A Critique of the Stay at Home Daughters Movement

This paper is for all of those girls who are considering the Stay at Home Daughters Movement. It is written in a non-technical, yet educational way, with the more technical exegetical points in footnotes. I am writing this because I believe that this movement, although well intentioned, is not Biblical, and has consequences that may not be what these girls have intended.

For some reason, it seems like every ten years or so, a new weird movement comes out in the arena of dating and relationships that seeks to present “radical” and “countercultural” understandings of Christian dating and relationships. While some of the things they might say will be helpful, it will, in general, be very simplistic in its interpretation of scripture. What is interesting about all of these movements is that they either had origins in the homeschooling community or gained traction in the homeschooling community, and many of the ideas presented in their books became very popular in homeschooling.

Let me first of all say that I have nothing against homeschooling. Some of the brightest people I know have been homeschooled. It is a legitimate way for Christians to educate their children, and highly effective. However, one of the problems with homeschooling is the fact that homeschooling creates incredible isolationism. What I mean by this is that learning ultimately takes place in the home, and outside of the wider Christian community. Now, homeschoolers have sought to solve this problem by arranging homeschooling conferences, and various other events in which homeschoolers can become a part of a larger community. The problem with this is that it creates a nightmare for churches who are trying to teach their parishioners how to do sound Biblical exegesis. You see, most members of most churches are not going to be come experts in Greek or Hebrew, are not going to have majors in linguistics, and certainly are not going to study odd, exotic cultures like ancient Canaan. Thus, it is up to the church to teach the basic principles of Biblical interpretation, and then to model those principles week after week in the teaching ministry of the church.

The problem comes in the form of a question as to the nature of language itself. Ludwig Wittgenstein showed that the usage of language is going to be derived from certain linguistic communities. For example, let us take the word “heat.” Do you think it would make a difference as to what definition of the term “heat” you would get if you asked a Chemist or an Olympic Ice Skater? If you asked an Olympic Skater for the definition of the term “heat,” he would probably give you the definition: “Individual races of an Ice Skating meet.” If you asked a Chemist for a definition of the term “heat,” he would probably give you a definition something like: “Energy that causes molecules to move faster.” Wittgenstein’s point is that how we define terms and understand the meaning of language is going to be related to how our community uses language. Wittgenstein called these different uses of language by different communities “language games.” Thus, not only is it the job of the church to teach and model how to properly handle the scriptures, but also to set up a community in which the language game of the text becomes the language game of the life of the Christian.

Thus, the danger is that homeschooling conventions and homeschooling groups can become a way of taking believers out of the linguistic community of the Biblical text, and replacing it with some other community. In other words, the danger is that homeschoolers will form their own language game, which does not reflect the language game of the text of scripture, and then impose that language game back onto the text of scripture. I have greatly feared that this is, indeed, happening with the Quiverfull and Patriarchalist movements. The language game of the Bible is being replaced with a language game similar to that of 17th-19th century America. For example, I have had many people leave comments that Debbie Maken should not have written her book because it was addressed to men, and women should not be teaching men. That would be true if you were living in the nineteenth century confederacy; however, Paul’s context in 1 Timothy 2:11-15 is of the teaching offices of the church. In the very next verse [1 Timothy 3:1] Paul says, “It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.” Paul then goes on to lay out the qualifications for the position of overseer. Hence, we are very clearly talking about the teaching offices of the church, not a blanket command that a woman must never teach a man. While we can blame Debbie Maken for teaching when she has not done the necessary background work to be able to handle the text of Scripture, we cannot blame her for teaching men as a woman.

Now, my point is not to say that everyone who has argued in this way is part of the Patriarchy movement; indeed, extrabiblical traditions can come from anywhere. My point is simply to point out how easy it is to remove a text from its Biblical context, and place it in the context of an artificial language game. This is the importance of the Christian community; in the Christian community, the text of scripture can be discussed, interpreted, and applied in such a way that, although perfection in exegesis is not achieved, a community is set up where the central core messages of the Bible become the lens through which people then go on to deal with the rest of the exegetical issues.

The problem is, when homeschooling conventions and other homeschooling groups remove people from that context, it becomes very easy to set up a language game that is external to the scriptures, and then to give the guise of having scriptural support by reading that foreign language game into the text. You can make this even stronger by using certain historical cultures as a foundation for the new language game you are going to create. This then leaves pastors wondering how to pick up the mess. That is what I fear is happening to the homeschooling movement.

I ran across the blog of a woman named Karen Campbell the other day who has been dealing with the Patriarchalists for quite some time, and she has two excellent podcasts discussing the goals of the Patriarchalists in the homeschooling movement here and here. Keep in mind, this was not a Patriarchalist leadership summit; it was a homeschooling leadership summit. I think by now you can understand what I am saying. I do not believe these teachings could never work its way into a church where the Bible is faithfully exegeted and preached, as I will hopefully demonstrate below. However, if you isolate people from the Christian community, you can get these kinds of problems.

One of the problems that has arisen is what appears to be an attempted solution to the problem of women who would like to be married. While I don’t believe that delay of marriage is a sin, there is a real problem in the church since we do have a large number of girls who would like to be married, and are not. What should they do in the meantime? How should they handle their desires for marriage? One solution that I see becoming more and more popular is something called the “Stay at Home Daughters” movement. This movement was started by Anna Sophia and Elizabeth Botkin and their book, So Much More, The Remarkable Influence of Visionary Daughters on the Kingdom of God[1].

Now, I do need to give credit where credit is due. Many of the mantras we often here from Debbie Maken’s followers were handily dismantled by the Botkin girls [in fact, dismantled using some of the same things I have been saying for a long time]. It was one of the best [if not the best] articles I have ever seen dealing with the common Makenesque arguments. However, I don’t think that the solution of the Botkin girls is better at all. What is their solution? What is this Stay at Home Daughters movement? Well, it is rooted in the patriarchal idea that a woman is made to be in subjection to a man. Thus, women must not go off to college or go to the missions field, and must stay at home and learn to be a homemaker and a mother, since that is their calling in life. They cannot seek a carrier outside the home; they cannot even hold a public office. In fact, it was the Stay at Home Daughters movement and the Patriarchalists that were so critical of Sarah Palin running with John McCain in the last presidential election. In essence, these girls believe that women are to remain in their father’s house until his authority is transferred to their husband. This movement is now getting national attention, as Time has something on it, and even feminist magazines are starting to notice it.

