copy from the King James Version so it can be more readily understood.] If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed” (1 Tim. 5:3-16).
 In keeping with God’s divine commands, we must therefore teach our families to accept their covenantal responsibilities, and in turn transform the church body to accept theirs. For this truly is the biblical model of charity by which God provides for His own people, first through their own families and then if none be found, through the church, both being God’s instruments of His covenantal provision. “So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith” (Gal 6:10).
 Another illustration of this model is found in the book of Ruth. Upon widowhood, Ruth found herself in need, yet according to God’s design, God provided for her through her mother-in-law’s relative, Boaz. She had to go out to work for her food by gleaning in the field, but she went to her relative’s field, who in turn provided for her.
 Yes, we realize that most families and churches are not faithfully fulfilling their responsibilities because they have not been taught to do so, thus compelling most women in need to support their own families, yet their negligence does not justify our disobedience when we train our daughters to be independent. Transforming society must begin with us, which means that we teach our own children to heed and obey God’s commands that they in turn are equipped to disciple others to observe all that God commanded. This most certainly includes teaching our children that it is their responsibility to take care of one another, and especially our son’s responsibility to care of us and his sisters if in need. Of course, we must also keep in mind that work is ordained by God, thereby requiring us to work for those who are helping us. Throughout history, extended families lived and worked together, helping one another with the household responsibilities, but most importantly with the training and care of the children.
 Remember, too, that the God whom you and I serve assures us of His providential care in the following scriptures. “‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope’” (Jer. 29:11). “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28). “And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).
 Fathers and mothers, what are we doing but following the world in its endeavor to rob our daughters of their inheritance and joy of motherhood? Do we not know that throughout all time God’s daughters have never worked outside the home away from their families? Why is it that we now have an outrageous outpouring of judgment on our country? Why is it that there are so many children born out of wedlock, so many cases of adultery, so many divorces, so many teenage suicides, so many teenage murders, so much depression and apathy among our young people? Can it be that once women stepped beyond God’s design for them that all havoc broke loose upon the family?
 Should it surprise us that feminism (which means “the principle that women should have political, economic, and social rights equal to those of men; the movement to win such rights for women”) was taken from the word feminine (which means “having qualities regarded as characteristic of women and girls as gentleness, weakness, delicacy, modesty, etc.; womanly”) when God warns us against being led astray by the craftiness of Satan and his deceitful workers, who appear as angels of light? Indeed, the very thing that feminists fought for brought death to femininity. “But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ…. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their deeds” (2 Cor. 11:3,13-15).
 Men are no longer needed to support their families because women have made it very clear that they can take care of themselves, thank you very much. And now more women than ever are doing just that—taking care of themselves and their children. It is really hard to protect mothers against fathers who don’t pay child support when the majority of mothers have wanted equality with men and are now working outside the home. If most women were dependent upon their husbands for their support, the laws would return to a just course of action. For a man feels a greater sense of responsibility towards his wife when she is dependent on him for her sustenance. And when society follows God’s laws, justice can be administered to protect those who cannot protect themselves. “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Tim. 5:8).
 Women did not want to be told what they should do, but now that they are in such dire circumstances, the world will not tell men what they must do either. Women cannot have it both ways. The world tells us that we can have it all, but what that really means is that we can have all the work and heartache the world has to offer, when not so many years ago, women were spared such things. God very carefully and specifically designed and defined our roles for good reason.
 Do we mock at sin when we say that our daughters can be anything that they want to be and should get a college degree so that they are able to be financially independent? We would be wise to look at who first spread these lies. It was not the church, for indeed the church fought against feminism in the beginning, but as always happens (the church being just a few years behind the world in its descent towards hell), the church is now espousing college, career—your choice, your choice, your choice! And now what pastor do you know who even knows what betrothal is, much less supports families who are desirous of motherhood for their young girls. As a matter of fact, most pastors do not even touch upon submission to husbands for fear of losing most of their congregation. Or how many pastors do you think would preach for the women of their congregation to give up their jobs and go home to love their husbands, teach their children, and be keepers of their homes, even though that is what God clearly commands women.
 Are you going to a church where most or even half the women are working outside their homes? Does this not reflect upon the pastor’s negligence in teaching the whole truth of God and holding his flock accountable to following God’s Word? For indeed the reason why homes in America are falling apart is because our spiritual leaders have departed from God’s truth. They have blasphemed the Word of God and so are responsible for the deluge of sin that is running rampant in a country whose people were once great because their leaders were great men of God. Yet are we any less accountable if we fail to teach the truth about our roles?
 We are witnessing the greatest raping of our young girls that the world has ever known, and to our horror our homeschooling daughters are following in the footsteps left by feminists in their flagrant rebellion towards God. God continues to tell us, “Do not be deceived.” Deceived? Are we not deceived into thinking that the college degree we pay for will not be a temptation to our daughter’s calling?
