Teaching Our Daughters to Do Their Husbands Good NOW

Well, the next post on sharing will be here next Tuesday! Instead of finishing it now, I am working on a shower gift for my future daughter-in-law’s bridal shower on Saturday, writing a devotion to give at the shower, and editing a great new book on wedding planning that we’ll be publishing by the end of the year (written by the amazing lady who coordinated a couple of our family weddings). If I get all that done, I need to start cutting out flower girl dresses and planning a rehearsal dinner! What made me think that being the mother of the groom meant I didn’t need to start all these projects earlier?

So, I’m posting something I already have ready to go.  It’s actually quite appropriate while I’m steeped in wedding plans and preparations. The dear young lady that is about to become another Mrs. Forster is a treasure. She has been doing her future husband good for many years — even back when Benjamin and his brothers were tormenting her and her sister with slugs impaled on sticks…

Katie helping her mama clean

“…She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life” (Proverbs 31:12).

We’re probably all pretty familiar with the Proverbs 31 woman. She’s the perfect one that makes us all feel horribly inadequate. But she’s also an amazing lady, and a great example for both us moms and our daughters to look up to and seek to emulate. We can point our daughters to her example, even at a very young age.

Proverbs 31: 11 says “the heart of her husband safely trusts in her.” Verse 12 goes on to state that “she will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” Have you ever noticed that it says, all the days of her life? While we are striving, with God’s help, to do our husbands good, we can also teach our daughters to do their future husbands good, even while they are young. Right now, they can be blessing their future husbands.

  • By honoring and obeying her parents. If a daughter learns to respect and obey her parents, she will be open to their protection and guidance when considering marriage. She will also be prepared to transfer that respect and obedience to her husband on their wedding day. In her childhood and youth, she will be greatly blessed, if she has chosen to honor her parents, and will fully benefit from their instruction and counsel.
  • By loving and studying God’s Word and seeking to obey Him. Marriage is not easy. Two sinners cannot live together in harmony outside of the grace of God. A young lady who has learned to cherish God’s Word — who turns to it for wisdom and comfort and strength, who is committed to obeying it in all areas of life – will be a great blessing to her husband and to the generations that follow him. Her first focus will be on Christ, and she will not expect her husband to provide what only God can give.
  • By living a life devoted to serving others. Besides blessing her family and all those around her, a daughter that has learned to focus on others will be better prepared to serve her family with a loving and cheerful heart.
  • By nurturing a good sense of humor. A lady who knows how to laugh will be quicker to overlook the inevitable foibles of others, will more cheerfully accept what God sovereignly brings to her life, will bless her husband with her cheerful spirit and will spread her joy throughout her household, and will “smile at the future” instead of worrying.
  • By focusing time and energy in developing the traits and skills she will need to manage a home. Not every girl will grow up to marry, but most will. And those whom God calls to single life will still need the same skills to manage their own homes and to help in others’. A bride who has learned to be creative, economical, compassionate, and diligent will be a great blessing to her future husband and children.
  • By saving and investing a portion of any money she earns into materials for her future home. We had our daughters, starting when they were still very young, set aside a portion of their earnings (mostly earned by working in our home business) in a fund we refer to as “dowry.” This money has been earmarked for purchases related to their future homes. They have purchased items at garage sales and special store sales. They have invested in books and sewing machines, dishes and cookware, cameras, and even pieces of furniture. This helps to ease some of the financial burden when newlyweds are setting up their new household.
  • By saving her heart for only her husband. A daughter who protects her heart will be able to give it all to her husband when she marries. We asked each of our daughters to make a commitment to us. We took each one out for dinner and discussed our desire to guide her through her years of young womanhood. We asked her to commit to following our counsel and communicating honestly with us about matters related to boys, and we committed to lovingly protecting and guiding her toward an emotionally and physically pure wedding day. We sealed our covenant with a special ring for each of them, and each daughter has worn that ring as a reminder to her as she travels through the challenges of young womanhood.
  • By embracing chaste and modest maidenhood. A daughter who commits herself to purity, who doesn’t engage in flirtatious behavior or silly chatter about boys, who doesn’t pursue the attentions of young men, will be a true blessing to her husband. She will become the kind of woman he can truly “safely trust in.”

How will you encourage your daughters toward godly womanhood? How will you help them bless their future husbands now? Pray for them, love them, and commit to guiding them toward that goal!



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  1. What an incredible post. What a great observation and teaching tool for our girls. All the days of her life… love that! Thanks!

  2. The whole idea of pledging one’s “purity” (i.e. her private parts) to her parents is really disturbing, but equally disturbing is the “obey” thing.

    I was raised in a family where my dad demanded 100% complete obedience from even his adult sons and daughters. We weren’t taught to think, merely to obey. When I realized I couldn’t live my life under someone else’s control, I left. My dad cut me off from the rest of the family because I was in “rebellion”, and tried using the Christian bible to back up his claims, but failed miserably — there really is nothing in the Christian bible about a daughter staying at home until she’s married (or pledging her “purity” to anyone) unless you really stretch and take things out of context.

    Not all women want to be a stay at home mother. Not all men want a woman who stays at home. Some men want a woman who will work. Some men want a woman who will decide for herself what she wants to do. And I’m still talking within the realm of Christianity here.

    I’m not trying to “start” anything here. If I wanted to do that, I’d do it on my own blog. But it hurts me to see people promoting the very doctrines that nearly caused me to take my own life.

  3. I, too, have no interest in “starting something,” but I am deeply touched by your comment, and want to respond in some way.

    I’m so sorry that your experience was so painful. I really am. We thankfully serve a God who uses sin sinlessly, and works out His sovereign plan in spite of, and even through, the intentional and unintentional sins of others. God, in His wisdom, chose to give children fallen, sinful parents and we ALL, without exception, make mistakes, some more far-reaching than others. But God gives grace, and even when we are deeply wronged, we can draw on His love, and forgive those who have hurt us. To not forgive allows those wrongs to continue hurting us all through our lives. I pray that you have availed yourself of the grace He will readily give you to forgive.

