Tuesday, July 31, 2007


This is so interesting. I'm not even sure what to say about it! I stumbled on this article about how Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary will be providing homemaking courses this fall. The "homemaking concentration" to a Bachelor of Science degree plan will offer courses on such things as the home, children, sewing, and cooking.

Obviously, this kind of decision has created some controversy. Here is what the course description had to say about it:

"The College at Southwestern endeavors to prepare women to model the characteristics of the godly woman as outlined in Scripture," a description of the program reads. "This is accomplished through instruction in homemaking skills, developing insights into home and family while continuing to equip women to understand and engage the culture of today."

OK, first thoughts. I think it's good that they realize there is merit in these skills. I am glad to see that kind of shift in thinking. My first thought was, "Wow. This is needed!" However, I also see the point of those who have said, "Is there really a need for courses in this?" Some have argued that you can find out all the information you need from books and the internet.

Or I was kind of thinking I could learn them from older Christian women...it's just a thought.

But the truth is, we live in a very different world. There are women like myself who find themselves wanting to be good homemakers, but lacking in skills. I am a product of the generation I was raised in. From Kindergarten on I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. It was never suggested to me that I should learn to do the things my mom did all day (who was a homemaker until I was around 9 years old). Oh, I didn't leave the house completely clueless (my mom taught me a lot), but neither do I feel I was actively "prepared" to be a homemaker.

And I can't get the movie Mona Lisa Smile out of my head. My favorite quote from the movie comes from Julia Stiles' character when she is speaking to Julia Roberts' character about her decision to not go to law school.

Joan Brandwyn: Do you think I'll wake up one morning and regret not being a lawyer?

Katherine Watson: Yes, I'm afraid that you will.

Joan Brandwyn: Not as much as I regret not having a family, not being there to raise them. I know exactly what I'm doing and it doesn't make me any less smart.

You stand in class and tell us to look beyond the image, but you don't. To you a housewife is someone who sold her soul for a center hall colonial. She has no depth, no intellect, no interests. You're the one who said I could do anything I wanted. This is what I want.

Yes, reading about all this just took me right back to that movie (which was set in 1953.) It seems strange to me that in this day and age a college would be offering such courses. Are they needed? Sadly, yes. It makes me all the more determined to teach my daughters homemaking skills AND a love of using those skills for the Lord.

Also, I need to remember that although I consider myself to be one of the "younger women" that are spoken of in Titus chapter 2, to some I am really one of the "older women." There are plenty of older women who can teach me a thing or two! But to my daughters, the girls in our youth group, and young married women or brand new mothers, I actually fall into the other category. Am I doing all I can to teach them the things spoken of in those verses? I think it's needed today more than ever.


  1. I love my mother so much. She did nearly everything for us kiddos, so as adults we started out knowing only how to wash dishes. I will turn 31 this week, and do not know how to cook much of anything. I realize that although I consider myself the "younger" woman, I am actually the "older" woman to my eight year old daughter, who I am responsible for teaching these skills that I am just learning as an adult.

  2. I do think it is sad that so many women don't know how to do things around the house. With my own girls, I want them to be prepared for keeping their own home because it is a high position to aspire to. I have stayed home for 19 years and I love it. I don't think that I have missed a thing!

  3. Wonderful post, I can relate on so many different levels!!! I know what you mean about the quote from the movie too.

    I was raised, taught and trained to aspire for a career outside the home too.

    Great post, thanks for sharing!

  4. Wow. I am a teenager and I am at the top of my class and am on the path to going to medical school... but I really actually wan to be a homemaker (in 7thgrade i decied I wanted to stay at homand raise 4 of my own kids and adopt two. Personally I do not think all these years I have put into honors and AP classes is a waste... I will just be a very intelligent mother. But I do not think my family would be so thrilled with this desire.

