Dear nobody in particular

Letters from Jennie…:

Praise God that He does work all things together for our good! He brought several wonderful friends into my life who led me out of my cynicism and finally helped me to see that I had been completely duped by Christian feminism. By the time I came back around to a biblical worldview, I had met my future husband and had moved back home with my parents. I quit my job before I was married and have never looked back. In fact, I constantly thank God for getting me out of that mire and putting me in my place! My lifework now is my home, husband and children, and I glorify God for the beauty of His perfect design for the family.

Why, oh why can’t we go back to the English Renaissance of the 12th century when women were treated as equals in the marketplace?

Full text reprinted below the break

Letters from Jennie…
On College, the workplace, etc.
By Jennie Chancey

Letter #1
I will start out on the topic of what a single Christian girl should do. It is very much on my heart and important to me.
I currently teach a weekly literature/Biblical worldview class for young women ages 15-21, and I yearn to have them understand what God requires of us as daughters, wives, sisters and friends. God’s Word is so rich and His ways so rewarding! We should always turn to the Bible (both “old” and “new” testaments!) to find out what the Lord would have us do. Unfortunately, too many modern Christians look everywhere else for answers before turning to the Word (just look at all the “Christian” psychology and counseling books in Christian bookstores). This problem is particularly acute with Christian women, since feminism has slowly but surely crept into the church and stolen our hearts while we were not feeding them with God’s precepts and commands. So many families believe that a young woman, like a young man, is “free and independent” at age 18 or age 21 and should leave home to strike out on her own. This is in total opposition to God’s teachings.
Let me tell you right off that I did go to a four-year college 300 miles from home. It was the worst decision my parents and I ever made. Mom and Dad later regretted it and asked forgiveness for pressuring me to go (I did not want to go away from home at all). At the time, they really felt I was “called” to go to college, since I wanted to build up my writing skills. My late father was a well-known author, and I begged him to teach me what he knew, since I did not want to go away from home to continue my education. To make a long story short, my parents told me that if I won a full scholarship to college (I had been home schooled for eight years), they would consider it as confirmation that I was to go. I did win a scholarship—for all but room and board. I said, “See, it wasn’t a full scholarship, so I don’t have to go, right?” But my folks said I could work at school to make up the difference, so off I went. I was able to hold my own as far as my convictions went on dating and a godly walk, but after three years, I grew very cynical and bitter. I saw little fruit in the lives of my fellow students, and even at my Christian college, kids were sleeping around, doing drugs and not pursuing righteousness. By the time I graduated, I was disillusioned and thoroughly brainwashed into thinking I was going to have to fend for myself in the world. I promptly got a full-time job working in media relations and writing magazine articles on the side. I liked my work, but deep inside, I was empty and bitter.
Praise God that He does work all things together for our good! He brought several wonderful friends into my life who led me out of my cynicism and finally helped me to see that I had been completely duped by Christian feminism. By the time I came back around to a biblical worldview, I had met my future husband and had moved back home with my parents. I quit my job before I was married and have never looked back. In fact, I constantly thank God for getting me out of that mire and putting me in my place! My lifework now is my home, husband and children, and I glorify God for the beauty of His perfect design for the family.
Since being married four and a half years ago, I have had time to really dive into the Word and find what God requires of the Christian woman. I do not claim to understand it perfectly, but I do encourage you to hold fast to what God tells us to do. His Word is true and pure, and we cannot go wrong if we follow Him! Starting in the Pentateuch (Genesis through Deuteronomy), we see that God made woman for man. As much as the feminists hate the idea, it is true. Conversely, man was made to protect, cherish and nourish the woman. Men who are not doing that and are not loving their wives as Christ loved the church are covenant-breakers. Women who refuse to stay home and obey their fathers or husbands are also covenant-breakers. They are inverting God’s created order, which is God-Man-Woman-Animals. Today we have Animals-Woman-Man-God. Just take a look at what our society holds dear and who gets the most press time! Christians must strive to return to God’s created order.
Moving on to the books of the law, we see in the case laws (these are the laws which tell us how to live the ten commandments) that God puts a daughter under her father’s protection. He is to help her to remain pure until marriage. He is to guard her from all the “Mr. Wrongs” in the world while she waits for Mr. Right. The whole purpose of the “bride price” and the bride’s dowry was not to sell women like cattle—as feminists like to assert—but to show how valuable a godly daughter is and to protect her in case her husband turns out to be a dud (heaven forbid). The bride price (one year’s wages) and the daughter’s dowry (whatever her family gave her) were hers alone. The husband could not touch that money! Isn’t that something? It was hers to invest and use as she saw fit. What an amazing principle! This is how the Proverbs 31 woman could “consider a field and buy it” and use her own earnings to plant a vineyard.
