Sunday, February 17, 2008

Life After High School

When I graduated in the spring of ’07 most people knew of my desire to be a wife and mother at such a time as the Lord should choose to bring me a husband. The biggest questions I was asked was, “What was I going to do between now and then?” Hmmm. Good question. Most of my peers (actually, all of the ones I know) headed off to college, for various reasons. All of my female peers went to college and most went for what my father calls the ‘MRS’ degree (i.e. to find a husband). The majority of women are headed off to college to have a good time, often find a husband, and/or get a bunch of letters attached to their names (such as BS, PhD, AAS, etc.) . Many young women head to college because they don’t know what to do with their lives and since everybody else is going, they might as well go too. Now, lest you think me overly judgmental, there are some who go for education, but, we’ll address that in a little bit.
Now as we dive into this I’ll give you one of my father’s favourite Doug Phillips quotes, “Does a fish know it’s wet?” Well, not necessarily. A fish can certainly tell when it’s dry because it cannot breathe anymore, but other than that, wetness is all it has ever known and the only way they know they’re wet is when they’re dry. I know what you’re thinking, “Okay, great, thanks, that helps a lot” :) It truly does and let me show you how:
We live in a corrupt, pagan culture which hates God and rebels against Him in all that they do; dress, music style, forms of education, disregard for the blessings of children, divorce, murder, adultery, dishonouring parents, homosexuality, etc. Unfortunately we also see the church mimicking this rebellion in similar ways (dress, music standards, forms of educations, disregard for the blessing of children, etc) although, we do it in a more ‘holy’ manner, a nice ‘Christian step’ above the world. Now, to bring this full circle, how do we treat our single years after we’ve graduated? Do we follow the trend, spend around four years at college and go get a job in some corporate business? As part of my answer let me share a bit of my testimony.

My desire from the time I was young until now has pretty much always been to impact the world for Christ; the only difference is how I used to desire to execute that plan and how I now desire to do so. At one time, I was going to be president of the United States and I was going to turn us around. I was sick of the sin and wickedness and by golly I was going to change all of that! That was when I was eight. Around the time I was ten I wanted to be a missionary in China and die as a martyr (which, if it be God’s will, is an honourable call). Around the time I was fourteen I was going to attend Patrick Henry College and become a lawyer to use my argumentations to turn the legal system around and get us back on track, or at least give it my best shot. Again, noble ideas, but not the preferred method of execution. Around the time I turned fifteen God used my father to change my direction 180 degrees. As my parents were searching the word and seeking God’s direction on my future the Lord led my father to 1 Cor. 7:32&34, “. . . He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord-how he may please the Lord. There is a difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world-how she may please her husband.” As my father sought to translate that into daily living what he realized was that the unmarried years are set aside as time to ‘care for the things of the Lord-how I may please the Lord.’ Also, through both his searching and the work God was doing in my own heart we became conscious of a biblical principle that our culture has lost- a daughter remaining under her father’s authority and protection until God brings her a husband and that authority is transferred. This brought about some changes, to say the least because you have to understand the above principles in light of the role of woman as designed by God.

In order to understand the role a woman has and how that applies in each season in her life we must look back at the original creation account. In the beginning God created the universe and all therein and then created man to be His representative (image) and care for this wondrous creation. Adam immediately set to work naming the animals and found in the process of exercising dominion that there was not a helper suitable to him. God in His wisdom also knew this and knew that is ‘is not good for man to be alone’. So He created woman to work by Adam’s side and be his fellow dominion taker, his helper, complimentary to him and his needs. So, the question is, based on the origins of our first mother’s creation, based on the role we are designed for, and in light of 1 Corinthians 7:32-34, what are we to do during the unmarried years?

. . . You’ll find out in a week! :)

7 comments:

Linisil said...

