- NOTE: If you work full time yet desire to stay home, this post is not for you. My heart 100% truly and utterly goes out to you, I know how difficult it is to leave your children each day. I was in your shoes once. I know your heartache.
It’s not yet 8am here on this Friday morning. It is winter and it is cold out. Snow on the ground cold.
I made hot chocolate for my 5 youngest children. Then I made homemade whipped cream. I circled our table and put a spoonful in each child’s cup of cocoa. When I turned back to look at my 3 year old, she had that “Got milk” smile caused by the chocolate and whipped cream.
Adorable, of course.
My first thought? Some women are heading to work right now. They have put themselves in a position of not being able to stay home and make cocoa and homemade whipped cream for their 3 year olds. I’m sure they would do it in a minute though. But, that decision was made years ago, before children, before marriage. They were lied to.
They were told they should be able to support themselves, “just in case.” Lie
They were told they should get a college education in case they needed it someday. Lie
They were told that being a homemaker was a waste of a good life and they were better than that. Lie lie lie.
This post is for the young, independent women who are creating college debt by choice. You may regret it one day.
This post is for the moms who are urging their daughters to put off marriage and family for that idol of a college degree. You are potentially creating heartache for her.
Why do I say all this? Why do I post such bold words?
It’s because of this blog, I’ve met so many ladies now, and have had so many conversations with women who are trying to be a homemaker, desperately trying, while working a full time job as well. They want to be home. They can’t.
They want to see the “got milk” smiles of their babies early on a Friday morning when it is snowing outside and everyone is still in their jammies. They don’t have that luxury.
These women would trade in their day jobs in a heartbeat to stay home and wipe noses and change diapers.
Are you a full time homemaker? Don’t despise it, you are blessed.
Are you a homemaker with teen daughters and are encouraging them to go to college and acquire debt? Reconsider.
I hesitate hitting that “publish” button up there. But some need this. Lives may be changed.
I don’t want my daughters to be forced into asking me to babysit my grandchildren someday because I forced her into college and debt today. You?
UPDATE: Thank you for the comments, each of you. Whether you agree or not. I’ve read them all. If you are unnerved by what I wrote, know that I am not anti-education. We aren’t even anti-college. We are however, anti-debt in most cases. College doesn’t guarantee anyone, male or female, financial security at any stage of life.
We all know college graduates who are employed in a line of work not even remotely related to the degree they hold. College isn’t a magic ticket to a secure life. You may have gone to college and are blessed by it today. Praise God.
There are still many, many more women who cry on the way to work because college and career wasn’t the life it was made out to be and now they’re stuck. Short of filing for bankruptcy, they don’t have the choice of staying home. And looking back, it’s not a choice they would have made intentionally. They strive to save their own daughters from the pain they go through each day. I write for them.
Nicole Richie says
Thank you for this post and your boldness to do so! It is so true!
Thank you 🙂
Yes, so true. Thanks for writing this truth people so desperately need to hear yet is so seldom being spoken.
Truth, sadly, isn’t always popular.
Thanks Paula 🙂
This is a very bold post that many won’t want to hear. But there is some truth to what you say. Thank you for being brave and sharing!
You’re so right, thank you!
I once felt pressured to go to college when all I really wanted was to stay home and raise a family. A semester into college, I quit – THANK GOODNESS! I did work for a time at a decent job where I could save some money until I met and married my husband. Now I stay home with my 3 beautiful girls – and I am so blessed (though I admit that I struggle with contentedness each day – working on it!)! My question is – what do you do when your husband wants your daughter(s) to go to college? My oldest is very smart and he doesn’t want her to “waste” it. Any reasoning with him ends up in a fight – which I obviously don’t want! I’m not sure what I can (or should) do?