Your father is your covenantal head. He is your covering. Christ is over him, and you are under both. My husband, in the same manner, is my covering. I am protected as long as I remain under his authority. Modern women chafe at the command that wives “obey their husbands,” because they want to maintain their own autonomy. This is incompatible with the Christian worldview. “He who would be greatest among you must be servant of all!” When we step out from under our coverings and try to do things “independently,” we deserve whatever happens to us (financial struggles, family arguments, failed marriages, disobedient children, etc.). But you will note that the responsibility still rests squarely upon the male head! He takes the blame. We all died in Adam, you’ll remember. When Eve took the fruit and ate of it, it was Adam’s sin, because he failed to serve as Eve’s covering and head. It was Adam’s sin that killed the entire race—incredible, but true. This is one reason we should strive to be obedient and watchful, since our sins will reflect on our authorities. Yes, we are responsible for our sins and should confess them, but the “blood,” so to speak, is on the heads of our authorities.
Study the lives of the women who are praised throughout Scripture. Look at Sarah, Miriam (Moses’ sister), Rebekah, Esther, Ruth, Abigail, Jael, Mary, Elizabeth, Phoebe… You will find that, even though these women were not perfect in every way (Sarah!), they are held up as examples for us, because they obeyed God by obeying those in authority over them (in the case of Abigail, whose husband was a dodo, she obeyed God rather than receive the wrath of the king for her husband’s insult). Paul tells us we are to be “keepers at home,” living quiet, respectable lives, loving our husbands and children and not causing the gospel to be blasphemed. When the woman is out of her place, particularly if she is loud and strident about it, she is harming the name of the Lord. This should cause us to think seriously about what we do as daughters and wives. (Of course, the same is true for fathers and husbands, but I am addressing only the responsibilities of women here!)
So what does the single girl do? Scripture tells us that sons leave, but daughters are given. Daughters do not go out into the world to seek their place in it. They are to serve at home and sit in discipleship at the feet of older women and their own parents. Only older, “true” widows who have lived godly lives are given authority to maintain their own households, but younger widows are to return to their father’s house until they marry again (if ever—see Leviticus 22:13). Unmarried girls are to remain virtuous and to serve their father’s household.
I do not at all mean to imply that women should be uneducated, ignorant and unwise. The women hailed in the Bible as examples for us were exceedingly wise, clever, intelligent, capable and quick-witted. The single girl is not to sit around waiting for Mr. Right. She is to study to become Mrs. Right. This is more than just learning to cook, sew and take care of babies—although those things are extremely important! A man needs a “helper suitable for him.” He needs someone who can share his concerns, talk about them intelligently and help him come up with solutions. And he needs someone who will obey when he makes a decision and not be tempted to say, “I told you so” if something goes wrong. This is a delicate balance to achieve, but it is not impossible. My husband had an opportunity last year to meet with two very well known Christian authors, pastors and speakers. In the course of conversation, it became apparent that each man had married a woman at least four years older than himself. Matt mentioned that I was also older than he and asked the two men why they had chosen older wives. One replied, “I did not want to marry a ditz-head!” The other put it a bit more charitably when he said, “I needed someone who could think with me and work with me.” It is sad that so many Christian young ladies today either have a shallow piety which sees goodness in works alone or a shallow worldview which does not permit a lot of deep thinking. I do not need a PhD. to help my husband, but I do need to take care that I do not become a chain around his neck—a burden he must constantly carry along with his other responsibilities. The husband should be able to have total confidence in his wife to run the home, care for the children, teach, train, advise and encourage. She shouldn’t be an extra child for him.
Daughters need to be taught how to add to the riches of their father’s household as a preparation for enriching their own future homes. If a daughter is not called to marry (the Lord gives her no desire to do so), she should serve in her parents’ home or help other Christian families in theirs (like the servant girls in Proverbs 31 or like Dorcas). She should never venture out from under her father’s authority and protection. This sounds so backwards and servile in today’s society, but we mustn’t care what the world thinks. We must cling to God’s truth and rejoice in it! The gospel is beautiful. It is health and life to meditate upon it. It is death to reject it.