 Oh, we have heard the safe reply from parents that they are praying for what God has in store for their daughter whether that be a career or marriage. Where are the scriptures to back this up? Have we not read that women are preserved through childbearing and that younger women should love their husbands, love their children and work at home? Do we not know that a young girl is to remain under her father’s authority and protection until she gets married? Do we reason that it is our daughter’s right to choose whether she wants to be a lesbian, Communist, or Muslim and therefore remain neutral in their training? Absolutely not! Why? Because we know that each of these choices is morally and spiritually wrong, so then why would we falter in this area? Is it because we fear the opposition we would encounter with family, friends, and the church body?
 Will the Lord’s annals tell about this generation of homeschoolers who failed to trust in the Lord and follow in all His ways? Will we be called the unfaithful generation? Every generation has passed on an inheritance to their children. Women, what are we teaching? Are we preparing our daughters for their roles as wives and mothers, or are we preparing the way for disaster and heartache? Is not iron supposed to sharpen iron, and are we not to encourage one another onto the right pathway?
 Please do not think that we are better than any of you. We too have struggled with these issues. We never wanted our daughters to go to college, but we allowed our oldest to work outside the home and run around with other homeschoolers who were pursuing lifestyles contrary to our goals for her, and we have paid a dear price for our foolishness. We have dear friends whom we dearly love and respect who are sending their daughters to college. We do not look down upon them, but wish that they would rethink their position and vision for their daughters, in hopes of saving them from the consequences of human reasoning. Anyone who knows us knows that we are not condescending and abhor others who are. We are sinners and have sinned much during our lives, but desire to teach others not to make the same mistakes we have made.
 As Christians, it is imperative that we ask ourselves the following questions: Are we faithfully living according to God’s Word? Are we raising our daughters according to God’s Word? Are our pastors and the body we attend promoting this truth to our children? Are the friends of our children walking according to God’s Word? If we want our children to follow God’s Word, we cannot say that, but then allow them to associate with others who are in violation of God’s will. If we want our children to follow God, then our actions must be in compliance with that desire. Too often, though, our actions are in direct conflict with our desires for our daughters, which ultimately undermines the very goals we say we want for their lives. But realize that the most challenging obstacles we will encounter and the most difficult to overcome will be our own fears of how we will be viewed by others.
 One of our homeschooling mothers recently shared her concerns to us over her daughter’s rebellion against all that her mother had taught her, sharing that her daughter had told her that she had wasted her life staying at home. My first question to this mother was, “Who is your daughter spending time with?” Of course, it came as no surprise to me when she told me that her daughter was spending time with girls in her youth group who were pursuing careers. Do not fall into the delusion that this will never happen to your daughter, for every parent whom we have counseled truly believed that their daughter would surely never be led astray. Remember, in the past two years, we have had over 100 girls leave home in rebellion to their parents.
 Several months prior to a friend’s daughter’s departure to “do what she wanted to do,” Jedidiah had come home lamenting that he had overheard this young girl discussing with her friends that being a wife and mother was fine for some but not for them, for they wanted to pursue their dreams, and so she did. We cannot expect our girls to remain faithful to their calling if they are surrounded by others who desire worldly endeavors anymore than we could expect any of us to remain faithful to our own spouses if we were constantly around men who were flirting with us, or being content keepers of our home if we continued to hang around independent women who were sowing seeds of discord by sharing all the fun they were having in their freedom. “Leave the presence of a fool, or you will not discern words of knowledge. The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way, but the folly of fools is deceit. Fools mock at sin” (Proverbs 14:7-9). Yes, we can do everything right and still lose our daughters in the end—to the company of fools!
 As our daughters get older, it is very hard to find other girls who are like-minded and going in the same direction, yet it is imperative that we are certain of our daughters’ companions that they are in accordance with God’s Word, or our neglect will most certainly become the demise of them. There are but few girls with whom we permit Sonia to closely associate, but is that not what God’s children have always had to do to remain pure?
 As a married couple there are things that we do not do that could jeopardize our marriage such as not allowing ourselves to be alone with the opposite sex, having a business luncheon with the opposite sex, having our hair cut by the opposite sex, or associating with people who do not share our convictions of the sanctity of marriage. Should not these same principles apply to our children? Should we not be cautious about our children’s alliances with those who are pursuing boyfriends, careers, and apartments? Should they be in churches that do not teach and uphold the biblical model of the family? Should they be around other extended family members who try to coerce their worldly views on them?
 When Adam and Eve proclaimed their autonomy by disobeying God’s will, and instead chose their own, they literally became slaves to sin. For in Colossians 2:8, we are warned to “see to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.” Captive literally means “prisoner taken by force by an enemy; a slave.” The irony of this is that any time anyone chooses his own will over God’s will, the very autonomy they wish to possess is nullified because they immediately become slaves to sin. According to Isaiah 5:12,13, “… They do not pay attention to the deeds of the Lord, nor do they consider the work of His hands. Therefore My people go into exile for their lack of knowledge.”
 Let us remember what happened to Dinah when she left the covering of her father’s protection. “Now Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the daughters of the land. And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her, he took her and lay with her by force” (Gen. 34:1,2).
 Today we are witnessing many of our young girls getting pregnant, living with boyfriends, and marrying unbelievers. What can we expect when they too leave the covering of their father? Notice that it says that Dinah went out to visit the daughters of the land, showing her willful disobedience. And if God did not spare Jacob’s daughter from the horrific consequences of her disobedience, can we think that God will spare our own daughters when they seek their will in this world; for far greater licentiousness prevails today and is not only readily accepted, but is strongly encouraged.  There are always consequences to our willful acts of disobedience!

