The time has come at last, to re-inspect the lecture that was handed to me fourteen years ago: “What’s a Girl to Do?” by Douglas Winston Phillips, Esq.
— Insert CD into player. —
::: Sappy medieval banquet-hall music intro :::
(This is not a good sign.)
Here we go……………….
“…My pastor, a man by the name of Robert Gifford…had seven children…five of them were girls. And there was something very remarkable and unusual about the girls in this family: they loved being women. They LOVED being women! They were excited about being girls! And you felt it when you came to their home. You felt it, because there was excitement about being a Keeper at Home, being a helper to their father, being a helper to their mother. Working alongside their brothers. There was a spirit of servanthood…there is a story I frequently tell: the first time I came to this family, I sat down at the dinner table, and I was about to clear off my plate, and bring my plate to the sink, when the young girl -thirteen years of age- came up to me and said, ‘Oh, I’m happy to do that for you!’ and I said, ‘No, Dawn,’ -for that was her name- ‘I’m glad to do it. My mom taught me to clear off the table.’ And she said, ‘I don’t think you understand. I’m a woman of God. And I’m preparing to be a mom, and it’s my privilege to do this for you. Please let me clear off your table.’ And I thought, ‘Where did this girl come from?! Surely this can’t be for real!'”
Surely indeed. When before had this privileged young boy been so waited upon by a young woman? What a delightful experience! Had he really never before met a girl who enjoyed being feminine?
The concept of we women enthusiastically embracing our femininity is hardly extraordinary. Neither is the idea of us serving our guests and friends. I have been part of a local Mothers of Preschoolers group for nine years, along with hundreds of ‘mainstream'(!) Christian women, and I cannot count the number of times one of them has offered to clear my plate from our brunch table (often I decline because I want seconds 😀 ). This is nothing unusual. I clear my family’s and guests’ dinner plates, sometimes. It is the spirit of mutual love and servanthood that causes us to behave this way. Not because any of us is obsequious, or because clearing the table is solely the job of a “virtuous woman.”
“I am absolutely convinced that the importance of training up a culture of virtuous womanhood, of reinforcing this, of wisely investing our daughters’ time in eternal things which will build them up as women of God, is one of the central foundational things we must do, and is one of the biggest gaps in the church of Jesus Christ today. There is a huge hole in our training program; there is a hole in the church. It’s affecting us at many, many different levels, and it’s because we’ve assimilated our girls into a culture of manhood, and we’ve set aside a culture of virtuous womanhood.”
When daughters are young, we -fathers and mothers- help direct them in how to wisely spend their days. But eventually, as they grow into adults, they choose how to invest their time. Young women are not intended to live in a state of perpetual blinking childishness, like the fragile and weepy Elsie Dinsmore character we were encouraged to read. A true virtuous woman is wise and strong, and listens to the Holy Spirit as He whispers direction into her heart; this is a culture that we Christian parents most certainly have not set aside.
“There is not a single area of neutrality in the entire universe.”
Nothing is neutral? When choosing a paint color for our walls, how do we concur which one is godly and which is sinful? Are the alphabet books we read to our toddlers good or bad? When deciding on which route to take to a destination, how do you discern which is the right one and which is wrong? Is a computer holy or evil? Is a rolling pin of God or of the devil?
Certainly, all gifts come from God. Things like brilliance, talents, tools, and resources: these have been used for great goodness, and also great evil. It all depends on how people -like Nero, Bloody Mary, Saint Patrick, Florence Nightingale, Ted Bundy, Mother Teresa, Billy Graham, and others- choose to use them.
“The family is the basic institution of Dominion. It’s through the family that we subdue culture. It’s through the family that we influence people.”
Nowhere in the Bible does it say this. The Apostle Paul was clearly a single man, and his influence on the world is still felt today. When Jesus sent out His disciples to the towns and villages, there was no mention of their families joining them. The family is absolutely one of the avenues God uses to convey His truth; but it is not the only one.
“That’s God’s program for the family: that we would be an economically viable, self-sufficient agent for dominion. In the fully functional family, a family has a vision for ministry, for education within the home, for ministry to the poor; that’s exactly what the Bible says, by the way, about the family. That the family is the ministry to the poor, that the fully functional family is the. most. powerful. tool of Bible-directed cultural transformation within the church…There is none more effective than the family.”
A family is not “fully functional” unless they have their own “self-sufficient” home business? The Bible never says any such thing. A family business or ministry can be a beautiful thing indeed. But to claim that this is a requirement in order to qualify as a Biblical Family, smacks of legalism.
