“The torment that so many young women know, bound hand and foot by love and motherhood, without having forgotten their former dreams.” ~Simone de Beauvoir
Someday, I would like to get married to a man who I can follow to the ends of the earth as he follows full-heartedly after Christ.
Someday, I would like to become the mother of as many blessings as the Lord should ordain, raising them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Someday, I would like to be the keeper of a home that is a hub for ministry and discipleship, a haven for fellow brothers and sisters in Christ an open book for the lost.
Homemaker. Home-keeper. Homeschool mother. Stay-at-home mom.
Barefoot and pregnant. Because I like babies. Because I like to walk around in bare feet.
Married to a man who needs all that I have to offer -from simple home-management skills to intellect, to the gifts, passions, and callings the Lord has placed on my life.
These were not always my dreams or aspirations; but, at twenty, I know better than most the malleable nature of a young person’s dreams: from firefighter to veterinarian to school teacher… to college students who change their major at least once before graduating. For me, from aspiring filmmaker or English/history Ph.D. with a Pulitzer Prize winner on her hands… to daughter living at home and loving every minute of it.
Young people are often given the sacred quest of following their dreams: don’t let anyone stop you until you’ve reached your goal! Don’t let anyone hold you back! Don’t let anything pull you down!
Dreams were made to soar -dreams were made to be realized.
I submit that our dreams ought to have boundaries -I submit that we are not free to follow all of our dreams -I submit that, as slaves to Christ, our dreams are subject to the precepts of God’s Word:
For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. ~Romans 6:14-19
Every gift, passion, or longing we feel on our lives should be subject to the precepts of our Lord. From walking on the moon -to beating Thomas Edison’s patent record -to writing the screenplay for an Academy Award winning film -to becoming a wife and mother.
I’m convinced that every gift we have been given can be used to further the Kingdom through God-ordained means -I am further convinced that Christian young people (young women in particular) have believed the lie that we have been fed that tells us that the only way to realize our ambitions is to cast aside the sacred calling of our home -and, finally, I am convinced that, too often, we have used our dreams as an excuse to forsake the calling that we have been given by Christ -for so many of us, that calling will be towards our home.
I am further convinced that, as a Christian young woman, the Lord has called me to turn my heart towards my family unit and towards my home as we work together to bring glory to Him.
Feminist rhetoric would tell me -along with de Beauvoir -that someday, I will wake up and realize that I have forsaken the amazing influence I could have had for dirty diapers and dishpan hands… if the denial isn’t already nagging me at the back of my mind! We don’t live in the Stone Ages, ladies -women can be whatever they want to be! Why settle for home-keeper when you can be a doctor, a lawyer, or a physicist?
Proponents of “stay-at-home” daughterhood -those who encourage young women to live at home during those years between high school and marriage, developing their gifts, talents, and abilities under the protection and discipleship of their parents, and using their gifts to further the family estate rather than focusing solely on an individual calling, as is the normative pattern in God’s Word -are often pointed as “dream-snatchers” who commit the cardinal sin: calling the dreams of young women into question! I submit, however, that rather than seeking to strip young women of their dreams and ambitions, I encourage them to seek to use them within the context of the biblical family unit.
God’s Word does not paint a woman who has embraced a homeward calling as one who bites her nails in doubtfulness:
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. ~Proverbs 31:25
The Proverbs 31 woman was a capable woman full of incredible gifts and talents… gifts and talents that she was able to use for God’s glory within the context of her home. Her dreams were laid at the foot of the cross -and the Lord was able to use them for his glory in the sphere where he had called her. A Proverbs 31 woman, Titus 2 woman, or 1 Peter 3 woman is in no way less of a dreamer than her career-woman counterpart… her dreams have simply been defined by God’s beautiful calling for wives as helpers, completers, and home-keepers. And whether I am blessed to become a helpmeet someday or not, I trust the Lord completely with my dreams as I strive to submit them to his precepts.
Whether or not other young ladies agree with me, and choose to continue shaping their dreams in the context of their father’s home is secondary to the fact that they submit whatever dreams they have to the precepts of God’s Word. What does the Lord have to say about your dreams? Can you move forward with a clear conscience before him? What matters most is not what I think or what my convictions are -what matters most is that we have each evaluated our choices in accordance with God’s Word.
May you chase hard after your dreams! But may your dream ever be to live full-heartedly for the Lord your God. And may you know the fullness that comes from finding your satisfaction in him and his calling on your life. May we never shirk from those biblical dreams, no matter who protests. And may we daughters of the Most High King delight in the Scriptural precepts that guide us.
Soli Deo Gloria!