Now, there are some things that I think we need to say to cut through the fog, and get to the heart of the issue. First of all, there is nothing wrong with a girl wanting to be a homemaker, and using her time at home between High School and marriage to prepare to be a homemaker. My grandmother was my best friend for many years until she passed away, and she was a wonderful homemaker. She served God well in that role, and we should not think that there is something inherently wrong with wanting to be a homemaker, and seeking to train to be the best you can be at keeping a home [as the feminists do]. Also, daughters and fathers should love one another. There is nothing wrong with a daughter being close to her father, and vice versa. Also, there is nothing wrong with saying that parents have authority over their children, nor is there anything wrong with saying that parents should teach their children to dress modestly. These are all things that, Biblically considered, are not wrong, and some of these things are even commanded in scripture. I commend the Stay at Home Daughters movement for bringing attention to these things. Also, there is nothing wrong with saying that there are things that are morally wrong. If something is contrary to Biblical teaching, it is wrong, period.

The issue comes, as it so often does with these movements, when you take something that is good in and of itself, and make it something that is binding upon everyone. Now, some people have tried to get out of this by saying that they are not saying that single women who go to college, become missionaries, run for office, etc. are sinning. However, they believe that they are going against what scripture teaches. However, if you are doing something that goes against what scripture teaches, then how can it not be sin? Some of the people in the Stay at Home Daughters Movement have argued that they do not believe it is a sin, because scripture never calls it a sin. However, scripture never uses the word “sin” of incest either. The scriptures state that they are God-breathed, namely, they are God speaking to us [2 Timothy 3:16]. Hence, to go against scripture is to go against the very word of God, which is disobedience. Is anyone going to suggest that disobedience to God is not sin? The problem is that the Bible doesn’t have to specifically call something sin. Something can be sin simply because it fits the Biblical conception of sin.

Now, what of the arguments that those who hold to this movement will use? We will go from the weaker to the stronger arguments, as we seek to deal with this movement in a fair and honest fashion.

One of the most common arguments used by this movement is laid out by the Botkin girls:

God saw that it was not good for Adam to be alone and said, “I will make a helper suitable for him.” Being companions and helpers is more than just a job God gave us. It’s what we were actually created for. It’s what we were designed and specially equipped to be. In fact, it’s an intrinsic and inextricable part of our natures to be helpers to men. It’s not something we can get away from, even by choice[2].

In another place they state:

Why is being a good helpmeet so important that we have to devote so much time to it?

Because man, for all his abilities to lead and conquer cultures, cannot do this without woman’s help. In order for a man to lead, he needs a helper. Whether a man leads badly or well can depend upon his helper. Women can have a huge amount of influence over men. If we are good helpers, we can actually further the vision or our men and encourage them to greater heights of biblical manhood.

According to the Reverend William Einwechter, “The Hebrew word ‘help’ (ezer) [used in ‘help meet’] comes from two roots: the first meaning to rescue or save, and the second meaning to be strong. It indicates one who is able (has what it takes) to come to the aid of someone who is in need[3].”

The unstated premise of this argument is that, whatever the initial woman was in the garden, so all women must be, and whatever the initial man was in the garden, so every man must be. This has become what some people consider to be the definition of “creation mandates.” However, I have to ask whether this makes any sense. Adam was a gardener [Genesis 2:15]. Does that mean that all men must be gardeners? Adam and his wife were also both naked [Genesis 2:25]. Does that mean that all people must go around naked? Adam was also commanded to work a specific garden in a specific location [Genesis 2:8-15]. Does that mean that every man is commanded to move over to the Middle East, and cultivate that particular section of land? No, of course not. However, what is key here? It is how both the immediate context of Genesis 1-3, and how the rest of scripture handles the creation accounts. For example, every human being is not commanded to be a gardener, since the next man in the righteous line is Abel, and he is a shepherd [Genesis 4:2]. The nakedness of Adam and Eve is specifically related to their pre-fall state [Genesis 2:25, 3:7], and, very clearly, mankind was banished from the garden [Genesis 3:19], and hence, the importance is not on the location of the work, but upon the necessity of work for all human beings[4].

This is why it is important to allow the scriptures themselves to interpret the statements they make. Thus, when God said, “I will make a helper for him like himself” [Genesis 2:18], we should also allow God to interpret that statement. This is in the context of a narrative. God has seen that this man is not good, and so, he has decided to create a helper. There is the intensification of that desire [Genesis 2:19-20], and then the creation of woman [vrs.21-22]. It is after this that you have these words:

Genesis 2:23-25 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” 24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

Notice, the text ends in the marriage of the man and the woman. Thus, the function of “helper” is a marital function, not a function of all women. God through Moses clearly defines his context here, and that is the context of marriage. Hence, all of these statements must be interpreted in the light of that marital context. Even the naming of woman which indicates authority is all in the context of marriage. To try to read “fatherhood” and “daughterhood” into this text is to completely abuse the text[5].

The next text I would like to deal with is Numbers 30. Here is the section of that text that proponents of this movement will use:

Numbers 30:3-4 “Also if a woman makes a vow to the LORD, and binds herself by an obligation in her father’s house in her youth, 4 and her father hears her vow and her obligation by which she has bound herself, and her father says nothing to her, then all her vows shall stand and every obligation by which she has bound herself shall stand.

While the Botkin girls do not use the passage in this fashion, it has become fashionable to use this passage to say that girls must remain in the house of their father in their youth. The term “youth” here is taken to mean the period before marriage[6]. Hence, there is a conclusion from this text that women must remain in their father’s house until they are married. However, notice that this text doesn’t lay down a command. This is an example of what is called casuistic law. In this kind of law, you have a condition given. This condition is not something that is required; it is something that simply describes the event that happens, to which the law is going to apply. Hence, there is no command in this verse for women to stay in their parent’s house any more than Deuteronomy 24:1 commands people to marry, find fault with our wives, and divorce them.