There are many examples in the Bible of God calling an individual out from among his or her immediate family and onto a sacred -often solo- mission. Think Abraham, Esther, Gideon, Samson, Elijah, Elisha, David, Deborah, and John the Baptist.
“The Body of Christ, the church today, has cheated itself of one of the greatest assets for dominion by guilt-manipulating our daughters into the belief that they must act, think, and pursue the lifestyle God intended for men, before they can have self-worth.”
“The lifestyle God intended for men:” Gallivanting about, wherever they please, doing as they wish, while their womenfolk dutifully tend the home with nary a moms’ night out between them. Pretty sure that is not what God intended. And the only “guilt-manipulating” that is going on here is you claiming that a woman must only “pursue” things in the home as an “asset” of her male overlord.
“The church is impoverished today…we are weaklings…our families are struggling…we’re living on two-income families…we are sending our children out to the Canaanites to be educated….the church is in no position to minister to the world….one reason why we are, is because we’ve tossed our daughters out of the home, and we’ve relegated the role of womanhood and of mother to something which is passe’ of centuries past.”
“We are weaklings”? Speak for yourself, buddy.
Training your daughters to grow their wings so they have the strength and wisdom to someday fly out of the proverbial nest, is hardly tossing them out of the home. Deuteronomy 6 stresses the importance of teaching your children about God, but it never says that you must homeschool them. And, in case you haven’t seen a map recently, “Canaan” is on the other side of the world; the commute would be too much.
The role of motherhood is actually quite revered in our churches today. What is totally passe’, also literally unbiblical? Relegating women to only homemaking; the (in)famous Proverbs 31 woman did far more than raise children and keep house.
“If you are a father, and God has given you daughters, you have the potential for being the most powerful man in the church of Jesus Christ today….there is such a want of godly womanhood, there is such a lack of godly Christian homes, that if you are willing to take the bull by the horn and communicate vision and raise up your daughters for the glory of God, invest their time wisely…people will flock to you from far away to see your family, to see what you are doing…This is a pattern we see throughout Scripture: a way to bring great men into your home, a way to influence others, a way to disciple others, is through the father who has daughters, and he’s trained them to have a joyful countenance and joyful service unto the Lord.”
Sounds like a male power trip: If you are willing to wrangle your
women girls into complete subservience, then you can lure people to yourself with the shiny promise of ultimate familial power. ‘Look at me! What a mighty, godly man am I! You should envy and emulate me! Follow this formula and you shall be as I am!’
“We should not allow in our play life what God would not allow in real life….God says that witchcraft is an abomination. So please, whatever you do, don’t play little witch games; don’t pretend that sorcery or magic is something fun or cute, or all these fantasy things that girls like to play with today. All these sort of things; don’t pretend that this is a good thing. If it’s not a good thing in the real world, it’s not a good thing in your pretend world. In fact, it’s an abomination before God. And it takes us away from the path of training up a young woman to be a serious, energetic, intelligent, fully equipped woman of God.”
So, not only does he recommend that you place your daughters inside a narrow compartment of womanhood where their options are few and solely servile; he also sternly discourages make-believe and fairy tales: ‘Daughters, you must live like an “intelligent” scullery maid; and don’t you dare pretend to be anything other than a scullery maid, or that a fairy godmother will come to your rescue! Because that would distract you “from the path” of serving me!’
Yes, we are absolutely to stay away from witchcraft in real life, which literally is having conversations and dealings with demons, and the occasional chat with a dead person. Like King Saul when he went to the witch of Endor and talked to Samuel from beyond the grave. Samuel was like, “Dude, why are you bothering me?” (Modern paraphrase) It most certainly can be done. But it isn’t safe, and God says to leave it alone. Why would anyone want to have discourse with a demon anyway? No thanks. As Once Upon a Time’s Rumpelstiltskin often says with his evil laugh, “It always comes with a price, dearie.” And that price is never worth it.
As far as fairy tales go, there is probably more truth in one of those than in the entirety of this lecture. That is why these “tales as old as time” continue to mean so much people: they have timeless lessons of love, hope, self-sacrifice, and defeating manipulative villains.
“God wants a woman fully educated and intelligent; the question is: to what end? Is it to have a career? Is it to have an independent life? Or is it to be a woman of God?”
Obviously you cannot be a woman of God whilst having a career and independence, because the Bible says so……..absolutely nowhere.
“We’ve got problems today, brethren, and you need to understand the problems if you’re going to find the solution. One of the biggest problems we have, that you’re fighting against, and that you have to deal with right now, is the reality of the fact that you’ve got an entire culture -I mean, everything- which is conspiring to belittle Biblical Womanhood. I’m not just talking about Hollywood. I’m not just talking about the magazines. I’m not just talking about television. I’m talking about your local church. I’m talking about your friends. I’m talking about your parents. I’m talking about people who have been assimilated into the culture.”