The college question is a good one. Both my husband and I sat down and talked about it, for our daughters, and our sons as well. In fact, my husband and I met in college, and were married a month after I graduated. I have my Master’s degree as well, but as soon as we became pregnant with our first child, we both knew I needed to come on home. That was 13 years ago, and now we have 6 children that we homeschool and we have #7 on the way. What we decided about college (and education in general) was that our reasons for it cannot be what society says it should be. In a nutshell, if the sole reason we educate our children is for the purpose of careers only and making as much money as possible, then we have missed the whole purpose of education! Knowledge and wisdom begin with the Lord. Our purpose for education is to glorify God, to learn of Him, HIs creation and His plan through the arts, sciences (creation based, of course), his work throughout history. . .It is God that gave us language and reasoning, and science and health. He is the root of any education or knowledge or skill that we gain. Getting an education, even at the college level, and even for our daughters, does not at all, in any way, negate the Biblical call and obligation our daughters will have to their husbands, their homes, and their children, and ultimately to God. In homeschooling my children, I’ve used sooooo much of my education and I am blessed to be using it in this capacity. I am also blessed to have the Lord work on my heart in understanding that getting a college degree is never a waste, even for a homemaker, like so many people tried to tell me. So, I think that we as homemakers and mothers of daughters must first have a clear understanding of what education’s purpose is. It should not compete with God’s ordained design for marriage and family. But rather, it should coincide and be complementary to His design. I’m not saying that anyone anywhere MUST go to college. However, getting more education in and of itself is not bad or sinful. What can be sinful is the purpose and the drive we put behind WHY our daughters (and our sons, too) should be educated. We must equip them with the Truth of God’s Word BEFORE they reach the age of college decision-making, so that they can make godly choices, with a clear conscience, one not tainted by the world’s push. . . .that “freedom” is found in a career and money, and in denying the God-given inclination to marry, raise children, and nurture them yourself at home. God’s Word is clear on this, but I don’t think it necessarily conflicts with education itself. What is our motivation for wanting our children to be educated is the question we must ask. I hope this helps! 🙂
Katie Q says
Love your response!
This was lovely. Thank you. Gives me a great perspective.
Great perspective… Thank you! My daughters are young (my oldest is 5 today!) and we are choosing to homeschool. I think my husband’s motivation is cancer. I know that may sound odd… but his father has been battling cancer for 5 yrs. He was just brought home on hospice this week and will soon pass away. I know it’s common for parents to think their children are smart with all the things they say and do as they grow up – but my husband is convinced our oldest is gifted since she’s been reading and writing (well) since before her 4th birthday (and I admit, she does seem advanced for her age). He wants to give her the opportunity to go to college to be a doctor or researcher so that she can help people (such as those with cancer). His intentions are good and not about the money aspect. I just don’t want her to feel pressured into going to college. She started Kindergarten this year and I am trying to instill biblical values and principles, etc into her lessons and our every day life… and of course I pray for all 3 of my girls every day! 🙂
What a thoughtful, wise attitude to education. God equips all of us in different ways and calls us to serve him in various areas. We are to bring glory to Him by using all our talents and gifts. I will never regret my time at college or working but always knew that I would stay home with my children.
Our sons have gone through enormous pressure from atheist professors, faculty and fellow students to abandon their Christian faith. They chose secular universities to attend but we regret it now. Religious persecution is a real thing on college campuses today.
Devon, I was gifted, too. Honestly…college was boring to me. And after so much school pushed on me, I was also burned out. (I went two years, ran out of money, and REALLY ran out of the ability to be in school.). I will say, I LOVE TO LEARN, and tend to immerse myself into topics which interest me. And sooo many things are interesting! But my pace and depth and scope of learning new things are set by ME, and I don’t need x many years studying what someone else deems as most important.
My majors were Bible and Elementary Education. I enjoyed the classes I had for both, but was disappointed with the basic classes, which was just a redo of high school for me! And I’ll tell you, the most thrilling learning experience I had was spending a year teaching kindergarten! I had a one week, this is how the curriculum is taught, training….and I dove head first into learning HOW to teach..by teaching! I LOVED IT! The next year, God took what I learned of teaching children, and had me facilitating a women’s Bible study, then training other women to facilitate Bible studies, and leading, teaching, praying, and counseling other women. I did it all without a degree….and it was ALL GOD! I got to pour myself into crazy-deep learning.
I later ran a home-business….I taught myself to sew, and I learned how to run an online and in-store business. I devoured every bit of info I could, and enjoyed it so much.
I now homeschool our kids….I learned about teaching styles, learning styles, teaching philosophies. I studied different curricula. I listened to seasoned homeschool moms and gleaned every bit of info I could! I learned what the common discouragements were, and listened as others offered encouragement. I made mistakes, I changed direction, and I am still learning (year 10) what my kids need from me as their teacher.
