Because Christianity is bigger than Biblical manhood or Biblical womanhood (Blog of Retha Faurie)

A recent viral blog article starts with the question: “Do you know how much more attractive debt-free virgins (without tattoos) are to young men?” It also features this meme:37179936_226232844685466_4568783955179864064_n

(I wonder if the blogger made sure the pretty young woman in her meme meets these criteria, but I digress.) Neither tattoos nor debt is centrally important in her article, and even virginity is only an example of what the writer is really on about.

She conflates, in her writing ” we need to live in a way that is pleasing to [Jesus]” with what kind of woman men wants to marry. This is a logic flaw: Jesus and a marriage partner are not the same, and Christian women should be taught to obey Jesus whether or not it pleases men.

Scripture expressly states:

1 Cor. 7:8 Now to the unmarried[a] and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do… :34 An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband.

Lori Alexander claims to blog in service of what God wants, but instead the blog entry I write about, and many others, tell women to be the kind of women men (allegedly) want.

So, if her blog entry isn’t really about debt and virginity and tattoos, what is it about? It is about women learning, and women leaving the home to learn. Knowledgeable women are less obedient to men (the code word is “independent”):

There are many reasons why Christian young women should carefully consider whether or not they go to college, especially if they want to be wives and mothers someday. Secular universities teach against the God of the Bible and His ways. It’s far from what God calls women to be and do: it teaches them to be independent, loud, sexually available, and immodest instead of having meek and quiet spirits. – Lori Alexander

I am pretty sure no university has a course “Being independent, loud, sexually available, and immodest 101.” I am equally sure a meek and quiet spirit does not mean what she thinks it does; and that the average husband finds sexually availability a positive quality in his wife.

For the rest of L. Alexander’s article, all mentions of debt are with regards to college:

“Men don’t want to marry a women with debt. Most of this debt comes from college.” “If they go to college, they are unlikely to stay home raising their children to pay off the debt and use the degree they spent years on.”

College is also discouraged in other ways:

“The husband will need to take years teaching his wife the correct way to act, think, and live since college taught them every possible way that is wrong.” (Sadly, most young Christian women wouldn’t listen to their husbands…)”
“Is college worth having fewer children? I will never understand how women prefer careers over having precious babies.”
“Young women learn nothing about biblical womanhood or what it takes to run a home when they go to college. They don’t learn to serve others either.”

It is expressly ridiculous to say that women (or men) do not learn to serve others in college. If nothing you learn in college serves anyone, your chance of getting a job with it would be zero. Employers pay you because you serve them or their clients.

The real connection between college and marriage is actually almost the opposite: College women are more likely to be married and their marriages are almost twice as likely to last. If you want a strong marriage, college is great. Depending on the talents God gave them, a college may also be the best way for a woman – or man – to learn to use their talents to the glory of God.

In short, the article was driven by fear, not love:
> “What if the debt she takes on means she cannot afford to stay at home?“, not: “What if she learns to use her talents to God’s glory?
> “What if she loses her virginity while not under her dad’s roof?“, not: “What if she meets a good marriage partner?
> “What if she gets a tattoo?“, not “What if she gets life skills that enable her to have a happy and lasting relationship?

This kind of attitude is never extended to things these ultra-conservatives approve of. Have you ever heard this argument?: “Children could try your patience, it is a sin to lose your temper, so rather remain childless.” Of course not! It does not serve their agenda. This kind of blogger doesn’t really want you to fear sin and avoid it at all cost, they only want women to live the way they approve of.

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As such, it is perhaps appropriate to not end by affirming God’s love for tattooed non-virgins who owe money, nor by reminding women to please God instead of men, but with this:

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. – 1 John 4:18

Comments on: "Debt free virgins, and the fear of Godly women who think and learn" (4)

  1. The idea that if women get higher education they will not want to raise children is especially heinous and disgusting. It may be that some men who are more highly educated do not care about having children (at least until they have one of their own), but this does not mean that women are the same as men. Our humanness is what drives us to reproduce. A higher education helps us survive in a demanding world. it helps us make better decisions. Learning improves our ability to be better people and happier in life.

    Any man that does not want a woman who is educated and/or who thinks he can mold a woman to be what he wants her to be, has a deficient capacity to love. Such a man should be avoided at all costs, for a future with him will be emotionally and likely physically painful in many ways.

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  2. As a woman who now really really wants to focus at home with kids, but can’t because of college debt, and also regrets temporarily accepting the social pressure at college to act as a “modern, liberated woman” (nothing good came of that phase, though I still don’t have any tattoos), I want to acknowledge that there is a legit complaint here. So legit, in fact, I am sometimes tempted to accept extreme viewpoints like that article simply because it acknowledges my feelings and I don’t feel as alone in my problems. College can indeed have a bad cultural influence (on both men and women!), and can sometimes cause long-term financial problems that impact the establishment of a family later (again, for both men and women). The capacity for college to be detrimental to future family life should really be considered before committing to it. HOWEVER, that said, that is not different for men than women, and it is just as bad to have a knee jerk reaction against college (“don’t go to college it will give you debt and STDs!”) as it is to have a knee jerk reaction FOR college (“all women must go to college or they will never fulfill their potential!”). Truth is, my college education is what lead me to Jesus. And I am a better mother as a result of college education. My debt is nearly over, and after that my husband and I will decide which of us is best suited to stay home with the kids. Retha, thanks for challenging the agenda behind that article– but lets also acknowledge that the real problems it brings up are in fact surmountable, meaning college is indeed a reasonable (but not obviously-in-all-situations) choice for many, many future parents.

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    • College was a waste for me. I agree with the second poster

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      • Though, let me be clear that I am very much in favor of college for both men and women, when it is appropriate to their situation and vocation in life, and looking forward to going to grad school once my little ones are a bit older.

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