    Please understand that our discussion with our daughters was a friendly, loving conversation that they welcomed. Our desire was simply to bring them through young womanhood with minimal emotional scars — certainly not to become an additional source of emotional hurts. Yes, navigating the challenges of adolescence is difficult. It requires open communication, much prayer and humility, an accurate understanding of God’s Word, and the counsel of other mature Christian brothers and sisters.

    Everything is not all tidy black and white. God keeps us growing by not fitting into the formulas we all tend to try to fabricate and put our trust in. We personally can attest to the fact that it takes great wisdom, a wisdom that only God can give, to move our children toward independence, while still guiding and counseling. The role of a parent should change dramatically as children mature.

    The primary mission of Doorposts is to encourage parents to base their instruction on God’s Word, and to look to our loving, but also just, Heavenly Father as the standard for right and wrong. To demand obedience without explaining its relationship to God’s truth is certainly inviting rebellion and discouragement. Scripture clearly commands, “Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged” (Col. 3:21, ESV).

    I was trying to be very careful to not imply in this post that the future of every young woman will necessarily be marriage, even though that is what God gives to most women. We don’t want to raise girls with their sites all trained on marriage as their primary goal. We want to raise daughters who are madly in love with their Savior, and who clearly understand His Word as it applies to their lives.

    In no way am I encouraging a mindless mentality in young women. A good husband will want his wife to think, and will welcome her input and counsel. A good wife is one who has done her husband good all the days of her life by growing spiritually and diligently studying the truths of Scripture. Her wisdom will bless her husband, and will enable her to assist him in raising godly children. If she doesn’t marry, her wisdom will bless those whom God HAS called her to serve. She is still called to mature and godly womanhood, married or not. Our job as parents is to raise daughters who know and love Scripture and the God who speaks through it.

    Just some thoughts. A bit rambly, I know, and MUCH longer than I intended, but I hope enough to clarify what I was attempting to say in this post.

    Blessings on you!

  4. Dear Pam,
    I wonder what will happen if your daughters don’t marry and one day will have to find gainful employment. Don’t you think that absolute obedience will render your daughters unable to make difficult decisions, and diminish their problem solving skills exponentially? I can’t see anyone surviving in the workforce without these basic skills. After all, they never learned to decide and think for themselves and had someone else doing it for them for majority of their life.

  5. Thank you Pam ! 🙂 🙂 This was precious and encouraging ! I was raised with this way and have NO regrets , just joy 🙂

  6. Nicole, being under authority does not mean mindlessness. Jesus was under authority. He came to fulfill His Father’s will. He chose to submit His will to a higher one for a higher cause, and He now rules and reigns at the Father’s right hand.

    My daughters are all quite capable of thinking and making wise decisions. They are intelligent, creative, capable women with excellent problem-solving skills. They have researched all sorts of topics on their own, and successfully run their own businesses. They are a source of encouragement and counsel to their friends, and active thinkers and doers. I respect them, and stand amazed at what God has done in their lives.

    I’m sure they, like their friends, would be excellent employees if the need arose, but they would probably be running their own businesses instead. 🙂 Their choice to live lives in submission to God’s Word has only made them wiser, rather than foolish. The mantle of authority that they have lived under in our household has been a hedge of protection for them, not a cage.

    The Christian faith is filled with paradoxes. And certainly it defies human logic, but proves out in real lives, that when we lay down our lives, we actually gain. When we try to hold onto what we perceive as our rights, we lose.

    “He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matt 10:39, NKJV).

    Thanks for commenting! God bless!

  7. Being “under authority” isn’t what Nicole asked about, nor what I referred to when you wrote that a girl should obey her parents and later her husband. There’s no room in “obey” for thinking outside the box, and no need to. Taken literally, it leads to the kind of environment I grew up in. If 100% obedience/dependence is not what you meant, then perhaps obey wasn’t the right word to use in your post.

    Adult Christians should obey their God, not their parents or spouse.

  8. One more clarifying thought, and then I need to cut out flower girls dresses or go out in the rain and pick some over-zealous zucchinis.

    Nowhere have I said or implied that I believe adult offspring should OBEY (especially mindlessly obey, as you seem to perceive obedience) their parents. They should certainly show them honor and respect, and consider their counsel, but Scripture does not command their obedience. They are free to make their own good and poor decisions.

    A parent’s job is to train his children toward independence (in the healthy sense) and godly adulthood. Children start out with many limits, and gradually grow in freedom, learning to govern themselves and make wise and godly decisions, and living with the consequences when they make poor ones.

    When you say that “Adult Christians should obey their God, not their parents or spouse,” I basically agree with you. God is our ultimate authority. But we must remember that God has delegated authority, and part of obeying God is obeying those He has placed over us. When those authorities clearly go against God’s law, and ask us to do so, then we “ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29)

    Thanks for your input! 🙂

  9. In Christ by grace

    Thank you Pam for sharing. This is just what is needed to day. I know so many daughters who chose to be independent AND disobedient before they were adults and it ALWAYS led to rebellious hearts and spirits and much wrong behavior. They are now living with terrible consequences of pulling away from their parents authority and protection and it breaks my heart. They become argumentative and bitter and spiteful and have little or no tolerance of others who do things differently.

    But on the other hand, I know many young women on the verge of adulthood who are still honoring their parents and their beauty shines from the inside out. It’s a REAL beauty that everyone notices because it is truly from their heart and part of their spirit.

    I hope that many will continue to raise daughters according to the WORD as I have a son and am praying for his future bride. I hope her family follows the way that ends in wonderful joyful relationships for everyone.

    Oh, I also know several young adult women who are still living at home and honoring (and obeying in a sense, but not controlled!) their parents who are amazing women of GOD and who have struggled against the independent and rebellious nature that rises up in them and have become stronger women because they fought against the enemy instead of their family. They are lovely and anyone would be extremely blessed to have them as employees because they know how to work WITH people and not always against. Anyone who has grown up in a family of more than one and kept a right relationship and harmony with the other people in their home would be excellent employees because living with people is MUCH more difficult than just going to work and spending 8-12 hours a day with people. And working in a home with a family is harder work than ANY job I’ve ever had outside the home, physically, emotionally, and relationally. So a home makes a more perfect training ground for future wives and future husbands AND future employees. 😀

    Thanks for the GREAT post!

