Pillars In Our Father's House
BIBLICAL YOUNG WOMANHOOD
Pillars in Our Father's House
by Valerie Joy Silliman
Many of us, the older daughters of the conservative homeschool movement,
have arrived at a crossroads. As we enter young womanhood we are thinking
about what we are going to do with our lives. We must choose between the
well-trod, broad, easy path, or the less-walked, narrow road that we know
pleases God. We must search the Scriptures and ask the Lord to show us
We commonly hear: "When you graduate from high school you need to strike
out alone and become your own woman." So you turned eighteen... In God's
eyes, does that mean that you are no longer supposed to stay with your
family under your parents' protection, like you did when you were
seventeen? The Scripture reveals that God placed people into families,
for it was not good for us to be alone. ("It was not good for Adam to be
alone." Gen. 2:18) Why do we feel we should become an independent
When a woman gets married, her identity transfers from her father's
family to her husband's family. When a father walks down the aisle with
his daughter on her wedding day, he gives her away to her husband. That
is supposed to mean that her father is no longer responsible to provide
for her financially or spiritually. He is not her "covering" anymore.
The daughter then leaves her father and cleaves to her groom. No longer
does she daily support her father, submit to him, and work to please him,
bless him and honor him, like she had before. Though he is still very
dear to her, she will leave her father and transfer this devotion to her
Today, fathers walking their daughters down the aisle may simply be
following tradition, unaware of the true meaning in the action. In
reality, a father has usually given his daughter up years before, when
she went away to school, to a job outside the home, or to a mission
field. Instead of continuing to be a vital member and participant in her
family, she became an individual, or "her own woman," with her own life.
Many women getting married today aren't leaving their father's family.
They left them years before. Instead, they are trying to leave their
independence behind and cleave and submit to their newly wed husbands,
but sadly many of those independent ways and attitudes carry over into
The church has been slowly saturated with feminist beliefs. It isn't
just the world that we have to stand up against anymore. Strong
opposition comes from church friends when a young woman decides to stay
at home. Many Christians understand it is right for mothers to be
keepers at home, but single young women? Accusations are common. "Are
you going to waste your youth doing dishes and laundry?" "Your family
already has a mother. They don't need you to take care of them!" "Single
women are supposed to serve the Lord. Aren't you going to do something
for God during your youth?" "What if you never get married? Are you just
going to stay at home for the rest of your life?" "Are you afraid to
find your own way in the world?" "Tied to your mother's apron strings,
eh?" Though these comments aren't always said in such a blunt manner,
the little disapproving statements, shakes of the head, and the
disappointed looks clearly communicate the message.
Sadly, many Christian girls do seek out an independent life apart from
their families. At age 18, it is just assumed that this is the way it
is, the way it should be and the way it always will be. They never even
question if this is the way God wants it to be. Edith Schaeffer, in her
book _What is a Family_, wrote: "Confusion exists among many girls today
because of some of the things put forth by the women's liberation
movement. There are girls today who fear that they are giving in to a
weakness if they show longing or interest in being mothers and
Karl Marx, in _The Communist Manifesto_, said, "Do away with the status
of women as mere instruments of production." Women (young women
included!), according to communism, feminism, and worldly wisdom, should
exert their personal identity and strive to be more than mere
homemakers, servants to their families, or "instruments of production,"
as Marx said with scorn. What values and what truth are we basing our
life decisions upon? Let us be that which the communist and the feminist
(and dare I say, the feminist in us?) despise the most, "instruments of
production." We are servants of the King!
Girls, are we trying to "Christianize" the feminist movement? Instead of
going to a secular school, we go to a Bible school. Instead of finding a
job in the secular work place, we find a job with a Christian employer,
and call it ministry. We are still leaving our homes and the fathers God
has placed over us as our covering. Notice that the single young women
in the Bible, who were noted for their ministry, were still submitted to
their coverings. The four prophetesses in the New Testament that Paul
talked about were called "Philip's daughters." They gave honor to their
father's name. They were not independent individuals. They were not
under some other ministry, led by another man. They were still at home,
under their father's covering as were Rebekah, Mary, Rachel, and Leah.
Miriam led the Israelite women in worship, and since she did not have a
father, she was submitted to her brothers, Moses and Aaron. So where is
a single woman's place? What is she to do? She can't count on getting
married, so what should she do with her life?
Psalms 144:12 says, "...That our daughters might be as pillars,
sculptured in palace style." What a special place for us to fill, to be
such a support to our families that we are like a pillar! How blessed
our families would be to have daughters who are devoted to serving them,
as unto the Lord--daughters who see what needs to be done and do it
quietly without being asked, daughters who daily pray for their family
and pour out their lives, not just physically, but also spiritually. Our
families all need daughters who are content being keepers at home.
Many young women have never even heard of the concept of living with
their parents for the rest of their lives, if they were never to marry.