Yankee Maiden,
I would like to gently challenge you to consider the logic in your arguments from Scripture. First, one cannot lump “all” into why women attend continuing education. Yes, for the unbeliever, the reasons you stated might be valid, but for the believer who strives to do all to the glory of God, the logic is in error... it is called the fallacy of apriorism... the taking of one case and applying it to the whole. There may be a “follow the pack mentality” but there additionally can be a desire to follow the direction the Lord has placed on your heart to glorify Him for the future; for none of us knows what the future holds, only God. (Proverbs 16:33)
Are we to participate in all the world has? Paul in 1 Corinthians 6:12 states that all is lawful for us but all is not profitable. Does that mean that we continue in our sin because grace abounds, No! As a believer, our desire is to glorify the Lord and as we study in his word we will draw closer to Him a farther from the world and its influences. (2 Cor. 5:17) College itself is not the trigger to sin, it just provides the opportunity for an already unregenerate heart to act on it impulses that were already present but restrained due to the environment the individual found themselves. I have known many girls who have gotten their degrees from college and stayed firm in their faith to the Lord even having opportunity to witness to unbelievers concerning the gospel of Christ. Some even became believers while in college.
Yes, there are those so-called churches who preach a gospel contrary to that which is found in the scripture. (2 Timothy 3:1-5) However, there are many churches, who teach the Word of God to their people unashamedly. You have to take into account also, that not everyone is on the same level of maturity in Christ. (Romans 12:3) None of us have reached perfection nor will we on this earth. We are all striving to be more Christ-like and the paths the Lord leads us on are each different, but still sanctifying. God has sovereignly placed us in the culture in which we find ourselves and for His Glory. He tells us not to love the world, but the things of the world are for our use because God is the creator of all things...it is Satan who causes the perversion of what God has created as good. (1 John 4:4) A believer cannot serve two masters because he will hate the one and love the other. If one truly belongs to the Lord, she will serve the Lord no matter the environment she finds herself, otherwise how could the gospel go out. No one is born righteous and must hear the gospel in order to believe. Everyone is accountable to God alone. Even if born into a Christian home, there have been those who were not chosen of God. Look at the old Testament. What about Esau. God did not save him. Take a look at the kings There were righteous kings with wicked sons and unrighteous kings with godly sons. Even Samuel the prophet, had wicked sons. So not even a Christian environment and teaching produces salvation... Salvation comes from God alone. A dead person cannot respond, but God... Ephesians 2:1 Christ also speaks of those who appear to know Him but He tells them to depart from Him. Christ alone knows the heart, appearance can be deceiving. I believe we will be both surprised as to who is in heaven and not when the time comes. We all need to constantly check ourselves to see if we are in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5) We do that not be comparing ourselves to others and what they are doing or not doing, but solely to the Word of God.
Yes, Paul also states that it is good to be single so that you might better server the Lord without distraction as a married person. But you will find no where in scripture that it states that a young woman is to remain as the helpmate of her father. The wife, alone, has that role.
Preference cannot be elevated to the level of scripture. One cannot use experience to supersede what scripture states. (I Corinthians 8:7-13) Paul talks about what may be a stumbling block to some but not others. We are to consider others above ourselves and not place our preferences upon them even if they may be beneficial to our own spiritual walk. They may be merely suggestions, but not rules by which all must abide. Be careful not to become as the pharisees who Christ referred to as “White washed tombs, filled with dead men’s bones”.
Following up the 1 Corinthian 7:32-34 passage, one must read on...Marriage does not prevent great devotion, but brings more matters that may interfere. Singleness has fewer hindrances, though not guaranteed greater spiritual virtue.
Paul stated that a life of singleness is a gift from God. God chooses for you the best...whether you serve him better married or single. That is why it states in I Corinthians 7:38, that the father does well whether he gives his daughter in marriage to a man or to the Lord.
It’s good to see that God has continued to refine your desires to serve Him. You are correct in your thoughts that this world will never be overcome by our political means, it will be a work of God, when Christ comes to rule and reign in the world. In the meantime, we are to be faithful slaves; obedient to His Word, patiently waiting for our master to return.

In answering the question “what are we to do during the unmarried years?”, we are to endeavor to serve the Lord to the best of our ability in whatever circumstances He places us. There are many who serve the Lord Christ, who do not have any family who are followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, but that is the best place for them as God has sovereignly decided. Who are we as slaves of the Almighty God to question Him as Master?

