From the Lectionary: 5,000 Companions

I'm blogging with the lectionary this year, and this week's reading comes from Matthew 14:13-21:

Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick.

When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, ‘This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves;  Jesus said to them, ‘They need not go away; you give them something to eat.’  They replied, ‘We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.’ And he said, ‘Bring them here to me.’ 

Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

When I was a little girl, the story of Jesus feeding the great multitude was my very favorite of them all.  

I loved it because, according to John’s account, it was a little boy who provided the disciples with his own packed meal of five barley loaves and two fish that Jesus miraculously multiplied into a feast to feed 5,000, complete with baskets of leftovers to spare. 

In that boy, (who I imagined boasted a face of freckles and a mess of black hair smelling of sea salt), I could see a little of myself. I liked to believe that, had it been me, I would have marched right up to those intimidating disciples, Rainbow Bright lunchbox in hand, and volunteered my lunch for the good of the people, fully trusting that Jesus had the situation under control. 

And so, whenever the preacher arrived at this text, I found my mind wandering to that little boy. I imagined what happened to him that day, and the day after that, and the day after that—what he told his mother when he rushed home breathless with excitement, how he felt when his best friends didn’t believe him, why he almost ran away from home so he could follow the miracle-working carpenter himself.  One of my first handwritten stories, scrawled across the wide-ruled notebook I carried under my arm every summer, was a creative retelling of the Feeding of the 5,000 from the perspective of the little boy who helped make it happen. …. Which basically means I was doing midrash when I was in fifth grade, but I digress….

It’s an enlightening exercise, really, envisioning a story like this one from the perspective of a single, seemingly minor character. Within this legendary story hides more than 5,000 othersthe story of the skinny orphan, the skeptical tax collector, the despised Samaritan, the curious fisherman, the struggling widow, the disdained prostitute, the wealthy mother, the angry zealot, the ostracized Canaanite, the banished leper, the suffering slave, the repentant sinner....and ultimately, the story of you and me. 

It is the story of a crowd of people who had little in common except that they were hungry—for food, for healing, for truth, for Jesus. And it is the story of a crowd of people who were fed. 

No questions asked. 

No prerequisites demanded. 

No standards of holiness to meet first. 

“The gospel story that makes the most sense to me about the Eucharist is the feeding of the five thousand,” writes Nora Gallagher. “Jesus didn’t ask those thousands of people camped on that hillside whether they had confessed their sins or how clean they were. He fed them.” 

In the story of the feeding of the 5,000 we see Jesus once again addressing the most essential, physical needs of his fellow human beings - hunger, thirst, companionship - and once again, breaking down every socially-constructed barrier that keeps us from eating with one another. 

He did the same thing when, much to the chagrin of the religious leaders, he dined with tax collectors and prostitutes and told his more well-to-do hosts that  “when you give a banquet, invite the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed.”

The English word companion, is derived from the Latin com (“with”) and panis (“bread”).  A companion, therefore, is someone with whom you share your bread.

So when we want to know about a person’s friends and associates, we look at the people with whom she eats, and when we want to measure a someone’s social status against our own, we look at the sort of dinner parties to which he gets invited.  Most of us prefer to eat with people who are like us, with shared background, values, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, beliefs, and tastes, or perhaps with people we want to be like, people who make us feel important and esteemed.  Just as a bad ingredient may contaminate a meal, we often fear bad company may contaminate our reputation or our comfort. 

This is why Jesus’ critics repeatedly drew attention to the fact that he dined with the wrong people. By eating with the poor, the despised, the sick, the sinners, the outcasts, and the unclean, Jesus was saying, “These are my companions. These are my friends.” 

It was just the sort of thing that got him killed. 

Nora Ephron once said that “a family is a group of people who eat the same thing for dinner.”

All who feast on the Bread of Life are family. All who dare to feed the hungry, fellowship with the suffering, and befriend sinners are companions of Christ. This, after all, is the Kingdom: a bunch of outcasts and oddballs gathered together, not because we are rich or worthy or good, but because we are hungry, because we long for more. And just as the fish and the loaves continued to multiply, so have the companions of Jesus. The family just keeps growing and growing.  

So whoever you are in this ongoing story,  these feeding of the many multitudes, if you are hungry, come and eat. You don't have to earn a spot. It is given. 

