The Boundless blog is a collection of unique voices addressing the issues young adults care about right now – everything from dating and faith to current events.
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Roundtable: Moms at Work
Some things should never be discussed at a dinner party; these include religion, politics and whether mothers should work outside the home. But since Boundless is no dinner party, we're going to kick the proverbial hornet's nest. All of the women on our panel are working moms: some by choice, some not. But what they have in common is a desire to keep family first and honor God in the process. How and why they do it is an important discussion around an issue that's not going away anytime soon. Culture: Answers to Tough Questions
Why aren't my prayers answered? Why does God allow His children to make bad decisions? Why can't Christians agree on doctrine? What if I never get married? Questions like these keep us up at night, but instead of continuing to stew over them, we foisted them on Alex McFarland for answers. Alex is an internationally-known apologist, speaker and culture expert. His newest book, The 21 Toughest Questions Your Kids Will Ask About Christianity, is a great resource for parents and non-parents. In this segment, Lisa goes after him with some perplexing questions applicable to young adults.
Inbox: I Was Raped
She's a victim of rape, and hasn't worked through the pain and shame. On top of it all, she wants to date, but is afraid that her story will hurt her chances of finding love and a lasting marriage. Can she move ahead toward healing? Counselor Dr. Jared Pingleton offers hope and practical suggestions.
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Is she still a virgin? No. Does that mean that she's missing part of her heart, make her damaged goods, or leave her as less of a person? Not at all. This is the logical extreme of Emotional Purity teachings, and it makes me sick.
The fact that a victim should even feel the need to ask that question is a sad reflection on society.
In my opinion, if a mother can balance caring for kids and a career, then she should do it. We have a lot of dads nowadays whose jobs alone cannot pay the bills. In fact, the idea of a working mom is nothing new. In America's early years and during World War II, many mothers were balancing work and family and somehow made it work. I believe that it depends on the situation and that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to it.
--One more thing for working moms: Sending children to preschool is actually a very good idea. Kids who attend preschool are far more likely to do well in college and have a stable career.
--Tough Questions: My main problem is a lack of work. I have to read that passage in Jeremiah over and over and over again, as well that part of Matthew about anxiety. For the past few months, things have been extremely difficult for me, and it's all I can do to keep my sanity. I have bigger problems than still being a virgin. I don't care about sex, nor have I ever cared about it. I find our culture's obsession with sex to be quite disgusting. Personally, I do not care if I spend the rest of my life as an unwed virgin.
--I can slightly identify with the rape victim there. I have not been raped or anything, but I am dragging a messed-up past that seems to be driving my future in a direction that does not look pretty and would doom any future relationship that I may have with a woman. This is one of several reasons why I try to prevent marriage from happening to me.
--@MrsAshleyTOF, it's letters like this one that are why I'm so hard on guys who insist that only a virgin will be acceptable as a bride.
I have about a million things to add, but it's probably better if I just say nothing at all and stew for a while.
--I appreciated the segment on working moms, being one myself. I feel like an overcorrection of conservative Christian culture is to look down on working moms. And on more than one occasion I have thought about leaving church because of the attitude of others regarding working and using daycare. I am fortunate to be able to work part-time (some from home), have excellent childcare, and very involved husband and (one set of) grandparents. But I do wish I had a more supportive church and friends.
--Yes, I never realized how damaging the purity culture teachings can be for rape victims until reading blog articles about it. The church never talks about consent, only about sex inside of marriage and sex outside of marriage. This not only ignores rape victims in general, which is bad enough, but marital rape victims in particular. Some Christian teachers could easily give one the impression that marital rape does not even exist.
--GrinandBarrett: I disagree with this one point: She IS still a virgin. Sex is consensual, rape is not. Giving up your virginity is something you do, not something that's forced.
--Sorry, mrmah85, but virginity is a technical term. Warranty void if seal is broken. Even if you could make the argument that she still has the ability to voluntarily give herself to her husband for the first time, she is still going to have huge hang ups about sex and mental/emotional issues to work through. Any guy who thinks a girl who slept with her high school boyfriend before becoming a Christian four years ago comes with too much baggage to be suitable for marriage is never going to be able to make the argument that a rape victim is somehow acceptable.
--Another good podcast.
First, I'm not saying all women should stay at home when they have children. (I don't even know, if God blesses me with marriage and children, if I will be a full-time stay-at-home mom the entire my children live at home). I can't empathize with how difficult it can be to be home 24/7 with children because I haven't experienced that. My desire is to be a SAHM when my children are young.
Socialization and education can occur for young children without preschool. My siblings and I didn't go to preschool, yet our parents educated us and we had quite a bit of planned socialization. My mom taught me to read, and I was reading at the age of four despite not going to preschool. She homeschooled my siblings and me from pre-k through 12th grade. The idea some people have (and I'm not saying the woman at the Round Table was suggesting this) that socialization is a problem for most homeschooled children is a fallacy. Even in the 80's, when I was born and I later began school, homeschool families were interacting with others who were both homeschooled and in "traditional" school settings.
I think many things we in the Western world consider "needs" are not actual needs. When my siblings and I were children, my mom stayed home full-time. She did some part-time work when we were in junior high and high school, but she worked from home. Then, when we'd all graduated high school, she began working full-time as a junior high teacher at a private school. There were financial sacrifices my parents had to make because there were not two full-time incomes. But, for their family (and I'm not suggesting it's true for everyone) it was the right thing. For instance, we didn't have the newest, highest end cars growing up, but the cars we had were reliable cars. But, God truly is every person's provider and we lacked nothing we needed. Now, my parents drive higher-end cars, take more expensive vacations, and do many other things they weren't able to afford when my mom stayed home. And, it wasn't just my mom who made a career sacrifice. The type of job my dad has now requires frequent traveling. He chose not to take that type of job (which would have paid more) when he had children at home.
Someone at the Round Table commented about it being all right for a woman to work as long as God is not closing those doors. I don't know if that logic is the best to use to make a decision. Just because there is an, "open door" it does not mean we are to walk through it. God allows His children to make right or wrong choices.
The idea of women staying at/focusing on the home (and I'm not saying it has to be full-time) is not simply a social one. Paul writes instructions to different categories of people in Titus 2. He tells Titus that older women are to, 2:5b-6 "...encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored." Keeping al of scripture in view we should consider Proverbs 31 as well. We see in Proverbs 31 a woman who is skilled at home, and with work outside of her home.
Alex's Q&A was great. Also, I appreciate how the inbox question was answered.
--"Virginity is a technical term. Warranty void if seal is broken."
Contrary to popular belief, that is false. www.huffingtonpost.com/.../sex-myth_b_1154683.html
Not to mention, it does not make any sense to say someone is a virgin until they have experienced one particular kind of sexual activity out of all the possibilities out there. For one thing, that would mean gay or lesbian couples who have been partners for decades are still virgins.
--We also always have to keep in mind the historical/cultural context of the Bible. Women in those times were highly unlikely to receive vocational training, education, or business opportunities. Most of them did not have the option of working, so the topic simply would not have been on the radar of the Biblical writers.
--@Alyson, I think you were taking that line more literally than it was intended. My point was really more that yes she had sex, no it was not consensual, and no it doesn't matter. Arguing these minor points about what constitutes virginity is a giant waste of time. When you're looking at someone to date, evaluate them based on who they are, not who they were or how they behaved prior to coming to Christ.
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