Link: Girls shouldn’t be highly educated

I shared this on Facebook, but I want to share it here on the blog too. It’s well worth reading.  Jacinda of Growing Home Blog does a great job of explaining what we are NOT saying when we say that college isn’t necessary for our daughters.  We’re not saying girls shouldn’t be highly educated.  We’re saying that their education should fit their targeted career.

Why spend 4 years and $40,000 or more training for a career that you don’t plan to follow, just in case you might someday change your mind?  Why spend all your time and money on Plan B, only to find yourself unprepared for Plan A?  Having a Plan B is good, but not at the expense of Plan A.

Our culture tells our girls they need to pursue a degree so they can be independent, and be able to provide for themselves (neither of which are biblical concepts). “Not everyone gets married,” they warn, “and not everyone is able to have children.”

We encourage them to pour their energies into one career, instead of recommending they study them all. We prepare them for singleness instead of God’s normative plan for women: to be wives (love their husbands), mothers (love their children), and homemakers (keepers at home…that the word of God be not blasphemed. Titus 2:3).

Then, they find themselves married. They want to be godly wives but after years and years of being trained to think as an independent rather than a co-dependent, they don’t know how. They have children, but not a clue how to raise them. They have a home to manage, but are lost in the logistics of it all.

Read the article.

Comments

  1. Not everyone needs college, but I think that everyone should learn a skill that will help them support themselves. I think that we need to focus more on trade jobs like plumbing. It still requires school and training. Its more practical in todays job market. Its fine to get a degree that may not contribute to your job skills (education for education sake) if you can afford it. But, you still need to learn a skill that will let you support yourself in life.

  2. Good article and I think she makes some good points, but my question is: where are the articles teaching men (or teaching families to teach their sons) to be the providers that women and families will need? (Knowing that it’s ultimately God who is the Provider – I’m not overlooking that.)

    It just seems to me that there are sooo many articles telling women to prepare to be homemakers (awesome!) and giving tips & hints on how families can live on one income, but very little instruction towards teaching boys to grow into men who can earn an income that can sustain a family. I know there are families who can make it on $20K/year, depending on where you live, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen an article that helps men to aspire to say $50K/year that makes it much easier to support a family. I don’t want articles that teach consumer-ism or being wealthy for the sake of being wealthy or how to be a workaholic, but articles on preparing wisely to earn an income that makes it easier to have a family (even as big of one as God would give!) Worse case scenario is that you make more than your family needs and you give it all away!

  3. I don’t think that being a wife and mother and going to college are mutually exclusive. My mother, my sister, and myself are all wives, mothers, and doctors. I did not go to college and medical school as a “just in case” but as a main component of my training and life plan. I also happen to be pretty well trained in homemaking and taking care of my children. While many may disagree with this lifestyle for a Christian woman, I do not see any contradictions to Biblical mandates. I believe that a working mother is a wonderful embodiment of Proverbs 31. Sadly and ironically, a phenomenon that I have seen in my church occurs when those that disagree with women working outside of the home end up with sick children and the first person they want to look at their child is the female physician/mother in the church! I think it is okay to not go to college if your life plans do not require it, but I also think that many daughters may be given a disservice if they are not encouraged and given the opportunity to go. Do you really want the entire work force to be made up of men and non-Christian women??

  4. Surely, by age of seventeen or eighteen a girl should know enough about keeping a home and tending to others? This is the age most go off to college and I’d be saddened if my daughter felt she was unprepared to do these things by seventeen. Why, therefore, does it have to be an ‘or’ rather than an ‘and’? College and homemaking? Mother and degree? I feel richer for my education and wonderful life experiences that came from college and thank God for the opportunities I had. I waited until 33 to be married, and in that waiting time was able to pour into thousands of kids my understanding of God and his truths, as a teacher. I will encourage my daughter to seek to use all of her talents – her fine mind and her home-making skills – because you never know what the future will hold.

  5. More and more people, even those without a Christian worldview, are coming to this conclusion. (For instance: http://homeschooling.penelopetrunk.com/2012/11/13/3-ways-to-rectify-the-miseducation-of-girls/)

    The college cookie cutter approach just isn’t working for so many… both male and female. Honestly, I don’t wish for any of my kids to attend university. I’m hoping they create their own highest education. And I’m brainwashing them to reject all debt, including student loans 🙂

    • Student loans says it all. I don’t care how well you can cook or sew or fix cars, if you start your married / family life deeply in debt you are doing them and you (and the Lord) a grave disservice. College is not a right, money is not a right, debt is not a right. And I’m not at all sure that mom & dad giving their child the gift of a “free” college education is the right thing either. I think it has encouraged a lot of wastefulness, pursuing dreams that end in unemployable majors.

