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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

To Glorify God

First off, I would like to thank my lovely friends for contributing to this month’s topic. This isn’t an easy subject to discuss, and I am very grateful for how graciously each girl has shared her opinions. As I read, edited, and posted each article, I realized that my personal opinion of college is a combination of all three. With that, here we go. :)

The Westminster shorter catechism asks one of the most important questions regarding the Christian life. “What is the chief end of man?” In other words, what is our purpose on earth? Why are we here? The answer is simply, and yet beautifully put: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” Have you ever told yourself that? Have you ever said, “God created me solely to bring glory to Him. To enjoy Him. Forever.” We were not created to find ultimate enjoyment in money, possessions, power, acceptance, or college as evidenced by the emptiness that fills us when we try to find ultimate satisfaction in these worldly, trivial things. We were created to find complete enjoyment and ultimate satisfaction in God, and it is at this level of adoration that we glorify Him most.

While all of this is very important, it may seem a wee bit off topic, but it isn’t. :) In fact our calling to glorify God and enjoy Him forever has absolutely everything to do with deciding whether or not you should go to college. Like Lauren mentioned in “Will We Follow?” God calls different people to different areas of life. Some girls he may call to college, some he may call to stay at home. Neither decision is inherently sinful.

I think when making this decision it is important to take three things into consideration.

1.) Talk to your parents.

Proverbs 1:8 “Listen my song to your father’s instruction, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They will be a garland for your head and a chain to adorn your neck.”

The Lord has put parents in our lives so that we can have someone who is older and wiser than us, and who has our best interest in mind. I would strongly encourage that you talk with your parents. Be open to what they have to say,

2.) Have a reason.

“Mom, why can’t I go??? Everyone else is going” “Because, I said so. Besides, if all of your friends went and jumped off a cliff would you do it? Of course not!” “Mom! That’s different.”

As Elizabeth mentioned “don’t just go to go.” And you certainly should not do it just because everyone else is doing it. In the same way you would not jump off a cliff with your friends, don’t make your decision based on what everyone around you is doing. God has a plan that has been specifically designed for you.

3.) Have a plan


You would never go cliff jumping without a parachute, or some sort of gear. In the same way, you should not leap into college (or homemaking) without a plan. If you decide to go to college I would encourage you to find a church body and a family that will hold you accountable and keeping absorbed in the Lord. If you decide to stay home, I would strongly encourage you to set up a schedule.

i.e. A friend of mine has decided to take each “quarter” and attempt to master a form of homemaking. Her first four quarters include cooking, sewing, managing finances, and gardening. I’m not saying everyone should do this, but I think it’s important to set up a plan.

With all things considered, remember that while we may “plan our course, the Lord determines our footsteps.” One thing that I constantly have to remind myself is that I am exactly where God wants me to be at this very moment. In my personal experience when I focus on that simple truth, it encourages me to use the most of every moment and bring glory to God in whatever I can. Don’t get me wrong, I fall short all the time, but I believe that if we focus on “glorifying God and enjoying Him forever” it will make things that we may think trivial, frustrating, or even stressful a little easier to handle.

So in conclusion: Pray, talk to your parents, have a reason, have a plan, and never forget: everything that happens in our lives, whether we go to college or not, is all part of God’s master plan for each one of our lives. :)


Belle Schuler 
Oregon

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Will We Follow?


When my grandma graduated from high school, she never went off to college like most expect of us these days. She never got a degree, which may have cost her at some point, but she seemed to serve her husband and children well. One lady in my church, who homeschooled her children and also faithfully serves her husband, did decide to go to college, where she majored in accounting, learning how to manage finances well. Today, she stays at home, and one way she serves her husband is by managing their finances. (and he loves to cook! J) Obviously the decision about college is not like a hat, where the tag reads “one size fits all”. It’s not like Tylenol, the perfect pain killer for seemingly ever situation. But what should we as girls know as we make this decision? What’s best—to go to college or to stay home?
First of all, I don’t think the question of girls attending college has anything to do with whether it’s right or wrong.  Nowhere does the Bible say that girls shouldn’t go to college. And it doesn’t even explicitly say that women should be required to stay home and not have a job outside the home. In fact, in Proverbs 31, we see the example of a godly woman:
“She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands…She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household…She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard…She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle…She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.”
We see her both working hard and serving her household simultaneously.  A good wife is a skilled and working wife.  I’m not saying that women have to work outside the home. I would love to stay at home with my children someday; it’s a glorious calling. What I am saying is that, even if that’s your dream, that’s not in and of itself a reason to avoid college.  Here’s why:
For one, it’s wise to have a skill that you can use someday if need be, even if your initial plans are to be a stay-at-home mom.  I’ve talked to many wise people I know—parents, women in my church, friends’ parents, moms who stay home with their kids—and presented the idea of not going to college since I want to be a stay-at-home mom anyway.  Their advice has always been the same. We can’t know what God’s plans for us in the future are—when or if we’re going to get married, what kind of job our husband will have, or if we’ll always have our husband to rely on.  For these reasons, getting a degree at college can be a wise choice.
Secondly, and most importantly, going to college can equip us for ministry and make us more effective for God’s kingdom. If I go to school to learn business skills, I can use those to serve the church. I can improve my music skills to better lead people in worship. I can become a nurse and use that in missions. If I learn how to design websites, I can use that to bless various churches and ministries and spread the good news. God can use college as a tool to further His kingdom.
Maybe you’re like my grandma and feel like God isn’t calling you to go to college. That’s great! Ask Him to show you where He wants you to use the gifts you have been given. But maybe He is asking you to go to college not because society expects it of you, not because you need a better job, not even because it can be a wise choice, but because He has big plans for how He wants to use you, serving your husband, serving the church, and winning souls for Christ. That is the highest calling. Whether it leads us to the home, to college, to the church, to the mission field; Will we follow?
Lauren Reavely 
Oregon

