Womanhood

Where do we learn to be women? That is a topic far from the conversation in Christian circles, especially among the younger girls and women who need it the most. Lady’s devotional materials, Bible studies and prayer groups are usually for the aged – with each passing generation, women’s unique gifts, ministries and callings  are becoming forgotten. In the blur and confusion of the modern day, our churches have taken  on a largely genderless view of faith and living, leaving our young women stranded. Enter any children’s class or youth group – you are unlikely to hear girls being taught about Biblical womanhood or boys being taught about manhood. They are probably taught many important things, but these essential truths are usually not among them. Men and women are treated as the same; gender is forgotten.

Yes, I agree in many things, as our apostle. The call of Jesus, the redeeming work of the cross, the commands of our Messiah – these transcend gender and apply to us all.

The problem is, our genders play such an important, God-given role in our lives. Gender – distinctions in physicality and in function, for example – are found at the very beginning, when God created Adam and Eve. We really musn’t forget them – they play a role in this life, though of course they are not as important in the age to come (and let us not forget that either!).

If girls don’t learn to be godly women from their families and within a faith-filled context, they will fall prey to the world’s designs and sensual, ungodly messages. They will learn what it means to be women from pop stars, celebrities, and other hedonistic role-models. They will probably become sexualised, unwittingly. This crude, lewd form of femininity that focuses on outward appearances and attention-seeking is a far, far, cry from the noble, honourable women of the Bible, whose beauty was inward, whose legacy was eternal, and who were humble, courageous, and devoted to God.

The world will teach our daughters to be beautiful on outside. The world will teach our daughters that relationships are about having fun and experiencing romance, not about sacrificial love and starting a family.  The world will teach our daughters to aspire to be everything but godly wives and mothers, a role that will fall into neglect, or worse, be taken on with little appreciation, care or acknowledgement of it’s sacredness.

Women are born with the ability to create and nurture life, and this cannot be described as a powerful potential. How sad it is, then, that motherhood is valued so little. Girls grow up without realising that they have this potential, and usually, a natural innate desire and aptitude to be mothers.They are not prepared for it, nor taught to anticipate and treasure such a role as an opportunity for divine ministry. However, this does not mean that women who are able to have children are any less women, or that their lives have any less of a purpose. We do believe that God’s design for each is unique and purposeful, and that womanhood is deeper and much more meaningful – it cannot be limited to just “bearing children” and “having a womb”.

Where can girls learn to be women

From the Word of God, written for our instruction and admonishment. Women in the Bible play many significant roles and we can learn a lot from their lives. In fact, this should be the foundation and guideline for constructing a personal understanding of one’s womanhood

Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
(1 Corinthians 10:11

2. From mentors. The older women are clearly to be examples to younger women. This starts at home with one’s mother.

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.
(Titus 2:3-5)

 

3. From other godly women, whose lives and labours (though perhaps unrecognised and hidden)  bear godly fruit. We may listen to them, read about them, and learn from their example from afar off. Corrie Ten Boom and Elisabeth Elliot are examples of women that we can look up to as role models.

We can’t just offer girls “alternatives” to the world, however. Different doesn’t mean better or more spiritual. We need to get back to the Bible and be rooted and built up in God’s Word alone, not men’s words and ideas.

The same is true with “Biblical Manhood”, which should focus on what the Bible focuses on, like listening to God, being a humble servant, being totally surrendered, living as a disciple, taking up one’s cross, being a leader and a shepherd, being responsible and mature, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Myths about Raising Homemakers

Growing into a competent and passionate “keeper of the home” is supposed to be a beautiful, empowering, exciting and enjoyable process. It’s not about restrictions but about becoming a person who’s more equipped to live life and be a blessing to others. Homemaking complements the physical/emotional/spiritual role of motherhood very well. Anyone can keep a home but the Christian home is a sacred, divinely-ordained institution in which the mother serves as keeper, guardian or watch-woman.

So, I’d like to discuss what I feel are unhelpful  myths about “raising homemakers”. Sometimes, these things are practiced and become reality, and that is very tragic and destructive.