      If the boy or the girl wants to work their tail off to go to college, and has no one depending on them then there is no problem. But I see a caution in careers pursued at the expense of family, like mothers deployed in the military (and fathers too, to a large extent) and cases like the astronaut who spent from on the space station, leaving her 3 year old behind.

      Can there be any question that God calls a Christian to have their first duty be to their family, not a career, no matter how satisfactory it may be?

  6. Amanda Wells says:

    Yeah, I think Kim is living proof that this article is spot – on!

  7. Just wanted to add with so much great resources available through technology on all subjects, including child care and developement, College becomes less essential. Maybe our schools need to step up and reform faster. and become more efficient. Less time and money comsuming.
    Also, wanted to take this opportuninty to thank you, Kim, for your website. You have been a big part of my education. :).

  8. I went back to re-read in case I had misrepresented what she had to say and I’m glad I did – the back-and-forth between the author and the commenters was MAGNIFICENT!! I really appreciated the qualifications and clarifications Jacinda laid out in the comments and it helped shape a bit of a different view of it for me than I’d had after the initial once-over.

  9. This is why I wrote the book Chucking College: Achieving Success Without Corruption—to explore all the OTHER valid options that are available to young ladies as they seek to design their own higher education without losing their faith, virginity, and finances in the process. To read more, visit http://www.chuckingcollege.com.

  10. While I agreed with most of what was written in the article, I thought the questions at the beginning were extremely off putting and didn’t help make the author’s point at all-asking for toddler snack ideas is a symptom of not being prepared to be a homemaker? All the preparing in the world cannot match learning through experience. All of those questions sounded to me like less experienced homemakers seeking the wisdom that can be gleaned from Titus 2 women-and this is for certain a scriptural activity.

  11. Thank-you for reading and sharing my post! I’m glad to know I’m in good company. I was beginning to feel like I was completely off my rocker…. 😉

    You said it well. Why are we more focused on the “just in case,” instead of what is probably the case, when preparing them for what is probably the case is also preparing them for the “just in case.”

  12. I wish I could say I wholeheartedly agree, but I just can’t. I will say, neither hubby nor I was raised in a ‘patriarchal’ tradition where girls are expected to stay at the home of their parents (father, specifically) until marriage. Both our sets of parents encouraged us to use our gifts independently until we met the mate the Lord had intended for us. I find it a false, illogical assumption that because women are college-educated and/or living independently, they will find it difficult – nay, darn near impossible! – to someday ‘settle down’ and run a household and raise children. Similarly, just because a woman is taught to cook, clean, sew, and homeschool, that does not mean she will ease into married life unscathed. I cannot look back on my college degree (dual: economics and political theory) and my three years in the workforce (economic research for the Heritage Foundation in DC) with regret, even though I’m “wasting” my tuition dollars now as a homemaker, homeschooler, and mother of five. They’ve changed my worldview, solidified my faith, expanded my horizons, made my priorities clearer, helped me learn to think better and differently, kept me grounded, pointed me to the Savior, and shown me how to better use all things (ALL THINGS! Even college education and employment as a female!) for His glory.

    This comment from Alena Belleque on the Growing Home post sums up my thoughts on this more eloquently:

    “Anyway, I think perhaps a better way to look at the education of women might be…

    1. Learn things that will help you to run a home effectively and efficiently, with or without a husband or children.

    2. Learn, at minimum, the basics of infant and child care, so if you have kids, or spend time with other people’s kids, you are prepared.

    3. Study and know your doctrine, especially with regards to marriage and family, and personhood.

    4. Study anything and everything else that interests you! You may never use your education in a practical way, but if makes your soul happy, it’s worth it. And on the flip side, you never know when that odd interest might pay off.

    Guys should follow the same formula.”

    Love your blog, love how you spur on dialogue, love how your family loves each other and Christ! This comment will hopefully be taken in the spirit in which it’s meant. 🙂

    • Amanda,
      I think you and I (and the author of the article) agree more than we we disagree. I like all 4 points in the comment you quote. What I object to is the idea that college is a necessary part of a basic education. There are many facets to a well-rounded education and many ways to get there; college is just one, and in my opinion it’s not the best way for many people.

    • This!

      I really dislike that statements about how not everyone needs college are largely aimed at girls, at least in certain circles of people (generally certain groups of Christians). Society seems to assume that *everyone* should attend college these days, regardless of your gender, but the fact is that some people just aren’t cut out for college, girls OR boys. Especially at age 18,when, to be honest, a lot of kids still don’t know what they want to be when they grow up. There’s nothing wrong with trying out a few different jobs and going to college when you find something you’re passionate about, a little later in life than age 18.

      I do think, however, that people should continue educating themselves in various ways throughout their life. Education shouldn’t stop once you get your high school diploma or GED; it should be an ongoing endeavor and, ideally, cover a wide variety of topics, not just one specialty.

Don't just think it: say it!

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