The baskets are overflowing and there’s always room for more. 

comments

http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/lectionary-feeding-five-thousand

Comment Policy: Please stay positive with your comments. If your comment is rude, it gets deleted. If it is critical, please make it constructive. If you are constantly negative or a general ass, troll, or hater, you will get banned. The definition of terms is left solely up to us.

Inside Mark Driscoll’s disturbed mind

[Content note: crude language, slurs, misogyny, homophobia]

I haven’t blogged about Mark Driscoll in ages.  

In the past, I’ve been critical of his bullying tactics and his views on sex and gender, but lately it seems the influential Seattle mega-church pastor has made plenty of news on his own, as it was recently revealed he plagiarized, used church funds to buy a spot on the New York Times bestseller list, and engaged in other alleged misappropriation of funds. 

Driscoll has long been known for his authoritarian leadership over Mars Hill Church, and for his controversial teachings regarding gender and sexuality. He made national news in 2006 when he blamed Ted Haggard’s affair with a male escort on Haggard’s wife for “letting herself go” and has often repeated the teaching that women who fail to please their husbands sexually (by providing regular oral sex and maintaining their attractiveness) bear some responsibility for their husbands’ infidelity.

Driscoll refers to pacifists as “pansies,” the emerging church as “homo-evangelicals” who worship a “Richard Simmons hippie queer Christ,” and churches with women in leadership as “chickified,” warning that “if Christian males do not man up soon, the Episcopalians may vote a fluffy baby bunny rabbit as their next bishop to lead God’s men.” 

He has long spoken out against the supposed “feminization” of the church and argued in support of a more violent, macho-man Christianity, stating “I cannot worship the hippie, diaper, halo Christ because I cannot worship a guy I can beat up.”  In 2011, he issued a call on Facebook for his followers to share stories about and ridicule “effeminate anatomically male worship leaders.” 

Those of us who have been following Driscoll’s rise to popularity within the neo-Reformed movement over the last decade have been warning that teachings like these reveal a disturbed and dangerous man who needs counseling, not a place at the pulpit. But many of his supporters continue to back him, arguing that though his language is salty, his teachings are “biblical.” 

This week, several bloggers have uncovered some of Driscoll’s online rants from his early days as a pastor.  In his book, Confessions of a Reformission Rev, Driscoll writes about how he posted as “William Wallace II” on the discussion board on his church Web site. Here are his words:

Well, it seems those posts have recently been reassembled here. Below are some excerpts from the 100+ pages of Driscoll's rants.

Driscoll on young men: 

“We live in a completely pussified nation. We could get every man, real man as opposed to pussified James Dobson knock-off crying Promise Keeping homoerotic worship loving mama's boy sensitive emasculated neutered exact male replica evangellyfish, and have a conference in a phone booth. It all began with Adam, the first of the pussified nation, who kept his mouth shut and watched everything fall headlong down the slippery slide of hell/feminism when he shut his mouth and listened to his wife who thought Satan was a good theologian when he should have lead her and exercised his delegated authority as king of the planet. As a result, he was cursed for listening to his wife and every man since has been his pussified sit quietly by and watch a nation of men be raised by bitter penis envying burned feministed single mothers who make sure that Johnny grows up to be a very nice woman who sits down to pee…”

“One day Johnny finally gives in to the pressure of his pre-humpers singles ministry and gets stuck with some gal left on the shelf long after her expiration date that is just like dear old mom who wants him to shut up like Adam, take his beating, and join a church men's group that is really a woman's group in disguise complete with cookies and crying and antidepressants to cope with the insanity. Poor Johnny is by now so completely whacked that he's afraid of having kids and hold off his taking on any more responsibility as long as he can because Johnny is a boy trapped in a man's body walking around in a world of other boys all trying to keep their pee pee behind their zipper and do just like their momma told them and be good women.

And so the culture and families and churches sprint to hell because the men aren't doing their job and the feminists continue their rant that it's all our fault and we should just let them be pastors and heads of homes and run the show. And the more we do, the more hell looks like a good place because at least a man is in charge, has a bit of order and let's men spit and scratch as needed. And all their whining and fighting is nothing more than further evidence that we are still kings and unless we do our job everyone and everything is getting screwed except Johnny (metaphorically speaking of course).”