  10. Thank you so much for posting this! It made me tear up, actually 😉

    You are such a gracious woman, Mrs. Forster; I never thought I’d feel so humbled and blessed by my future in-laws. I always hoped I’d be, but you have so much kindness, wisdom, and grace in your heart: it is such a blessing. If I’ve never told you, I really look up to you and I’m so thankful that you’ll be my mother-in-law! Thank you for your example of a soft answer, your righteous heart that studies an answer, and your lips that disperse wisdom and knowledge (Proverbs 15).

    Proverbs 15: 33 The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom,
    And before honor is humility.

  11. I felt like I ought to comment. In my opinion, effort is better placed in teaching (not training please- never liked that comparison between animals and children) young adults to make wise choices than supposing that one will always be able to protect one’s daughters.

    I myself was sheltered by my parents, supposedly protected from bad influences, yet starting at the age of seventeen, I was sexually abused for a period of a year and a half. In fact, the ideas of chastity I had been brought up with only exacerbated the situation as I placed more value on my purity than my worth, so I stuck by my abuser, hoping to somehow make the sexual abuse “right” by marrying him no matter how much the situation hurt me. I was also well familiar with the ideas of emotional purity, which only further reinforced the relationship. It was a very difficult situation to get out from.

    Fortunately, my story has a happy ending as I am soon to be engaged to a wonderful young man. To be honest, I do not love him less because he is the third man I have been in a romantic relationship with, but I love him more because having been through that abusive relationship as well as another less-than-perfect relationship, I can truly appreciate the special relationship I have with him.

  12. Brita, please read carefully what I am saying. Here is a copy of one of the paragraphs in my previous comment:

    “A parent’s job is to train his children toward independence (in the healthy sense) and godly adulthood. Children start out with many limits, and gradually grow in freedom, learning to govern themselves and make wise and godly decisions, and living with the consequences when they make poor ones.”

    What you are asserting is the same thing I said, except I used the word, “train,” which according to the dictionary’s first definition of the verb, means, “to develop or form the habits, thoughts, or behavior of (a child or other person) by discipline and instruction: to train an unruly boy.” The second definition says, “to make proficient by instruction and practice, as in some art, profession, or work: to train soldiers.”

    Unfortunately, words sometimes have different associations for different people. I am in no way suggesting that parents treat children like animals. Children are made in God’s image, and my children are also my brothers and sisters in Christ. They deserve my respect and love.

    I also don’t deny that we live in a fallen world that is terribly marred by the effects of sin. People are selfish. They do terrible and hurtful things to other people. Parents are imperfect. They, even when seeking to do their best in loving and raising their children, make mistakes. NO PARENT IS PERFECT, and God knew that when He brought the first baby into the world.

    I am truly sorry if you have suffered because of the sins or misguided efforts of others. I don’t pretend to understand all that you or anyone else has gone through or any of the factors that lead to these hurts. And I certainly don’t make light of it.

    But please remember, God is sovereign and somehow, even when it looks impossible to us, He works all things out for our good and His glory — even the actions of imperfect parents. We can trust Him. He is faithful.

    I rejoice with you in your coming engagement! Praise God, that He is able to make beauty from our ashes. He is good — all of the time.

    “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified” (Isa 61:3).


  13. Wounded by this way of life

    I know that you mean well, and I appreciate the gracious tone of your post and the replies to your comments. But please know that this way of doing things–of emphasizing obedience, authority, and grooming your daughters toward marriage to the near-exclusion of other paths–has its dark side. Constructing this patriarchal vision and supporting it with one particular style of interpreting scripture that you put forth as the “right” style gives parents tools to make their children’s lives miserable snares of emotional manipulation, guilt, and legalism. It dramatically limits children’s horizons and instills in them a fear of the world and of people who are not like them that can ultimately be very damaging. I know this, because I’ve lived it.

  14. As someone who knows Pam and all of her children (for over 9 years now) I can say in my 40+ years of being brought up in the church (Baptist, non-denom and Reformed as well) that I have very rarely met children such as hers. Her sons and daughters set a very high standard in terms of morality and are all very capable, intellectual, and self aware. Nicole and Quicksilverqueen, there is a lot of careful thought to the application that Pam’s family has given to raising children…a lot of balance to their approach. I’m not saying that they haven’t had problems, everyone goes through a learning process. I have a lot more to say on this but I think giving testimony to the excellent qualities of Pam’s kids is enough. (PS – Great responses Pam! I need to be reminded of those things sometimes.)

  15. I have so much to say and I’m not sure quite how to say it. This was a wonderful post that is a great reminder of how we should strive to raise our daughters. I also think your children are incredibly lucky to have such a gracious and patient mother. I don’t know that I could have been as kind in my response to some of the comments, but you have responded beautifully. Thank you again for such a wonderful post.

  16. Pam,

    I was just linked to your site today for this post. Thank you for speaking truth! I know that it’s hard to do when people respond like they have but our culture is sadly so far removed from this ideal upbringing that it’s hard for people to grasp. We just had a Baby girl and your post was so encouraging in how to raise her up to be a strong woman of God and an amazingly supportive wife. Blessings to you and your family. Weddings are such a wonderful time for families to come together! Enjoy!

  17. I have firsthand knowledge of what you mentioned in your comment above – that God works things out for our good and His glory. That has certainly been the case in my life. I have found your replies to the criticisms of this post to be some of the most gracious I have seen while traveling the internet and I wanted to thank you for that before I say anything else. I assume that you extend the same grace to your children and if I assume that then I need to assume that your list in this post does not hold a place in your heart above your children and if they were not to follow your guidelines you would still love them, accept them and nurture them.

    I am going to write to you what I wish someone had told my mother when I was young. Please understand that this is not a criticism of your mothering skills but my personal experience of being freed from the guidelines you write of above. God may work everything for His good, but that doesn’t mean we have an excuse to not learn from each other or maybe change our ways or beliefs! Admitting we were wrong is just admitting that we are smarter today than we were yesterday, and I thank God that my mother and I have a relationship now where we both can do that.

