Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Some thoughts

I'm just rambling today. Lots of things have been going through my head this week. And the week's only half over, so there's no telling what other deep thoughts might appear!

The annual Vision Forum catalog arrived yesterday. The ministry was founded 10 years ago by a man named Doug Phillips, and his wife Beall. Doug's a lawyer, and used to be on staff at the Home School Legal Defense Association. Then he left his staff position there to start the Vision Forum. He has a God-given vision of restoring the nuclear family unit with a strong emphasis on Biblical family leadership. He has strong opinions on the role of family in general, what role a father/husband should take in his household, and an amazing heart for restoring daughters to their fathers. He has that heart because he has 6 daughters. I fully and wholeheartedly agree with his vision for raising children and raising daughters in particular.

After Susie's "A Hero Is Like An Onion" class, I mentioned to her that I'd really enjoyed the class because I have a whole bunch of guys living in my head and now I could make them deeper. Yes most of them get married, have girlfriends, etc. But I don't know nearly as much about their girls as I know about them. Susie asked me if I was afraid to write stories with a strong female character. I didn't have an answer, but the comment hasn't left me alone.

So yesterday I was sitting there looking through the catalog, going ga-ga over the new stuff in the Beautiful Girlhood Collection. (and the new stuff in the Boys collection. Pretend hand grenades that have removable pins! How cool is that?) Vision Forum also carries and publishes a large number of books devoted to Biblical womanhood and Biblical manhood.

I have an answer to Susie's question now. I don't have a lot of strong female characters who take center stage because my view of what a Christian woman should be is scorned by much of society. And very sadly, by much of Christian society. The Biblical ideals of what a woman should strive for and how God wants her to be are, for the large part, ignored by the church. And that doesn't set well with me.

I'm a homebody. I went through the whole career phase when I was a young teenager and had decided I was going to go to nursing school. For the entire three years that I was pursuing that goal, I was absolutely miserable. I hated myself and I hated a lot of the people around me. God finally got ahold of me though, and ripped the dream away. Once that happened, the change in me was amazing.

My vision of the ideal Christian woman is a strong woman who stands behind and beside her husband in his decisions, and makes their home a quiet retreat and a safe place. I want to be the wife who turns the home into a place where the husband wants to be at the end of his day, a place where he can think, rest and regroup. My vision doesn't work outside the home, and that meets a lot of resistance and I get told over and over and over that "you can't afford to stay home in this day and age, you have to have two incomes". That's not true. It's a matter of budgeting and setting financial priorities. I think daycare is a bad idea, I don't approve of age segregated church services and I don't agree at all with the idea of public school. I don't even like private schools, whether they're run by a church or not. This means I take a lot of flak from people, and the worst of it, sadly, comes from Christians.

My female characters reflect my view of Christian, Biblical womanhood. They don't work outside the home. Every single family in my head homeschools their kids. Every single one of them. They take care of the home so that when my man comes home, he steps into an oasis from the world he's been in. This is especially important for my guys who are in the military.

A lot of people highly disapprove of that. A female character should have a job, should want to be doing something with her life. She shouldn't be staying home and taking care of a family (Michelle and Brooke), or even desiring to stay at home and take care of a family (Ti, who is anxiously awaiting her wedding day so she can quit her job and stay home). That just doesn't sit well with me at all. I think that's a big part of why I like writing and reading historicals so very much. The mindset that I have, in the minds of many people today, is very old-fashioned and Victorian. That's who I am, that is who God made me to be. That's a big part of why I love the Victorian era so much. Women who raised families were respected and cherished, just as they should be today.

I fully believe that the highest calling a woman can have is to be a wife, a mother and a homemaker. That is the calling my female characters have. That calling gets them called doormats and unfulfilled. That calling gets me called a doormat and not reaching my full potential and scads of other things that I would never repeat. Sometimes, the very same people who stand up and preach "tolerance" in a pulpit or a Sunday School class never extend that tolerance to people who refuse to live in the mold the world has made for us. That almost makes me cry.

2 comments :

  1. I've had two great careers, but have never been more satisfied than I am now, staying home with my children. I use more creativity, time management, and organizational skills than I ever did "out there." I see valid points on both sides, but I'm thankful I have the privilege of being a homemaker.

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  2. It does my heart good to read this post & know that the things I tried to teach, show, & expose you to during your formative years made a lasting impression. I know God has plans for you & as you patiently wait on Him you will learn valuable lessons that will impact your future.

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