Another text that is often used is Titus 2:5. Now, I have addressed the misuse of this verse in the past by the Patriarchalists, and those who hold to the Stay at Home Daughters position would argue very similarly [especially ignoring that there is textual variant, and just citing the KJV’s “keepers at home”], but with a twist. They will say that the text does not say that a wife must be “busy at home,” but that a woman must be busy at home [Titus 2:4]. Hence, they will argue that this goes for all women, and not for just wives. The difficulty with this argument is that the text seems to assume that these women are married. How can older women teach younger women to “love their husbands” and “love their children” [2:4] if they are not married? How can older women teach younger women to be “subject to their husbands” if they have none [2:5]? We must remember that Paul is writing to a specific Christian leader here in Titus, and thus, he is dealing with a specific congregation. Hence, he could assume that all or most of the women in the congregation were married. I think that might even be a safe assumption in today’s congregations.

A similar argument comes from Proverbs 14:1:

Proverbs 14:1 The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish tears it down with her own hands.

They will take “builds her house” here to be referring to homemaking, and, again, they point out that it says “a wise woman” not “a wise wife.” You can see a very similar argument presented in this video:

The difficulty with this argument is that Proverbs 14:1 is difficult on two counts. First, there is the possibility of textual variation here. For example, the first clause of 14:1 is identical to 9:1 “Wisdom has built her house,” with the only difference being the vowel pointing on the consonants of the first word, and the addition of “woman” in 14:1. Since the vowel pointing was not original, it is easy to see how that could be the same. The interesting thing is that, with the text of Proverbs 14:1 in the Masoretic [traditional] Text, it creates an uneven first colon. Hence, some have suggested that the word “woman” in Proverbs 14:1 [the only word that is different between the two texts] is not original. If you remove the word “woman,” it would make the two colons even. Thus, the text of Proverbs 14:1 would read, “Wisdom builds her house; but folly tears it down with her own hands.” While the argument is by no means settled, the text-critical difficulty is a severe criticism against using this passage to prove what the Stay at Home Daughters movement wants it to prove.

Worse than that, there is tremendous difficulty with much of the interpretations of the book of Proverbs amongst the Stay at Home Daughters movement. One of the major problems I see is that the book of Proverbs is not a book that can be interpreted without recourse to the entirety of the book itself. That is, the wisdom literature in general, and the book of Proverbs imparticular feature many connections in language and ideas between various sections. These patterns must be kept in mind in order to understand any section the book. Hence, if the word “woman” is original in Proverbs 14:1, then one must keep in mind that one of the main themes of the book of Proverbs is advice on how a man is to find a good wife. Also, the Hebrew term for “woman” used in Proverbs 14:1 [7] can also mean wife. Also, I don’t think that “builds her house” has anything to do with a physical building. I think “house” needs to be understood in the sense of “household,” such as is found in the phrase, “the house of David.” The reason for this is because of the fact that the second clause [but a foolish woman tears it down] does not mean that a foolish woman goes ripping bricks out of the physical structure called a house. Thus, I would say that the force of this passage would be something like: “A wise wife builds up her household, but a foolish one tears it down.”

Now, I would like to deal with the texts that the Stay at Home Daughters movement uses to say that women should not get involved in politics. These are very similar to the texts that the Patriarchalists use, and, indeed, the two seem to go hand in hand at this point. The first is an argument from logic. They will say that it is inconsistent to state that a woman cannot have authority over a man in marriage or the church, but she can have authority in the home. However, this is not inconsistent; in fact, those in the Stay at Home Daughters movement are actually the ones who engaging in a logical fallacy, the fallacy of hasty generalization. This is a little bit like saying that, if I am someone’s superior in the workplace, they could not also be one of my elders at church. To say otherwise must be utterly contradictory, right? No, the reality is that you cannot say that just because something is true in some instances that it must be true in all instances. In fact, the idea that someone can do something in one context, but not another is fairly common. It is wrong for unmarried people to have sexual relations; however, it is right for married people to have sexual relations. It is right for the state executioner to execute someone while he is at work; it is wrong for him to do it when he is not at work. The idea that, at different times and in different situations, certain things may be permissible or not permissible is fundamental to the study of ethics[8]. Hence, there is nothing wrong with saying that God forbids women from exercising authority in the home and the church, but allows a woman to serve in the state.

That being said, the burden of proof is on those who are part of the Stay at Home Daughters movement to prove their case from scripture. The Botkin girls write:

God clearly states in many places in Scripture the necessary qualifications for anyone who would bear rule in a civil sphere. In every one, the basic requirement is that he be a man (see Deuteronomy 1:13, Deuteronomy 17:14-20, 2 Samuel 23:3; Nehemiah 7:2; Exodus 18:21)[9].

Now, I find it odd that the Botkin girls do not list these verses out. The problem is, when you examine them in their context, you find that they have nothing to do with qualifications for being a civil ruler. Let us take a look at these one at a time.

Deuteronomy 1:13 and Exodus 18:21

These two texts are parallel, and hence, I will address them together. They read:

Deuteronomy 1:13 ‘Choose wise and discerning and experienced men from your tribes, and I will appoint them as your heads.’

Exodus 18:21 Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens.

The question, of course, is the context. In the context, Moses is trying disputes between the Israelites, and he could not bear the burden alone [Exodus 18:15-16, Deuteronomy 1:9, 13]. Hence, his father-in-law asks him to appoint men over the hundreds, fifties, and tens. That way, when Moses gives a judgment, he does not have to keep hearing the same case [Deuteronomy 1:15-17; Exodus 18:22-23]. Thus, Moses would only get the difficult disputes [Exodus 18:26].

Therefore, these are not qualifications for “anyone who would bear rule in a civil sphere,” but only for those who would serve as a judge under Moses to render the decisions of God.

Worse than that, the Hebrew word for “men” that is used here is actually a term that can have the more generic meaning of “human” or “people[10].” For example, in English, we do this all of the time. We say things like, “Any man that does not repent and believe will never inherit eternal life.” We don’t mean to say that only men must repent and believe; we are using “man” here in the sense of “human” or “person[10],” and that is what I believe could be argued is going on in these two texts.