    Let’s first talk about Proverbs 31. I used to follow the idea that “she will do him good ALL the days of her life” must obviously mean all. Including ones before she meets him til the day he dies. Since that time I have acquired some knowledge of Hebrew and grammar – nothing that a person with google and http://www.blueletterbible.org can’t find themselves – and I have learned a few things about that tense. It is possible to construe that meaning from the text, but it is also possible to get many other meanings. Here is a page that talks about the “perfect” tense, which is the tense of that verse. http://kukis.org/Languages/Hebrew4Dummies.pdf

    The traditional view is that it is a completed action – but they say you have to look at the context to determine what the perfect tense means. The context of Lemuel’s mother teaching him is not completed. Considering “will” in the verse and the usage of perfect tense I would tend to view it as an “event in the future which is certain.” A woman such as is described in Proverbs 31 would be certain to do her husband good in this future time that is being described.

    Chayil, the word for “virtuous” means “strength, ability, efficiency, wealth, a force, army” which is also something that needs to be considered while reading this chapter.

    One could take this entire chapter in the context of Jewish history and culture and assume that “virtuous” need only mean “wealth.” A husband with a wealthy and industrious wife in Jewish culture was able to “sit at the gates” and study. Much of Jewish culture was that way at the time – the men spent their time in study, and women were the business owners/proprietors – as evidenced by this passage. Don’t take my word for it, the research is fascinating!! A conservative reading would estimate at least 8 verses of the 21 refer to the Proverbs 31 woman as a business woman, considering the items being discussed, a very capable and wealthy business woman.

    This all makes me desperate to ask – if you are getting your basis for “doing him good ALL the days of their lives” from this chapter, where are you implementing these other principles? Where is your training for your daughters to be wealthy business women? Where are you training them to support their husband? To be wealthy enough to own servants? To dress their household in (modern equivalent) Chanel and Ann Taylor, etc?

    One of the biggest things that drove me from the faith was growing up and realizing how my parents cherry picked the things they liked from the Bible and ignored the rest. If you truly do believe in releasing your children to greater independence then they will begin to see this too. Please search yourself for consistency before this begins.

    Please point me to Scripture that says a wife must obey her husband? You used the word “obey.” If you meant only respect, then I wonder why the word obey came out? Did you know that the only verse in the Bible that mentions “authority” (exousia, if you care to look it up!) between husband and wife is the verse that says that the husband does not have authority over his own body, but his wife – and vice versa? If a husband and wife cannot even have sex except by mutual consent since they BOTH have equal authority over each other, how is it good or Biblical to prepare your daughters to “obey” a husband?

    I understand that it is Biblical for children to obey their parents, but it is not biblical for parents to enforce that. Teach, yes, enforce, no. It would be more wise to teach your children to make good choices on their own – and then they will come to you willingly for advice and know whether or not to adopt it or discard it. Having children who rely too fully on the advice of fallible parents because their lives have focused on “obedience” is not an asset – it is a liability. Especially in their future walk with the Lord and reliance on the Holy Spirit.

    I agree totally that it is great to learn to laugh, to be compassionate, to be creative and economical and to rejoice even in adversity. But, tell me honestly, how much time and work do you really think it takes to learn those things? I know so many wonderful Christian people who learned that through just watching their parents, never even having to be told how they should act. They saw clearly the rewards of good character and adopted it for themselves. I also know dozens of women who have all of this good character and went to public school, hold down good jobs and yet manage to be wonderful wives and mothers. I wonder how these things hold such a high place when no equal place is given to learning to have a good job, per the P31 woman? It’s not bad things, just curious how this training takes such time and precedence and yet holding outside sources of income, being rich and well-trained and providing for a family is not even included on your list?

    Most people learn the traits to manage a home just by living in a family where everyone works together. Just by watching parents. It’s not a full time or even part time learning experience. It’s just LIFE.

    If you were truly following a P31 model your daughters would be working hard now learning how to earn a large income later – saving their money from outside sources now to build their businesses later. They wouldn’t be buying second hand things now, they would be readying themselves to buy the best later with the large income they would be bringing in – or at least trained to bring in, if true P31 training is your goal.

    The story of the Bible – the entire story – is one of redemption. Does God expect us to come to Him with our hearts whole and perfect? No. Should that be something that a future husband expects? No.

    No woman has an “emotionally pure” wedding day. None. If they say they do, they are lying. Everyone woman has entertained emotional thoughts about someone they will not marry.

    To talk about a heart that is not whole is to deny the power of God to restore, to redeem and to make beautiful that which is not. This IS THE GOSPEL. Restoration, redemption and beauty out of ashes. The most beautiful love stories are the ones where Christ has redeemed the wasted days, not the ones where the couple thinks they have achieved some Christian perfection in their relationship!

    It is not bad to encourage a guarded outlook on relationships, but to make it seem like if you have a failed emotional or physical relationship you won’t have all your heart to give away is entirely devoid of the Gospel. It makes my skin crawl, honestly.

    Two sinners cannot live in harmony – if your daughters ever get a view of the outside world this is going to cause huge cognitive dissonance. Sinners can and DO live in harmony every day, and have wonderful marriages that flourish and last their entire lives. To say otherwise is a lie, and your daughters will find that out. You may not believe it truly is harmony, but if that is the case say “well, we believe that even though their lives look harmonious and wonderful that there is no true unity outside of Christ. We may be wrong though, since we can’t live their lives for them.”

    Any given day in the world MORE than 50% of women are unmarried. The “majority” of women WILL SPEND the majority of their lives – or all their lives – unmarried. Spending so much time with your daughters grooming them to “obey” a husband and prepare for a household (still ignoring the monetary wisdom of P31!!) is to deny the other plans the Holy Spirit may have for their lives.

    Again, please take all of this in the spirit it was intended – with the best thoughts and prayers toward you and your family. I acknowledge I don’t know you and some of this may not apply, but please think seriously about what does, reexamine your Scripture reading/study habits and know that these things can and DO seriously damage girls. God may bring something great out of it, but if we can do His Word better justice, why don’t we?