Myth #1: It means not having a career/skills

No. It means having life-skills and being responsible and independent. Like adulting! It certainly does not mean not learning other skills or getting training and qualifications in useful vocations from which you can derive an income! If “homemaking” is taking away from learning, if it become an excuse not to educate daughters otherwise, something is wrong!

And yet, a good education is holistic. It’s not only about academics, it’s about being prepared for life! I think finances, accounting, repairs – these are all useful skills not traditional considered homemaking skills, but that are essential. We’ve got to move with the times too, and teach what is practical to modern day living.

Myth #2: Boys get to be lazy

Nope. I believe boys should learn to cook, clean, care for babies, etc. and that girls should learn to other things like fix computers, etc. The difference would be, I think, that I would teach girls the enjoyable and artistic side, the detailed and well thought-out side of homemaking more. Women are supposed to be more detailed, I guess. They have to learn to take the lead and initiative in these matters. Boys can just do what their told, and do it well and efficiently- they’d help out but they wouldn’t be the primary managers of the home.

Myth #3:It means not learning/doing anything else

Absolutely not! Even if in an “ideal world” a woman could stay home with the kids, girls need to be prepared for reality, not a fantasy world. Maybe a woman doesn’t have kids. Maybe she’s not even married. Maybe she needs to work. Maybe she’s a single mother, or a widow. Maybe her husband is incapacitated. Maybe her husband’s income is insufficient. Is she supposed to do nothing because women are for some reason not supposed to earn money or be the primary wage-earner? That’s ridiculous. In the old days, men worked the fields for food. Does that mean women aren’t supposed to do gardening/farming or animal husbandry? Obviously not, even the women in the Bible tended crops and raised animals.

Myth #4: It’s repressive

We’re not going to evolve out of eating, drinking, wearing clothes and making babies. Somebody’s got to take responsibility for it, maybe even make an art of the process. Instead of dreading it and hating it, why can’t we thrive in the role of homemakers and enjoy it? Why can’t we serve God through homemaking, by being faithful in “little things”?

If a girl told me, “I’ll never do the dishes, that’s sexist and repressive”, I’d ask her if she wants to eat from dirty dishes, or fill up landfills with plastic/Styrofoam waste, or waste money on expensive biodegradable products (well, once is awhile is fine). What needs to be done needs to be done. Plus, it’s so easy nowadays if you have a dishwasher!

Myth #5: It makes women weak

Weak, as in physically weak? No. Inferior? No. Financially dependent? No. I believe in raising girls to be bold, intelligent, virtuous, strong, moral, tough, positive, resilient, compassionate, capable, independent and so forth. Not afraid to speak up for herself, nor afraid to speak up for someone else. I’d teach my daughters to look for men who would honour and respect, not bully, intimidate, abuse or manipulate them.

Myth #6: It takes forever/is endless

No. It doesn’t take years and years! It’s not full-time nor does it really need to extend beyond high school, in my opinion. There is a basic difference between training a daughter to be a future keeper of her home and using her to keep your home for you. The difference is that all she needs to do is pull her weight around the home (same as everyone), master all the different skills, and be able to take leadership. This means she will be doing lots of new, different things and applying herself to new challenges, not repeating endless chores and drudgery. The responsible of the home is on the mother and she can delegate that responsible only partially and to a limited extend. Ideally, a mother serves as the mother and takes responsibility for whatever babies she has birthed. It’s all too easy for older daughters to be taken advantage  of and happens all too often!

A Study in Hospitality

There’s something about hospitality that I love so much. Maybe it’s because I love to cook, I love to have people around (even though, *sigh*, there will be the inevitable stack of dishes afterwards). But it’s worth it, so worth it.

A study of hospitality in the Bible uncovered some FASCINATING truths, and I say truly fascinating. The word “hospitality” is philonexus, which comes from philoxenus, which comes from philos and xenos. Philos means love, xenos means strangers. Hospitality literally means love of strangers and it’s the exact and total opposite of xenophobia, which is to hate people who are different.