Deuteronomy 17:14-20

Here is the text:

Deuteronomy 17:14-20 “When you enter the land which the LORD your God gives you, and you possess it and live in it, and you say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the nations who are around me,’ 15 you shall surely set a king over you whom the LORD your God chooses, one from among your countrymen you shall set as king over yourselves; you may not put a foreigner over yourselves who is not your countryman. 16 “Moreover, he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor shall he cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, since the LORD has said to you, ‘You shall never again return that way.’ 17 “He shall not multiply wives for himself, or else his heart will turn away; nor shall he greatly increase silver and gold for himself. 18 “Now it shall come about when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself a copy of this law on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. 19 “It shall be with him and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes, 20 that his heart may not be lifted up above his countrymen and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, to the right or the left, so that he and his sons may continue long in his kingdom in the midst of Israel.

Now, the interesting thing about the usage of this passage is that we are talking about the qualifications for a king. There is a Hebrew word for “queen,” and, if the ruler were a woman, that would be the term that would be used. Hence, don’t you think that it would be just a little awkward to talk about the qualifications for a king while using feminine language? All that this text shows is that kings are men, which is much like saying that bachelors are unmarried. It is true by definition.

2 Samuel 23:3

2 Samuel 23:3 “The God of Israel said, The Rock of Israel spoke to me, ‘He who rules over men righteously, Who rules in the fear of God,

I think that just a simple perusal of the context will show us that this argument is fallacious:

2 Samuel 23:1-5 Now these are the last words of David. David the son of Jesse declares, The man who was raised on high declares, The anointed of the God of Jacob, And the sweet psalmist of Israel, 2 “The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, And His word was on my tongue. 3 “The God of Israel said, The Rock of Israel spoke to me, ‘He who rules over men righteously, Who rules in the fear of God, 4 Is as the light of the morning when the sun rises, A morning without clouds, When the tender grass springs out of the earth, Through sunshine after rain.’ 5 “Truly is not my house so with God? For He has made an everlasting covenant with me, Ordered in all things, and secured; For all my salvation and all my desire, Will He not indeed make it grow?

Notice that these are the last words of David, and the words of the verse that the Botkin girls have quoted are words of address that God directs toward David. Hence, because David is a man, he is going to be addressed with masculine pronouns. This is a clear example of eisegesis.

Nehemiah 7:2

Nehemiah 7:2 then I put Hanani my brother, and Hananiah the commander of the fortress, in charge of Jerusalem, for he was a faithful man and feared God more than many.

Again, the very verse that they cite clearly indicates that this man was a brother. Being a brother entails being a man. However, the Botkin girls have said that this was one of the bases for Hanani being chosen to be in charge over Jerusalem. However, that doesn’t make any sense. If I say, “I chose John to be the leader of this project, because I know he is an honest man,” does that mean I had premptorally ruled out a woman being the leader of the project? No, of course not. I am simply stating that he is a man in passing. In fact, in the Biblical qualifications for civil leaders, what is always forefront and most important is their faithfulness to God, and their gender is utterly unimportant. In the book of Kings, what was important was not gender, but how righteous and unrighteous the ruler was. It is simply amazing to me that someone could look at the phrase “he was a faithful man and feared God more than many,” and conclude that being a man is supposed to be crucial, rather than seeing that what the text is doubly emphasizing is the faithfulness and fear of God, and that alone is what this text is making crucial.

The only other references I can see people using are to texts that are dealing with marriage and the church. However, again, one must be able to justify taking those passages out of their original context, and saying that we should apply them to the state as well. There is simply no rational reason to do so.

Hence, we have looked at all of the texts that the Botkin girls cite except for one. They argue that female civil leaders are a sign of God’s judgment from Isaiah 3:12-13:

Isaiah 3:12-13 O My people! Their oppressors are children, And women rule over them. O My people! Those who guide you lead you astray And confuse the direction of your paths. 13 The LORD arises to contend, And stands to judge the people.

This is a little more difficult. I am going to have to go into some Hebrew here, but I will try to explain everything as best as I can. The crucial phrase here is “their oppressors are children.” You will see why in a moment. The Hebrew word for “oppressors” is a form from the verb nāgāś. It is true that the normal meaning of nāgāś is “to oppress.” However, that is not the whole story. The word has the connotation of “oppressive rule.” In fact, it is normally the word used of nations imposing tribute upon other nations. Thus in the form that we have in Isaiah 3:12, the singular could be legitimately translated as “tyrant.” However, what we have in Isaiah 3:12 is a plural, and while the translation could be “oppressors,” there is a meaning to this word that much better fits the context. The standard Hebrew dictionary, The Hebrew Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament by Koehler-Baumgartner, suggests the translation “tyrant” for the singular, but notice the translation they give for the plural:

5. pt. a) tyrant Is 142.4 Zech 104, cj. Jb 4019; b) pl. ruling body Is 312 6017.

Notice how definition b is given as “ruling body,” and notice how our text, Isaiah 3:12, is cited as an example. Another Hebrew dictionary, the older, but more traditional Brown, Driver, Briggs Hebrew lexicon likewise states the same thing, and likewise cites Isaiah 3:12 as a clear example:

Pt. (= subst.) driver, task-master Ex 3:7 5:6; 5:10; 5:13; 5:14 Jb 3:18; (ass-) driver Jb 39:7; of (arbitrary) ruler Is 3:12, ruler (good sense) Zc 10:4; = foreign oppressor, tyrant Is 9:3

There is a reason for this. The context is very clearly of rulership, as the very next phrase says “women are ruling over them.” Hence, the context makes it perfectly clear that what we are talking about is rulership, not oppression[11]. This is very important, because we must ask the question whether it was really the case that Isaiah meant to say that literal children were ruling in Jerusalem. Obviously not. However, that means that we have to also question whether Isaiah meant to say that literal women were ruling in Jerusalem.