Friday, September 17, 2010

Guidelines and Lifelines


Okay. So, first I’ll just give you some of my personal guidelines for what to do in college. Then after that, I’ll tell you what my family and I have chosen to do.
I think a few key things are this:
1) Have a reason for going to college if you go. Don’t just go to… go. I know for me, I used to think I’d go to college simply because it was the next thing to do. But, think it through! More importantly, pray.
2) If you are going away from home to attend college… I would strongly suggest that you find a Christian family there that you respect and can be accountable to. Yes, having other peers that you can be accountable to is great! And, please find those kindred spirits! But, it is such a blessing to have older and more mature Christians to help you in your walk with the Lord while at college. For many of us – especially us homeschoolers – college is a very new experience. You suddenly have all of this freedom that you didn’t have before. So, I simply want to say: Don’t think that you can do everything alone. Make sure you have others in your life that can help you.
Now for what my family and I are planning on doing after I graduate:
My father is my protector and I want to stay under his authority. So, for us that means I will be living with my family (or close to them) until – if it is God’s will – I get married. As I said, that is what it means for us. This whole issue is a household issue as my mother would say. There isn’t one right way of dealing with college. Keep that in mind.
So, my older sister (who is graduated already) and I are staying home. We both are doing college, though. My sister is doing long distance study and I’m planning on commuting to a local college. I am looking forward to learning more and growing once I start college. But, what I’m looking forward to even more – becoming a wife and mother. That is a huge part of my future! I can’t wait!
I really respect young ladies who stay at home for their single years and those who go to college. One thing I would say is don’t just sit at home bored or just go through the motions at college. Be busy in your single years! Do ministry. Be excited about your God! He is so amazing!
So, yes! Those are my thoughts! Thank you for reading. Last thought:
Pray. Think about it. Talk to your parents. Pray again. College is something every family has to decide for themselves.
Your sister in Christ,
-  Elizabeth Grace Morphonios
North Carolina

What's a Girl To Do?


As young women near the completion of their high school years, the question always arises, “What now?” Do we go off to college in preparation for a career? Do we stay at home and wait for Prince Charming to show up? As always, we should look to the Scripture for our answers.
First, naturally, we are to keep in mind that whatever path we take in our adult years, we are to strive to serve, honor, and glorify the Lord. “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”~1 Corinthians 10:31
Secondly, we can examine what the Bible calls women to do. The very first woman, Eve, was created for the purpose of being Adam’s helpmeet, as he sought to take dominion over the earth. (Genesis 2:18)
What a wonderful calling! Often women in this day and age think of this calling as oppressive, but it is truly the greatest freedom we can know. If we are joyfully serving our husband at home, under his protection and guidance, submitting to him as we are commanded to in Ephesians 5, we will find that this is what the Lord has designed us for. Women often think they will find freedom, happiness, and be free from men out in the world, making their own as career women. But when a woman isn’t under the authority of one man, she is under the authority of all of them. Many women simply do not understand that serving one’s boss is just the same as serving one’s husband; only it’s not part of our God-given calling.
Do I think it’s wrong for a woman to go to college? Absolutely not.  But remember, the main purpose of education is not to learn calculus (thankfully for me), be well versed in literature, be able to spout psychology, etc. The reason we are given minds to learn is so we can grow in the knowledge and wisdom of our Lord. Forget the math. Forget the reading. Am I against those things? Again, no. As long as we remember that reading is not how we receive blessings. Obeying and serving God is.
So whatever choices a young lady makes in her adult years, I encourage her to seek out what the Lord would have her do, not seeking the approval of men, nor her own selfish desires.
Darby Sproul 
Florida

We're Back


DEAR GIRLS


September is here and school is starting! I have been praying about this website and how it can best benefit others and I have decided, due to the nature of the website that I’m going to run things a little differently.
I have asked three wonderful girls to join the “team.” Each month we will be addressing a “hot topic” so to speak. Each girl will write her opinion on the subject and then I will post those articles here! The reason I decided to set it up this way is because I want to make sure there is always new material we can discuss.
The Forum: Will still be a place to comment and share your ideas, but instead of talking about random subjects we’ll be addressing the topic of the month.
If you feel lead to share your ideas in an article type format feel free to email us.
September:
“As young women we are called to bring glory to God and serve our families. How we pursue this calling can vary depending on the circumstances, especially when it comes to education. Is it beneficial and God-glorifying for a girl to pursue a college education?”