What Does God Require of Us?

 Let us look more closely at what God requires of us. “Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips, nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored” (Tit. 2:3-5). The King James Version reads, “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children. To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
 Dishonor means “to disgrace; to bring reproach or shame on; to stain the character of; to lessen reputation.” To blaspheme means “to speak of the Supreme Being in terms of impious irreverence; to revile or speak reproachfully of God, of the Holy Spirit; to arrogate the prerogatives of God.”
 Is God’s Word and Way not perfect? Excellent? Just? Wise? And is it not our duty to follow the Word? Is not our conduct to reflect what we believe so that Christ’s image will not be disgraced? Does not man judge who Christ is by looking upon the conduct of His followers? How, then, can we teach others if we ourselves are not following what God commands of us?
 Have you ever really considered the seriousness of our responsibility to teach young women to love their husbands, to love their children, and to be workers and keepers at home? Think of the impact that we could truly make upon society if we continued to follow God’s path and lead other young women back home. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see yards full of mothers and children playing together during the daytime or to walk down any street in America and know that behind most closed doors loving mothers were nurturing their children and preparing for their husbands’ arrival home? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to decrease unemployment by freeing up jobs for men? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could strengthen families and subsequently restore this country upon a strong foundation?
 Jesus Himself says, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:18-20). Essentially, we are to take dominion over everything for His namesake and glory. In making disciples who are obedient to all God’s Word, we become instrumental in reforming our culture by claiming His lordship over all areas of life. But our own lifestyles must change by taking hold of the entire counsel of God as our rule and way of life, if we are to bring about a transformation of the culture around us, thereby building up the kingdom for Christ. Will it be said that we were faithful and committed to the whole counsel of God? This is the Great Commission! For God tells us that we are in a battle and must cast down every speculation that is raised up against the knowledge of God.
 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:3-5). “Where there is no vision, the people perish, but he that keepeth the law, happy is he” (Prov. 29:18). “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom. 12:2).