Learning on my own pace has been the best thing for me. NOT being able to do so is was what frustrated me in school. It is what burned me out. I wanted for my kids to be able to go as fast or as slow as they needed. I wanted them to be able to be as nerdy in their passions as they wanted. I wanted them to have the freedom to learn as God created them. I wish I had been afforded that same freedom, and as an adult…I feel like I have.
College can be great, but it isn’t everything! Also….a ton can change in your home (and in your/your husband’s thinking) from now till when your kiddos graduate high school! I think our prayer for our kids is mainly that they will LISTEN to GOD’S direction for their futures! It’s our responsibility to teach them about God, to lead them into having their own time with Him daily, and to facilitate them learning to hear from Him themselves! If they learn His voice, and learn to obey Him, then their futures will be as He desires! And THAT IS EXCITING!!!!
Marlo S. says
Thank you for this honest and beautiful post this morning.
I so so so agree with you on so much of this. I do want to say that there is nothing wrong with getting a college education. It can be a very constructive use your time if you’re so inclined to want a degree and God hasn’t put a different path in front of you. I prayed very hard over what I was meant to do after high school. God presented me with a full-ride scholarship…so yeah, I had no doubt that my path was that way and I was excited about it. I went to college, got a degree, had no debt, saved myself for marriage, got a full-time job, met a lot of people and learned a lot of new things, stayed close to God and the Bible, and three years into my career met the man God made for me. We were both content with both of us working…nothing suffered on the home front. Then I got pregnant and we had our boy. Here’s where I wish my story changed…I never should have gone back to work after I had him. I wish I learned sooner that I really was called to stay home. I bought into the lies “Quality time not quantity”…”everybody puts their baby in daycare…it’s no big deal”….”you NEED to go back to work…you’ll waste your education and your career will suffer”…”if you don’t go back to work then someone else will replace you and you’ll fall behind”. I have to say that my husband was fully, 100% supportive of whatever I wanted to do…stay at home, quit my job, work, whatever…he was behind me all the way. But I had 20+ years of indoctrination by my single mom that I “needed a degree”…”needed to be able to take care of myself”…”you can’t depend on a man”…”a career is the only financial security you have”. My mom isn’t bad…she’s a good person who saw life from her personal perspective and wanted to save her daughter the same heartache she had suffered. It took me about 4 years to read enough blogs, Bible lessons, and personal accounts and do a lot of praying on my own to pull my baby back home, then decrease my work time, homeschool, and eventually quit working outside the home and focus completely here at home. And what a difference it has made for my little family! I was in the boat of wanting to be home but being at work all the time…I understand that perspective too. And I also know that we each have to make peace with the decisions in our lives. I don’t think moms who work full time are “wrong”…I think there are women who don’t have a choice, I think there are women who don’t realize there even is a choice, and I think there are women who believe that one choice is worth less than the other. And I think we all need all the prayer and support we can get and give.
So true! Thank you for posting this!
I do not agree with the false assumption that those who believe educating a girl are driven by a culture of lies. I believe in life long learning and in doing your best with your talents regardless of gender. If a woman wants to have a family and a career there are creative ways to do both. It is more important to minimize financial burden to give flexibility and to have a vision for your life. A viable option that was not mentioned is taking courses part-time while the children are young and graduating with a university degree as the children age. I know many women who enter the workforce full time later in life and thus use their talents.
If you would read the post again, you would see that I never mentioned or even hinted that those who believe in educating girls are driven by a culture of lies.
It is more important to follow and obey the God who created you.
Options were not mentioned because that was not the focus of this post.
You are right, many women do enter the workforce full time later in life. How sad. How very sad. Just when they could be pouring into the lives of younger women, they leave a void and enter into voluntary slavery.
Absolute truth concerning older women. We’ve been homeschooling 25 yrs, in a few years the last 3 boys will be done. My 3 girls are married, raising babies and beginning their own homeschool journey. I am so thankful to be available to speak into their lives, as well as the lives of many young women in our church. It is our calling from God as older women to teach younger women to love their husbands and love their children, to be KEEPERS AT HOME. We do not have a lot of money, never have. My husband works a hard, blue collar job so I can make hot cocoa for my “babies” (even if they are all taller than me!)It’s a matter of priorities and too many women are realizing it too late.
