The first thing which came to my mind is how fathers give their daughters away in marriage. While this is a part of marriage ceremonies today, it has mostly lost its significance.
The reason why the father presents the daughter at the wedding is because it signifies her being given from his household to the household of her husband. A young girl was to be under the care/authority of her father until she married, at which point she would come under the care/authority of her husband.
This was not something to be done just in "Bible days"; nor was it intended to limit the young ladies. It reflects the protection and covering of patriarchy, a blessing God gives as a reflection of Himself amongst His people. It gives an identity to the family, which is why family members take on the last name of the father (patriarch). Such is also why the woman replaces her father's last name with her husband's in marriage.
Now, the things which God has given for our benefit, are the very things we despise...because of sin. Today, young ladies cannot wait to leave the home of their parents; to be independent and on their own. Women often bristle at what should be the honor of taking their husband's last name in marriage. Many simply append the husband's name to their own in order to retain their own individuality/independence. Yet these are the poisonous fruit of feminism; it promises a bright, shiny red apple which looks pleasant and able to make one wise, but once bitten it brings death.
Have we not all had a bite out of that rotten fruit? Through time it has continued to decay, showing itself via a culture of death which envelops the young people of our day. Nowhere is this more apparent then in the countenance of young girls.
I Corinthians 11:7). The Amplified Bible puts is this way, "but woman is the expression of man's glory (majesty, preeminence)". In other words, you can tell the spiritual state of men by looking at the women. This works both ways. If the men in a society are virtuous, then the women will be ladies of virtue. If the men are defiled, then the women will likewise reflect that which is reprobate.
Romans Chapter 1 describes the perversion which will (and has) set in during the end times; and one barometer God sets on this devolution is the women. In an expression of utter amazement, God says during this time that "even the women" will turn away from that which is natural to that which is unnatural (verse 26).
As evidence to this truth, it is now en vogue for young ladies to dress immodestly, to curse like sailors, and to act like prostitutes. Instead of bringing life to man as a help meet for him, the women are on the prowl and the men are the prey. How are these girls hunting? By putting their "wares" on display and competing with each other in order to be more available (sexually and otherwise) to men.
The Wall Street Journal ran an article this month entitled, "Why Do We Let Them Dress Like That?" which explored the current phenomenon of girls being "pimped out" by their parents in the way they are allowed to dress. An interview with the author about this article is in the video below.
Although the author speaks from a secular perspective, her insights are valid...even for those "in the church". In speaking about the path we have helped blaze for our daughters in this area, author Jennifer Moses writes:
"We are the first moms in history to have grown up with widely available birth control, the first who didn't have to worry about getting knocked up. We were also the first not only to be free of old-fashioned fears about our reputations but actually pressured by our peers and the wider culture to find our true womanhood in the bedroom. Not all of us are former good-time girls now drowning in regret—I know women of my generation who waited until marriage—but that's certainly the norm among my peers...Am I saying that we should put young girls on lock-down; chain them to the homes and make sure every inch of their bodies are always covered? No. I am saying that the virtues of true womanhood are not defined in the bedroom, but in the Bible. The honor and dignity of being a woman has been largely lost in this generation and this lapse of vision will not be corrected until we address the root cause of the issue.
Still, in my own circle of girlfriends, the desire to push back is strong. I don't know one of them who doesn't have feelings of lingering discomfort regarding her own sexual past. And not one woman I've ever asked about the subject has said that she wishes she'd "experimented" more...
But it's easy for parents to slip into denial. We wouldn't dream of dropping our daughters off at college and saying: "Study hard and floss every night, honey—and for heaven's sake, get laid!" But that's essentially what we're saying by allowing them to dress the way they do while they're still living under our own roofs."
What many do not realize is that such issues for girls says more about their perception of fatherhood (patriarchy) than it does about their desire to be seen as attractive. Since the identity in a family comes from the father, when that relationship is skewed, the girl is left less than whole inside. Yes, a mother's presence and role in raising children is critical as well. God has appointed both mothers and fathers as necessary components in raising Godly children (Malachi 2:15). However, the blessing of patriarchy bestows a unique sense of belonging and place in the heart which makes us whole. It tells us where we come from, to whom we belong, and even what inheritance is ours. Just as the Christians identity is grounded in God the Father (Romans 8:15-17; Galatians 4:6-7), the earthly father plays the same role in an earthly family.
This is why studies have continually shown that absent fathers (physically or emotionally) result in increased sexual activity among young girls. Scripture also acknowledges that a young girl's promiscuity is a reflection on the father (Leviticus 21:9). She is looking for in other men what she lacks with her own father, whether it is acceptance, security, approval, love, etc.
We are so far gone from God's ways, that many do not even realize a young girl's effort to "find a boy" is in itself abnormal. Notice, I did not say that it is abnormal for a girl to be attracted to a boy. I am saying that it is abnormal for her to actively pursue him; it is the evidence of her being incomplete inside.