Driscoll on gay Christians: 

“Can I be a gay Christian? In the infamous words of the now metaphysically challenged and likely kindling ex-pentecostal pastor Sam Kinison "How can one man look at another man's hairy ass and find love?" What an insane conversation. Every man knows you can't build anything with bolts and bolts. Damn freaks. And the pastel cashmere wearing sensible haircut clean shaven loafer wearing minivan driving suburban sympathizers contend "But they really really love each other." I love dogs, but I don't stick my tongue in their mouth and lobby congress for a tax deductible union. "But we need to be nice." What the hell for?  A man is free to knock boots with any sad hairy lump of clay desperate enough to climb in the sheets and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that total depravity is an understatement, but what the hell you want from me? Should we form some form of homo Promise Keepers so we can all climb into a stadium and hug each other and cry like damn junior high girls watching Dawson's Creek. I'd tell you to kiss my ass, but I'm afraid you'd take me up on it.”

Driscoll, in response to a woman on the discussion board: 

“I speak harshly because I speak to men. A woman might not understand that. I also do not answer to women. So your questions will be ignored. I would however, recommend to you a few versed to memorize: I Timothy 2:11-15 I Corinthians 14:33-35.To learn them, ask your father or husband. If you have neither, ask your pastor. If she is a  female, find another church. If you are the pastor, quit your job and repent.” 

Driscoll, in response to posters who objected to his comments: 

“I have been thinking and praying about this whole string and I am really sorry if I hurt anyone's feelings. I am sorry if men of God had their inner child spanked. I feel terrible for all the tears you guys have shed over the pain of my words. Please forgive me. Please come to my house right now so I can hold you tightly in my arms and draw you to myself and whisper oh so sweetly in your ears...shut the hell up."

“Please hike up your skirt and come to my house. I'll bake you something and pretend like I care.” 

Driscoll on “pussified” men: 

“This thing has become a bloody mess. You quasi-homo thinking men have screwed the whole thing up. But, thank you for making my point so clearly. I am not a woman. So, scrap all you want. Hurl insults. Throw your petty theological  darts. Have a good cry. Whatever. But do not lose sight of the issue. At some point you will all learn that I don't give a crap about how you "feel." Why, because I am not talking about your right to your feelings. That is the result of feminism, psychology, and atheism which says we are all good and need to have freedom to express our goodness and receive goodness in kind. If you are a man I want to teach you a new word. Duty….My feelings and rights turn me into an idol of self-worship that mitigates against Him. I am screaming at you to do likewise. And yes I am screaming, why, because listen to all the noise we've got to cut through. Even from "Christian" men who are basically practical queers that freak out when a man shows up because it become obvious that they are completely pussified.” 

Driscoll on using the "rod of law" in marriage: 

The bottom line is very simple. Men are supposed to rule on Christ's behalf, sometimes with  a rod of law, and sometimes with a tender touch of grace. And, young Christian men are doing very little of either, and hardly anything with the rod of grace. I assure you I speak from a very wide range of experience.”

Driscoll’s “definition of terms”: 

pussified - any man who has lost his rocks and completed the process of remaining biologically male but become female in all other ways

male lesbian - any man who thinks and acts like a woman because he thinks that makes him a better person

legion - the countless number of men who have become male lesbians

feman - a woman who thinks and acts like a man because she believes it makes her equal to

 men whacker - a man who is a porno freak and chronic masturbator

manly man - any regenerate man who loves God and his neighbor and demonstrates it with grace guided practical living and rigorous theology

half a man - any man who takes a wife and does not serve as the financial and spiritual head of his home but believes the relationship is 50/50 and she should make half the money and do half of his job at home pitch a tent club - men who allow their wives to nag them so incessantly that they want to sleep on the roof of their own home

rock free - any man who attends a church with a woman pastor

mixed nuts - any man who claims Christ but is actively involved in homosexual activity

kindling - any man who does not repent of his sin and receive God's grace in Christ

homoerotic huddle - any men's group where the men cry inordantly and hug each other with deep affection

feminism - the enemy of every man, every woman, every child, and God Almighty

rocks - the courage a man must have to be a manly man

the jar - that place where unmanly men store the rocks that they never wear

artistesticularless - men who expect women to take care of them because they play guitar or paint

Marty Stewart - any man who stays at home with his kids while his wife goes off to work to provide for his family

King & Lord - Jesus

Now, Driscoll has often referred to these as his “angry young prophet days,” and says he hopes to move to a more fatherly role as he continues as a pastor and leader in evangelical Christianity. But let’s be clear: There is nothing “prophetic” about degrading women, bullying men, and using hateful slurs to talk about LGBT people.

