Generation Cedar


OK, brace yourselves…this is not exactly a light post today…then again, this is not exactly a light blog!

Gripping thoughts of yet another “cultural tragedy” that has affected our attitude toward children plague my mind this morning.

I read this quote in an art book about home and family: “The problem with people today, is that they have forgotten where home is”.

WOW! What a profound statement. Think about how the truth of that one reality has affected, and infected, our entire society.

Home was once a the hub of everything….the center of our beings…the stability when all else was unstable. It was the place where the sick were nursed, the tired were rested, the downcast were lifted, the children were nurtured, the wounded were soothed, the grieved were comforted, the frightened were held.

Home was once the place out of which industry flowed and a family survived. There was always another seat at the table, another crust of bread for the poor, and most of all, home was where the stranger could most clearly see the love of Christ flowing among the family members.

What happened to this home? Women left….the leadership of men was undermined, and children were abandoned. Home became nothing more than an empty house, a place where people sleep, store their food, and escape in front of the television at night. Conversation ceased. Production died. And the people inside became virtual strangers.

Home is no more an outreach, so we invented welfare. It is no more a nursery for the tender young, so we created daycares. It is no more a refuge for the elderly, so we created nursing homes. It is no more an educational bedrock, so we created public schools.

You hear it spoken sarcastically from time to time….”My gracious, this is not the pioneer days”, indicating that we should shun old and outdated traditions of living. And where has all of this “progress” gotten us?

Look around and see for yourself. Everyone admits that “this world has gone crazy”, but no one wants to trace back the cause, or take any responsibility for its demise.

And has the church been a beacon of truth for the family and home in the midst of all this deception? Absolutely not. It has perpetuated the lies. The pastor’s very wife asks the “harmless” little question to the girl approaching high school graduation: “So what are you going to do?” We all know that the “do” she is referring to leaves no option for fulfilling her full-time role and fundamentally important job in the home. And if she is not preparing to make her home the above described haven, the home virtually ceases to exist.

But the church doesn’t stop there….as soon as a new young couple has a baby, the nursery worker (although she doesn’t realize the harm in it), insists that she take the baby to the nursery to care for it so the worshippers won’t be distracted. And the baby graduates to “Veggie-Tales Church”, and then Puppet Ministry, and so forth. And all these programs we’ve created with the best intentions harm the family! We segregate, segregate, segregate. We tell children that the holy worship of God is no place for a “distracting little child”, while Jesus said “Do NOT forbid the little children to come unto me”! And in whisking them away, we also tell them that someone else is better suited to take care of their spiritual needs than their own parents! It’s no wonder most kids grow up with no concept of a Holy God, or the true spirit of worship, or basic foundational doctrine.

These are strong words. I’m prepared for a backlash, though I do not intend to evoke it. I’m not out to offend–I’m out to DEFEND against the creeping lies that will never be defeated until we start speaking the truth.

“Well, this is just the world we live in”, you say. But are we content to stand by and self-destruct in our apathy? Or are we willing to do the hard thing….embrace the truth first in our minds, and then do whatever necessary to set our paths straight.

Let’s raise up a generation of children willing to go back. Willing to be strong enough for ridicule. Willing to say “ENOUGH”. Willing to raise the home from the dead, and cause it to flourish again. Because unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.

A House’s Lament

What sadness is my lot in life, these four walls empty stand,

They used to ring with laughter filled by woman, child and man.
Not everybody left at once–they slowly filtered out,
And once they left the love of home, they left what life’s about.
For when there was a family here, they shared a common goal…
They prayed, and helped, and worked and touched-A balm that soothed the soul.
I’m merely shelter for them now, a place to stop and sleep,
I only dream of joy-filled days, with the patter of little feet.
The little feet that can be found are with a stranger’s wife,
Traded off so mom and dad can “give them a better life.”
Where once the table held a feast, the dishes worn with wear,
Now stands a piece of lonely wood, her back so sadly bare.
And how I long to hear the chimes of voices sweetly raised
Of moms and dads and children singing their Redeemer’s praise!
I miss the gentle answers and the ease of taking time
To answer little questions that nurture great big minds!
I once was at the very core of everything that mattered,
The calmness in a raging storm, a refuge for the battered.
I used to be the schoolhouse, too, my bookshelves held their pages,
The children grew in wisdom here and left one day as sages.
I wish I could recall the eyes that looked so tenderly
Upon a man who loved his wife and met her every need.
Now I’m grieving too, about a nation’s power severed,
The only hope lies in the home resolved to stay together!

