How do I, as a student, prepare myself to be a godly wife and mother? I'm a single woman in my mid-twenties, pursuing a graduate degree in literature at a secular university. While I enjoy my studies and view them as important in preparing me for a future career in teaching, there's another sense in which I regard all of this as "Plan B": my real desire, the most earnest prayer of my heart, is that the Lord will give me a godly Christian husband someday. Meanwhile, I'm spending most of my time in an environment that's filled with feminist ideas and far from helpful to my long-range family-oriented goals. How can I resist these feminist messages? And how do I prepare to be a wife and mother while at the same time preparing for a possible teaching career?
As you may be aware, western culture is drawing farther and farther away from its Christian roots. In the process, a growing number of secular occupations are re-engineering themselves. They're rebuilding themselves on a foundation of assumptions and values that clash with biblical ideas. Higher education is an obvious example. This is unfortunate. But it doesn't necessarily imply that believers have to opt out of these professions. On the contrary, we see this situation as a two-sided coin. It's both a problem and an opportunity.
First, the problem. If you're going to teach literature, you're going to have to stay on your toes. Because the university environment is less than conducive to faith and discipleship, you need to know exactly what you believe and why you believe it. This takes hard work. But it can also be a great motivation for staying grounded in the Word, in prayer, and in Christian fellowship. The key is to be intentional. Make up your mind that you're going to carve out as much time for spiritual disciplines as you do for your academic studies. It's difficult, but it can be done.
Next, the opportunity. In the middle of this situation, recognize that God has uniquely positioned you to shine as a light in a darkening world (Philippians 2:15). Learn to make the best use of this contrast. The stars don't come out until the sun goes down. Truth stands out most starkly against a background of error and falsehood. It takes courage to be different. But the fact that you are different can be your greatest asset. There will probably be many occasions when you'll find yourself swimming upstream. Do whatever it takes to brace yourself for that eventuality. Forewarned is forearmed. If you order your attitude accordingly, you'll be better equipped to stand firm against adversity (Ephesians 6:13).
But what about your central question. How can you do all this and still find time to prepare yourself for marriage and motherhood? From our perspective, the answer depends on the sort of "preparation" you have in mind. The most efficient moms aren't necessarily those who have been through several courses on breastfeeding and diaper-changing. The best wives aren't necessarily the ones who have mastered the arts of cooking, cleaning, and home economics. Marriage and family are basically about relationships. And the strongest relationships are forged between individuals who know who they are and why they are here. Such people understand what it means to be a person made in the image of the Creator. They also have a strong idea of what they're supposed to be doing in service to Him and others. When two such individuals come together and learn to love one another with a selfless love, they have the potential to create a truly great marriage.
Why are we telling you this? Because we think you can best prepare to be a good wife and mother by becoming the Christian woman God wants you to be. As you walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16) and allow the fruit of the Spirit to grow and ripen within you (Galatians 5:22, 23), you will be conformed more and more to the image of God's Son (Romans 8:29). There's no better preparation for family life than that.
If you'd like to discuss these ideas at greater length with a member of our team, feel free to give us a call. Our staff counselors would consider it a privilege to speak with you over the phone. They may be reached for a free consultation Monday through Friday between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Mountain time at 855-771-HELP (4357). The Family Help Center staff member who answers the phone will arrange for a licensed counselor to call you back. One of them will be in touch just as soon as they're able.
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