  18. Thank you, Pam for this post and for standing on God’s Word, all of us need
    accountability. The only reason any of us, including myself, don’t want to do what this post is talking about is “Sin”.

  19. Rae,

    Just a quick comment here. You ask, “Please point me to Scripture that says a wife must obey her husband? ”

    Eph 5:22-25 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

    Col 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.

    The word translated in these verses as “submit” in the King James version is “hupotasso.” Below is the Strong’s Concordance Greek Dictionary definition of that word.

    NT:5293 GREEK> hupotasso (hoop-ot-as’-so); from NT:5259 and NT:5021; to subordinate; reflexively, to obey:

    (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

    Thanks for your question and your comment. 🙂 I’m sorry I cannot take the time to respond more fully, but I’m sure we’ll be revisiting some of these ideas in later posts. God bless.

  20. You write:

    “We asked her to commit to following our counsel and communicating honestly with us about matters related to boys, and we committed to lovingly protecting and guiding her toward an emotionally and physically pure wedding day. We sealed our covenant with a special ring for each of them, and each daughter has worn that ring as a reminder to her as she travels through the challenges of young womanhood.

    By embracing chaste and modest maidenhood. A daughter who commits herself to purity, who doesn’t engage in flirtatious behavior or silly chatter about boys, who doesn’t pursue the attentions of young men, will be a true blessing to her husband. She will become the kind of woman he can truly “safely trust in.”

    What do you do with your sons? I am a Christian woman deeply disturbed by the implications that the emphasis on “purity” above all has for women. But my question is: What about the MEN?! Did you also take your sons out and ask them to keep in it their pants? Did you give them purity rings?

  21. Pam, you seem to be such a lovely woman. What a great post, and what caring responses!

  22. I wish that people would not read to far into one’s blog as this is Pam’s article…Pam is speaking and interpreting the Bible i.e. obey and obedience. Please read the scriptures she references after her words before you judge her. 🙂

  23. Thank you Pam for the article! I have three girls, and two boys, and preparing them for their future husbands/wives is something so often we forget to think about. I believe very much in Biblical child training, and children LIKE limits, even if that’s not what they say. They need them. And yet it’s so easy to, in all our training and trying to show them what NOT to do, to forget about molding them and teaching them what TO DO. Don’t be discouraged by commentors who seem to only look to bring out what could be bad or wrong. The end result shows what works – and if we are able to keep our children’s hearts through their years of training, no matter what God has for them, and what path their life might take them down, they won’t turn out like so many who have said how much they were scarred and hurt by being brought up in a God honoring way. Parenting is never easy and many times we make mistakes, but the ‘proof is in the pudding!’ and from the sounds of it your children are all grown and if they are seeking to love the Lord and there is a good relationship between them and you and your husband, then it’s a little late for everyone to say what you are doing/have done isn’t going to work!!!! Thank you for trying to be a blessing and a help! There are mommies out here who truly appreciate it.

  24. Love it! I really do wish I had been raised this way. The best I had was a mother masking everything with religion while living the life of a very morally dangerous woman. Thankfully, I never knew that she wasn’t married and I never knew half the stuff I know now. I knew she was living to different lives one at church and the other completely opposite from God’s word. I chose to listen to her when she was in church mode.

    Growing up in a household where you are the result of an adulterous relationship gives you a lot of wisdom before you are ready for it. Since I knew what it was like to not have a father on earth I decided staying pure till marriage was what I needed to do not only to please my God but also kept future children from living through the hell I did as a child. If it hadn’t been for that I don’t know what I would have done with my life. I was also abused by a parent figure and it happened before I was 12 so it really effected me going through womanhood. What was worse was my mother didn’t believe me. I saw what she married and I saw what type of man she chose. Then I read the bible and heard in church what men were really supposed to be like. Well, I chose later at 19 years old a man who had been through my kind of life and a convert just like me. The problem is we read the bible about what kind of spouse to marry but we didn’t know about what kind of spouse we were supposed to be like.

    It wasn’t till 7 years ago I learned Proverbs 31 and it wasn’t till recently I have grown up at 26 years old and realized how damaging my mistakes are to our marriage and his as well. It is posts like this that one make me wish I had been raised to be the kind of wife you talk about and two it makes me realize the mistakes I made so far. Grant you we are all sinners and we are all forgiven when we repent. However, that doesn’t take the damage and the consequences away. I hate trying to figure life out all by myself. I was that bitter, angry, and rebellious teenager. I don’t know how I grew up to be the person that serves and loves God cause it just doesn’t make sense. However, I have gotten to that point in my life where I am just stunted cause no one will show us how to be the wife and husband we need to be. You don’t just wake up one day knowing how to spiritually encourage your husband, you don’t just wake up one day knowing how to keep house when you have never seen it done, you don’t just wake up one day and know how to love your husband (especially when you have aspergers syndrome), or how to have a bible study. We are both embarrassed to admit it but this is true. What is worse is no one around us will show us either. They just assume you will know if you are a christian or like the teaching ends at marriage. Thank you for posting this and thank you for explaining how to guide kids through this. I don’t have kids yet cause we want to be more spiritually ready but one day when we do I will keep this in my mind. Rather then just saying this is what happens when you do these things. I would rather show them the value in just doing what God says and the value in trusting what he says is always right.

  25. The truth has never been popular, people will always try to mold God and His word into what they want them to be, that’s probably part of the spiritual growth process. You are speaking the truth! My description of submission is this ” willingly placing yourself under the mission of another” as we do if we actually obey God! Making the priorities of someone else your own! Once this was explained in this light to me I never had an issue with “obeying” again. It is actually a wonderful experience because as you do this, you feel as if you are even more a part of that person or the God that you love! This is what I will try to convey to my daughters and my son because the Lord asks us all to submit to one another as brethren in Christ. Thank you for your article, and your replies, they are a lesson in graciousness in themselves!

  26. I read this article with great interest, as I have been reading a lot about biblical womanhood and motherhood. I am also very thankful for the comments that did not embrace this article with open arms. They verbalized some of my concerns.