I think that the correct interpretation of this text is more like what happens when a girl calls a fowl-mouthed man a pig. Does she mean that he is a small pink animal with a short nose and a spring shaped tail? Of course not. Because pigs are associated with being dirty, she is comparing the physical cleanliness of the average pig and the moral cleanliness of the man’s mind. It is not to say that all pigs are dirty; it is only to say that something we associate with pigs is true of this man. I think the exact same thing is going on here. What do we usually associate women and children with? Weakness, dependability, etc. Hence, this text is not saying that their rulers are feminine; it is saying that they are effeminate. It is an insult. These rulers are powerless to stop the atrocities that are discussed in verses 14 and following. Lest you think that this is just something that is modern, John Calvin had the very same interpretation as me:

Here also is reproved the madness and sottishness of the people, because they shut their eyes at noon-day. There is nothing which men are more reluctant to allow than to have a yoke laid on them; nor do they willingly submit to be governed by nobles. Feeble and cowardly, therefore, must be the minds of those who obey delicate and effeminate men, and permit themselves to be oppressed by them; nor can it be doubted that God has struck with a spirit of cowardice those who offer their shoulders, like asses, to bear burdens. The power of a tyrant must indeed be endured, even by men of courage; but the reproach which Isaiah brings against the Jews is, that while they obstinately shake off the yoke of God, they are ready to yield abject submission to men, and to perform any services, however shameful or degrading.
For the Jews could not complain that they were compelled by violence, when of their own accord they obeyed those whose authority they would gladly have declined. Hence it is evident that they were struck by the hand of God, and were shaken with terror, so that they had no strength either of body or of mind[12].

Hence, we have seen that there are no texts that anyone has yet shown that would forbid a woman from serving as a civil leader. Now, I would exercise this caution. Civil responsibilities are tough. There is a lot of pressure, because you have a lot of people depending upon you. It is a lot of stress, especially when you get up to the level of Vice President and President. Someone who can handle that kind of stress might be difficult to find amongst the weaker vessels [1 Peter 3:7]. Hence, do not take anything I have said here as an endorsement for all female candidates. We should consider whether any female candidate is up to the task of dealing with the demands of public office. However, that does not mean that she cannot run, and demonstrate that she is capable of handling the position.

Now, there is one other issue that needs to be addressed, and that is the constant appeal to Karl Marx. You see, the Stay at Home Daughters movement will go back to Karl Marx’s writings, and try to find parallels to the status quo. Some of their statements are quite ominous:

He [Marx] absolutely hated fatherhood and daughterhood. He hated patriarchy. He hated the concept of submission and honor to God-ordained authority. He hated everything about the father-daughter relationship that was nourished and modeled in the family. He believed the family stood in the way of his ambitions to replace Christianity with international socialism. His life’s work was fueled by an extraordinary hatred for God’s order[13].

You need to know about Marx because practically every person in the West today, including nearly all young women, including Christian women, look at the world through Karl Marx’s eyes. He has influenced modern thinking possibly more than any other person[14].

Now, it is true that Marx is extremely anti-family. It is also true that Marx would absolutely hate the idea of a stay at home daughter. However, I have to ask about the reasoning here. My concern is that antithesis is becoming the ultimate standard here, not the scriptures. It is something that John Frame has written about, and it is something that has greatly concerned me as well.

You see, within the reformed churches today, there are two great threats to the doctrine of Sola Scriptura: historicism and antithesis. Historicism is where you demand that the text of scripture be interpreted through the lens of some historical tradition, such as traditional reformed teachings, the confessions, or the Puritans. While historical movements can, indeed, be helpful in understanding the scriptures since there have been many wise men who have written before us, historical movements are rarely monolithic, and the men in these movements are fallible. When we look at their ideas, we can accept them or reject them, depending upon whether they are consistent with the linguistic contours of the text of scripture itself. Even when we study history, we must use the Bible to interpret the history we are studying, not vice versa.

The other major problem is what we are seeing from the Botkin girls when they talk about Karl Marx, and that is something called antithesis. Antithesis is where you replace the authority of scripture with the negation of another worldview. In other words, you negate everything Karl Marx or Betty Friedan said, and that becomes the authority over the scriptures. Now, I don’t believe the Botkins are intentionally doing this. I think they really believe that the church has adopted an unbiblical system of thought. However, I think they have not thought through what they are saying.

The problem with this approach is, not only is it a denial of Sola Scriptura, but it is something that denies a common element of Christian theology, namely that of Common Grace. Common Grace is the idea that unbelievers, although fallen and unable to submit to God, nonetheless, know that he exists, and can make sound contributions to our understanding of reality. For example, Noam Chomsky has a horrid political philosophy. Not only is he an unbeliever, but he is an anarchist. However, he is a brilliant linguist. His work in Generative Grammar is a work of sheer genius, and combining his work with the work of Wittgenstein in language games produces a powerful linguistic philosophy. It is Common Grace that makes me capable of using Chomsky’s linguistic theory to study the word order of Biblical Hebrew.

However, the Botkin girls seem to deny Common Grace in the following comment:

Any movement driven by rebellion against God and His order can never bring anything good. A bad tree cannot produce good fruit. And no true good can, or ever has, come from feminism[15].

First, the passage to which they are alluding is not in the context of the truth and falsity of propositional statements, but in the context of moral behavior:

Luke 6:41-49 “And why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 42 “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye. 43 “For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit; nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. 44 “For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. 45 “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart. 46 “And why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 “Everyone who comes to Me, and hears My words, and acts upon them, I will show you whom he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation upon the rock; and when a flood rose, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 “But the one who has heard, and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house upon the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”

Notice that the context is about hypocrisy. It is about blaming others for things, when you have a worse problem yourself. In fact, Jesus specifically states these things in the context of, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I say?” Thus we are not talking about whether Feminism or Marxism can say things that are true, but whether Feminists and Marxists can do something that is morally good. Obviously, as a Calvinist, I would believe that they cannot do things that are morally good, because even doing externally good things are going to be tainted with self-interest, hypocrisy, and a refusal to submit to God.