It's true that these words were written nearly 14 years ago when Driscoll was closer to my age, (about 31), but what they reveal is the ugly heart behind Driscoll's continued teachings -  the workings of his troubled mind, which need to be addressed for his own health and the health of his congregation.

Listen up, Church:  Misogyny is real.  Homophobia is real. And a man this notorious for both, a man this severely disturbed, should not be in a position of leadership in a church. He needs counseling, not a pulpit. He needs discipline, not a megaphone. 

But many of us have been saying this for years…and years…and years. And still Driscoll pastors Mars Hill. Still Mark Driscoll headlines evangelical Christian conferences and authors evangelical Christian books. 

I’m as sick as everyone else of talking about this guy. Believe me. But it makes me even more sick to consider what will happen if we don’t, if his leadership goes unchallenged and he continues to hurt people with his teachings. This is not some obscure pastor with no platform. He’s not a random internet troller who is best left ignored. This is one of the most powerful and influential pastors in evangelical Christianity. 

But he doesn’t have to remain so.

Not if good people speak up and wise elders respond. 

Misogyny and homophobia are not okay. This is not an issue of using “salty language” or “unconventional tactics” to preach the gospel,  because there is not a trace of gospel in this. 

***

(If you would like to contact the elders and leaders at Mars Hill, find them here.

***

I'm going to close the comment thread on Wednesday morning at 10:00 a.m. EST  just because it's getting a bit hard to manage. Thanks for understanding! 
 

comments

http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/driscoll-troubled-mind-william-wallace

Comment Policy: Please stay positive with your comments. If your comment is rude, it gets deleted. If it is critical, please make it constructive. If you are constantly negative or a general ass, troll, or hater, you will get banned. The definition of terms is left solely up to us.

I don’t always tell you

I don’t always tell you about the mornings I wake up and feel the absence of God as though it were a presence—thick and certain, remembered all over again the way you remember in the morning that someone you love has died. 

Or about the days when the idea that a single religion can stop the CNN crawler from reporting one more missile strike, one more downed plane, one more bombed hospital, strikes me as freshly stupid, dangerously naïve. 

(They keep using words like “unthinkable” and “unimaginable” to describe the violence, but let’s be honest, there’s nothing unthinkable or unimaginable about all this. It’s as routine to us as eating, as breathing, as hating. We dream this stuff up all the time.) 

I don’t always tell you about how sometimes I’m not sure I want to bring kids into a world like this one, a world so full of suffering. 

Because that sort of thing doesn’t exactly sell off the shelves at Christian bookstores, does it? 

What do you do when the religion that is supposed to give you comfort and direction is the cause of your pain and confusion?  

What do you do when religious people respond to your questions by calling you names? By mocking you? By casting you out? 

I don’t always tell you about the depth of my doubt. 

I don’t always tell you about how the cynicism settles in, like a diaphanous fog. 

Or about how sometimes, just the thought of reading one more Christian book I only half believe exhausts and bores me. 

There is no need for a diagnosis. This isn’t the sort of clinical depression with which so many good people struggle. Privileged as I am, I can cut off the flow of information—shut the laptop, turn off the news, and head outside—and my mood lifts. I can gaze into the dizzying blue of a clear sky and believe in God again, because at least for me, that sky isn’t filled with missiles or bombs. I have the luxury of forgetting. 

Sometimes it frightens me, how effortlessly I can move from belief to unbelief as one would move from room to room. 

Kathleen Norris called it acedia, the noonday demon, a religious and relational apathy that “makes it seem that the sun barely moves, if at all.” 

That sounds about right to me— stuck in the unforgiving glare of midday when every truth has a sharp edge. 

I don’t always tell you, because when a reader says, “I love it when you write something VULNERABLE!” I wonder if she really means it, if she really wants to know that the demon whose voice she thinks she's quieted in her own heart is screaming like hell in mine, and that the scariest thing about being VULNERABLE, about exposing myself to the world without a religion or a platform or a “brand” for protection, is that I might lose them for good...or, perhaps, learn that I can breathe without them. 