  5. I am a 25 year old mother to a 21 month old beautiful girl. All my life growing up I thought and thought and thought about what I wanted to be and I changed my mind time and time again because I never thought that "just staying home" would be an option for me. Especially now a days that one income is rarely enough. Ever since I was a little girl I loved pretending to be a mom, I liked sweing, cleaning, cooking and baking and just creating warm and cozy ambiances for people and felt a sense of accomplishment when someone commented on my vase with arranged flowers or anything home related. I am just a natural caregiver and homemaker. Today I run a franchise with my mother in law and I honestly hate it. I convicned myself that I would like it because I have no choice, my husband simply does not make enough. So I have two full time jobs, the business and all the home work that I enjoy. I clip coupons and look for bargains to make sure our dollar goes a long way and I do all the cleaning, most of the cooking (if I dont cook its because I am working later than my husband that night, otherwise I usually do it) and many of the repairs and remodeling (I resurfaced 3 wood tables when I was 6 months pregnant, and painted the trim since I need them to be perfectly straight). I wish I could let go of the full time job with the business and just dedicate my life to taking care of my family and our home. That would be my dream, but I dont see it happening any time soon and unfortunately I am not sure if I could convince my husband to take on a second job so that I can have that luxury. I blame the bra burning "independence" seeking women of the 1950's. They were complaining in paradise, if they were not happy it was certainly not because of their jobs, it was because of their marriages, the kind of men they were married to. I have spoken to many older women that adored their husbands and were grateful for the ooprtunity they gave them to become mothers and homemakers, because those men cared for and respected and loved their wives, they did not objectify them or inflict demands on them, they understood that a woman had just as much to take care of at home as their counterparts had to take care of at the office. I am not saying that is the way it should have stayed because to say that would be short sided, many women love their careers and dont care for housework, but many of us do and want that to be our careers but because of wages and cost of living increasing so much due to women joining the workforce it is now nearly impossible for a middle class earning man to bring in enough without his wife having to go get a job too, and that is unfair. Just because I did not marry a rich man doesnt mean I shouldnt be able to raise my daughter and care for my home and have to hire other people to do that for me. Those are all very personal achievements that I take joy and pride in accomplishing.

  6. Oh I understand! Once my heart changed I just LONGED to be home. Start praying! I firmly believe that God will make a way. Your heart is there already!

    You have been given an gift, that's for sure! :) I agree that it is an effect of feminism, and it's hurting our families.

  7. You totally hit the nail on the head!
    I am 17 and ever since I can remember people always asked me what I wanted to be 'when i grew up' and i would always say, 'a teacher', 'a gardener', 'a farmer', 'a professional dress designer' etc. But all these are parts of being a homemaker! I have changed my mind time and time again and only now have I realized I can be all of these things! And most importantly I can be a helper to my future-husband, as I have been designed.
    It is really annoying how the rest of the world seems to condemn this lifestyle as being lazy or just wasting talent but for women the best use of their talent is to be what God has called us to be - homemakers! And it is not such an easy job as others seem to think!
    Also I have seen that you can learn to do these skills in America but there seems to hardly be anything in Australia to teach us these skills. My mother does not live with me and she was not a great example in homemaking but I have no other older women to really teach me these skills!
    I think that the educational system should open up to this idea and give a course to teach young women how to care for a family, to cook and to maintain the house.
    This would be a day of much rejoicing.
    But for now I am just joyful that I know what God wants me to do!
    ~ Adelle

  8. I can relate! I grew up with a career mom and even though at age 10 I wanted to stay home and sew, bake, and be there for my kids, my mother told me it was impossible. I've always been unhappy in any job. After I got married a few years ago, I felt God telling me to stay home. I didn't know how we would do it (my husband only earns $9 an hour and his hours get cut during the summer) but my husband and I prayed and decided to obey God. Many people don't know how we survive - but God has not only provided for all of our needs, but a few of our "wants" as well! We are happier then when I was working and what is interesting is that when we had 2 incomes we always seemed to have trouble paying the bills. Since we dropped to 1 income all of our bills are paid with a little extra left over. Of course, I don't have any homemaking skills, so learning to cook, sew, and clean is a journey for me, but a delightful one! So, yes, Anonymous, pray, pray, pray - God CAN and WILL make it happen!!!!

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I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)