I would hope that the Botkin girls would rethink this withdrawal from anything stated by an unbeliever. The key is not to say that anyone who has a false worldview cannot say things that are true, but to be able to analyze those statements from the foundation of the scriptures themselves. The scriptures are the standard, and we can use that standard to understand any statement made by an unbeliever. For example, when we look at Jean Paul Sartre, we can appreciate the fact that he was right to criticize Skinnerian behaviorism because of the fact that it made man out to be a mere chemical. We can also appreciate that Skinner showed that there are, indeed, certain aspects of our environment that can affect us. However, we can reject the existentialism of Sartre, and the determinism of Skinner, and point out that man is not strictly cause and effect, and not totally free. His nature and essence come as one who is created in the image of God, and that involves spiritual as well as material aspects to his existence, and these two cannot be separated.

Also, I think it is worth pointing out that the Botkin girls have, inadvertently, adopted Marxist parallels within their own views. For example, one of the major contributions of Marxism to theology is something called “power theology” or “black theology.” In this kind of theology, you have one group that is the oppressed, the other group that is the oppressors, and you have salvation by identifying with the oppressed. Do you not have that in what the Botkin girls are saying? Are they not saying that the evil Marxists are oppressing the family, and girls, you must identify with the family if you are going to truly be obedient to God? Hence, you have the oppressors [the Feminists and Marxists], the oppressed [the family], and identification with the oppressed in the form of the stay at home daughter in order to be truly obedient to God. Hence, you have all of the elements of Marxist liberation theology.

Now, I need to clarify. I am not calling the Botkin girls “Marxists.” What I am pointing out is that one can find parallels between almost any two systems of thought. The fact that you can find parallels between these systems of thought does not mean that one thought can be identified with the other. Both Christianity and Existentialism believe that man is free in a certain sense. Does that mean that we can identify the Christianity as Existentialist? Christians also believe that there are universals and particulars, but does that mean that we can call Christianity Platonic? Christianity also believes in scientific inquiry, but does that mean that we can say that Christianity is Aristotelian or Secular Humanistic? The answer to all of these questions is a resounding “no!” Hence, just because you can find parallels to Marx does not mean that a system is Marxist. This is because God has given Common Grace to all men, and thus, all men are capable of saying some things that are true.

Now, what about going to college, going to the mission field, and serving in the civil sphere? First of all, I seriously doubt that what Marx had in mind was people going away to college for a few years, and then returning to their families. I also seriously doubt that what he had in mind was women going to work in a public office during the day, and then returning home to be with their families at night. If Marx hated the family, he would want to destroy it entirely, and that would mean a system in which people would not return home to their families after a period in time.

I think that the point of Common Grace that Marx saw and that the Botkin girls are not seeing is that family is important, but there are things more important than family. For example, Jesus himself said:

Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.

Talk about a countercultural statement! A man, claiming to be God, is so important that your duties and responsibilities to him are such that it trumps the responsibilities of family. Jesus likewise said:

Matthew 10:34-39 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 “For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; 36 and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. 37 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 “He who has found his life shall lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake shall find it.

That sounds like something that Marx would be proud of. How dare Jesus break apart the family in this way! Actually the point is that Jesus as the incarnate son of God recognizes that there are things that are more important than family. He recognizes that, as God almighty, the creator of the universe, he has a right to demand allegiance from you even to the “breaking apart” of the family. That means, if God calls you to the mission field, that is where you are to go. If God calls you to serve him in an academic setting, that is where you are to go. If God calls you to serve him in public office, that is where you are to go. The breaking apart of the family at this point is irrelevant an inconsequential since your allegiance to God is more important than your duties to your family.

Marx recognized that family is not the most important thing; there are things that are infinitely more important than family, and both Jesus and Marx would agree. However, it is what Marx thought was more important than family that is the issue. He put the state and socialistic policies ahead of the family. That is where the issue with Marx is. Service to Christ is what is more important than the family not the state. Thus, Marx had Common Grace enough to know that there are things more important than the family; however, he put his idols in its place, rather than the triune God of scripture.

Again, as I deal with all of these movements [courtship, anti-delay of marriage, and now, stay at home daughters], I keep finding things that are good, but also complete overreactions as well. That is why we must always place scripture as the foundation. I believe that the Botkin girls think that they are doing that. However, one of the purposes in writing this paper is to show that this is not the case. Why? Because belief systems have consequences. You see, the Botkin girls were seventeen and fifteen years old when they wrote their book. The eldest, Anna Sophia, is now twenty-five. Anna Sophia has written a blog post recently in which she laments the fact that she is now twenty-five and unmarried. That has to be a major disappointment for her, and she admits that it is. You see, this “stay at home daughters” movement is sometimes related to something called “militant fecundity.” This is the idea that women should not use contraception in order to have more children than the secularist enemy, so that we can eventually have more people than them, and be able to implement a Christian nation. The point is that most of these women begin having children when they are eighteen, and have children all through their childbearing years. Indeed, Anna Sophia seems to indicate that this was, indeed her plans. You see, the fact that Anna Sophia is patriarchalist, quiverfull, and part of the stay at home daughters movement has really caused some problems. Their position is in the vast minority amongst Christians, and I can imagine it would be difficult to find someone to marry if you hold to these kinds of views. Instead of producing all of these children, she is now twenty-five years old, and unmarried. In other cases, it is even worse. Does that mean Anna Sophia is going to abandon her views? Nope. She writes:

This month is also the fifth anniversary of the release of my sister’s and my first book, So Much More. Many speculated that time and experience would dampen our idealistic notions, and change our convictions. Some have asked if I still agreed with the naive 17-year-old me who started that book eight years ago. After all, haven’t I changed?

Well, yes, I have: By God’s grace, my grasp of the Scriptures and the issues is firmer, my communication skills have been sharpened through combat with an onslaught of criticism, and an acquaintance with hundreds of young woman and their unique situations from around the world has broadened the scope of my vision and taught me to have more compassion. But one thing I hope never changes — that I never grow out of — is a child-like faith in the plain teachings of Scripture and youthful zeal in proclaiming them.

I have changed, but the Bible hasn’t, and I still believe it means what it says. Time and experience have further proved to me that God is a much better Author of a woman’s destiny than she is. Her plans will go awry. His can’t.