It’s important to different between what is Christian and unchristian. Xenophobia is unchristian, welcoming people who are different with open arms is Christian, or better yet, Christ-like. The love of money, greed, corruption and bribery is unchristian, but generosity and simplicity is Christ-like. Anger and violence is unchristian, gentleness, love and kindness is Christian. Being mean-spirited and revengeful is the opposite of being forgiving and turning the other cheek. Being wise is the opposite of being foolish. The list goes on and on, and we need to be able to recognize godly values and attitudes and distinguish them from ungodly values and attitudes! Furthermore, Christians shouldn’t be known for being arrogant, for pushing our weight around, for being violent and defensive, etc. I just wish that we could represent Christ, and live “quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness and reverence”. Can we be known for having Christ’s love, for being sacrificial and giving?

Discovering the meaning of the word “hospitality” was a lightbulb moment for me. Nowhere in the Bible are we taught to hate or fear people who are different from us, but, instead, we are taught to love. Not in feeling, not in word, but in action –  by being hospitable, by welcoming people with open arms. We are also called to be hospitable with one another, with our brethren.

What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

(James 2:14-17)

 

 

Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.

(Luke 14:12-14)

 

For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

(Matthew 25:35)

 

Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers; Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well:

(3 John 1:5-6)

 

A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

(1 Timothy 3:2)

 

For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;

(Titus 1:7-8)

 

 

And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

(1 Peter 4:8-10)

 

Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.

(Hebrews 13:1-3)

 

Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.

(Romans 12:10-14)

 

 

Lessons in Generosity

Let brotherly love continue.
(Hebrews 13:1)

I believe, in the last few weeks, the Lord has been teaching me to be generous, reminding me that blessings and abundance allow us the privilege of sharing.

raisin-bread-1805247_1280.jpg

Sometimes, I feel like being generous means you’re open to being taken advantage of. Especially if you give and share, and, at the back of your mind, you take notice that people never seem to return your “generosity”, and you start to get calculative… And grumble. And tell God you think you’re being taken advantage of. And then when the opportunity arises again to share with someone you’re just a tad bit reluctant on the inside, even if you don’t show it on the outside.

And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
(Luke 6:34-35)

Then, of course, when you get to know people better you start to see  more of what God sees (that you don’t see). And then you realise why you were led to share with them in the first place!

I’ve started to see more than people, people who on the outside seem just like me – normal, happy, well-adjusted, prosperous… When you get to know people, you find that they have needs that you can meet and areas you can bless them, whether in term of physical health, emotional health, physical poverty or lack… or just a need for help. Not that I can do much except be a friend, share what I can, listen to people…

There’s a joy that comes from living a generous life, and that’s what the Lord is teaching me. I feel like He’s saying that “I’ve blessed you, I want you to live selflessly and bless others”. Not in a way that makes me look good, of course! Not to boost my self-esteem or whatever.

Amazingly, He has shown Himself to be my provider. While I’ve chosen to live frugally and to stretch my pennies, He’s just abundantly provided for me in more ways than I can describe, one amazing gift after the other… more than I could create for myself or achieve through my own “cunning”. And it feels so overwhelming.

So miraculous is this that I want to throw my hands towards heaven and say, “God, I want to live like this. I want to give and live sacrificially, to be a “man for others” like Jesus was”. Of course, once I’ve said this, He’s probably going to test me and challenge me in ways less convenient.

Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
(Luke 14:12-14)

Homesteading for Beginners

Screenshot (13)Simple, do-it-yourself living skills are something that I feel is wise for a young lady to learn, and a worthy pursuit. The Bible speaks often of working with our hands as well as being diligent and resourceful. A plain, back-to-basics lifestyle can be one that is compatible with that of a disciple, especially since our increasingly wealth-obsessed and commercial world presents many temptations and dangers for Christians to stray from the narrow path.

As a long-time member of the online community, the Homestead Community Pos run by Mark and Erin Harrison, I have gotten to know them through the internet as well as learn from their homesteading DVDs. I always felt even through the long physical distance, that Mr. and Mrs. Harrison were incredibly sincere and committed believers with a great deal of wisdom, honesty, and down-to-earth humility. They choose to share simple joys, like their yearly garden harvests, on the internet, to encourage other fathers, mothers, families, Christians and homesteaders.

