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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

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