Why are you only talking to the “brethren”? What about the ‘sisteren’ in the congregation there?
Anyway, conspiracies abound! It’s time to pull away from your families, your churches, your friends. Anything mainstream and normal that reflects modern society. Time to put on old-fashioned-style clothes and try to find -or start- a church of “likeminded” people who want to live an isolated lifestyle where your children do not associate with the outside world, and your wives and daughters are kept in their proper obeisant place within the home. M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village is the perfect blueprint! I mean, look at how well that story ended.
“We think that the way things are today is the way they’ve always been, or the way they should be….If you just had the Bible to guide your life, would it be normative that women be the primary providers for the family? Would that be normative? Would it be normative that we train our daughters primarily in terms of a career and secondarily in terms of marriage? Would that be normative? Would it be normative that we put our daughters in an environment where they are competing against, fighting against, men?”
If you say the word “Normative” again, violence may ensue.
As the matter of fact, we do have the Bible to guide our lives. The whole thing. Not little cherry-picked verses that have been twisted and taken out of context for selfish purposes. You do know that the devil quotes the Bible, right? He is the original Twister of Scriptures; apparently sometimes he shares his tricks with people. Go figure.
“How many women do you know who have to bear the curse of the man? Try seventy percent of our culture. Did you know that women are bearing the double curse? This is a tragedy of enormous proportions! It is destroying the church. It is destroying the family. It is killing these women. It is killing them. And it is wrong. Totally wrong.”
Dripping with false sorrow, the great Chauvinist successfully convinces hundreds that any sacred calling in Christ other than Homemaking, is equivalent to bondage for a woman.
That is truly a “tragedy of enormous proportions.”
“Churches are actually encouraging a form of Christian Feminism.”
By “Christian Feminism” you mean taking the Bible seriously when it talks about things like “daughters who were prophetesses,” “there is no male or female; you are all one in Christ Jesus” and “be subject to one another,” rather than only focusing on submission for women. Good! I’m glad to hear it.
“There’s been the feminist view. The satanically-inspired view of the French Revolution, the view that goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden, a view which says, ‘You can be as God. You can be by yourself. Individualism. Egalitarianism…What happened when we adopted the nineteenth amendment [women voting], was that we stopped being a nation of families and we became a nation of individuals. Prior to that, the family was represented in the gates of the land by the head of the home. Now the wife cancels the husband; the husband cancels the wife. And you see, this is what feminism has done to you. Instead of thinking as a family unit, as thinking as one, where the two become one and they co-labor together, you think of yourself as ‘I’m the wife and he’s the husband, and I’ve got my deal and he’s got his deal, and the twain shall never come together.’ This is the egalitarian spirit of feminism. The spirit of the French Revolution. The satanic spirit of the devil in the garden. It’s exactly the opposite of how God wants us to think.”
The wife and husband automatically cancel out each other because they both can vote? Clearly you need to interview more couples about their political views. And your criticism of the very existence of the nineteenth amendment is glaring proof of a deep-rooted misogyny; the Bible never forbids women the privilege of voting.
“You can be as God.” Yes, that “individualism” sounds exactly (not) like, “You are an individual created by God.”
Speaking of snakes as you were, Jesus called the Pharisees a “Brood of vipers;” He did not appreciate how they hypocritically placed burdens upon the people’s shoulders, burdens which they themselves would not even carry. They demanded total submission and obedience, yet exhibited none of their own, “lording it over” the people instead of serving them in brotherly love. Sounds eerily familiar.
“You’re a Christian, you call yourself a woman, you’re NOT being a keeper at home: You have blasphemed God.”
You’re a ‘Christian,’ you call yourself a man; you preach feminine servility while sexually grooming and molesting the young woman who helps care for your children? Who has really blasphemed God?
Anytime a man speaks in front of hundreds of people and pounds his fist angrily over the subject of female submission, it strikes me as suspicious.
Being “keepers” of our households is a joy and an honor. We cherish our husbands, our children, our homes. But God never says that we may only do this. Some of us have other gifts and callings as well. He is not limited in this femininity that He gave us.
“The Bible teaches that a virtuous woman is ALWAYS under the direct authority of a man, with one exception: that exception is for widows with households…the normative pattern of Scripture is that there NEVER is a time when a woman is ‘out from under the roof of a father or a husband.’ Never. [References Numbers 30]”
Um, nope it doesn’t. It never says that. You totally made that up. Cases in point: Miriam, Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milkah, Tirzah, Ruth, Naomi, Rebekah, Deborah, Anna, Mary, Martha, and Lydia.