Now, on the one hand I can admire her for saying this. We should never abandon the word of God just because things don’t turn out the way that we would like. However, I think it is sad that this girl really believes that something is the word of God that is not the word of God, and is willing to hold onto it, thus giving herself self-inflicted wounds. That is why I have felt it so important to address this issue from an exegetical perspective. The real issue here is “What does the word of God teach?” I believe the women who are struggling with protracted singleness within this movement are suffering in large part due to thinking something is the teaching of scripture that is not actually the teaching of scripture. When you make that kind of mistake, it can have practical implications, and I do believe Anna Sophia is feeling that right now.

However, because of the increasing popularity of this movement, I want girls to read this so that they can see that this is not the teaching of scripture, and that this movement does have its consequences. Not only does this not solve the problem, it makes the problem worse, and does so without scriptural warrant. I also want girls to compare the understanding of scripture that you find in your local church, with the understanding of scripture that you find in patriarchy, militant fecundity, and the stay at home daughters movement. Ask yourself if the principles of interpretation you were taught, and that you see modeled from the pulpit each Sunday match the interpretational principles that you find in the stay at home daughters movement. This is important, because how you handle the scriptures has real consequences.

[1] Botkin, Anna Sophia. Botkin, Elizabeth. So Much More, The Remarkable Influence of Visionary Daughters on the Kingdom of God. Vision Forum Inc. San Antonio, Texas. 2005-2007

[2] Botkin, p.20

[3] ibid, p.43

[4] Richard Phillips makes the argument that this “work” is something that is a “masculine mandate.” [Phillips, Richard. The Masculine Mandate, God’s Calling to Men. Reformation Trust Publishing. Orlando, Florida. 2010] His arguments are totally unconvincing. For example, the very next verse [Genesis 2:16] begins God’s command against eating from the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which is clearly something given to both the man and the woman [Genesis 3:3]. In fact, the Bible specifically says that anyone who does not work should not eat [2 Thessalonians 3:10]. It also will not do to say that the command was primarily given to man in contrast to woman. This is totally unintelligible; it is like saying that one woman is more pregnant than the other. Either woman is commanded to work, or she is not. Also, it would make since that the woman would not be directly commanded to do this as she had not been created yet. Just as Genesis 2:16-17 teaches that it is a function of all humanity to obey their creator, Genesis 2:15 teaches that it is a function of humanity to work.

[5] I should also mention that Einwechter’s argument from עֵזֶר (ezer) is not consistent with anything I have ever heard about this term lexically, and is totally wrong. The only thing I can think is that he is thinking of the Hebrew root עז which gives us words like עַז [strong] and עׄז [strength]. The problem is that this is not a root of עֵזֶר. Afrio-Asiatic roots are usually either bi-consonantal or tri-consonantal. עֵזֶר is clearly a tri-consonantal root: עזר. Worse than that, even if he is right about the root[s] of עֵזֶר, he is committing a semantic fallacy. Roots can never be assumed to be semantically relevant the definition of any term. For example, I have a thyroid disorder which makes me quite ill. I will say to someone that I feel “awful.” Now, awful comes from two roots “full” and “awe.” Does that mean that, when I am sick with my thyroid disorder, that I am full of awe???? Would one be right to suggest a meaning something like “a person who is sick and loving it,” as if somehow I like being sick? No, that would be a gross misinterpretation of my words. Now, that is not to say that roots are never semantically relevant to the meaning of a term. Indeed, when we come to rare words, it is helpful to look at the root, and the various meanings it takes on in other Semitic languages. However, even when you propose a meaning from another Semitic language, you must show that this meaning is consistent with the context, and not just assume that it is. However, עֵזֶר is not even relevant at this point since there are many occurrences of this term in the Hebrew Bible. Never does it indicate “one who is able (has what it takes) to come to the aid of someone who is in need,” but it always indicates one who actually does come to the aid of someone who is in need!

[6] This is questionable. For example, rabbinic interpretation simply said that this law applied only during puberty. However, the Rabbinic literature is much later, and hence, the possibility for anachronism in such an interpretation is very real. Hence, I would be willing to accept this definition for argument’s sake.

[7] אִשָּׁה HALOT definition 2

[8] This is not to say that ethics are situation relative. There are objective standards that govern, for example, when it is morally acceptable to have sexual relations, and when it is not.

[9] Botkin, p.123

[10] See אִישׁ HALOT definition 4.

[11] Or, at very least, tyrannical rule.

[12] Calvin, John. Commentary on Isaiah. Available at: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/calcom13.x.i.html.

[13] Botkin, p.64

[14] ibid.

[15] ibid, p.72

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5 Responses to “A Critique of the Stay at Home Daughters Movement”

  1. Anthea Says:

    Hello
    I found this paper in the sidebar of Karen Campbell’s Thatmom blog.
    The bible study is interesting — it might be helpful to split it across two blog posts for your target audience of young ladies.

    I am not sure that the thinly-veiled attack on home education was warranted, however. Please note that Karen Campbell is herself a home educating mother and a strong advocate of this lifestyle. She criticises bad reasoning/parenting by church leaders and writers, not homeschooling. Unfortunately many people assume that the learning is isolating and takes place outside of the community — and that’s all it is — an unsupported assumption. A school is a hothouse of children cut off from the hight street and the neighbourhood from 8am to 4 pm, Monday to Friday. So school allows contact with children of exactly the same age — but no one else. Schools do give children some enriching social opportunities, but at the cost of removing children from the wider world.

    It’s far more likely that patriocentric lifestyles are another manifestation of our modern desire for a quick fix. If we can just find the perfect system or technique, then — TADA! Our families will be just so. Mainstream Christian publishers have books with daft titles such as Have a new Kid by Friday, and 7 steps to this or that. So the whole church is infected by bandwagon-jumping and cookie-cutter solutiions.

    Just something to consider. I am sure that many will benefit from the throrough bible study you have presented. They will be more likely to read it all the way through if they do not see it as another bashing of home educators or homemakers.