Letter #2
All of the things I am going to share with you in this letter come from my own experience as well as from Scripture. Because I did go away to college and experienced many hard knocks as a result, I can speak from experience. I would not want any other woman to go through what I did in order to learn the same lessons. I wish I had just learned from God’s Word and had not disobeyed Him, but I am thankful that the Lord has hammered home the truths of His Word in the past six years as He has brought me out of the negative results of leaving home and becoming a “career” woman. None of these lessons have come easily; but I pray that I can share my thoughts with other girls who are struggling in this area and spare them a lot of pain and doubt.
Let me address your concerns in an orderly fashion:
1. A single woman belongs in a home, under a godly authority. As “medieval” or backward as it may sound, she should not go away to college for an education (or leave her God-given authorities for any reason except the few outlined in the Bible). This is not because the Bible says, “Young women shall not go away to college.” The Bible does not directly address many sins or improper choices, but we can find our direction from various principles in Scripture. For example, as we mentioned before, sons leave, but daughters are given (Gen. 2:24; Mark 10:7). And the father is the covering for his daughter—he can even cancel vows or promises she has made (Num. 30:3-5), just as a husband can do for his wife (Num. 30:6-14). Besides the father’s direct authority to instruct his daughter and give her away in marriage, older, godly women are given authority to be “teachers of good things—that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed” (Titus 2:3b-5). Blasphemy is a grave and serious sin from which we should flee with all haste. Most churches today do not teach that it is blasphemous for women to be working outside of the home and obeying other men (which is what you are doing if you are under a male boss). We need to return to this Scriptural truth and embrace it in spite of the world’s scorn and the clucking tongues even of fellow Christians.
2. Let me address your concern that you would need “something to fall back on” if your husband died or was unable to provide for you. This thinking is a crafty lie from Satan that has crept so stealthily into the church that most Christians think it is wisdom. Let me encourage you to get into the Word to find out the provisions God has made for these cases. Young women who are widowed are not to support themselves, but are to return home (Lev. 22:12), remarry (I Tim. 5:14) or receive their support from the church (I Tim. 5:16; James 1:27). There is never, ever a situation where a young, single woman will have to support herself if she is part of a God-honoring family or church. If she finds no support, it is a judgment on the family and the church, and she needs to seek help from godly brothers and sisters in Christ. This is what the body of Christ is for! We pray, “Lead us not into temptation,” but we rather expect to find ourselves in situations where we will have to sin in order to keep ourselves from starvation or ruin. This is a lie. Rebuke it! Tell Satan to get behind you. He is “cast out” and has no power over Christ’s children, so his lies should carry no weight with us. But we often have to expose his lies, because we’ve been taught they are “reasonable” or “necessary.” That leads me to my next point:
3. We must always think biblically—not according to our own “wisdom” or “gut feeling” about things. The modern cliché is “What Would Jesus Do?” as if our own inner feelings or reason can accurately tell us how Jesus would respond to certain situations. The real question is, “What DID Jesus Do?” since all of His actions and responses are already recorded in Scripture. We do not need to guess at His actions or responses. Our reason and our judgment are clouded by sin. We need God’s Word to thoroughly train our intellect and direct it. When I run across a confusing situation or something with which I am not certain how to deal, I should not ask myself, “What seems reasonable or correct?” By chance I might arrive at the right answer. But if I ask, “What is BIBLICAL?” and I thoroughly strive to study the Word and understand God’s principles, seeking godly counsel at the same time, I will be assured of godly direction and blessing. This is so neglected today! Too much of the “Christian” teaching out there tells us that “God will just tell us” when we are doing wrong by making us “feel” it in our souls or our hearts. Scripture tells us “The heart [is] deceitful above all [things] and desperately wicked; Who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9). We know that the Lord has taken away our hearts of stone and given us hearts of flesh (Ez. 36:26) and that He has written His law on our hearts (Rom. 2:15). However, this does not mean that we will always know exactly what is right. Paul exhorted Timothy to “study to show yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). Like the Bereans, we are to “search the Scriptures daily” (Acts 17:11). A mind that is captivated by the Word of God will feed a heart that is eager to obey His commands. This is the only way to know what He commands us—to study His Word and to seek to apply His principles to every situation. Not just in church. Not just in “Christian” work, but in every single, minute area. We are to “bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5). Every thought—about every action we can imagine taking. God has guidance for all of it! Praise His name!