Kelly Crawford
2004

By the way, only a very small fraction of readers for this blog actually post comments. I would encourage you to post a comment/question if you have one. This blog is intended for more than just entertainment purposes. I pray that someone, somehwere, reading them, would have a glimmer of truth ignited in their hearts. Your comments and questions could play a part in that ministry. It may be just the thought someone else had but was afraid to share or ask. And, one of my favorite things about the community of believers is that “iron sharpens iron”. This blog is a “DEBATE”. So don’t be afraid to raise questions that may confront something I’ve said here. I’ll not be offended, and if you say it nicely, I won’t get my feelings hurt !

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21 Responses

  1. “Home is no more an outreach, so we invented welfare. It is no more a nursery for the tender young, so we created daycares. It is no more a refuge for the elderly, so we created nursing homes. It is no more an educational bedrock, so we created public schools.”

    It’s a passing of the buck, so to speak. It’s sad…no one wants to take responsibility for their actions, their families, etc. so they pass the responsibility on to the “professionals”.

    “You hear it spoken sarcastically from time to time….”My gracious, this is not the pioneer days”, indicating that we should shun old and outdated traditions of living. And where has all of this “progress” gotten us?”

    Sometimes I wish I were back in the pioneer days…but I don’t think I could live without central air (we do heat with a wood stove), running water, plumbing and all the other modern day amenities that we’re all used to. But life would be oh, so simpler!

    I’m still thinking on the kiddos going off to Sunday school and kid’s church…not sure I agree 100% with you but I am sure when our family moves to wherever my husband has a pastorate that our older few (6, 8 and 10) will be in the service with the “adult” message…they could probably teach kid’s church by themselves! (Not to sound like I’m bragging…that statement was not made to sound arrogant, but they do know their stuff!).)

    Thank you for your thoughts! Keep ’em comin’!

    Hugs,
    Carmen

  2. Okay, when you mention the pastors wife asking the girl “what she is going to do” Do you mean that you are against college or working till she meets a husband?

  3. Jennifer,

    Thank you so much for your comment/question. It is a very common one, but a difficult answer awaits.

    In essence (there’s no use beating around the bush!), yes I am against young women leaving the home, whether to go to college or pursue an “outside” career. I AM NOT, however, against a young woman pursing an education, or a means of making money. But there is a huge difference in the way we go about it.

    It is a slippery slope (a VERY slippery slope). If we embrace the biblical truth that women are to be full-time help-meets to their husbands (which is indeed a FULL time job), isn’t it silly to “program” their thinking in a different direction, only to suddenly switch gears again when they get married?

    Am I against higher education–absolutely NOT! But when a young girl leaves her home and the protection of her father (unheard of in Bible times), and pursues a college education, where she will be inundated with feministic ideas(secular or Christian college), spends all of her time, money, thoughts, etc. pursuing this career, it is unlikely that when she gets married she will suddenly drop all of that investment and “new thinking” and be content with her role as home-maker. And even if she does, boy has she lost a lot of training opportunities! (No wonder there are so many wives that don’t even know how to cook a decent meal)…homemaking is an ART. One that must be treated seriously, cultivated, and refined. It takes time, energy and effort. Until we take the role of homemaker seriously, we will continue to undermine its need for preparation.

    HOWEVER, a young woman, until she is married, CAN pursue a world of knowledge through alternate forms of higher education (a much better education than a stale college classroom can offer), remain under the protection of her father, train daily for her role someday as helpmeet (there is a lot of training if it is done right–one of which is being a helpmeet to her Dad), and she may very well pursue means of bringing in income. I know many, many young women who are flourishing in their gifts, and making great money at it while they are “in waiting”. We have leaned on the college degree(another lie we’ve been told) as the ONLY key to making money, or being successful, or preserving us in a tragedy. What a lie! There are so many other avenues of industry and provision, (which is one of the points I was making in my post), that we have virtually forgotten because we’re too busy pursing what someone said we needed to make it in the world.

    This may come as a shocker and stir up a whole new debate, but I pray my sons seek an alternate route to college. There are so many superior ways of getting an education (and cheaper too!) and making a living!

    We are so bent to the culture’s ideas of what women are “supposed” to do, that we can’t even think outside that box.