Recently, they started sharing their videos freely on Youtube, providing a marvelous resource to families interested in developing homestead skills. I am thoroughly enjoying each installment. Do check out Mrs. Harrison’s blog, Keeper of the Homestead, as well.

 

 

 

Beautiful Girlhood (Web Resource)

beautiful-girlhood-by-mabel-haleThis timeless classic by Mabel Hale was written in 1922. Its a beautifully written manual for young ladies, and offers encourage and advice in many topics such as “building character, friendships, obedience, high ideals, a cheerful spirit, modest dress, a pure heart, and a consecrated life.”

You can read the entire book online for free! I’d thoroughly recommend it – you can even print it out and make it a gift to young ladies in your life.

 

Polished Cornerstones

Screenshot (3)That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace:
(Psalms 144:12)

As daughters of the King, it is important that we present ourselves with dignity and grace. The verse above describes young women, daughters, who are polished cornerstones who are both ornamental and useful, prominent in the roles their play and standing as examples.

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
(Matthew 5:14)

We take on the roles of examples,  of lights, witnesses and testifiers. We are not conformists, but are the “trendsetters”, for lack of a better word – instead of being influenced by what is around us, we influence others and actively make disciples (for Jesus).

It i s because of this role that we must learn to conduct ourselves as women of high value (a price above rubies), of worth, of quality and of substance. This is born out of a consecrated, set-apart life lived in  devotion to God, and shows itself in the fruit of our lives – wisdom, the fruits of the Spirit, and so forth.

 

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
(James 3:17)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
(Galatians 5:22-26)

Scripture describes us as God’s workmanship – we are being molded in order to be used by Him!

But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.
(Isaiah 64:8)

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
(Ephesians 2:8-10)

But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.
(2 Timothy 2:20-21)

God’s will for us is not to be rough-hewn, but beautiful. We are imperfect, but He is perfecting us so that we can be part of His spotless, wrinkle-less and blemish-less church.

That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
(Ephesians 5:26-27)

If this is true in our relationship with God and in the way He is changing and transforming us, this can also be applied in our daily lives and how we present ourselves. Of course, all of us are royal daughters in training.

What are some ways in which we can mature and in which we can further develop as royal daughters in training? Here are some that I thought of:

  1. Deportment – how we behave and carry ourselves (wisdom, integrity, etc.)
  2. Etiquette and Decorum – being sensible, sober, behaving with propriety and wisdom rather than being “silly”, “flirtatious, etc.”
  3. Dress – Humble, ostentatious, respectable, respectful, and so forth. Dressing in a way “that becomes godliness”.
  4. Maturity in how we handle friendships and relationships

And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the LORD was with him.
(1 Samuel 18:14)

Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
(1 Timothy 3:11)

One of my spiritual “mentors”, a dear mother/sister in the Lord I love dearly, is someone who believes in dressing well (appropriately) to honour the people she sees, honor the Lord, and honor her husband. She dresses with the dignity of a lady, and the daughter of a king. In some circumstances, we may dress plainly and humbly, but there really is nothing wrong, in my opinion, in being graceful, feminine, and tasteful.

 

Misconceptions about Biblical Families

Each and every one of us Christians needd to understand God’s order and design for marriages and families, especially in a world and a church where this is increasingly being lost. We can’t look to society for our model, and we certainly can’t look to celebrities and politicians to be our guides. Our guide is the Holy Spirit, our model, the will of God as revealed in Scripture!

In this series, I will be studying what God defines as a marriages, and what His will is for families in general. I’m just a young, single woman, but I feel this is a topic so vital to the heartbeat our of daily faith and living that it’s worth studying.

The sad thing is, even devoted Christians sometimes be guilty of misunderstanding. I believe that half-truths are as good as untruths! The error comes when we repeat what people tell us the Bible says, and follow fallible human interpretations. This kind of telephone game is pretty dangerous, because in copying the “form” of a commandment and principle, we can easily lose sight of why we hold these convictions, and where they are laid out in Scripture.

