“I’m a writer,” I usually respond when asked what I do for a living. “The unpublished kind,” I’ll quip.
Very rarely does the conversation require the awkward foray into why I live at home. At that point, someone that the questioner probably would think of as a pretty nice young lady turns into a weird, sheltered, brainwashed, delusional, zealous anti-feminist rugrat. Sometimes, I have to remind myself to keep my chin up, to answer brightly and unapologetically, to smile politely, to let down my defenses, to remember that my life is counter-cultural, and be patient with those who really wish to better understand the choices I’ve made, and adopt an attitude that says, “I am not ashamed of the life I’ve chosen.” Defensiveness, embarrassment, or shamefacedness would communicate quite the opposite.
Something we daughters who have made the decision to stay at home after highschool in lieu of the typical college experience need to remember when facing opposition for our convictions is that we have nothing to apologize for. When we base our decisions on a fear of the Lord and a love for his precepts, we have no reason to be afraid. Even when responses are markedly unkind or unduly sympathetic, we can respond with the joy that comes in knowing that we are exactly where the Lord has called us to be.
So many times, I wonder if I’m not willing to be controversial enough -I really do. While I want to extend grace to any ear that may be listening, while I want to acknowledge that circumstances vary from home to home, and while I want to be clear that I still love and respect Christians who hold a differing opinion from me -the reason I live my life the way I do isn’t because it’s easy, or because it’s just what I like; it’s because this is where I believe the Lord has called me to be: under the protection and provision of my father until marriage.
So many times, my blog posts are so full of qualifications that I worry that they’ve lost the sharp edge of truth that I desire them to have. Yes, I want that truth to be tempered with love, but this morning, something hit me: I have nothing to apologize for. Because if I am living my life to the glory of God, if I am basing my steps on his precepts, if I am living every day by his grace… I’m doing exactly what I’ve been called to do, and I have no reason to waver.
Does our conviction give us an excuse to run helter skelter over the feelings and circumstances of others, to thumb our nose at daughters’ whose obedience to their parents consists of them leaving their father’s protection and needing to find other Christian adults to keep them accountable in other venues? No. Does our conviction give us an excuse to come up with a host of legalistic rules binding daughters (she can go to a local community college, but she can’t go to a local university; she can take up a hobby, but she can’t turn the hobby into a trade; she can take up a trade, but she has to do it from home, and can’t go to the homes of others to minister; she can go to the homes of others to minister, but it has to involve homemaking in some way…). May it never be. Do we thumb our nose at other homes who have these principles in place, but live them out in different ways than we do? Not at all.
Because our conviction doesn’t come from a list of rules and their exceptions; it comes from a guiding principles in God’s Word: that daughters are to be protected (Duet. 22, Numbers 30). That they are to embrace their femininity. That they are to prepare wholeheartedly for the callings of wives and mothers (Titus 2:3-5). Because even if they never marry, those Proverbs 31 skills can still be an immense blessing in whatever setting they find themselves in.
I live under the protection of my father’s roof, and in submission to the discipleship of both of my parents out of conviction, not just out of preference (although, yes, I do prefer it here because of my conviction -and because, yes, I love my family, and as this conviction has come to fruition, the Lord has given me so much joy in this calling). I understand that other Christian girls do not share that conviction. While I don’t think my conviction makes me more righteous than they, I do think that they might be missing out on the immense blessing that a biblically-functioning Christian home can be. And if they aren’t blessed to live in a biblically-functioning Christian home, I think they’re missing out on grasping a vision for what kind of a home their future dwelling places can be.
It’s about so much more than just living at home. It’s about the ministry of the home. For ministry in the home, as parents disciple their children, ministry through the home, as families minister to others, and the ministry that reaches beyond the home as adult children marry and begin godly families of their own, as faithfulness grows from generation to generation. I love the opportunity I have to be a link in the godly chain my parents have started, and I hope that I can pour my life into my children the way they pour their life into us, pouring the gospel, setting the foundations for multigenerational faithfulness by giving us a godly legacy day by day.
It feels good to type those words. May we live out our convictions graciously -yet unapologetically. May we find the balance, and may we rejoice in it. May we rejoice in the freedom we have in Christ, to live out his commands with joy, to lean on his grace in every circumstance. And may we always give glory to him as we seek his will for our lives.