    There are things I have been wondering about…like guarding your heart…Every single heart is deceitful and prone to sin, and we cannot guarantee our daughters will be totally pure and emotionally whole until they marry. I would love to see some honest posts from daughters who were raised in the way your article described. Is there anyone who could openly and honestly write about their struggles (who does not struggle) and failures and victories? I have read a lot what mothers have to say…would love to see daughters write too.

    My daughter is still young (8) and I already have so many questions. I am a bit tired of general advice (like this post) no matter how Biblical it is. A case study with real problems would be really helpful. All we get is “It has not been easy” in the comments section but nothing is ever described with details. I understand the need to protect the privacy but isn’t there anyone who would be willing to lay it all out? How does it really work with daughters?

    Also I want to make the point that there is a great need of missionary women in the world…Please make sure you train your daughters to be able to work alone in strange lands and environments too. Not everyone will live protected lives in their homes.

  27. Thanks for your lovely post. You have certainly copped a bit of flak on it, but your answers are understanding and gracious. I have 5 daughters and I love the idea of taking them out for dinner and chatting with them about the young womanhood years, keeping themselves pure for their life-long partner, committing to talking things over with the parents. I am going to speak to my husband about the possibility of doing something very similar with our girls.

  28. Hannah, I was raised in a Christian home but one that had many flaws as many do. We went to church every Sunday and I was a “believer” although I can say that I didn’t really know God much less have a relationship with Him. I wasn’t raised being taught how to be a wife or Mom other than by example. Waiting until marriage to have sex wasn’t really promoted either…I know it was probably brought up but not strongly encouraged and so I chose to do what I wanted…at 15! I didn’t get married until I was a few weeks shy of 27 and in that 10 & 1/2 years I dated/slept with over 100 men, had gonorhea, scabies and HPV! I don’t even remember some of their names. The fact that I am alive and don’t have AIDS is truly a miracle from God and one that I surely don’t deserve! I say all of this because I know my parents did not “intend” for me to live that life but they also didn’t do/say anything to encourage me to”not” do it. I take FULL responsibility for my actions and in no way am I saying it was their fault I chose to do those things. I have been married for 15 years in September and we have 3 little girls under the age of 10. You can better believe that we will be doing things differently around here and already have begun! I do believe that relationships that wait until marriage receive some type of blessing, lol. I don’t know what exactly that blessing is or would be since I didn’t even come close but I think when we obey God’s plan for marriage there is a reward. When a couple come to the marriage bed “pure” there are no comparison’s to others, there’s no remembering how someone else did things or touched you…when you’re heart is “pure” there isn’t a strange feeling when you hear an exes name or see them out with someone new and again there are no comparison’s, you are truly able to give yourself whole heartedly to each other. Obviously not everyone will do it this way but to want this for our children is just wanting them to have the best and who doesn’t want the best for their kids?

    As for teaching our daughters to be wives and mother’s, I would have loved some direction in those area’s as well, lol! Being a submissive wife isn’t always easy and something that I have had to work on in the last 9 years that we have been walking with the Lord…now mind you my husband is a godly man and in no way “makes” me do anything or forces my opinion in a situation, we talk about things and he values my thoughts and we make decisions together but if it were a tie breaker he would get the winning vote! I am not the best wife or mom and God continues to work with me in those areas but I feel I would have benefited from lessons from my mom on doing a budget, frugality, tithing/giving/saving, cooking, meal planning, chores/cleaning etc…not to mention what it means to be a godly wife and mom. I didn’t find Proverbs 31 until I was in my 30’s!

    Don’t assume that your kids are learning from you, be a deliberate parent and TALK to them!! Include them in the household “stuff” so they can take care of themselves and others! Explain that sex can wait and the things that can happen from having sex. Let them know that it doesn’t have to be like it is on t.v., it can be soooo much better and they are WORTH it!!

    This may be a bit much for some of you and I hope it was not offensive but I wanted to share my life with Hannah. God has been so good to me despite myself, I just wish that someone would have cared enough to share these things with me when I was growing up. I may not have chosen to live by them then, but I may have and I could have saved myself a lot off pain – emotionally & physically. We don’t have to be jaded & bitter, we can love & honor our husbands and adore our kids, it’s o.k.!! We should want to be wives and mothers that God, our husbands and children are proud of. Verse 23 says “Her husband is known in the gates…” he is known because of his wife’s virtue, his good reputation starts at home…verse 28 says “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband does also and he praises her…”. Who doesn’t want that? Who doesn’t want that for their daughter?

    How is it so hard to teach this to our little girls but yet so easy to fill their heads with Cinderella and other princesses?

  29. Thank you, Tiffany, for your wonderful testimony. I’m sure it’s one of the examples of the pain that Pam is trying to encourage us to spare our daughters from. I grew up in a home where my father was extremely domineering. He wanted to keep me pure and he sheltered me, but not always for the right reasons. I believe he was more concerned with his reputation than my heart. But, whatever, I admit it spared me from a lot of pain, even if it wasn’t always done with the right intention.

    I rebelled in my heart toward my parents, though not so much outwardly, as I was afraid of my father. I did a “few” things that I now regret and now even still haunt me (I have been married for 21 years). THIS is the pain I want to spare my own daughter and sons from. Even though I wasn’t blatantly rebellious, I did step out from under my parent’s protection, and got burned.

    When we look at God’s word, it is important to implement it, not based on the mistakes of others, but on the blessings he promises to give. Just because someone misuses God’s word, doesn’t make God’s word erroneous. His word is true and He desires to give us a joyful and beautiful life.

    As for the person who commented and said what if she wants to work or her husband wants her to work? What about the kids? Does anyone care about what they want? Have you ever heard a young child express how much he loves coming home to an empty house after school with no mother present? Or how she is glad her mother works so much she never gets to spend much time with her or her mother is extremely grumpy when she is home because she is stressed with all the “catching up” she has to do? Or maybe how glad she is her mother is not like her friend’s mom who bakes cookies and finds time to play with her and always makes a warm homemade meal at dinnertime for the family to enjoy?