Let’s not play a telephone game with the Bible, but really  meditate on Scripture and study it to learn from God Himself. That way, our practices are substantiated, and not only that, they become real and meaningful (not just copies of what someone else preaches and practices).

Take a look at the following teaching. This is from a website critiquing abuses in conservative Christian circles, and yet, this is something that even Christians can mistake as being the ultimate model for a godly home.

Oversimplification is the major problem here. We can easily fall into reducing the Bible into formulas, picking and choosing what we like and emphasizing some truths to the detriment of others. 

I don’t necessarily disagree with the above chart, but I feel it can easily misrepresent Scripture’s teachings on the subject of a godly home!

Here’s how I would rewrite it:

  1. Fathers/Husbands are leaders in the family. Leadership is an opportunity for servanthood (not a hierarchical position), and husbands emulate the perfect example of role of our Messiah Jesus. Husbands love their wives with the love of the cross, a selfless agape love that puts the other before oneself. They provide for their families as is their responsibility. Leaders in the church of God  must be men who have the testimony of a godly family.
  2. Wives submit to their husbands, helping to fulfil their joint responsibilities and callings. They serve the Lord through the high calling of motherhood, carrying their cross daily as disciples of Jesus. They are keepers of the home, and can play many important roles (Proverbs 31) such as in charity, prayer, and making disciples.
  3. Children are welcomed as blessings that ultimately belong to the Lord. Fathers and mothers are responsible for raising their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, discipling them and ensuring they receive a complete education and are prepared for adulthood.  Children are valued, and to hurt/offend a child is a serious offense. They are taught to obey their parents and are raised to follow in the paths of righteousness
  4. Christians are to live plainly and simply, not ostentatiously. They are to give to the poor and to serve wherever they are. This humble lifestyle is reflected in their dressing, which should also cover their bodies appropriately and present them as children of the Most High Go. They should live a life of sacrificially serving, loving and sharing, not going into debt but giving freely of God’s blessing.
  5. Christians live as lights in the darkness and witnesses to the world. They are not to “go out of the world” or seek to maintain personal holiness in isolation, but into go into all the world and make disciples, empowered by the Holy Spirit. They expect to face opposition, but continue to love and serve according to the example of Jesus. They live quiet, peaceable lives and are instruments of God’s grace and charity.  They look for their reward not in this world and in this life, but in the Kingdom to God and the age to come.

But don’t take my word for it! What does Scripture teach? What is the Holy Spirit instructing you?

Home Skills for Young Children

Home skills are an important part of children’s education. As someone who loves traditional home skills, I was drawn to Waldorf and Montessori methods of early education. In these methods, skills like personal care, helping out in the kitchen, sweeping, etc are integral parts of the curriculum and daily routine.

 

For homeschool families, having children involved in learning to do things about the home has numerous benefits for everyone. Not only will learning stem from life, it helps homeschooling fit into the schedules and routines of running a home.

  1. Start’em young! These skills will benefit children highly in the long run and are appropriate for them to start with, young!
  2. Too much academic learning too soon is detrimental to preschoolers and kindergarteners, they need to be exploring and doing stuff with their hands (besides learning to read and write, which are also really important)
  3. Participating in activities that are relevant to their daily experiences, and meaningful to them, helps them learn effectively. Children learn by observing and imitating!
  4. Young children learn from interacting with you, and doing “chores” together can result in many natural teaching moments.

Here are some ways home skills can benefit your children’s development:

  1. Physical – Fine and gross motor skills help children build coordination ie. pouring water, rolling up carpets, sticking clothes on pegs
  2. Intellectual – problem solving, critical thinking, counting
  3. Language – communication!
  4. Good habits – responsibility, diligence
  5. Emotional – enjoying the rewards of work, the satisfaction of a job well done, the feeling of “belonging” in the family

 

In the Montessori method, the subject of “Practical Life”includes subjects such as “Care of the Environment”, “Care of Self”, and “Grace and Courtesy”. The teaching principles include:

  1. Going from basic to advanced, with a child achieving each goal step by step
  2. Demonstrating step by step clearly so that the child can observe and imitate
  3. Having materials ready for a child to practice with independently

I’d encourage families to have young children involved in the routines of daily life, and encourage them to develop independence as they are ready for it (dressing, etc). A little goes a long way!