And that’s not exactly the sort of born again experience the publishers pay for. 

comments

http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/i-dont-always-tell-you

Comment Policy: Please stay positive with your comments. If your comment is rude, it gets deleted. If it is critical, please make it constructive. If you are constantly negative or a general ass, troll, or hater, you will get banned. The definition of terms is left solely up to us.

Leaving Home: Escaping the Stay-at-Home Daughters Movement (by Samantha Field)

When I was doing my research for A Year of Biblical Womanhood, I encountered the stay-at-home daughters movement within fundamentalist Christian circles.  People often describe such staunchly patriarchal movements as "fringe," but what many fail to realize is that, though movements such as these certainly veer from the mainstream, they are immensely popular within certain subcultures, generate quite a bit of revenue and create their very own "celebrities," and have profoundly affected the lives of many thousands of women across the country. 

So today I’m pleased to share with you an eye-opening and powerful guest post from Samantha Field.  Samantha grew up in the Independent Fundamental Baptist movement and was deeply conservative until she started asking questions about faith and God and religion that her friends and professors couldn't answer. After three years as an agnostic theist, she eventually found her way back to Christianity; today she blogs about the intersection of theology and feminism, and works to educate young Christians about sexuality and consent.

***

My freshman year in high school, I mentioned my dream to become a marine botanist to my best friend, our pastor’s daughter, and she laughed.

“Don’t be ridiculous,” she said. “You can’t be a scientist. You have to be a keeper at home.”

Keeper at home. 

It’s a phrase from the King James translation of Titus 2, and we interpreted it to mean that it was against God’s laws for women to be employed. Our church, however, took it one step further: if all a woman was allowed to be was a “keeper at home,” then it was utterly pointless for her to try to be anything else. Pursuing an education, or longing for a career could do nothing but harm her with shattered dreams. For that reason, young women in our church were asked to be “stay-at-home daughters.” 

I gave up my dreams. I sacrificed them on the altar of biblical womanhood, fervently believing that the only way I could be blessed by God was to follow the clear guidelines laid out in Scripture. I was committed to remaining at home until I was married, when my father would transfer his ownership of me to my husband, giving me away at the altar with his blessing after a brief, paternally-guided courtship.

Occasionally, a snatch of a dream would intrude. No, Samantha. My inner voice would be harsh, echoing my Sunday school teachers and pastor’s wife. Do not be tempted. That’s just the Devil trying to trick you away from God’s plan. I looked to the other women in my life for inspiration—the other girls were filling their hope chests, meeting together to learn new recipes, learning to crochet and knit and sew. 

I tried sewing. I almost broke my mother’s machine. 

I learned how to crochet, but hated the feeling of yarn scraping around my fingers.

I took up cross stitching, but gave up when all I got was a snarl of silken tangles after weeks of trying.

I became a halfway-decent cook, but my heart was never in it.

As for cleaning-- I perniciously avoided laundry, dusting aggravated my allergies, dragging around the canister vacuum was torture, cleaning toilets made me gag, and dishes? Dear Lord, I hated anything having to do with dishes! Learning to enjoy housework, to “take pride in the homemaking arts,” was a complete and total bust.

The one thing I was good at was playing the piano. I’d started lessons when I was six, and was playing congregationally by thirteen. I devoted myself to becoming a pianist, and my mother joked that she couldn’t tear me away from the piano with a crowbar. They did everything they could to support my fanatical interest—buying a piano at a time when they could barely afford one and paying for lessons with the best piano teacher in three counties. 

My senior year in high school, my piano instructor asked where I’d applied to college. When I told him I wasn’t going to college, he stared at me, dumbfounded, the lesson jerking to a dead stop. “What do you mean you’re not going to college?! Of course you’re going to college! Talent like yours can’t be hidden under a bushel.”

I haltingly tried to explain about being a stay-at-home-daughter, a keeper at home, but that just seemed to confuse him more, so he dropped it. I couldn’t stop thinking about his reaction, though. I knew he was a Christian, but he didn’t seem to have heard of being a stay-at-home daughter; while I knew our church was more conservative than most, I assumed that a concept as plain as “keeper at home” would be obvious no matter what church you went to.

The fact that it wasn’t clear to a person I respected, who I knew had a deep faith and was incredibly intelligent . . . bothered me. 

