Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The Stay at Home Daughter

In some of the general Christian circles there is a movement towards keeping daughters home and not sending them away to college. There are many reasons for this and I see many possible benifits to it. I am not sure it would be the best thing for every daughter, but a child should no more go to college just because everyone else is doing it than anything else. It ought to be a matter of prayer.

The women of the LDS church are asked to gain as much education as possible, but does this have to mean a college degree. What if a daughter were to stay home and learn from her mother instead, learn to keep a home, sew, cook, care for children, garden? What if she were to spend her time reading books on these subjects, learning educational theory, child development, the use of herbs and whole foods to increase health? What if she learned business principles and started a home based business?

For the future stay at home wife and mother wouldn't the above skills and knowledge benefit her far more than a degree in anything. I see great benefit in learning these skills before the children come and not waiting until they are here to stay home and figure it out.

Would she not be a great benifit to those around her? There are many young mothers without family near and a young woman who could come over from time to time and offer constructive and imaginative activities for the little children would be a great service indeed. She would be available to go and oversee the running of a relatives' house who has just had a baby or who is sick. This would give her experience, endear her to her family and truly help them. There are elderly people who would be pleased with a visit that a stay at home daughter could give. There is church service to be given. Wouldn't this be better than the often gossipy activities that many young adults are involved in? Good and Christlike habits could be developed.

I hear the questions already, but how will she meet someone to marry? What if something should happen to her spouse how would she support the family without a degree? Shouldn't she get out and experience life before she is tied down by the home?

My answers would be that if one prays and follows the promptings that follow God will provide a worthy husband. There are student wards, institute, friends of the family, friends of friends. Believe it or not women used to get married before they all started going off to college. After one gets married, what if something should happen to her husband? Lets consider this. How relevant is a degree that is ten, fifteen or twenty years old with no work experience? It isn't very. I think that having experience with running ones own homebased business would be much more benificial, because not only can it help if something should happen it can also help the family when the husband is working and with the wife and mother still staying at home. Also the wife would come into the marriage with no student debt, which is a great benifit to the young family. Also gaining knowledge and experience in homemaking which she is much more likely to do is of greater benifit than the skills and knowledge that she very likely will not be using.

As far as experiencing life, yes she should-real life. Life where people help people, where she can observe how other families are run. Not life that exists in a bubble of all single approximately the same aged people all living away from their families. This type of life tends to be puncuated by the pursuit of fun; the parties, the dances, the trips to Europe, shopping, eating out, movies. How many of these things are really beneficial to preparing for ones callings in life? How many set up bad habits of spending money needlessly, of setting up unrest when one needs to stay home, of setting up an addiction to eating out and seeking entertainment?

I do not think that every girl should choose this option, but perhaps they should think about it and pray about it. It is one that certainly those around them should see value in. I think we would be better for it if many of the girls did stay home and continue their education there.

18 comments:

Anna said...

This was really a post worth reading. I read So Much More by the Botkin sisters when I was fifteen, and was thrilled to know that there was another way to go besides college and a 'real job'. Girls need to know that there are other options out there. Thanks!

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