    This issue has many questions and discussions which I don’t have time to even touch in this response. I will suggest an EXCELLENT resource for answering such questions as “what if a woman’s husband dies, and the wife never got a college degree to support herself?”, and other such hypotethical unlikelys.

    The book “So Much More” written by two (highly intelligent) young women (age 15 and 17) is one of the most well-written arguments and thorough explanations of this topic that I’ve ever read. I highly recommend the book.

    The bottom line is, if you want an apple tree to bear apples, you have to plant apple seeds. We can’t exercise the world’s methods right up until our daughters marry, then expect them to suddenly change courses and become the godly wife, mother and helpmeet we never trained them to be.

    This is a sticky issue…and it’s one that is so hard to wrap our brains around because of our own brainwashing. I know, I was blown away when I first heard the suggestion that girls should not be encouraged to go to college.

    But just like so many issues, when there’s a slippery slope, we can’t step on and jump off mid-slide. We have to trace our current problems (women leaving the home in droves with no desire to be there), back to the source of the problem (our sending our daughters off into a feminist culture to be stripped of all the godly training we have instilled) and do something drastic about it. That’s my short :-), yes, short answer.

    1. I see this thread is up and hopping again! I didn’t comment the first time I saw this post, but I feel compelled to now, Kelly, in the spirit of iron sharpening iron.

      Although I agree with what you said in your post and much of your reply to Jennifer above, I am a bit troubled by the following statement you made: “…train daily for her role someday as helpmeet (there is a lot of training if it is done right-one of which is being a helpmeet to her Dad)…”

      It’s the “helpmeet to her Dad” part of the comment that bothers me. I don’t believe there is scriptural justification for the concept of a girl being a help meet (two words, meaning help suitable) for her father.

      The only two verses in the bible where the word “help” is followed by “meet” are in Genesis 2:18 and 2:20:

      “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him…And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.”

      And then, of course, we know from verse 24 that this help [that is] meet for a man is his wife: “Therefore shall a man…cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh.”

      So to me, the biblical usage of “help meet” clearly indicates the husband and wife relationship, and no other.

      Perhaps you simply meant that daughters can do helpful things for their dads as they train for their likely future as wives. If so, I agree. That’s part of serving in a family. But sons can also be helpful to their dads, and sons and daughters to their mothers as well. We don’t call any of those other child-to-parent relationships a “help meet” relationship, and for good reason, so I don’t think it should be used to refer to daughters in relation to their fathers, either, since the bible never uses it in that context.

      Furthermore, there is very deep intimacy expressed in the larger context of these verses, especially in the words “…and they shall be one flesh.” It’s a beautiful picture of the oneness God wants for a husband and wife to experience in their marriage, which is intended to be a picture of our relationship to our Heavenly Bridegroom. In my humble opinion, I think we cheapen this extraordinary picture when we introduce another relationship into this context.

      The father/daughter bond, as beautiful as it can be in its own right, will never come close to the deep relationship of a husband and wife who are one in Christ. To ascribe terminology that has no biblical precedent (“help meet” in this case) to fathers and daughters or any other group that is not intended is, I believe, to tread on shaky ground. It opens the door to misunderstanding and misapplication, which we certainly don’t want where scripture is concerned.

      I hope I haven’t sounded like I’m lecturing or pointing a finger of blame at you, Kelly, as that is certainly not my intention. I think we all just need to be careful about using biblical terminology in contexts other than how they were originally used.

      Thanks for allowing dissenting comments. 😉

      1. NO, 6 arrows, you’re absolutely right that I used the wrong terminology. You may notice when this was written (just shortly after I began blogging) and at the time had not really thought the use of that term. I would not use that term now 😉

        My intention was to simply communicate what you said: that girls will naturally develop a love of serving her family when she is encouraged to help her mother as she serves her husband. We do see narrative examples of this through Scripture. But it does need to remain what it is and not be ascribed language that is out of Scriptural bounds.

        Thank you.

        1. You’re welcome, Kelly. And thank you for your kind response. I especially loved this: “…girls will naturally develop a love of serving her family when she is encouraged to help her mother as she serves her husband.” Well said. Couldn’t agree more!

