Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Down with that patriarchy

I have never been so thankful to read something in a magazine. Ever. Ever. Ever.


The Home School Report, the quarterly publication from HSLDA (the Home School Legal Defense Association) arrived in my mailbox last week, and the lead article, written by Michael Farris, HSLDA Board Chairman, tackled the rise of patriarchy and legalism which has been accepted by some in the home school community.

Two “leaders” who touted the teaching of extreme patriarchy and were embraced by a segment of home schoolers have recently admitted to sexual sin and have stepped down from leadership.

(To be clear: the patriarchy preached by these two men is completely different from the complementarian view of gender roles. The two terms cannot be used interchangeably.) 

Farris wrote a lengthy article on what he called this dangerous teaching. And he said he should have done so sooner. His change of course came about because he began hearing about how women and children (and even fathers) have been hurt by these non-Biblical teachings.

This paragraph in particular resonated with me:

“Women are not to be the de facto slaves of men. Women are created with dignity equal to that of men. Women have direct and unmediated access to God. Daughters should not be taught that their only and ultimate purpose in life is to be the “helpmeet” of a man. While being a godly wife is a worthy ideal, the only statement that is true for every woman is that she should love and serve God as her highest priority. My wife and I raised our own daughters to believe that being a wife and mother was a very high calling but did so in a way that would not crush them if God’s leading had been different.”

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

Before I’d even met Sean, I knew I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom if I married and had children. Even so, I went to college. Because it would have been presumptuous to assume that I would be married with a family, because that is not a promise ever given in Scripture. Children are a blessing, not a promise.

I have taught my kids that being a wife and mom are the very best jobs I could have. It is my joy and privilege to serve them and their Dad. It is my joy and privilege to primarily work in the home despite the sacrifices, sacrifices that seem non-existent as my full-time mothering years come to a close. And it would be a joy to see my girls devote themselves to their families in this way, if they have them.

Can girls receive education that doesn't involve a college degree? Of course. College isn't everything, and now that I have two kids in college, the stories I hear about their peers' weekend activities make me wish my babies weren't there at all! But this is the educational path they have chosen, and we are happy to support them. If #3 comes along and has a completely different idea of how she’d like to further her studies (which wouldn't surprise us in the least!), we will support her, too. 

A girl’s ultimate goal in life is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. Whether she does that in a boardroom or the laundry room, that is her ultimate goal. And I am thrilled that someone as prominent as Michael Farris is shining light on this form of patriarchy that really is keeping down girls and women.


Please click here for a link the complete Farris article.