It didn’t stop bothering me until I decided I was going to look into this. I typed “stay-at-home daughter” into Google, and found my way to a review of the documentary "Return of the Daughters," a film I’d seen and that was exalted by most of the women I knew. What I read gobsmacked me—in the review and the comments, hundreds of conservative Christian women lambasted the principles taught in the film, arguing against the Botkin’s narrow interpretation of Scripture. Arguing against my interpretation of Scripture.

I didn’t have to remain at home until I was married. I could go to college. It was too late for me to become an marine botanist, since I had abandoned any study of science or math in high school, but I could do something. I could get the piano performance degree my teacher was encouraging me to pursue. 

As a compromise, I applied to a fundamentalist Christian liberal arts college not that far away from home. I should not have been surprised by the reaction I got when I announced my acceptance at church, but I was. I was hurt by their vindictiveness. I wasn’t ignoring what I’d been taught. I wasn’t selfishly chasing what my “deceitfully wicked heart” wanted. I just … wanted to study piano, to eventually become a housewife who taught piano lessons out of her living room. Was that so wrong?

I went anyway, ignoring the pleas of my best friend and nearly every woman I’d ever respected not to do something so totally opposed to “biblical teaching.”

I went, and I blossomed.

My sophomore year I decided to switch to a secondary education degree because I realized I didn’t want to spend my entire life at home. I wanted to be able to get a job. I spent the next few years fighting with nearly everyone back home about my decision, ignoring all the packets and booklets offering me more “biblical alternatives” like taking “at-home college-level courses in biblical homemaking.”

My senior year I completed a teaching internship and realized that I loathed almost everything about being a teacher. I woke up, brutally aware that I’d spent thousands of dollars and four and half years earning a degree that I’d never actually wanted, all because the people I’d grown up with had told me I couldn’t be anything else except a housewife who could use her teaching degree to homeschool her children.

So I found an English graduate program that would accept my credits and applied. When I told the people from my childhood who were still in my life, they tsked. One told me that she would be praying that I would be “led back to God’s true will for my life,” and that he would use my “errant heart to teach me his ways.” Another accused me of openly rebelling against God.

It hit me the hardest that my parents, who up until this point had fought for my right to go to college if I wanted, suddenly and inexplicably withdrew their support. When I showed my mother the university I wanted to attend, her only response was a solemn “you’ll need to ask your father.” My father’s answer was disheartening. He did not like the idea of me going to a college so far away from home, so far away from the “umbrella of his protection.” Why couldn’t I stay at home? Take online courses if I wanted a master’s degree? My attempts to explain online literature courses aren’t what I want were met with more reservations and protests. It wasn’t fitting for an unmarried daughter to live on her own.

I was accepted into the program, but they didn’t have any spots left to become a graduate assistant. Without any way to pay for it, I went home. I didn’t give up, though. I started taking online courses and began pocketing away all of the money I could—I would get to grad school, one way or another. Eight months later, the director of the GA program called me: a spot had opened up, was I interested?

So nervous I was sick, I called my father—and after eight months of him watching me work and save and study and read and write, he’d changed his mind. I wanted a master’s degree, and that was enough.

Graduate school was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Being thrown into an environment so different from what I’d known as a fundamentalist Christian was overwhelming at times, and I spent those two years catching up on everything I should have learned but never had the opportunity to.

In that time, my parents also left Christian fundamentalism and the stay-at-home movement—my mother even got a job, working “outside the home,” and she loves it. It’s been a bumpy road at times, but we’re the better for it, I think.

Today, when I hear stories about young women forgoing college in order to “serve their fathers” or “study to be a good wife,” my heart breaks. I had people in my life who pushed me into considering college, but not every stay-at-home daughter has that.

For most of my life I was utterly convinced that staying at home was what I wanted, a personal conviction that I had. It took me six years and two degrees in order for me to fully realize that it wasn’t something I ever would have chosen for myself if I’d been truly allowed to consider any other option.

Looking back at everything I went through, I realize now how important it is for women to be able to explore all of who they really are, to claim their spiritual gifts and God-given talents. 

***

Be sure to check out Samantha's blog for more! 

comments

http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/samantha-field-stay-at-home-daughters

Comment Policy: Please stay positive with your comments. If your comment is rude, it gets deleted. If it is critical, please make it constructive. If you are constantly negative or a general ass, troll, or hater, you will get banned. The definition of terms is left solely up to us.