Our Covenantal Duty as God’s Children

 God chose Abraham, the father of the Church, for a purpose. “For I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him” (Gen. 18:19).
 Abraham was faithful even though he knew that neither he nor his immediate descendants would inherit the Promised Land. As a matter of fact, God revealed to him that the fulfillment of that promise would not occur for another four generations. Could we be so faithful? We may not see the results of our faithfulness during our stay on earth, but God’s Word never comes back void. Besides, God calls us to be faithful, regardless of what we ourselves see because the results are His. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval…. And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (Heb. 11:1,2,6).
 As it is the sacred duty of each generation to train up the next generation for serving the Lord, God throughout His entire Word points us to the Hebrew method of parent-directed Biblical education. Our Hebrew forefathers understood their covenantal duty to train up their children to make ready a people for the Lord, and so must we. Noah Webster defines covenant as “a mutual consent or agreement of two or more persons, to do or to forbear some act or thing; a contract; stipulation. A covenant is created by deed in writing, sealed and executed; or it may be implied in the contract. A writing containing the terms of agreement or contract between parties; or the clause of agreement in a deed containing the covenant. In theology, the covenant of works, is that implied in the commands, prohibitions, and promises of God; the promise of God to man, that man’s perfect obedience should entitle him to happiness. This do, and live; that do, and die. The covenant of redemption, is the mutual agreement between the Father and Son, respecting the redemption of sinners by Christ. The covenant of grace, is that by which God engages to bestow salvation on man, upon the condition that men shall believe in Christ and yield obedience to the terms of the gospel. In church affairs, a solemn agreement between the members of a church, that they will walk together according to the precepts of the gospel, in brotherly affection.” The Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible defines covenant as “covenant, treaty, compact, agreement, an association between two parties with various responsibilities, benefits, and penalties, ‘to cut a covenant’ is ‘make a covenant,’ a figure of the act of ceremonially cutting an animal into two parts, with an implication of serious consequences for not fulfilling the covenant.”
 God tells us in Psalm 78:5-8, “For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers, that they should teach them to their children, that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children, that they should put their confidence in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments, and not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that did not prepare its heart, and whose spirit was not faithful to God.”
 Noah Webster defines heart as “the seat of the understanding; the seat of the will.” He defines faithful as “firm in adherence to the truth and to the duties of religion. Firmly adhering to duty … Constant in the performance of duties … exact in attending to commands; as a faithful servant.” God tells us to “be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” (Rev. 2:10).
 Now let us look at how God defines a faithful servant. “Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them. Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves…. And the Lord said, ‘Who then is the faithful and sensible steward, whom his master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their rations at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes…. But if that slave says in his heart, “My master will be a long time in coming,” … the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him, and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and assign him a place with the unbelievers. And that slave who knew his master’s will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, shall receive many lashes’” (Luke 12:37-47).

Let Us Be Faithful Stewards of a Generational Vision

 Do we have an eye on the future, committed not only to God’s standard of excellence for ourselves, but to adhere to His standard that others may follow? Reformation of the family and the church is imperative if we are to restore the old foundations of this country and bring harmony to our land once again; and this responsibility lies upon us, God’s faithful stewards whom God requires to speak truth about His Biblical mandates.
 “Is this not the fast which I chose, to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke? Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into the house … Then your light will break out like the dawn, and your recovery will speedily spring forth; and your righteousness will go before you; the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard…. And if you give yourself to the hungry, and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness, and your gloom will become like midday. And the Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and give strength to your bones; and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail. And those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins; you will raise up the age-old foundations; and you will be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of the streets in which to dwell” (Is. 58:6-12).
 Heir means “the man who succeeds, or is to succeed … one who inherits or takes possession.” What will our heirs take possession of? Are we willing to accept our duty and fulfill it, to speak truth instead of cowering in the face of the deluge of worldly judgment? If you are willing, God promises to give you the strength needed. “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13).
 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, and freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to grant … the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. Then they will rebuild … the desolations of many generations…. But you will be called the priests of the Lord; you will be spoken of as ministers of our God…. Everlasting joy will be theirs. For I, the Lord … will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. Then their offspring will be known among the nations, and their descendants in the midst of the peoples. All who see them will recognize them because they are the offspring whom the Lord has blessed. I will rejoice greatly in the Lord … for He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness … For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes the things sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations” (Is. 61).

What Dream Do We Have for Our Daughters?

 What do we dream for our daughters? What are our daughters dreaming of? What things do they hear from us or from others whom we have allowed to speak into their lives, which have forged their thoughts and ways? Do we take great pleasure in what we do? Have we created lovely homes for our families? Do we make pretty and delicious meals and create delightful outings and lovely family celebrations? Do we read to them, play games with them, and talk with them? Are we working on family or working on pushing our children into the world by shuttling them to every activity imaginable? What young girl do you know who would wish to do that for the rest of her life? I would not want to do that for the rest of my life either. Is that what homeschooling has become? These women who run around all day from one activity to another need to have some genuine friends help point them back into the right relationship with their husbands, their family, and above all with their Lord. For not only are they hurting their own families, but also they are influencing other women to do the same.