Yankee Maiden said...

linisil,
Thanks for your comment, I do appreciate your gentle challenge. Here are some thoughts for you:
1) I am not quite sure what makes you think that I am lumping all women's reasons for attending college into one. I gave several examples that I know of and made the comment: "Now, lest you think me overly judgmental, there are some who go for education, but, we'll address that in a little bit". Perhaps I didn't properly emphasis this point, but I wanted to include it because I do not believe that it is a sin to attend college and I planned on dealing with that in my next post.

2)You commented, "If one truly belongs to the Lord, she will serve the Lord no matter the environment she finds herself, otherwise how could the gosple go out?" I agree to an extent, but I encourage you to keep in mind 1 Corinthians 15:33, "Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners." Scripture has examples of men such as Lot, whom scripture calls 'righteous' (2 Peter 2:7-8)who dwelt in the city of Sodom and not only had no converts, but he lost his wife and there is very little evidence that his two daughters were saved (not to mention the two that remained in Sodom, Gen.19:14). It is highly possible for believers to compromise and full short of the full potential that God has for them; if such were not the case, why would satan try so hard to tear us down?

3)As to a daughter being her father's helper I agree that scripture doesn't say that such is to be the case and I am not sure where in my post I said that. However, woman was designed to be a helper (unless gifted with singleness). Also, in places like Ps. 127:4&5, we read, "as arrows are in the hand of a mighty man, so are the children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed but shall speak with the enemies in the gate." And, to use the imagery of scripture, arrows are refined, sharped and then sent out to do the work of the warrior, like representatives to carry on his vision.

4)Again, I agree with you that marriage is not a hinderance but a difference in responsibility and I am not sure where you think I implied that marriage is a hinderance? To go with this, the reason I shared my testimony was not to place my experience above scripture, because you are right, scripture, as the divine word of Almighty God, takes precedence over the fallible word of man. I shared what God has taught me to encourage others. I was not born with a desire to stay at home, this was something I, along with my parents, learned through the study of the scriptures.

If at any point I was not making myself clear on these issues, I am sorry. By the same token, please bear in mind that I am from a large family which has endured much over the last several years, even now my mother's health is not completely restored and my time is incredibly limited. I cannot post all I would like to, I think if I had perhaps more time to finish the next post which I am working on right now I could have cleared up a bit more. I honestly do not believe it is sin to attend college, my desire is to challenge young ladies to evaluate why they are going and to ensure that they are not doing so at the expense of using this time to serve and minister. Am I against education? Certainly not, I believe young women should be highly educated, we have the priviledge of helping to raise the next generation for Christ! I just want to make sure that we remember to do all for God's glory and effectively use our lives for Him.

Thank you for your comment, and please understand, I am not trying to be defensive or offensive, I am merely trying to clear up what I said in my post.

Linisil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linisil said...

Yankee Maiden,

Thank you for clarifying some of the things that you wrote in your post. However, I have found a few more things in your response that you might want to take into consideration whenever you write your next post on the blog...

2) 1st Corinthians 15:33 in context deals with unbelievers that are present in the church, and are treated as believers. However, there’s one difference in that when one goes to college, you know there are unbelievers, and you guard yourself more closely because of that.

What you mentioned about Lot was true from scripture; however, note that Lot was kept safe by the Lord, not because of his works or own wisdom, but because the Lord chose to do so. Jesus specifically says that those who genuinely belong to him will not be lost because Satan cannot snatch them from Him. (John 10:27-29)

3) As to the point about a daughter not being her father’s helpmeet... please look at the post on your blog on October 2, 2008.

On must be careful to realize that ‘the vision’ is not a personal one, or even one that the warrior has ‘based’ on scripture, but it is of the Master who the warrior serves. Scripture is never about us, or what we think we can accomplish for God, but obedience to His Word. Our sole purpose is to bring glory to Him by doing His Will and joyfully realizing that He has sovereignly ordained to use our petty, insignificant skills to bring about His plan.