The Scripture says that he who "finds a wife" finds a good thing (Proverbs 18:22). The man "finds" a virtuous woman (Proverbs 31:10). Remember, the marriage relationship between man and woman is a reflection of Christ's relationship with the church (Ephesians 5:31-32); and this includes the steps leading up to engagement. As the bride of Christ, it is not we who have searched for and claimed Jesus. He is the one who first sought us (Ephesians 2:4-5; I John 4:19; Titus 3:3-5). We belong to Him because He first claimed us; we did not choose Him, but He chose us (John 15:16).
Similarly, it is the man who initiates the relationship with the woman. Just as with Adam, God personally prepares a woman for a man and then reveals her to him as his wife so that the man may begin the courtship. The only woman in Scripture who is out aggressively looking for and claiming a man is the "strange woman" in Proverbs.
"For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life." Proverbs 6:26
"And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart. (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.) So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows. Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee." Proverbs 7:10-15
"For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit. She also lieth in wait as for a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men." Proverbs 23:28
It is true deliverance for young women in the Lord to realize that they don't have to "find" a husband. All she has to do is stay in obedience to the Lord and - if it is His will for her to have a husband - He will provide the one He has selected for her.
This is exactly opposite to the mentality of the world where girls are encouraged to "test the waters" by seeking out and obtaining boyfriends, even in childhood; trying on boys like one tries on shoes. The result is what we see now: hordes of young girls carrying themselves like discounted merchandise in the hopes of being picked up by the lowest bidder.
Yet, this is the legacy we have been left when we follow the feminist view of "empowerment". Last Fall, Anne Kingston wrote an article entitled "Outraged Moms, Trashy Daughters" where feminists lamented over the "trashy" state of their daughters. Their conclusion: More work remains for feminists to do. My conclusion: We are reaping what we have sown.
Contrary to what the article presents, the crux of the problem lies with the whole feminist ideology. The very thing missing from the article is what has been whitewashed out of their ideology: fatherhood. One reviewer, who I am quoting below, summarizes her assessment of this article:
Feminism brainwashed young women to see husbands as oppressors and family as bondage. There was no longer any reason to restrict sex to love and marriage. Understandably, feminists don't want to admit their teachers have betrayed them.
Even while they wring their hands, feminists are blinded by their ideology. Both mothers and daughters are victims of deliberate social subversion. Feminism was created by elite social engineers to reduce population and undermine marriage and family. A woman's career used to be wife and mother. She consecrated her sexuality for the man she loved, the father of her children, her protector and provider.Young women today are up a creek. They don't know how to be women and men don't know how to be men. But one thing that hasn't changed is - men don't marry sluts. These girls are going to be left high and dry once their sex appeal has faded.They obsess on looking beautiful but don't know that true beauty comes from within, from a spiritual purity. This means rejecting all coarse influences and behavior. It means focusing on what is good, true, human and inspiring.It's not too late for girls to learn to be women again.
And I echo that it is not too late.
In Isaiah Chapter 3, God punishes Israel for her idolatry by taking away the patriarchs from the land (verses 1-3). As a result, society gets turned upside down; people will be oppressed, children unruly, the base things of life will be exalted over that which is honorable (verses 4-7). The people will sin openly and not be ashamed, but will boldly demonstrate their unrighteous ways (verses 8-11). As a result of this disorder, God says:
"As for My people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O My people, your leaders cause you to err, and they confuse (destroy and swallow up) the course of your paths." Isaiah 3:12
This is what we see in society and what the mothers in the articles above are mourning over. The consequence of God removing the righteous patriarchs from society results in children running wild and women left to rule. Take a look at the impact this has on young women:
Moreover, the Lord said, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty and walk with outstretched necks and with undisciplined (flirtatious and alluring) eyes, tripping along with mincing and affected gait, and making a tinkling noise with the anklets on their feet, Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the heads of the daughters of Zion making them bald, and the Lord will cause them to be taken as captives and to suffer the indignity of being stripped naked.
In that day the Lord will take away the finery of their tinkling anklets, the caps of network, the crescent head ornaments, The pendants, the bracelets or chains, and the spangled face veils and scarfs, The headbands, the short ankle chains attached from one foot to the other to insure a measured gait, the sashes, the perfume boxes, the amulets or charms suspended from the ears or neck, The signet rings and nose rings, The festal robes, the cloaks, the stoles and shawls, and the handbags, The hand mirrors, the fine linen undergarments, the turbans, and the whole body-enveloping veils.