A Marriage Made in Heaven

 A marriage affects virtually everything in life. Whereas an unwise union plunges life into a wretchedness of unavoidable pain and suffering, a wise and godly union secures a lifetime of joy and blessings, so naturally, wisdom calls to us to allow God to do the choosing.
 From the moment that Jon and I met, we have done practically everything together. To share this life’s journey with such a kind and wise husband, who has become my most cherished friend and devoted companion, is the most comforting joy God could give me. And as we share each other’s thoughts, enjoy the same activities, share the same vision, and work together for God’s kingdom, I continually pour out my thanksgiving to the Father who provided so lovingly for me.
 Not only do we do everything together, but also we talk to each other constantly, sharing our thoughts, discussing doctrine, scripture, history…. Indeed, our greatest source of joy has been our constant communion and companionship with each other. We skeet shoot, fish, hike, ride horses, four wheel, put up hay, mend fence, build structures, remodel, cook, cut grass, garden, work in our lawn business, read, intensely study God’s Word, theology and history together—not separately—but together, and now together as a family. As a matter of fact, we teach Sonia these things that she may also be a pleasant companion to her husband and a helpmate to him in all ways, and well equipped, not only to share deep conversations with her own husband, but to help him make wise, righteous decisions for their family.
 Intellectual cultivation is essential in preparing our daughters’ minds for engagement into intelligent social intercourse, able to discuss a great variety of subjects, not only for pleasure but also for the edification of those who hear. To be well read adds greatly to this end. Young girls must be instructed in these things, which are just as important as the management of a household and children. To preserve the blessings of marriage, we must cultivate the heart of our daughters towards the things that naturally interest young men. Consider the importance of this truth and be diligent to instill the joy of these endeavors in your daughters, for there is nothing sadder than a husband and wife living distinctly apart from each other, when God designed them to be one in all ways.

Family Businesses

 Should a daughter work with her family in a home-based business? Absolutely! As more and more homeschooling families pursue family businesses so that the fathers can remain home and work with their families, it is important that the whole family work together, including the daughters. She is still under her father’s authority and still dependent on his direction and provision for her needs, while also being equipped to help her own husband if he should have a home-based business as well. Indeed it is a great blessing to be able to work together as a family!
 Families often ask us what we do about paying our children for the work they do in our business. Well, just as Jon, being the father, always shared his compensation for his work with his family, so the compensation that our family receives for working is shared by one and all. The world defines independent roles by “his money” and “her money”; covenantal families share their blessings with each other, as is their covenantal duty. Now when Jedidiah gets older, part of our profit will go directly into an account so that he can purchase a home debt free for himself and his bride, while part of it will go into an account for Sonia’s dowry. In the meantime, the money goes back into the business, to pay bills, or is used for pleasant purchases and outings that bless our entire family.