    And as for the obedience-employee topic. I also have five sons. Three of them are teenagers/young adults, and while there is still a lot of room for growth in the area of obedience, I would consider them to be among the most obedient and respectful children I personally know. My oldest two work at Publix and they are known for being the hardest workers at their store and their managers love them and they are promoting them fast. In fact, few people have been promoted as fast as them at their store or I would venture to say in most of Publix.

  30. Like Kari, but for much different reasons, I entered my adult life without the skills needed to keep my home, manage my finances, and so on. I would like to prepare my son and daughter for life like Pam is doing for her children. Even if they never marry they won’t have so many practical hurdles to overcome as they journey through whatever life they’ll live. Plus, I would have loved to graduate high school and have pieces of my first apartment furnished!

  31. Dianne said, “As for the person who commented and said what if she wants to work or her husband wants her to work? What about the kids? Does anyone care about what they want? Have you ever heard a young child express how much he loves coming home to an empty house after school with no mother present? Or how she is glad her mother works so much she never gets to spend much time with her or her mother is extremely grumpy when she is home because she is stressed with all the “catching up” she has to do? Or maybe how glad she is her mother is not like her friend’s mom who bakes cookies and finds time to play with her and always makes a warm homemade meal at dinnertime for the family to enjoy?”

    My mom has worked pretty much all my life. There were a few summers that she didn’t–when she was a teacher–so I think I can, from experience, say that Dianne’s interpretation of working moms isn’t correct.
    Was it stressful for my mom? I’m sure it was at time. Did I feel any residual stress? Maybe, but I don’t really remember. But my mom was absolutely amazing in cooking, baking stuff for me to share at school (birthday parties). She spent time with me, and didn’t let me “fall through the cracks” so to speak. Just because a woman works outside of the home does NOT mean that she can’t do the things that stay-at-home moms do. It all depends on how the family approaches it. Dad would help with the cooking–he’s a great cook and for a few years his job was closer to home so he got home before Mom and I. We had a long car ride to my school (she worked there too) so I would do homework in the car, she was able to encourage me to do my devotions…basically, I was her captive audience for two hours a day.
    But I think that the key thing I want to express here, is that my parents never made a production about how our family ran. And they never asked me what I thought–they shouldn’t have! As the child, I was not to be making family decisions like that. We did what we had to do. Mom and Dad chose that our family would work this way, so that’s what we did. I never knew any different, and I didn’t grow up scarred because my mom wasn’t able to stay home. Really, it’s what you make of it. The children don’t always need to know every detail–really. Some things should just be between mom and dad. And when they provide a unified front of “this is what we’re doing” and don’t make a big deal, the children don’t know any different.
    Sorry if I got a little preachy. My Mom has been the most amazing mother in the world, and I get tired of hearing people act like what she did all those years for our family wasn’t “good enough.” Trust me, the woman is smart and could have had her own career. But she always shaped her plans around Dad’s and what worked for our family. To me, that’s exactly what a wife should do. If she needs to work to help the family–either financially or for her own sanity or whatever since it’s different for each family–then there’s nothing wrong with her working. Dad would have loved for Mom to have stayed home with me, especially when I was little, but it didn’t work out that way. And may I say that God must have planned it that way.
    In short, maybe we should trust God to take care of those details and not take up arms for either side. However He blesses each family is part of His plan for them. And really, that’s all we need to know at the end of the day.

    Thanks for letting me ramble,
    Carli 🙂

  32. Thank you Pam for posting about raising our daughters to be good wives. I had never thought about actually encouraging her to buy things for her future home. That is an excellent idea. I have been working with her to learn about cleaning, spending money wisely, taking care of children, crafts for women to keep their hands busy and their minds sharp, choosing friends wisely, etc., but I hadn’t thought about actually physically preparing her future home with her husband.

    As for the negative comments – I often wonder why those particular women even bother to follow blogs that they obviously don’t agree with. It would be like me trolling blogs about the mother who works outside of the home – that’s not how I live, so why would I go read blogs for that topic. If you don’t agree on raising your children to be ready for marriage and family, then don’t bother raining on the parades of those women who are doing it. I for one desire to glean wisdom from people like Pam who are living and raising their children in this way. Our country needs these wise women to guide the women who missed out on being raised with this knowledge.

    Perhaps the divorce rates in our country is reflected in some of the negative attitudes.

  33. Carli, it sounds like you did have an amazing mom! What beautiful memories the two of you must have had! It is obvious that your parents had a well-thought out plan for how to happily run your family in spite of your mom having to work and it’s obvious your mom was intentional about spending quality time with you. and the fact that she worked at your school probably meant you got to see her even a little more. That is definitely ideal if mom has to work.

    Now, while I definitely love my mom and in many ways she is amazing, she had no choice, but to work. But my memories are not anything like yours. Instead of an hour long car ride, I have very sad memories of waking up in a hurry, trying to catch her before she left for work in the morning, just to give her a hug and a kiss, but in reality waking up a minute too late, just in time to watch her drive away. There were many years also where she worked the opposite shift of when I went to school and that meant I was only able to see her a very rushed short hour before she was off to work. I missed her dearly and my childhood feels so empty when I look back on it.

    But this is not limited to moms who have to work. There are many, many women who are caught in this same cycle by choice- at least initially- and their families suffer. And maybe some people don’t think that children should factor into the decision to work or not to work, but I do. I mean, the reason I do most of what I do is for the Lord and for my family and my children compose 6/8 of my family.

    Now, for the wife who has to work- or wants to, for that matter- intentionally planning family time is crucial. But as most of us know, it is difficult to have a busy, fulfilling, thriving career and not compromise your family at the same time. I have met families who seem able to balance it all, until the children are much older and then the fruit of mom always being out of the home is evident, unless someone else such as a grandmother has stepped in by that point.

  34. Umm, Pammie we are all allowed to express our opinion. No particular person’s opinion is more important than another. If someone wants to read a blog about x, but lives in a world of y, why should it matter if they comment on a blog? Just because one may relate more easily to a blog than another person does not mean that the first person is more worthy to comment. Are all of the comments on this post tastefully worded and gracious? No. Should the author try to express him/herself better? Yes.

