Assigning People To The Wrong Box

Have you ever noticed how people with strong opinions tend to push those who disagree with them into opposite extremes?

While the Patriarchy Movement actually covers a large spectrum of approaches to the Biblical roles of men and women, an extreme wing of the movement sees any sort of variation from wives being full-time homemakers as feminists. And, in trying to reason with them, sometimes I feel pushed into a feminist box.

Adherents of the extreme Patriarchy Movement insist that feminism has invaded the church. This feminism, according to them, manifests itself in women going to college and working outside the home. Apparently, such behavior violates Titus 2:5, which tells older women to teach younger women to be “workers at home.”

The extremists of the Patriarchy Movement might be surprised that I agree that a wife’s highest priority must be her household. Whenever possible, she absolutely should stay home and tend the needs of her husband and children. Honestly, it makes me sick when women take jobs in order to maintain a certain standard of living or (even worse) for self-fulfillment.

That said, I have huge problems with the strict interpretation of Titus 2:5. Let me go over some of the reasons I object to the ideas that extremists in the Patriarchy Movement put forth.

Certainly, young girls need to learn how to manage a home. But does that really mean that they should forgo college? The Patriarchy Movement extremists would say yes. Firstly, they appeal to 1 Timothy 2:14 as evidence that women, being more easily deceived, would succumb to the liberal indoctrination of most schools. Secondly, they believe that college necessarily leads to careers, drawing women away from the home.

Although I’d be cautious about sending a daughter (or a son, for that matter) to a secular university, hopefully my homeschooling would have taught her the critical thinking skills necessary to refute godless indoctrination. Paul says that Eve was deceived (1 Timothy 2:14), but that doesn’t mean that women are incapable of developing discernment.

College generally opens up career opportunities, but majors like English Literature and Art History can be earned simply for a better understanding of the world.

Furthermore, circumstances may require a woman to work outside the home. Not all women receive marriage proposals. Some women become widows while their children are still little. Some women (particularly those married to pastors) need to supplement their husbands’ income. College and working outside the home may therefore be necessary for some women.

Does saying these things relegate me to the box of being a feminist? I don’t believe so. Anyone who reads my blog regularly should know better. If anything, I’ve been criticized for asking men not to read my blog, lest I be guilty of teaching them.

Feminism is a definite problem, even in the church. But let’s not react to it by labeling women as feminists simply because they have a college education and/or a job outside the home.

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