4. In an article I recently read about these same issues, I found a statement that stood out glaringly to me. The author wrote, “I am not saying all women should avoid college. What I am saying is, for the vast majority, God has called women to serve in the home.” I disagree strongly. God does not rule by majority. He does not say, “teach most of the younger women to be keepers at home….” His standards are absolute, and to depart from them is to invite disaster (not that He is waiting to hit us with bolts of lightning or wrathful fire and brimstone—don’t misunderstand me—but when we depart from His ordained path, we can expect to pay the natural consequences). Women who go out into the workforce are “open game” and always lose—they are either defeated and subdued by the men with whom they compete, or their femininity is destroyed by their competition with other men and they are “consolidated” into the world of the working male. I will go ahead and put my neck on the line here. I do believe that all women should avoid going away to college (notice I did not say “avoid higher education altogether”). I say this in all humility, since I believe I disobeyed the Lord’s Word in this area myself and have repented of the choice. I am not trying to be hypocritical or holier-than-thou. My parents made the wrong choice, and I followed along. They repented of it and asked my forgiveness for the years of bitterness I endured during and after college. I also repented of becoming bitter and hardening my heart to the Lord—it took me two years to be cleansed of my cynicism and anger. Praise God for His grace, which “restored to [me] the years that the swarming locust had eaten” (Joel 2:25).
Now, all of that said, let me assure you again that I am in no way opposed to education. It is a good thing to be instructed. It is a wonderful thing to learn. But my questions for you are these:
1). Who is in charge of your education? (Scripture gives authority to parents for the education of their children; it gives church elders/pastors authority to teach the flock; it gives godly older women authority to teach younger women—only young men may go out as apprentices or start their own households).
2). For what purpose is your education? To bring glory to God? Then it must be in line with His commands and standards, lest it cause His name to be blasphemed. To bring financial security to yourself? Then you are looking in the wrong place for your security—God is your security, and He gives it through His Body, the Church.
3). What would you plan to do with a degree in nursing or business, given that it is unbiblical for a woman to work outside of her home and out from under her father’s or husband’s authority? This is antithetical to Scriptural principles and God’s commands for a woman.
As a side note, there are “occupations” in scripture which are for women. Midwifery, for example, is only for women, since a man is not to uncover the nakedness of another man’s wife or a sister. The Hebrew midwives were praised in Scripture for saving the babies that Pharaoh wanted to destroy. Midwives appear frequently in Scripture, assisting women with births and giving God glory through their work. Midwifery is a “job” that can be practiced from the home and under a godly authority without compromise. It is an ideal job for a single woman or an older woman (my mother is now studying midwifery and serving as a birth assistant). Next, look at the Proverbs 31 woman. “Christian” feminists like to take these verses and shout from the rooftops that this ideal godly woman was working outside of the home as a realtor, manufacturer or what-have-you. This is pure self-deception. The Proverbs 31 woman is our ultimate ideal, and she does it all from home. She knows how to purchase land, plant crops, organize the home, order servants, cook, clean, clothe her family, create garments for the merchants, import food and bring praise to her husband because she is under authority and makes him look good. 🙂 Her children call her blessed, not because she is off slaying dragons and winning the world for Christ, but because she is a “worker at home” with her children, capably handling a multitude of tasks and talents with great ability. What a lot to emulate! And the example of Dorcas is another good one. She was a seamstress, making garments from her home for the poor. Everything that a godly woman needs to do or learn can be done or learned at home. In our age of easy internet access and correspondence studies, no girl can ever honestly say that she will not be educated if she “just” stays at home. I have learned more during the past four and a half years of marriage than I ever learned in college. I have read more books, listened to more lectures, talked with more learned and well-studied men and women, received greater counsel and felt more fulfilled than I ever did when I was away from home and “independent.”
I just want to encourage you that the right decision—the godly, Scriptural decision—as hard as it may be to make, will be worth it in more ways than you can even think to count. The blessings and benefits will be positively LEGION!

Jennie Chancey is the wife of Matthew Chancey and the mother of three sons (3½-year-old John Nathan, 22-month-old Alex and newborn Thomas). She enjoys reading, writing, cooking, entertaining guests, traveling with her family, corresponding with pen pals, and living in the country. She runs “Sense and Sensibility,” a custom sewing and pattern design business, from home and enjoys creating old-fashioned dresses and gowns that reflect the grace and femininity of times past (http://www.sensibility.com/).

1 Comment »

  1. elisabeth said,

    October 19, 2005 @ 1:27 pm

    “Ken Follet is either hot or cold and in this one he is HOT HOT HOT.”

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