“Before a woman is qualified to be married, she must demonstrate that she is comfortable, happy, serving her father under his roof because that’s exactly what she’s going to be doing with her husband. Sons leave; but daughters are given. And there are no normative examples in the entire Bible of fathers sending their daughters out from under their protection and provision.”
‘I’m sorry young lady; you only scored a D minus on the Marriage Qualification Test. I’m afraid you will have to study harder and take it again.’ What a bummer.
There are no “normative examples” of a lot of things in the Bible; that does not mean we are paralyzed from acting on them today. The fact is, when a daughter grows up, she is no longer a child. She is an adult. In our country today, that age is eighteen. As a child, she was required to obey her parents. As an adult, she is still required to honor her parents, but no longer must she take orders from them. So therefore, her father will not be “sending” her anywhere: college, marriage, or the North Pole.
A young woman who follows Christ is wise to seek advice from trusted people in her life such as friends and mentors; these people could possibly include her parents. Ultimately, she will lean into God for direction on where He will send her.
“By the way, there is one example in the Bible of a father who did let his daughter travel out from under the roof of himself. And that’s the example of Dinah, who went into a city and was raped. The only example we have of a father releasing his daughter without protection or covering is a case where the girl is raped. And judgement falls on that family. May I suggest to you dads that when you send your daughters thousands of miles away from home for year after year after year, no covering, no protection, not even a local family, or a local church, nothing, you are placing them in peril?”
Let’s examine the story of Dinah. She was simply visiting her girlfriends in town; the Bible does not condemn her or say she did anything wrong or foolish. It also never states that Jacob erred by allowing her to go visit with “the daughters of the land.” Shechem “took her and lay with her by force,” “was deeply attracted to her,” “loved the girl, and spoke tenderly to her,” and asked Jacob if he could marry her. So why does “judgement fall” upon their family? Because Dinah’s brothers deceptively agreed to the marriage, but instead slaughtered the entire male population of that city, stole their goods, then took their women and children prisoners -all supposedly to avenge their sister’s honor.
This story is not even close to an anti-college cautionary tale.
“Society was a lot less dangerous then [Titanic era] than it is today.”
Was it, now? Nonsense. Society has always been dangerous, in certain areas and situations. In centuries past, it often was not safe for a woman to walk through a city or town alone; on your average American sidewalk today, no one bats an eyelash over it.
“A daughter best prepares for marriage and prepares for her life work by learning to help her father, by learning to contribute to the family, by learning to be an extension of the ministry of her father.”
I keep thinking about my new Shark Navigator extension hose. My stairs could use a good vacuuming right now.
“Train your daughters to be your helpmeet, because someday they’re going to be somebody else’s helpmeet.”
The Bible never tells fathers to train their daughters to be their helpmeets. But out of curiosity, how far are you willing to take this concept? It can get creepy really quickly. In dozens of families in this “likeminded community,” horrifically, the fathers and brothers have taken it to the point of physical incest.
“God forbid that you should seek independence, the spirit of egalitarianism, the career philosophy; all of these which are satanic, confusion, deceptions.”
“Independence” from the bonds of legalism. “The spirit of egalitarianism:” The fact that each of God’s daughters is just as valuable and cherished in His eyes as our brothers are. “The career philosophy:” A ‘talent’ (Matt. 25) that God does not want us to bury in the ground
God does not forbid any of these things, and your claims about them are the very definition of confusing deceptions.
“Her [Lot’s wife] heart was in her own will, her own spirit, the spirit of the age, and she turned back, and she was turned into a pillar of salt.”
Apparently he is implying that if we consider doing anything that we enjoy besides homemaking, we will be turned into salt. Looking at colleges? Iodized table salt. Thinking about a job? Kosher pickling salt. Moving out on your own? Pink Himalayan Sea Salt.
What actually happened to Lot’s wife? She was lagging behind as they were fleeing the doom of their city, and made the foolish decision to look behind her. Sodom and Gomorrah was going up in flames and lava, Mount Vesuvius-style. If you look at pictures of archaeology digs from Pompeii, you understand how instantaneously people were covered in volcanic ash and molten rock. If you are running for your life, it simply is not worth it to stop and look back, even for a quick volcano-selfie; you may end up a salt-coated human statue.
In conclusion, the real question we are asking is not “What’s a girl to do?”
The question is: What, specifically, is a woman to do?
For you and I are no longer girls (as evidenced by my rapidly silvering hair and eye ‘crinkles’).
The answer for your life, dear sister, is not one that I or any human can give. You must find it in our heavenly Father. What is He whispering to your soul?