Thursday, October 13, 2005

Being a Single Young Woman

Anyone who has read my Xanga blog probably realizes that the topic of the appropriate roles for single young women is something I'm particularly passionate about. Which is natural in the light of the fact that my position as a live-in nanny is condemned by many as being outside of my proper sphere. Admittedly, I have a personal bias here. But my bias is meaningless if it is in violation of Scripture, so I have wrestled long and hard over this. And I sincerely believe that Scripturally, there is nothing wrong with young women living outside of their parents' home, whether it be for college or jobs.

Which is why I find it particularly distressing when I am directly or indirectly told that I am in rebellion, sin, somehow outside of my role, outside the umbrella, or whatever cute phrase you want to use. I've battled against this for years (literally) and frankly, I am tired of it. My patience, unfortunately, is very very low. And I seriously fear that the next time I have to deal with this, I will just explode and react totally inappropriately. So maybe if I react here, that can be prevented.

When people get on their soapboxes (and yes I am on my own soapbox right now!) and tell young women that the Bible forbids them from living outside of their parents' roof, they are lying about the Word of God. When people tell me that I am in rebellion because I don't live with my daddy, they are making judgment calls that they have NO right to make. If they could point me to Scripture indicating that all young women are required to live with their parents until Prince Charming comes and carries them away, I would be more than happy to concede the point. There are no Scriptures that indicate this, directly or indirectly. Instead, there actually are Scriptures that directly REFUTE this. You need look no further than Exodus 21:7:

"And if a man sells his daughter to be a female slave..."

It kind of puts a hole into that theory that God requires girls to remain under the so-called "umbrella" of their parents. Because it seems to me that if that were the case, selling your daughter into slavery would kind of be forcing her outside of this "umbrella" and I'm not quite sure how a father can protect his daughter when she is legally owned by another man.

So Biblically speaking, if it's okay for my daddy to sell me as a slave, then why is it not okay for him to give me his blessing to work and live outside of his home? Would it be okay if he sold me to my employers instead?

The problem with the patriarchy movement and any other movement that adopts this way of thinking is that they aren't using the Bible as the authority for their beliefs. They are basing them on their own preferences and then exploiting and twisting Scripture to back them up (on the rare occasions that they actually do quote the Bible, instead of the latest book by a patriarchy guru). I've been told by proponents of patriarchy that if I left my parents' home (even with their blessing) that it would be like leaving a marriage. I found that statement extremely offensive on a number of levels and I was given no Scripture to back up this ridiculous assertion. I think it's time for people to stop inventing things about the Word of God and then judging those who don't conform to their warped view.


  1. Amen! *hugs* You know how I feel, dear. Sometimes I feel pressured because I am working outside of the home - but with my parents' blessing. Let us just be a trifle different together, shall we? I know it isn't going to help to say, just ignore them, because it doesn't work! So, I say, continue in what you are doing: basing your beliefs on the word of God. :-) TTYL.

  2. I've had a few talks with some of my friends about this particular subject as well as two girls who are still living at home at age 27 and 26. I would go head to head against someone who said that living/working outside the home is sinful. I personally feel that it is ideal for young women to remain in the home until they are married off if situations permit, but there doesn't appear to any scriptual evidence to back it up nor would I try to impose that rule on any of my daughters or anyone else. Be open to what people say about not remaining at home as a single woman, but unless their claims are backed up by scripture, they are worthless.


    Too Lazy to make an account

  3. I fully agree! But then, you saw my whole little speal about it on idd, so...!
    But ja, also, God frequently sends single women out on missions/to University/out to work/whatever. Ja, with the blessing of your father (or whoever the head of the house is) for sure, that's good to have. BUT GOD'S PROTECTION IS MORE IMPORTANT! Gah! Drives me crazy when people act as if your father is the top authority of protection: he isn't! God is! God is fully capable of protecting you, where He sends you! (In fact, there is a Bible verse that says that isn't there? But I have no idea of the reference. lol.)
    Anyway, rant over! Keep up the blogspot ;-)

  4. And what about Lydia being a seller? And isn't there something about a woman working outside the home in the Psalms?

  5. I love this post! I 100% agree with you. On Monday, I sat in an attorney's office and was asked the question, "Do you know of anyone who has escaped the kind of situation you were in?" I honestly (and sadly) replied, "No. Most women feel trapped and that this is their only lifestyle." I am glad to see that perhaps I am wrong and that there are others who are taking a stand.

    I lived for years with my father saying, "This is what the Bible says", "This is what God wants for you girls" but as we grew older and could read and discern the Bible for ourselves, it became so apparent that God doesn't say those things. You're right, there is no Scriptural basis for the legalistic beliefs. As my sister, Katie, told the attorney, "You can't even consider it Christianity because it so opposes what God says."

    It is a belief structure that I marvel at with so many facets. If I decide to write a book one day, could I interview you?

    Honestly, I enjoyed reading this. Thanks!

  6. I can really relate to what you're going through, Christi, because at our former church (and I still struggle with being angry at people who used to go there) my family (Dad in particular) was looked down on because he was sending his oldest daughter to college. People said things to him about how wrong it was, because he wasn't protecting her, and she wasn't at home where she belonged. Now she's a missionary in South Korea, and she would not be there, most likely, had she not gone to college and gotten her degree in Music ed. I can really really relate to being told things like that. I have no problem with a girl choosing to remain at home, but I seriously have a problem with taking a Scripture like Numbers 30 and taking it out of context to prove your point. I totally agree with your post :)

  7. Christi,
    I think a person is free in Christ do use their own judgement and follow the Spirit of God.
    The slave reference probably refers to a working contract and not slavery as we know it?
    I do not think the bible is a set of rules and regulations but a guide and does not relieve you of using your judgement, intelligence and holding you responsible for your decisions.
    I prefer to live at home but I have ideal circumstances as you know in my family.

  8. To ask that God’s love should be content with us as we are is to ask that God should cease to be God: because He is what He is, His love must, in the nature of things, be impeded and repelled by certain stains in our present character, and because He already loves us He must labor to make us lovable.
    -C.S. Lewis