Thursday, November 1, 2007

Thoughts on College Education for Women -- Part 3

To close my series on college education for women, I have included excerpts of Mrs. Jennie Chancey's testimony of her college years found in So Much More. She also gives a similar testimony on her CD, "Jennie B. and the Pilot" currently available through Vision Forum Ministries. Her experience played a large part in finalizing the decision that I will not be attending college.

"...Having been homeschooled for seven years, I was well prepared for college academics. In fact, I'd won a full scholarship to college (my parents` own alma mater). Six months earlier, I had begged my parents to stay home, but the scholarship had made their decision firm, so I finally decided to make the best of things and dive into college life with all my energy. In spite of my homesickness, college life did have it's charms. I was truly in control of my life in a way I never had been before. Though I often sought my parents counsel over the phone, the final decision rested on my shoulders. I could pick the classes I wanted to take, set my own daily schedule, get involved in extracurricular activities, and go out with new friends (at all hours!). My parents had given me excellent study habits, and I found it very easy to keep up with the pace of my major (English with a concentration on writing). But something started to bother me only a few weeks into my time at college. When my Western Civ. professor declared that history was really a series of
"uncoordinated" and "random" events, alarms went off in my head. I believed that God sovereignty orchestrated all of the affairs of men --that history was really "His story." But I quickly quieted my fears, believing the professor would shortly explain himself and get us onto the right track. Well as his worldview continued to unfold, I could only sit in utter disbelief. My Christian professor made it quite clear that he was a theistic evolutionist and did not hold to the belief that the Bible is infallible...

...When one of my literature professors began to reveal her feminist beliefs and advocate 'women's studies' (including "love-poetry" written by lesbians), I wondered if I was really in a Christian school. The New Testament professor under whom I sat for several semesters used every one of his lectures to advance his pet belief that all the male-female roles in Scripture were solely 'cultural' and did not apply to Christians today. He inserted feministic jabs at the reliability of Paul's writings at every opportunity. I'd known before that there were people who rejected the plain teachings of God's Word, but I did not expect to encounter them in a small, 'conservative' Christian college. I purposed to keep my eyes open and my brain in gear as I sat in class and engaged my professors. But I didn't factor in the ability of the constant immersion in opposing worldviews to wear down my resistance.In almost every course I studied over the next four years, a subtle but definite shift began to take place in my outlook and way of thinking. As the seeds of doubt (in God, in my family, in the Church) began to take root in my mind, I felt my heart hardening. No longer did I possess the an unqualified joy in God's creation or even in His work in my life. After all, if 'science' had 'proved' the Bible wrong and outdated, Truth stood on a very shaky foundation. Could even logic be reliable in a world where Truth Himself could be called into question? Perhaps all of those injunctions of St. Paul's really were 'cultural' and irrelevant in our times. Perhaps my New Testament professor was right when he said that, if Jesus had come to earth in our day he would have chosen a woman to be one of his disciples! Three years before, I might have questioned that notion and fought it with all my being --but month after month, my foundations had been eroded to the point that I didn't even know how to argue any more. I just gave up and put the answers on the tests that would give me the coveted 'A'. Now, lest you think I was a 'sheltered' child before college, let me make it clear that my parents had not hidden me from the world's philosophies. In fact, they had worked hard to instill in me a thoroughgoing biblical worldview, teaching me to think, debate ideas, and stand firm on the Truth. Yet four years after entering college, I walked out a bitter, cynical, 'Christian feminist', turning my back upon all the things my parents had given me and determined never to marry....

...[My parents] were not worried about me changing my beliefs or losing my desire to marry and have children, because they had brought me up to embrace a biblical worldview from birth. I went to college totally committed to the Lord's design for marriage and family and focused upon developing my gifts to use later to bless and help my future husband and to train my own children. However when I returned home four years later, I was not the optimistic 19-year-old my parents had sent away. Four years of liberal teaching (heavily influenced by 'Christian' Marxism and the 'social gospel') had slowly worn away my resistance and left me confused and doubtful. But the liberal teaching really wasn't the crux of my change. I also graduated from college bitter toward my parents and certain the Proverbs 31 model was just not for me. I had lived in a false 'real world' for four years --a world that divorced me from my family, alienated me from the Church, and (after seeing serial dating in practice) convinced me that men live only for paychecks and trophy wives and are not to be trusted...

...It is amazing how far removed we are from our own history when it comes to the education of women. The notion that an unprotected young woman should leave her home and family to 'gain independence in the real world' is less than 140 years old. For that matter, so is the notion that a college degree is equal to a thorough education! We've become so shackled to the symbolic piece of paper that even we homeschoolers feel we haven't 'arrived' or 'proved ourselves' until we have a degree on our wall. While there are certainly occupations that require long years of institutional study (perhaps medicine or law), a college degree does not validate one as a thinking person... put me into a kind of 'Twilight Zone' for four years, disconnecting me almost completely from the real world of home, family, little children, grandparents, and even deep church involvement. For four years, I lived in an environment totally unlike the real world I'd be reentering when I graduated. It was a world where my own preferences ruled: I could get up late, stay up at all hours, eat whatever I wanted, go out with friends at any time, take the classes I chose, and, most importantly, slowly disconnect myself from my own family back home. Their concerns were no longer mine. They were no longer closely involved with the decisions I had to make on a day-to-day basis, and I didn't feel obligated to concern myself with what they did, either...