And it shall come to pass that instead of the sweet odor of spices there shall be the stench of rottenness; and instead of a girdle, a rope; and instead of well-set hair, baldness; and instead of a rich robe, a girding of sackcloth; and searing of captives by the scorching heat instead of beauty...AND IN that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread and provide our own apparel; only let us be called by your name to take away our reproach of being unmarried." Isaiah 3:16-24, 4:1
Is this curse not what we see on our streets today? Young girls walking proudly as they use their bodies like a divining rod to allure and compete for a dwindling number of men. Instead of bearing a crown of glory, the woman's covering is removed leaving her spiritually bare/bald and without discretion (I Corinthians 11:6-15). The very spirit she walks in declares, "I am fatherless; I have no spiritual covering". Young women who should be a precious and sweet savor instead become a stench of rottenness. I am also reminded of the ending text of the Old Testament:
"Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." Malachi 4:5-6
We need the hearts of the fathers to turn back to the children, so that the hearts of the children can be turned back to the fathers. We need a restoration of true patriarchy in the hearts of God's people, which is founded in Godly leadership, vision, and self-sacrifice. When men of God stand and take their rightful place - in the home first, and then in the church - and women of God stand to complement them, we will see a remarkable shift in the children.
Young ladies do not have to "find" a husband.
Don't have to use their bodies to "attract" a man.Don't have to fornicate in order to "keep" a man.
Don't have to debase themselves in order to "please" a man.
Simply delight yourselves in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4). The question is, "Do you trust God to do this in your life? Do you believe that His ways are higher than our ways? Do you want to have your true value restored and walk in a calling that is worthy of respect or are you satisfied living a sub-standard and lonely life where you are never treasured as the precious gem God created you to be?" The choice is yours.
I cannot tell anyone how to handle their own households; nor do I believe that there is a one size fits all approach for how we are to raise our daughters. I share this information in the hope that it might prompt some to truly seek God's heart & His ways; not just accept that the ways of the world are what is right or even inevitable. It doesn't have to be this way for young women. We can choose to show a different path for our own daughters...and our sons.
I have previously posted videos from Min. Voddie Baucham. His eldest daughter, Jasmine Baucham, has recently written a book entitled, "Joyfully at Home". "Joyfully at Home" started out as a blog by Jasmine as she chronicled her experiences and insights in deciding to stay at the home of her father until marriage. Jasmine was also highlighted in a documentary called, "Return of the Daughters" which interviews various young women who have made similar decisions (an excerpt of which is posted in the video below).
Lastly, here is a word of encouragement for women by Dr. Annie Poonen about interceding for children who may be going down the wrong path called "God Will Save Your Children". I pray it is a blessing to you.
UPDATE: I have included a sermon from Min. Baucham on "Biblical Womanhood" after the Return of the Daughters clip below. In this sermon, he discusses:
- Biblical womanhood is first & foremost reverent in behavior, seeking to bring honor to God and not to herself in everything she does.
- We are no longer raising women in our culture. We are raising men who happen to be biologically able to have children. We are raising women to conduct themselves like men.
- Fathers are primarily accountable for the way their daughters dress.
- When dressing, a woman should consider what aspect of her person she is drawing attention to and then consider whether such is pleasing to God. What a woman draws attention to in her dress is what she considers to be the most valuable thing about her.
- A young girl's value and worth is not contingent upon men lusting after her.
- A woman deserves to be honored, respected, and protected. A woman is not a piece of meat to satisfy the sinful, fleshly desires of a man. Your price is above rubies.
- If a man is not decent enough to be attracted to reverent behavior, then you don't want him anyway.
- A biblical woman who is a teacher of what is good and able to disciple & give instruction to children.
- There is a Greco-Roman myth which says that love is a random, overwhelming, uncontrollable sensual force; this is often symbolized by cupid. This is not biblical, but is a faulty, godless definition of love.
- A wrong definition of love can even make a father uncomfortable in showing affection to his daughter once she starts to develop into a woman. A number of young girl's yearning for a boyfriend coincides with this break in affection with their father.
- Biblical womanhood pushes past sensual/emotional love into biblical love. Love is an act of the will, accompanied by emotion, that leads to selfless action. This is why Titus 2 tells elder women to teach younger women how to love their husbands and children. Jesus at the Garden of Gethsemane is a prime example of biblical love.
- Biblical womanhood exercises self-control and is pure.
- In the world, purity is not having sex before marriage. According to Scripture, purity is a lifestyle even after marriage.
- Biblical womanhood focuses on working at home. This doesn't mean that no work outside of the home occurs, as made clear in Proverbs 31. It means that the woman's role in her home (as a wife and mother) is her top priority.
- Most families are doing "wife swap" where the wife goes out to support another man in his business endeavor while another woman (or women) takes responsibility for keeping the home (cleaning, cooking, and caring for the children).
- Biblical womanhood walks in submission to their husbands. Women war against submission by nature as a result of the fall. Feminists like to counter the biblical commands by saying that submission is mutual or conditional; yet this is proven false by Scripture.
For added reading, you may also want to see the article,"Women, Reverence Your Husbands".