  2. otrmin Says:

    Anthea,

    Thank you for your comments.

    Please don’t take what I said to be an “attack on home education.” I actually was hoping that the first section would not come across in this way :-(. Far from wishing to attack homeschoolers, I have many friends who educate their children at home, and I fully support the work that they do! In fact, I would say that homeschooling and church-based schooling are the two best options available for Christians today, and if God were ever to give me the gift of children, homeschooling would be one of the top two choices on my list!

    I guess if I were to put it better, I would say that all forms of education have difficulties and problems, and part of education is working through those problems. I believe that the above problem *can* be overcome via a strong connection to the church community, and through applying what you learn there to home education.

    Maybe I can clarify what I meant by “isolationism.” What I mean by isolationism is not a *personal* or *societal* isolationism [which the left always uses to bash homeschoolers], but a *linguistic* isolationism. This problem is not unique to homeschooling; any other community you could get involved with will have this problem. You have to figure out how to think Biblically about any community you are a part of, whether it be homeschooling, ballet, philosophy, linguistics, or arts.

    In fact, I have found the same problem in my own field of Hebrew and Semitics. A good example of this is with the term “myth.” In the scholarly community, the term “myth” does not necessarily denote something that is unhistorical, but, rather, something that is a story of certain origins. However, I know that, using the term “myth” of the Bible has a very unhistorical connotation in the Christian community, as the word seems to be inconsistent with how Peter himself uses it in 2 Peter 1:16. Hence, even though the definition of the term given in the scholarly community doesn’t contradict what I believe as a Christian, I *never* use that term in dialogue, because it is inconsistent with how the Bible tells me to use my language. This is how, I believe, any topic needs to be approached, including homeschooling, gender roles, etc.

    Maybe it would be clearer to put it this way. The Bible needs to control whatever we do. Part of understanding the Bible is being part of the language game of the Christian community. Because homeschooling has its own unique community and even unique language, there is a *danger* [although not necessity] of the language game of homeschooling developing into its own false version of Christianity. This problem can be solved through a close connection of the homeschooling community [or, at least, Christian homeschooling families] to the church community.

    Please understand that I am not a foe of homeschooling; I am a friend. Everything I have said in this post I have said with the intention to help homeschoolers, not to hurt them. I have seen this happen many times with false teaching. One of the most effective ways to implant your teaching into people’s mind is to find communities that are young, and still in the process of developing a connection to the church community, and exploit them for their own gain. I saw it happen all of the time when I was in undergrad. Cultic groups would go after the first year freshmen that were just getting into the whole college community, and had not yet developed strong connections to the Christian community.

    In fact, I actually agree with you about the whole notion of quick fixes. However, when you follow the Biblical text and the way it presents its language, you find that the solutions are far more complex than these folks want it to be. Hence, one thing leads to another, and the whole thing can snowball out of control, to the point where you have the “Homeschooling Leadership Summit” which Mrs. Campbell addressed in the podcasts I linked to. I am just concerned that I see these “patriarchal” ideas coming out of the homeschooling community that are based heavily in cultural ideals, and then imposed on the Biblical text and the Christian community, rather than the Biblical text, and the resultant Christian community helping to form and protect the homeschooling community.

    I hope I am making sense. Also, I would welcome any way to amend my post in a way that will not make it sound offensive, as that is not what I meant it to be.

    God Bless,
    Adam

  3. Anthea Says:

    Hello Adam

    I just trawled through my history today to find your blog,because I could not bookmark it. So I have just seen your reply. Thank you for taking the time to respond to my comments.

    It’s much clearer now that you are describing a sort of clumping together of like-minded families in their own churches/home ed co ops and so on.

    I am in the UK, and home educators here cannot really go off into little huddles away from the church universal. We don’t have many conventions and conferences to attend. I think that the really isolating development is the growth of the FIC churches. Some of them consist almost entirely of home educators. When that facility does not exist, and you have to rub along with other Christians, it does make a difference.

    I appreciate your extended critique of the arguments of Botkins et al. When there are dodgy ideas running around a church or a parachurch group, that needs to be pointed out. As you noted, it will protect other people.

    I am not a blogger, so I don’t have much expertise to share with you about writing posts. However, if you could find a way to explain that the enthusiasm with which parents embrace home educating might make us less than discerning about the ideas being shared in a book/lecture. It’s easy to think swap naive trust in the school system for naive trust in a home edding leader. Being part of a wider church group allows us to examine these ideas from a different angle. The use of the word ‘isolationism’ is going to antagonise people — as you noted, because of the way it’s been used by other writers to attack home edding, not because of your intent to attack. The ‘myth’ analogy was apt.

    I’m not a regular reader of this blog, but I like what I have seen .

    Must go Best Wishes

  4. Jason Stumpner Says:

    I just want to make some historical points. First of all patriarchialism dates back to Roman law, not particularly Christian principle. Under “pater familias” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pater_familias, a father had control over the entire household, including children. He was even given the power of life and death over them. So dependents were like bond servants. See, the church did not challenge cultural customs, in the Roman Empire. Why, even slavery was condoned, the Book of Philemon for example mentions a slave whom belonged to a Christian. Now does this mean that Christians today should practice slavery? I think not. And also, as a Marxist, I would think that Karl Marx would say that it is democracy, of which socialism is the fullest expression, which prevails over patriarchy, of which monarchy is the highest form, being that the kaiser was regarded as being the father of the fatherland. And children are to be under the custody of there parents only until they reach the age of majority, and therefore are recognised as having maturity. Until then, there full liberty is held in trust by the parental authority. In fact, it might be argued that even the Bible supports this view. (Galation 3:24) Just as the law served the purpose of guiding us, parents served the purpose of giving direction. Now however, after attaining adulthood, we have liberty. (Galations 5) This is a simitude. Also, by the way, as you should probally already know, I was homeschooled myself. 🙂 Can’t you tell? 😉

  5. Colleen Says:

    I’ve been following some of the SAHDs blogs and trends. It seems that many of the daughters are starting to embrace on-line college education. Good. I don’t know too many fathers that would want an uneducated, non-working daughter living with them, if he is ready to retire.

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