 

Womanly Ministries and Vocations

I went out to meet a dear sister in Christ and old friend of mine, who had just taken up a new vocation course of study. Throughout the course of our meal and conversation, we spoke about life paths, and the vocational choices we had made. She then remarked to me that the course she had chosen was something she saw herself doing as a wife and mother, than was adaptable to that role and through which she could earn an income.

That is something that I myself considered when I chose my own path.

I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
(Ephesians 4:1-7)

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
(Ephesians 2:8-10)

And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
(2 Timothy 3:15-17)

When it comes to choosing a vocation, “careers” or skill areas we choose should enable us as young women to fulfill our calling as mothers and “keepers of the home. However, even before that consideration, must come the greatest consideration of all –  God’s calling on our lives.

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
(Matthew 16:24)

The call to the cross is irrespective of gender, because we have all sinned equally before God and need salvation, because the cleansing and atoning power of the cross works on every descendant of Adam, male or female, and the same call the cross, the call of discipleship, is imperative.

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
(Romans 3:23)

And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
(Matthew 19:29)

For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.
(Matthew 10:35-40)

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
(Galatians 3:28)

I strongly feel that if we choose a profession, it isn’t about a “career” so much as it is about our life’s work, our vocation and ministry, the good work that God has prepared us and prepared for us to do.

Careers tend to be more about the following priorities

  1. Wealth
  2. Personal satisfaction and fulfillment
  3. Fame and recognition

Contrast that with the value of disciples, who are committed to living simply, quietly, humbly and peacefully, “giving our goods to the poor”  and “working with our own hands to give him who has need”. We find out fulfillment not in wealth, not in satisfaction, not in earthly happiness, but in God – He is our portion, our inheritance, our joy, our lot. Our joy comes from God, and sublime opportunities to serve others and give cheerfully of our time and resources. Finally, when it comes to fame, we are called to not seek the praises of men, but rewards in heaven.

To truly be disciples of Jesus Christ, we need to see whatever employment we find ourselves doing as a way of glorifying God and serving others, whether through being a witness, being a position of influence, having the resources to serve the poor and needy, building the kingdom of God, etc. These are not side-effects that justify our secular careers, but the fruits of living a consecrated life.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
(Galatians 2:20)

In addition, I believe that all our work is godly in nature, and that there really is no such sphere as “secular life” that is separate from our walk with God.

We must know ourselves, and what we would consider to be a womanly occupation and what would not. There are some Christians who feel that the only ministry for woman is homemaking and motherhood, but the Bible clearly states that there is a difference between a married and unmarried woman. 

I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.
(1 Corinthians 7:8)

But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
(1 Corinthians 7:32-34)

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.
(Titus 2:4-5)

Paul clearly refers to married women (with husbands and children) to be keepers at home within the context of the verse, the conclusion we may draw is that since many women will indeed marry and should indeed marry, we should train all our daughters to become keepers of the home, though that is not the status nor primary role they have until marriage and later motherhood. Paul did, from personal experiences, extol the benefits of an unmarried life as is the calling for some women as well, later explaining that there is a singleness and set-apartness (and spiritual fruit, we may assume) that comes from devotion to the things of God.

I feel strongly that women are to be involved in making disciples and serving the poor and needy just as all Jesus’s disciples are called to do. In fact, we are uniquely equipped for this purpose and invaluable to the combined effort in the church. God created Eve because Adam was inadequate and alone. Adam needed Eve, and Eve’s role was essential and important. As “helpmeets”, our work as woman is not excusable and insignificant, it is vital, powerful, long-lasting and essential. 

Some fulfill their womanly calling as mothers, and some in other ways. Take Amy Carmichael, who rescued girls from prostitution and slavery, who became a mother of many, or Florence Nightingale, who left a life of luxury to care for the sick and wounded in the worst conditions. They were full of love and mercy, and there was a profoundly female nature to the work that they did.