Yes, Children are as arrows, and we are to be faithful in our practice of training them in righteousness, as an older warrior mentors a new recruit to serve the Master. Lot was saved because his faith was genuine. However, the faith of his children and his wife was not. They were simply not chosen of God. If you want to focus on Lot and his situation in Sodom, you must keep in mind that even though he lived in a wicked city, that was not the reason his wife and children did not believe. Missionary families who have worked among pagans have had their children also come to work in the same mission field, even though they were surrounded by unbelievers (i.e. the Alca Indians and the massacre of the 5 missionaries. Both the widows of Nate Saint and Jim Elliot went back with their families and lived among the Alca after the incident. and saw fit to serve the Indians. God was gracious to their families, and all of the kids believed... even though they lived among a very pagan people who were going in the complete opposite direction from God.)

It is an area of the heart, and it is only God who does the work through the faithful. Faith comes from God and obedience through the Holy Spirit. One cannot be saved apart from Christ, and God can use whatever the environment to bring His chosen to Himself. One that is truly saved will be saved for all eternity, and yes, they will make mistakes--the environment doesn’t make someone sin-free--as all sin comes short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23), and that includes the sins of the mind, not just the actions... all are equal with god, and all would condemn us. However, it is God who saves and keeps us. God uses all means to sanctify the true believer.

Satan is indeed crafty, and wishes to thwart God’s plan... however, let’s remember that we serve the One who holds the plan, and like in the case of Job and Peter, He also holds and controls the power of Satan. The Evil One must ask permission to test believers, and he can do nothing that he has not been granted the liberty to do. This gets back to the degree of sin, there really is none. No matter the circumstance sin exists and all is abhorrent to God.

I am afraid that I must emphasize that Believers have a choice to sin or not ... in any situation or environment, godly or ungodly, in which they find or put themselves. Please keep in mind that whenever you have posted or answered my concerns, you have had the overall theme that believers can be corrupted by unbelievers. To an extent this is true... however, a believer cannot lose their salvation, Satan has no more power over them than God has given him, and finally believers always have the power granted to them through the Holy Spirit to resist temptation and to continue to live pure lives. (1 Cor. 10:13)

I agree that one must not follow the pack without seeking guidance and wisdom from the Lord, who gives generously. We should use God’s wisdom in directing our lives in all situations, but the reality is that we often falter because we are still fleshly. The goal is not our own “vision”, or even the “vision” that is being handed to us by other men, but an unquestioning obedience to scripture, and to scripture alone. Deut. 6:6-9 commands this very thing. God’s words, not ours.

As an aside... I must point out that even from the beginning of time, God created man to worship. All men worship something, even if they are Atheists (and even these are worshipping themselves). Because of our fallenness, our flesh wishes to worship anything but God. As believers, we are to be careful that we do not take ‘good values’ and place them as “rules to follow” along with the Word of God. Thus, we must make sure that we are centered on Scripture, and not add anything to it (i.e. Personally, as one who has been homeschooled, I must admit that homeschooling is a good thing in itself, however, some hold that if you use this form of education, that all your children will become Christians. This is not true, as I have seen this in other families that have very godly, Christian parents.) Yes, we may have some ideas that will help us in our Christian walk, but we cannot press other believers to also abide by them... because they are our ideas of how to guide our lives to be focused on Christ, but are not explicitly commanded in scripture.

I also must state that I also do not wish to be “defensive or offensive”, but merely express concerns concerning the interpretation of the scripture. Many take the perfect Word of God and take it out of context to mean what they wish it too... and I am very encouraged that you are striving to comprehend the scripture for what it truly says. :)

I too can relate to the trials of life, and our family has not had a life of roses either. However, I must inform you that I also come from a very large family, and that I understand fully. But, we are not called to a life of ease, for Christ said that those that followed Him would be persecuted for His sake, and Paul stated that there would be trials for our refinement. We need to consider it all joy, and encourage and sharpen the brethren. (Prov. 27:17)

Yankee Maiden said...