Once a girl asked me: "I mean, if you were forty, wouldn't you want a
little space of your own? At least a little trailer on your parents'
land?" I love living in my parents' home! I can't imagine ever moving
out for the purpose of declaring my independence or of having my own
space. Mary and Martha did not each get their own apartment; they lived
together with their brother, Lazarus.
I know God placed me in my family and I belong at home. This is where He
wants me to minister both spiritually and practically. Even if I never
get married, I would live with my family, and help my parents in their
old age. I would also serve my adult brothers and their wives and
As we are faithful at home, the Lord will provide opportunities to serve
the other believers in our lives and the people of our communities.
Christian young women who are committed to prayer and Christ-like
servanthood will make a difference.
Corrie ten Boom, as a young woman, prayed for the families on her
street, that they would come to know Jesus as their personal Savior.
Years later, she sat with 19 girls at some sort of camp, and those 19
girls could all trace family members who had been saved, to one of the
families from the same street where Corrie lived as a young woman!
There are so many ways in which we can be a blessing. How about writing
notes of encouragement to elderly shut-ins, to someone who is sick, or
to a missionary family? There are a lot of elderly folks and moms who
would appreciate help doing things like ironing or baking. How about
delivering a hot meal complete with dessert? A mom recently shared with
me what a blessing a friend's daughter in her church was to her. She
would just offer, "I'd like to cut out some clothes for your little
girls, to help you get started on your sewing." God will work through
women who are ready to serve.
I like to think about Rebekah going about her daily tasks. At a moment's
notice she took on the big job of drawing water for ten thirsty camels.
I doubt it was on just that one occasion, when Rebekah was moved by God
through Eliezer's prayer, that she offered to help. I think she was in
the practice of looking for opportunities to lend a helping hand.
Let's ask God to open our eyes to biblical young womanhood. With Jesus'
help let's be the women God created us to be. Let us find our identity,
not in ourselves or in being our own women, but rather in fulfilling our
God-given place in our father's, or husband's, household. Let's start
with what God has given us and be faithful, serving with a song of
praise on our lips and a joyful heart. Let's be willing to let God work
in our lives and sculpt us into beautiful pillars like those in a
palace, daughters of the King!
Valerie Joy Silliman (age 14½), daughter of Cliff and Jenny Silliman, is
home schooled with her five brothers, and is trying to live out the
things she writes in this article. She publishes _Joyful Heart_
magazine, a quarterly to encourage Christian girls, of all ages, to love
and serve the Lord Jesus Christ with a joyful heart. (Sample is $2.00.
Subscription $8.00--USA, $10.00--Canada/Mexico, and $12.00--other
countries.) She would enjoy questions, comments or responses about this
article from anyone who agrees or disagrees. Write to Valerie at: 46440
In His Service,
This is so true! Our dd also took the SAT because...well, I guess it was
pride...I wanted to be able to tell others that she did very well...as well
or better than many ps children...because I wanted them to see that
homeschooling was better than ps and to prove to them that our efforts were
not in vain. Talk about vanity on my part!! We had become so tired of
hearing (from mostly church people) how she was missing so much by not
being exposed to all of the "educational opportunities" provided in ps. I
really think some of them thought that we were not really/actually doing
school each day because they couldn't even fathom teaching their own
If we had it to do again we wouldn't participate at all. I will say that
it really didn't mean anything to our dd one way or the other...she is very
smart, but having her nose in a book all the time just isn't how she is cut
out. She's a people person and loves to be around people.
I look back now and realize just how much feminist thoughts and ideas have
permeated the church and even in some very conservative
churches...especially when many older women go to work after the last child
is out...this must look very enticing to the woman who has many small
children at home...you know...get 'em raised and get 'em out!! :o( This is
a thinking that I still have to be very careful of myself...I was brought
up with it to an extent (my mother worked in a bank for most of our lives
at home) and it becomes hard to unmask this thinking because it is so
subtle. And it is one of those subjects that dh and I were never taught
about in our SBC church...now that our dd has graduated she does work but
prefers to live at home under her Dad's authority...not the best we
know...but it is soooo hard to start over when they get in those late teen
years. But, believe me, I do take every opportunity to talk with her about
this and remind her what is God's best. ~smile~ I do feel like that she
will stay at home when/if God brings her a mate as I have seen indications
of this and, of course, am praying that God will melt her heart in this
To those of you who are raising your dd's to be keepers at home, please let
me encourage you to stay on this path...the world and even many Christians
will try to turn you around but continue in what you know is God's best.
God's best is often not an easy path, but He blesses in many, many ways if
we just simply obey. An excellent curriculum that helps to raise Godly
keepers at home is "Polished Cornerstones" by Pam Forster published by
Doorposts (they also have one for boys called Plants Grown Up)...even
though we didn't know about this curriculum when we were homeschooling I
did get a copy of it as it is even good for those of us who were not raised
to be keepers at home. :o)