Oh yes…as a woman in my 40’s….my mother and her generation dropped the ball! I NEEDED older women to pour into me….and while the Lord brought some amazing women into my life to fill the shoes my mother chose to step out of, it was…and is…hard. As my mother enters her final years, she finally is realizing and is becoming that woman who encourages and helps and loves. But she lost 30 years of doing so with her own children, and has two children who want very little to do with her. (Abandonment cuts deep, even “if only” emotional and spiritual.)
Me…I struggled deeply when my children were young without godly women to walk with me, and support me in prayer. I dealt with postpartum depression, I wasn’t always the wife my husband needed, at times I placed my priorities in the wrong places, I wasn’t always content at home…. Funny enough, it was a younger woman who God sent alongside me for a time who helped me get my heart back where it needed to be. The women who should’ve supported me…were all at work…were all stressed and maxxed out and unable to see my struggle, unable to pray for me, unable to encourage me. So please….don’t forget that the younger women NEED wisdom and love and prayers and guidance from those who have gone before them!!!
And also…don’t forget that husbands would like time alone with their wives!!!! no kids! I know that my dh is thoroughly planning and looking forward to the empty nest stage of our marriage!!!! I half think that come graduation day 2024, he will change the locks on the house, put up a for sale sign, and then run away with me somewhere. lol! We enjoy the times we have when it is JUST US! The kids go to Bible camp for a week….dh takes off from work! A week, JUST US!!! We have taken a big trip and a little trip during those weeks, but we’ve also stayed home and done some work at home, binge watched netflix, eaten whatever and whenever we wanted, and gone out to eat. The first two years the kids were away at camp was ROUGH for me. That first week…..was the longest I had ever been away from my babies…and I cried. A lot. The next yr was just ok. But the last two years have gotten better, and while I am THRILLED for the day we get to pick them up….I am also thrilled with the time that dh and I get to have all to ourselves. It took a few years for me to be as excited about being empty nesters together as he is….but I am there. Mostly! ;). I’ve been asked of I will work when the kids leave….and my answer is that I stayed at home before I had kids….and I stayed at home when dh made a whopping $12,000/yr….and we’re a-ok with me continuing to stay home forever. My dh likes to call and have me meet him for lunch. Or to stay home and spend the day with him when he works nights. Or to pick up and go with him when he has a work trip. I like going and doing and being with him. Work schedules seem to hamper that flexibility! So, staying home after the kids are gone is what we both want.
Personally, I’m not sure how getting a post secondary education is ever a bad idea! I went to college after high school, then worked full time after graduating. Even though I got a small loan I was able to pay it off because I worked. Granted, I never used my education but going to college gave me other skills I likely never would have obtained otherwise.
Working full time while living with my parents (before I got married) allowed me to purchase things I desired such as a new car, laser eye surgery, etc, and helped my husband and I eventually buy our home.
I think young women should be encouraged to get an education and have some type of income before they are married, because it fosters independence and maturity.
Thank you for sharing your truth. However, it is your truth, not a factual truth.
I’m an at-home parent who homeschools and who also encourages and expects both of my children, female and male, to spend the rest of their lives acquiring the best education that they can while balancing that with the other areas of their lives.
Educated people have more to offer others and themselves throughout life. My truth is that God didn’t give me my intellect for me to let it sit dormant nor did He give my husband two hands to let them be idle at home.
Online education is a wonderful boon for homeschool families. It’s there for all family members, regardless of gender or age, and almost anything can be found for free if credits aren’t an issue.
So, a well-educated, cultured, well-rounded family of both genders and all ages is, in my truth, a blessing from God and taking part and using that well in return is an offering to God, myself, my family, and my world.
Telling girls to skip education and personal growth, in my opinion, is short-sighted, discriminatory, and not at all in line with God’s Plan.
GA in VA says
AMEN! Beautifully put.
Faith is deepened by
–an ability to read the Bible deeply (understand context and history and see how this story fits in with the others),
–being able to understand more fully the people we are to serve (our neighbors who are different from us),
–have a more thorough understanding of the complexities of human nature (why can’t my uncle get off drugs?)