Linisil,
I am growing concerned with your logic. I took some time and sat down with my family to discuss these issues and here is the result of our conversation:

First, I overlooked some issues in my first reply and we are going back to deal with those.
You said that “for the unbeliever, the reasons you stated might be valid, but for the believer who strives to do all to the glory of God, the logic is in error. . . “ Right here you are underestimating the issue of sin and it’s influence. In Romans 7:13-25 Paul discusses this issue, “For that which I DO I WANT NOT: for what I would, that I do not; but WHAT I HATE, THAT I DO.” (15) “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not” (18) “But I see another law in my members, warring aginst the law of my mind, and bringing me INTO CAPTIVITY TO THE LAW OF SIN which is IN MY MEMBERS.” (vs.23)(emphasis mine). In this passage Paul continually states the desire of his new nature to do that which is right, that which honors God, but HIS FLESH WARS WITH HIM AND HE FINDS THAT HE DOES NOT DO WHAT IS RIGHT AND AT TIMES HE IS IN CAPTIVITY TO HIS SIN! You are coming to this argument with the presupposition that our new nature makes us immune to sin and its effects and influences, both within us and through the influence of those around us. You cannot do that! We still have a fallen nature which is so strong even Paul found himself captive to it.
You accused me of holding experience above the word of God “One cannot use experience to supersede what scripture states.” And yet when I call attention to the dangers of sin you respond with “I have known many girls who have gotten their degrees from college and stayed firm in their faith to the Lord...” Do you see the inconsistency?

You said, “He tells us not to love the world, but the things of the world are for our use because God is the creator of all things. . .” might I remind you that just a paragraph before you cited 1 Cor. 6:12 which states that not all things are profitable? Be careful to consistently use the precepts and principles of scripture when you decide what is ‘profitable’.

Then you went back to families and cases of ungodly children in the Bible. First, there is one dilemma with the case of Esau -favoritism. The Bible says, “Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison; but Rebekah loved Jacob.” (Gen. 25:28) Every family that I know where favoritism is present the kids end up with all kinds of problems. You also referred to wicked kings with righteous sons and righteous kings with wicked sons. Prov. 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Keep in mind that this is a ‘rule of thumb’ and ask yourself two things: 1) wherein did I say that the faith of fathers can save their children or make them righteous? 2) Wherein does the scripture say that those kings were good fathers? If you go back in history and review the lives of kings, most of them were incredibly poor fathers who were either too involved with the affairs of state or too busy pursuing their own personal interests to properly teach their children.

