Every now and then we run into someone in the homeschooling world who believes that rigorously educating girls is a waste of time. Why educate your daughter when you believe her highest calling in life is to be a stay-at-home wife and mother?
To clarify, we don’t really agree with the above assumption anyway. A woman’s highest aim in life is to glorify and enjoy God, regardless of her vocation or station in life.
But let’s just say, for the sake of argument, that you believe the best kind of life your daughter can have is married to a godly man and staying home to look after children. Let’s say as your daughter grows up, this becomes her aspiration as well. Should that lead you to downplay the value of a good education for her?
We would say, “Absolutely not.” Here are several reasons why.
1. We are meant to love God with all our mind.
Our Lord said that part of the greatest commandment is to “love the Lord your God…with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). As parents, we should do everything we can to nourish the mental gifts our daughters have, letting them dream of ways they can use their brilliant minds to glorify God, serve His world, and advance His kingdom.
By giving girls a great intellectual foundation, and then building on that foundation, we foster bright-minded young women who will have the confidence to use their mind for God’s glory.
2. Women, like men, are called to be shrewd and discerning.
All disciples of Jesus are called to be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves (Matthew 10:16). Part of what a good education consists of is is training our children to be discerning individuals. Children should grow up learning to divide truth from error, wise from unwise, good from best. We want them to think biblically about all areas of life, and this goes for our daughters as much as our sons.
Some might say, “Well, of course we should give our daughters a good biblical foundation. But what does that have to do with a robust education?” Everything. A good biblical foundation has a lot more to do than knowing your Bible. It has to do with knowing the history of God’s people and God’s providential work in the world. It has to do with knowing how God created the world. It has to do with how God’s Word is applied in real-world situations. Equipping our daughters (and sons) to obey God is not just about knowing the text of Scripture, but knowing the context of the world in which we live.
When you educate your daughter in history, mathematics, or science, you are not just teaching her mere subjects: you are teaching her to think.
3. Educate your daughter because she may have to provide for herself.
Life is full of unknowns. Like me (Trisha), your daughter may be married at the age of 20 only to find herself a widow at age 26. Some godly women may find themselves abandoned or divorced at some point in their lives. Other women, through no fault of their own or their husband’s, will need a second income for their household, or if their husband becomes disabled, may need to become the sole breadwinner.
A good education will give her both the confidence and the ability to find employment.
4. The Proverbs 31 woman is not just a stay-at-home mom; she’s a work-at-home mom.
The “ideal wife” of Proverbs 31 does more than mop floors and wipe chubby faces (as honorable and needed as that work is). She is a business-woman through and through. She is known for her wisdom (v.26). She is involved in the textile industry (v.18-19, 24). She delegates work to her servants (v.15). She deals in real estate and generates an income through agrobusiness (v.16).
Do we aspire to raise the “Proverbs 31 Woman”? Then we must raise our daughters to be a wise, business-savvy woman of God. A rigorous academic education is of great benefit to work-at-home moms.
5. Your daughter may very well be educating your grandsons.
Education is more than book-knowledge: it is encouraging a love of learning. Ultimately a person who loves to learn makes the best kind of teacher, and that is the kind of person we want to be raising and teaching our grandchildren.
It is ironic for us to be writing a post like this—four sons, no daughters. But it is for their sake we write this. We want our boys to grow up and (if God wills it) be married to godly women. We are raising our sons with a love of learning and pray they will meet beautiful, witty, intelligent women who share that same love. These future daughters-in-law will be the ones passing on that love to our grandchildren.
Yes, we must first train daughters to be godly, but by also giving them a solid, rigorous education, we give them great advantages for the rest of their lives. Please, educate your daughters with all of the vigor that you would invest in your sons.
How about you? Have you heard of families who don’t believe it is important to educate your daughter? What do you believe is the most important reason to educate girls?
Linking up with Trivium Tuesday