Duties of Our Faith and Religion—To Impart Vision and Purpose

 I am often asked what daughters should be doing after they have graduated, if they are not going on to college or on to a job. Quite simply, the same things that they have been doing all along. Learning does not stop due to the dispensation of a diploma. Quite frankly, diplomas are a manmade certificate to acknowledge the completion of high school requirements, and while this is a nice way to celebrate all our daughters’ hard work thus far, it is not an ending to anything nor a beginning to something else, because daughters should continue to serve their fathers in the same way that they have done all along. A strongly established home greatly surpasses any academic achievements gained.
 There is nothing more pathetic than a young girl who has lived at home all her life and does not know the first thing about managing a household. Hopefully, this will not be the case for any of our girls, but I am sure that there is room for much improvement in their capabilities, as many moms lament to me over their own lack of skills that they found necessary for the tasks God required of them. Or perhaps you may be struggling with devoting your life to homemaking. Whichever the case may be, do not despair. God is so gracious to each of us. When we return to Him, He has promised to make up for the years the locusts have eaten! And He will create in you a self-sacrificial spirit that embraces every task He requires, making it pleasurable and easy. Just trustingly commit your life into His hands, completely submit your desires to His grand and wise purpose for your life, and He will perfect in you what He desires.
 “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:15,16).
 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light” (Matt. 11:28-30).
 “My son, if you will receive my sayings, and treasure my commandments within you, make your ear attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding; for if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding; if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will discern the fear of the Lord, and discover the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth comes knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice, and He preserves the way of His godly ones. Then you will discern righteousness and justice and equity and every good course. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; discretion will guard you, understanding will watch over you, to deliver you from the way of evil, from the man who speaks perverse things; from those who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness” (Prov. 2:1-13).
 The important thing is just to start wherever you are now and go forward towards God’s goals, for He will certainly bless your efforts. First and foremost, it is imperative to impart a vision and purpose for our daughters’ lives while forming a firm foundation of conviction. Once that is established, it is essential to begin building upon that solid foundation the skills necessary for the success and happiness of making their own homes. The only effectual means by which a young lady can become an accomplished keeper of the home and skillful manager of the everyday concerns of a family is by actual daily practice attending to her own immediate family’s needs. This includes laundry, housekeeping, meal planning, creating delicious and beautiful meals, decorating, sewing, gardening, and shopping. To learn how to create lovely homes, establish traditions that transcend the generations, plan family parties, surprise and delight each family member, and show charitable hospitality to others. These skills must not only be observed, but practiced as well. Other possibilities are lessons in first aid, music, art, dyeing wool, knitting, weaving, rug hooking, soap making, animal husbandry…. There are not enough years to do everything I want to do with Sonia.
 To prepare our daughters for homeschooling their own children, we must also give our daughters ample opportunities to make lesson plans, to teach each subject, and to develop creative teaching skills. This is, too, is a great time to start a poem file, creative writing file, creative teaching file, and a great time for creating adorable bulletin board pictures and making fun games as well.
 I especially believe that it is absolutely important that we show our daughters how to decorate beautifully. When my daughters were younger, I discussed the color wheel and color schemes. We talked about spatial relationships and the proper place to put furniture in a room regardless of the floor plan. I even had them to design floor plans. We discussed fabrics and used these on our windows, walls, chairs, and tables and to enhance decorative appointments. I had Heather take an upholstery class so that she was capable of upholstering her own furniture, which I will take with Sonia as well. As we shop for decorations for our home, I talk to Sonia about color, pattern, texture, and placement. Then I allow her, with some guidance, to implement these skills into decorating her own rooms and to help me change the decorations in each room with each change in season. I also have encouraged each of my daughters to keep magazine picture files of rooms and gardens that appeal to them.
 Creating a lovely home is the greatest art form there is because it touches not only the lives of our immediate family, but also those of future generations as well, besides the fact that it is so interesting, delightful and pleasing. Nothing could possibly be nicer than creating a beautiful, peaceful retreat for your family to come home to, and nothing could manifest God’s glory better. I believe that we truly have the greatest job in the world!
 And let us not forget to teach our daughters to be content with God’s provision for them through their husbands. For how many women have gone astray because they were not content with what their husbands brought home? And urge them to take great care in the economy of their domestic affairs, so they do not become frivolous and so squander away hard-earned money. With this, it is important to cultivate their tastes for fine things, well-made furniture, silver, crystal, and china, that they do not heedlessly spend money on junk just because it is cheap and immediately accessible for self-gratification, but teach them self-restraint in saving and waiting till they can afford pieces that will last so that they can be passed down through the generations. “But godliness actually is a means of great gain, when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. And if we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith, and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Tim. 6:6-10).
 Teach them to see the value in everything they put their hand to aside from personal likes and dislikes, that they may be happy in all the ways they serve their families. “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58).
 And of course, let us encourage these things with prayer, devotions, and with the support of friends who will encourage them to be wise, gracious, virtuous, charitable, kind, gentle, cheerful, pleasant, graceful, poised, orderly, industrious, ingenious … all the things that are so important for a wife and mother to be.
 So while the world mocks motherhood, we can be counteracting such lies with a message of hope, not only in the way we live, but also by diligently teaching our own daughters as well as other young women to love their husbands, to love their children, and to work at home. Will we be faithful to manifest His glory? God has given us such a wonderful opportunity to impact His world by raising up faithful stewards who possess a priceless inheritance of faithfully fulfilling their duty as keepers of their homes.
 It is with deep gratitude to my heavenly Father that I have committed my life into His hands, for His grand and wise purpose for my life. As a daughter of God, I have the wonderful job of creating a lovely, beautiful, happy, and peaceful home which welcomes my family to curl up and sink within its bosom, and the privilege of enlightening my children’s minds and forming their characters by raising them up in the admonition of the Lord. How thankful I am that I have been chosen to be a devoted companion and helpmate to my beloved husband whom I cherish above all else. Thank you, dear Lord, for creating me to be a wife and mother, and for bringing me home to enjoy the greatest profession on earth!