–and understanding how things across the world effect your daily life.
These are all benefits of an education that cannot be easily obtained by a woman without it. Education is not anti-Christian, especially if you choose a Christian education.
Please re-read the post. It doesn’t say, “Girls should skip education.”
I talked about this with my sister the other day. I am a full time homemaker with 6 kids and pregnant with number 7. I did get some college in, falling for the lie that I needed a college degree to make it. Wrong. I don’t think I have used any of my college education. I am an avid learner. I am incredibly curious. We have libraries, the internet , I can learn pretty much anything I want to learn about on my own. I study cooking, cleaning, music, refinishing furniture, building furniture, etc. If it came down to me having to support my family, I could because I have learned to work hard and have gained skills. I didn’t have to pay anyone to learn them, I didn’t have to leave my kids in daycare to learn it. Education doesn’t have to mean college .
“Education doesn’t have to mean college.” YESSSSSS! !!!!!
Jennifer R. says
Three college degrees not working in any of their fields. Saddled with debt. Stayed home for the last year of my son’s high school education and loved every single second. Forced back into the work force to pay student loans. I hate it. I miss weekly visits with my niece and nephew. I miss being able to help my stepdaughter with my grandchildren. I will never know the joy of spending days with my newest granddaughter. I bought the lie and there are still days I burst into tears knowing some dreams will not be able to come true because of those choices. I just have to trust that this is somehow part of God’s plan for my life and something good will come from it and that he would never crush my dreams without putting something better in their place.
Thank you for this.
Great post! Thank you!!
Based on some of these comments it seems as though honest to goodness faith in God’s provision is being replaced with a college degree.
Kim Eversman says
Very true. Education has become a false god in America.
Kim Eversman says
A story of two friends. My daughter and her best friend are both mothers. When they both were in high school, I decided to train my daughter to be a homemaker. My daughter’s friend decided to go to college with the encouragement of her parents. We felt confident that God would provide for our daughter. Fast forward 8 years and our daughter is married with two children, they have a lovely house almost paid for, and she is a homemaker. Her friend, is burdened with $100.000.00 dollars of college debt, a home mortgage, and she wants to stay home and raise her children, but she can’t. She believed the lie. She will live a life of regret for many years until she is able to pay back her debt. It is so sad. She has to leave her children every morning in the hands of a babysitter. She leaves them when they are sick because she has a job. She cannot serve two Masters. She is dedicated to one more than the other. Is this the “freedom” feminism has brought us? I see it as bondage!!!
By Grace Alone,
Thank you Kim. Words of truth
I think this is wonderful! Choice is not about everyone making the same choice, but really making a decision that’s best for you and not being condemned for it. I went to college but dropped out when I learned I was pregnant. I stay home now and baby number 5 is due in July. I’m happy and content to take care of my family and home instead of leaving each day to work somewhere else. I get to raise MY kids. My family has not always agreed. They still want me to go back to school, and I enjoy learning but maybe when the kids are all grown. My sister thinks I have no ambition because I don’t want to work outside my home. The usual reason they give to support THEIR choice is this: if anything happens to my husband I’m destitute. But God will provide if the worst happens, and I can always go back to work. A degree will wait, my kids can’t. They just grow so quickly.
Sarah S says
Excellent Post! Thank you. The TRUTH shall set us free…
As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught abounding therein with thanksgiving.
BEWARE lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. Colossians 2:6-8
Unless things have changed, you can’t file for bankruptcy for student loans.
Btw… I agree with this post 100%. Thank you for posting it.
Dolly @ Young Homemakers says
Jennifer, thank you so much for speaking TRUTH here. Although I did very well in school, I knew that my ultimate career would be as a Homemaker, so I chose not to take on the burden of debt that came with a college education. Currently I work outside the home, but once my Husband and I are blessed with Children that will not be the case. We are working towards buying land and building debt free so that I am able to stay home full time by the end of this year. So many women think that a career will fulfill them, but God created us to nurture and care for our families. SO MANY WOMEN change their minds, but only after it’s too late.
Thank you for being a constant encouragement to young homemakers such as myself.