Intentionally or not, you have been taking my words and twisting them in what is known as the straw man tactic-setting them up to mean what I did not say and then attacking the result. So, we are going to clear some things up.
In 1 Corinthians 15:33 you commented that the context is the church, here’s the problem, the church is not the only place where non-believers claim to be believers and I am not sure how you get that out of “be not deceived: bad company corrupts good habits”* Bad company is bad all around no matter where they are. The book of Proverbs is replete with warnings to stay away from bad company because it drags you down.
Now, you keep coming back to the doctrine of salvation, I cannot for the life of me figure out why. We are not discussing salvation, we are talking about the daily living and application of scripture. I never, ever said that Lot kept himself safe, I said that he made a choice which cost him dearly, he lost his wife and daughters. Yes, if they were intended to be saved, God would have done so, but you neglect to realize the power of influence over the actions of people. Could Lot’s influence save his family? NO! But it could have spared them some earthly grief. No where did I say that we could lose our salvation, why then are you acting like you have to correct me on that? I said that we have to beware of ungodly influence, which scripture teaches very plainly.
Vision. You said, “One must be careful to realize that the vision is not a personal one, or even one that the warrior has ‘based’ on scripture, but it is of the master who the warrior serves.” Question, how do you plan on living life if you cannot even base your decisions on scripture? Proverbs 28:19, “Where there is no vision the people perish” Although the vision referred to is that of the Lord there is here a principle that is established, vision is vital to life. No company, country, church or family can hope to remain intact and influential if they have no objectives and no manner in which to carry them out.
Now then, you commented, “Yes, children are as arrows, and we are to be faithful in our practice of training them in righteousness, as an older warrior mentors a new recruit to serve the Master.” You have just left the biblical imagery of children. Scripture refers to believers as soldiers (2 Tim. 2:3-4), but it calls children arrows, plants, and blessings (Ps.127, Ps128). Here we go again with Lot, you are implying that I said that living in Sodom resulted in Lot’s family not being saved. No where did I say that, I said that “it is highly possible for believers to compromise and fall short of the full potential that God has for them; if such were not the case, why would satan try so hard to tear us down?” I never said that Lot’s family was not saved because of his decision to live in Sodom. As for the missionary families, Marj Saint and Elizabeth Elliot went to preach the gospel to the Indians, their children went with this understanding, no where does scripture indicate that Lot was going as a missionary, what it says is that Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom and that Sodom was wicked (Gen. 13:12-13), and then it says that Lot sat in the city gate and that the city was so wicked God was going to overthrow it (Gen. 19:1 & 13)!
And again, right after this you go into a sermon on salvation, when and where did I question salvation or add any requirements or man-made powers to it?! You said that, “this gets back to the degree of sin, there really is none. No matter the circumstance sin exists and all is abhorrent to God.” Where did I bring up sin and it’s degrees? And how does this prove that God has control over satan, or that God alone saves? The reason I ask this is because you followed those two points with the argument that ‘sin has no degrees’.
You said, “I am afraid that I must emphasize that believers have a choice to sin or not. . .” I have no clue where I said that we are forced to sin? All I have said is that we must be careful of the influences we are in, around, and under. “Please, keep in mind that whenever you have posted or answered my concerns, you have had the overall theme that believers can be corrupted by unbelievers. To an extent this is true. . . however, a believer cannot lose their salvation, satan has no more power over them than God has given him, and finally all believers always have the power granted to them through the Holy Spirit to resist temptation and to continue to live pure lives. (1 Cor. 10:13)” Problem, how does not losing salvation affect the fact that believers can be corrupted by unbelievers? Again you are going back to salvation and again I said nothing about it. I challenge you to honestly examine your argument, you are condemning me for saying that we must beware of the influences around us and that backing up your condemnation with the doctrine of salvation! As you go back to the issue of vision I say again, “where no vision is the people perish”, perish means: die; expire; depart this life; give up the ghost; take your last breath. Again, if you cannot base this vision, these objectives and methods of execution, on scripture then you are stuck with the inevitable-death; perhaps not physical death, but possibly the death of greater impact on this world for Christ. The point of Deut.6:6-9 is the passing on of God’s word to future generations, but how does this disprove Prov. 29:18? You cannot use God’s word to condemn His word as though it were man’s ideas. Herein is another issue, you have consistently condemned me as idolizing man’s opinion above God’s word; all I have done is challenge others to consider their lives in light of God’s word and the principles therein and why they do what they do. You say that we must be careful to ‘not take ‘good values’ and place them as rules to follow along with the word of God.” Whether or not you intended to, what you have essentially done is accuse me of taking my ideas and idolizing them. What I have done is said, “Scripture says, therefore” and followed the logical conclusion.

Then, you take my family situation and turn it on its head, you said “However I must inform you that I also come from a very large family, and that I understand fully. But, we are not called to a life of ease, for Christ said that those that followed Him would be persecuted for righteousness sake, and Paul stated that there would be trials for our refinement. We need to consider it all joy, and encourage and sharpen our brethren.” Again, intended or not, you have just accused me of whining about where God has me and pretty much told me to grow up and get a grip. I made the comment about my family situation to explain why it takes a while to get posts completed. I like to take time and make sure that what I am saying is Biblically accurate, is not based on my opinion and I like to have my family critique it and make sure that I am not holding my opinions above scripture. This is a long process, especially when time is taken up by meeting other needs that our family has. Now, wherein have I complained?

I welcome accountability and biblical counsel*, but I am finding your comments to be contradictory and not germane to the issue.





*Biblical counsel is using biblical text in context, not just listing a bunch of verses.

Yankee Maiden said...

Hey Linisil,
I got your message, but, because this is a blog as opposed to a discussion forum, I would like to continue our conversation via e-mail, if you are willing. Thank you again for clearing somethings up, there is still more I think we have to discuss but we have taken up quite a bit of room here (around 10-12 printer pages :)
If you are willing to e-mail what you can do is leave your address as a comment, I have chosen to use 'comment moderation' so I will get it in my mail box and it will not be visible to the rest of the world. If this is disagreeable to you, no hard feelings. It has been good to search the scriptures and review various topics through out our discussion :)
For His glory,
Yankee Maiden

Linisil said...

No hard feelings. I appreciated the dialog.