“Where there is no vision the people perish…” Proverbs 29:18
“Your ears will hear a word behind you, ‘This is the way, walk ye in it,’ whenever ye turn to the right or the left.” Isaiah 30:21
That time of year has come around again…..Graduation. At our church it is a special time, when the fathers of the graduates and our pastor, and the elders of our church give a charge to the young people, admonishing them to always serve and follow God. To seek Him. A time when young people move on to the next chapter of their life, and many people ask questions such as: “What are you doing next?” “What are your plans?” “What college are you going to?” But there is a meaning behind all these questions. What people really want to know is “What is your purpose in life?”
I received that question several times last year, when I ended my formal education from books and took up what my parents and I have deemed the “School of Domestic Missions”. Life lessons. Managing time. Teaching younger siblings. Cooking meals. In depth studies of herbology and homeopathy. Helping a dear lady from church around her home.
And it seems as though, with the graduation, people are thinking again. I am thinking again. What is my purpose in life?
My parents and I prayed for years about what my mission, my purpose in life, was. Would I attend a college? Would I go away from my home and get a job? How could I best fulfill the niche the Lord had prepared for me, before I was even created? Where did I fit into this world? If our purpose in life is to “glorify Him, and enjoy Him forever” (Westminster Catechism) how could I best do that with the life He gave me?
As my parents and I sought the Lord in prayer, He led us to an answer. It isn’t an easy answer. It isn’t a popular answer. It is definitely the road less traveled. It is what Jasmine Baucham, in her book “Joyfully at Home” has deemed “The anti-feminist trailblazers of the next generation.”
In short? The purpose the Lord gave to me is to be counter-cultural. To be a daughter, a sister, and one day, Lord willing, a wife and a mother.
My purpose in life is to live for God, serve my family, serve my church, encourage other sisters (and brothers) in Christ….and all while I live at home, under my father and mother’s protection. If my purpose in life is to be a mother, who raises her children in the ways of God, to be a wife, who loves her husband, to have a home of my own, that I will have to keep clean, to have a family that I will need to cook for — where can I best learn these skills that will equip me for real life? In a college classroom? What does a college campus teach us about life? Where in life will you ever spend your time with only other young people your own age?
If I wanted to be a doctor, would you think it foolish of me to attend a horticultural school? If I wanted to be a dentist, would you think I was insane to attend a seminary? If I aspired to be a teacher, would you laugh inwardly as I packed my bags to attend a nursing school? So why is it strange that a daughter who aspires to be a wife wouldn’t learn from an older person who is also a wife? Why scoff if a young lady who wants to someday be a mother learns from a wiser lady who knows how to mother children? And who best to learn from than your very own mother that the Lord has graciously given you?
“So, you are just going to sit by and wait for life to come knocking on your door?” No! I am going to redeem the time. I am going to live life to its fullest extent. Joyfully participate in life — and the only way I am going to do that is by following the Lord’s path. The way that He, in His infinite wisdom, is leading my family and I. Because that is the only way you can get any fulfillment or joy in life.
“But you said you wanted to be a wife. How will you ever find a husband if you don’t attend college?” Well, first, to my thinking, I would say that was one expensive husband :-) And then I would say that I am not supposed to be looking for a husband….God gave men that responsibility. As the head, they are the initiators of any relationship they desire. Not me. And as I am under my father’s protection, any young man would have to go through him. I am supposed to prepare myself to be under a husbands authority, and how better to do that than to practice submission to my father? But how can I practice that, when I am away from my father 24/7, at a college, where he doesn’t even know half of what is going on in my life?
“What about the college experience?” What about it? Do I need to submerse myself into the evils of the world, to live for four years without my fathers protection? Do you know what can happen to a young lady without the proper protection? I shudder when I think of how many young ladies are wronged on a college campus, all because they have no fathers around, no brothers, to protect them. They are on their own. They are big girls. They can care for themselves — or so says the world. So why are so many college students taking birth control? Even in Christian colleges?
I do feel as if there is a purpose for college. It has it’s place. If you want to be a doctor, a lawyer, a dentist, everyone would feel much better if you had a degree. Proof that you studied, and knew, at least theoretically, what you were doing. But I think our society over-ranks college. Makes it a bigger deal than it is.
Many people discount this staying at home because they feel as if they aren’t being productive. They aren’t doing anything glamorous for the Saviour. All they will end up doing is being a drudge….washing dishes….folding laundry….wiping noses….changing diapers. But is that really all they are doing? Anybody can wipe a dish dry. Tie a shoe. But it takes a special person, who loves Christ, to do it joyfully. Happily. Once again, for the umpteenth time, to wash that dish. To wipe that runny nose. And to do it with a good attitude. Is there any work we can call drudgery when it is done in our Saviour’s name? For His glory?
I have met with opposition to this purpose the Lord has given me. Even in the form of close friends. Church family. Flesh-and-blood family. There are times when my decision to stay at home is translated as “She’s too lazy,” She’s not smart enough,” “She is too sheltered,” “She doesn’t know what to do with her life,” and a host of other things. But what do we do when we meet those who don’t agree? Do we run away in fear and trepidation? Do we give up our convictions? What do we do when the people who don’t understand why you have chosen to stay home are not content with just out-n-out asking you about it, but hint around their disapproval of what you have done? What do you do when disapproval is expressed? What do you do when people are blatantly opposed to your choice, and are positive that you have absolutely NO vision to speak of?
You prove them wrong. You aim to make your life count for something to God. In the end, we aren’t living to please men. Only God. We don’t fear men. Only God. We are “no longer children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14), and we need to respectfully and graciously live our lives in such a manner that those who once doubted us will doubt no more. We need to live in our God given sphere so that others may see us serving God. We need to live in such a manner, and have a heart so devoted to God, that when we die our Father in Heaven will say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant…enter thou into the joy of the Lord.”(Matthew 25:23)
Purpose in life. What is it? Why are you living your life? To get as much enjoyment out of it as you can? To get as much wealth as you can? To have the best car, biggest house, and most manicured lawn in your neighborhood?
Or is it to rear your children in the admonition of the Lord? To live every moment for the glory of God? To “redeem the time” of your day? To model to the world a family that loves Christ and each other? To show other people what a daughter in love with Christ, and her family looks like?