  4. I recommend you copy your comments to Jennifer in a new post. So well said…everyone needs to read them! What a way with words, Word Warrior. (Don’t hold back now…smile)

  5. There is no doubt in my mind that my “stumbling” upon your website a few months ago was nothing less than the Hand of Providence. I am a young wife and a new mother. I stay at home and take care of the home and family because in our heart of hearts my husband and I know that it is the right thing to do. We both grew up in the faith and in the church, and in families where the mothers did not stay home to take care of the home and family. We want something different, something deeper, something more abundant. THANK YOU for your posts, for your ministry, for the truth that you speak. It is like a balm to me as I struggle to stop striving according to the worlds definition of success and focus on hearth and home. (by the way, in my own studies, I’ve recently come across the Latin word for hearth which is “focus.” How wonderful!)

  6. I strongly echo Beth’s comments. Just “stumbled” here myself today. Exactly what i’ve been looking for. I’ve been reading Douglas and Nancy Wilson’s books and learning more and more about the biblical role as a wife and homemaker. I am currently employed full-time. The Word of God has so convicted mine and my husband’s heart that I am now spending hours daily trying to plan for my exit of the workforce, and planning for homeschooling our son. I have found this to be an excellent, practical, encouraging website. Thank you, Thank you!

  7. I am one of those college educated girls that knows very little about caring for a home 🙁 My husband cooked dinner for years, because I couldn’t cook. I’m learning, but it has taken me YEARS to get to a point where he would eat what I made. As for keeping the house clean, decorated and a place of rest…well I still have a lot to learn. I just can’t help but wonder how things could have been if I knew what I was doing in the beginning, less stressful for sure.

  8. OH, I forgot to add that I have one daughter that will be taught how to care for home and family before she gets married. That is, if I can get a hold of it before then 🙂

  9. I know you didn’t quite cover this in your post, but I am currently thinking and praying through what it would be like to have both my husband and I be primarily working at/from home, so that we can best get to know our children and teach our children through what we do and say throughout the entirety of each day. What is your knowledge of both husbands and wives working from home? I am really enjoying learning through your posts on biblical family life, as well as those on others such as Generations With Vision, and I am beginning to envision our whole family at home–myself keeping the home and teaching out (future) children at home; my husband working from home so as to teach them the Word and have them by his side to watch him work; and, of course, our (future) kids at home being homeschooled and discipled by the both of us throughout the day. But right now the idea of some sort of an entrepreneurial venture seems so unreachable and unfeasible in this day and age, neither my husband nor I can even fathom what that could look like. Perhaps I just need to continue to pray about it and the Lord will reveal it to us how He will have this come about, if it is His will for us. I am just curious, though, if there are other families out there that operate like this and what life (especially their forms of income) look like.

  10. YOU ARE SUCH AN ENCOURAGEMENT to me! You say things that NOBODY else wants to say…nobody is brave enough to say! But you speak TRUTH. Bless God for your wisdom and courage. I would love to repost everything I read here!! I wish I could share your insight with a larger group…….i keep encouraging ladies to join to your blog. YOU ARE RIGHT!!!!!!!! Please continue this ministry of teaching and truth!

      1. darn talk to text.

        That second to last weirdly worded question is,

        how can we encourage our girls to be all the Lord calls them to be, and balance that with their role as a woman and maybe mother and wife? do you not think it is holding them back to be waiting and biding their time till they find a man, in jobs when they could pursue a thriving career that brings them life? I’m not saying or asking any of this in anger. I’m just curious. I have real questions. I have never from a position as strong as yours.

  11. this is a fascinating post and I’m proud of you for speaking the hard things. I’m a little surprised that you’re not thinking the women who do not get married. They may want to but it just doesn’t work out for them.the women that actually prepare and expect to get married but it doesn’t happen. They go back to college even. Spend more money so they can be employable. Continue to work. Our system is not all wrong, although there are millions of flaws. to make a broad statement that girls should not go to college isn’t fair. How do I know if my daughter will get married or not? What if she deeply desires to teach or be a nurse? in an ideal world, it would be wonderful if the mother could stay home with the kids. This broken country. It’s not ideal. We cannot fix it quickly. Women cannot all have a mash rush exit of the workforce. I like to be ideal too. I agree the home is broken. Fathers are missing. People don’t gather at dinners. But How can we work with what our world is now? We are in the world and not of it, but we are certainly in it. Broken in it. we can’t go back to pioneer days. We can’t bring the farhers back home. We can’t make sweeping statements that no girl should work except housekeeping/help meet prep amd noy get a college education. maybe a good question to ask is how to link richard girls 14 all the lord kohl’s them to be well also keeping in mind the role as a woman? Why would I place the expectation on my daughter that she must get married in order to be fulfilled and to be doing God’s will?

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