    We’re not all going to agree with each other, so we need to work on disagreeing gracefully.


  35. Thank you for your post. I have 5 daughters and have a very similar parenting style. I was raised the way the most of your critics suggest and was ill prepared to be a wife and mother. I really love the way my daughters are turning out though. God’s ways are always best. Bless you for posting truth.

  36. My mother was raised this way and rebelled when she was a teenager. She went on to have me out of wedlock (and I have never met my biological father) and live a very independent life. She is now married to a wonderful man but struggles with letting him lead. She raised me to be independent and I made some really stupide decisions as a teenager. I am now married and striving to be a submissive wife to a Godly and loving husband. I can see the difference in my life and her’s. She is very bitter and always complaining of something. I love my mother dearly and she has sacrificed over and over again for me. But she has always told me that she wished she would have listened and honored her parents. God has a perfect plan written out in His Word. Parents need to train their children to follow God wholeheartedly! I once hear it said that you wouldn’t let a young plant stay uncovered on a night frost was predicted. Parents need to shelter their children and pray daily that the child will choose to obey God.

    That is definitely a jumble. I’m very thankful that God reached out to me at a young age. I strive to obey my husband every day and follow his leadership just as the church should follow the headship of Christ. And unlike my mother who lived very independently with bitter, I have joy. I pray for each of you that you will read God’s word and see His truth clearly.

    Thank you Pam for this post! My husband and I are raising our children in the same manner and my mother is right there sharing her heartbreaking story of rebellion. God does redeem!

  37. The first time I saw ‘RAISING HOME MAKERS’, I knew there ‘ll be something good in it and since I’ve been learning what I’m not privileged to be thought by my mother, enjoying every bit of the article. But this one is wao, thanks for your post.

  38. Hmmm…such a thought provoking post.

    I value everything written in this post and ALL the comments. Like many I did not have a Godly older woman teaching me as in Titus 2….I wish I had. I am now the older woman…but how am I to be the Titus 2 older woman?

    There are so many beautiful scriptures about our role as women, wives and mothers… We must study and then live by the scriptures.

    We must be about our Lord’s calling for us…it is the only way to turn our families and thus turn our nation towards Him.

    Great post…great insight…thank you for taking the time to write what is on your heart! May the Lord bless you and all the women reading this post, may the Holy Spirit refresh us and draw us closer to Him.

  39. This article is beautifully written. I am looking forward to sharing it with my three daughters. We have raised each of them with most of these things in mind but there are some ideas in the blog that we have not considered that I think our girls would enjoy. Two of our daughters are married with little girls of their own but we still have one daughter at home who would love to begin buying items for her future home and two granddaughters who I believe would love the idea too.
    I would like to say something about the different comments-pro and con-i did not read all of the comments so I may be repeating someone else who has already replied concerning girls they may know who say were raised in this fashion and rebelled. I think when a child rebels to this type parenting it is not because the teachings are incorrect but because it was not taught in love but administered as rules that must be obeyed. I believe that many Mom’s who read this and who have made the decision to work feel threatened by this type of article. This may not be for everyone but the author and many other families believe that this is the best way for their own family. My husband and I began teaching our children very young that if they did marry that God had already chosen a mate for them. We spoke/speak of their future mates often. We did not teach our girls that they had to be stay at home Mom’s but encouraged them in this direction as the very best way to raise their children but not the only way. Both of our married daughter’s attended college and both made the decision to be stay at home Mom’s.
    Thank you for sharing how you have decided to do things in your home-

  40. Thank you for such an encouraging post. I followed this post over from Raising Homemakers and have enjoyed my read today.

    I’m just about certain that you are the same one who wrote all the Doorpost books that were dear to my heart while I was (yes, was) raising/homeschooling our children. They were such a blessing and encouragement through the years. Yes, years 🙂

  41. In comment #21, Rebecca asks what we have taught our sons about purity. First of all, we definitely did not overlook them in this process! They bear a great deal of responsibility in this area! We didn’t want them to be the guys other parents have to protect their daughters from!

    We taught them from a young age to expect our oversight in their interactions with girls. We taught them to respect the differences in girls, to understand that girls think and respond differently than boys, and to not flirt with or seek to win the affections of a young lady until they were prepared to consider marriage, and given permission by her father to seek to win her heart. We used the term “courtship”, but I’m hesitant to use that term because of all the different meanings people seem to assign to that word.

    Each of the boys started at a very early age, to save 1/4 of his earnings, which went into a fund specified for his future wife. I believe this, in some mysterious way, strongly influenced their thinking about marriage, and the importance of waiting until the proper time for the Lord to lead them to the wives He had for each of them.

    All three have very different and very beautiful courtship stories, and all three saved their first kiss for their wedding day. Certainly we have just as much responsibility to train our boys as we have responsibility to train and protect our girls!

  42. For me it was the opposite case than Nicole’s. I had to seek every means to get out of that family who wanted me to be a full-time working spinster, and the last word isn’t told yet. In this very moment I’m going to be locked into house until the next job – God knows when – and I’m training with martial arts just to be able to go out. I don’t think to be the only one in this world, and as Christian homemakers I think we should build up a rescue network for girls in troubles. Maybe does it already exist in the US? In Europe there isn’t anything similar. What do you think?

  43. Pam,

    I justed wanted to say how much I love this site and your blog. I am sure I will rehash others comments, and I am sorry. I work as a social work in a hospital for the NICU and pediatrics and it has been aa long day. I digress,

    I was a Christian female who fell away from the church for a few years before and during pregnancy. I am now a born again Christian single mother of a 5 year old boy. I grew up in a mega city, very poor and worked for everything that I had. I met an amazing man of God who has 2 children (his wife divorced him for no real reason) and we read this site together. The best book I ever read is “What Paul Really Said About Women”. It breaks down all of those variations of a Greek word Paul selected such as “submit” as opposed to one of the 6 other variations he could have used which would have translated more like treat your wive like property. The book was amazing. We want all of our children to follow Paul the way he intended to be heard. Marriages I think can work if you focus on being holy rather being happy. Keep up the great writing.

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