...Shortly before he died, my father confessed to me that he felt he had made the wrong decision all those years before when he'd forced me to go away to college. He asked me to forgive him, then prayed with me, thanking the Lord that He had 'restored the years... the locust had eaten' (Joel 2:25). God is faithful! He can preserve us and protect us in spite of wrong choices. His grace is truly amazing! I am thankful for the good things He did bring out of my time in college --in particular two excellent English professors who worked closely with me to develop my writing skills --but I wouldn't wish those years on another young woman. I've heard many speakers advocate the whole 'college experience' as a must-have for young people. While I do believe men are called to go out into the world and establish themselves in the profession the Lord has called them to, I am willing to say openly that I do not believe there is a reason to send a young woman away to get an education."

As you can see, because of what the Lord has laid on my heart, I have been actively searching the Scriptures and have been researching this topic for quite a while, and as a result, my family and I have decided that I am not going to attend college. The main reasons for this are that I believe that the Lord's calling for women is to be in the home and because of the negative influence of college as a result of the secular worldview.

I do believe women should be educated and instead of college, I've decided to stay home under the authority of my father and continue my education on my own. I will have plenty of time to learn valuable skills that will prepare me for my future role as a wife, mother, and homemaker. Above all, I will continue to actively study the Bible and seek out God's will for my life.

Originally published Feb. 2007 - on Whiskers on Kittens

I would love to hear your view on this! Please leave a comment below.


Maiden Of Virtue said...

I was just talking to Mom about your article and how I agreed totally with everything you said.

I too would like to further my education by studying here at home, and not in a college dorm studying feminism mindsets.....etc.

Thank you so very much for posting this.


Eruanna said...

Well written!! I wholeheartedly agree with what you have said--God has called me to be a stay-at-home daughter, and I am blessed to have parents that have supported this decision. :-)

However, I think there are actually two issues here. It is important to distinguish between a girl leaving her family to attend college, and a girl obtaining a college-level education. There is nothing good about a young woman leaving her home to spend thousands of dollars on an education that will rob her of her fundamental beliefs--and likely destroy her relationship with God. However, with the new correspondence courses, online courses, long distance courses, and the option of testing out of many classes, it is now possible to get a college degree without leaving home or exposing yourself to the horrendous values on a college campus. Frankly, I think this is a wonderful option, though God's plans differ for every young woman.

For myself, my father wanted me to continue my education as long as I remained at home. This meant a college education. However, we both felt that a campus was a spiritual mine-field for a young woman, and not the place for me. To be very honest, the thought of going back to school after several years off wasn't what I wanted to do. I preferred to sew, and cook, and work on piano--pretty much anything that /wasn't/ scholastics. But it was what dad wanted. After I submitted I found the wisdom. We decided that I would study one subject at a time, then take the government approved CLEP test for that subject. I will never need to step in a classroom. I will never have to compromise myself. I will never have an ungodly professor. My only instructors will be my parents, or a couple other godly men/women that can help me with difficult subjects. Pretty much, I am doing exactly what I've done for years while homeschooling, only when I finish I'll have a degree. To top it off, I'm paying less for my whole degree than most students pay for a single semester--and I'll finish in less than half the time it takes in a classroom.

This college degree has become a challenge for two reasons. First, I want to show the world (and other young ladies) that there is a /better/ way than leaving home to get a piece of parchment paper from strangers. A young person can stay at home and be /better/ educated, while avoiding the "dens of evil" that most college campuses are. Second, the only way I will ever be able to obtain a degree is through God's strength. I've never been a scholastic person--which is why I started college kicking and screaming. When I get my degree, it will be a solid, tangible, written record of God's strength, for His glory. I want to be able to glorify Him through this.

Anyway, I didn't mean to be so lengthy. I appreciate your well written thoughts. I also appreciate the encouragement you have given to myself and other young ladies who haven't chosen to "go with the flow". God's way is truly best. :-)



Flibbertigibbet said...

Sophia, thank you so much for your comments!

When I wrote this, I was not as aware of all the opportunities for a college degree at home that there were, but it is quite a viable option for those who wish to further their education without having to compromise themselves.

Several friends of mine are taking this path. My parents and I have talked about this option, it's a great one, but we haven't made any decisions yet. I'll follow the guidance of the Lord through my parents on this matter.

Good for you!

Thanks again for your comment! We love to hear from our readers!