I was listening to a secular radio station on the way home from work yesterday, and the host was reading excerpts from an article that suggested that young women should live at home with their parents until they were ready for marriage. The author suggested they should move from their parent’s home into the home of their husband, thereby making it easier for them to submit as wives.
One of the co-hosts shared her personal story of how difficult it has been for her as a newlywed to adjust to having a husband to submit to. The season of singleness and independence caused her to become accustomed to making her own decisions without needing input from anyone else. She liked it that way during her years as a single woman, but now she is faced with having to make some major adjustments within her marriage, and it has caused a great deal of stress.
There were many who called in and--not surprisingly--the responses trended heavily toward, “I don’t think young women need to be groomed to be submissive. They need to get out in the world and gain some experience. They need to find out who they are before they can even become a wife.” Other callers were angry that the discussion was even taking place.
At lunch today, I posed the same question to a group of ladies, all Christian. They pointed out that it’s difficult to make a blanket statement that applies in every situation. For example, if a young woman has been raised in a family setting that doesn’t affirm biblical womanhood, it’s doubtful that remaining in that environment will prepare her well for marriage. And a young woman who has learned on her own how to manage a home and pay bills can be a great asset for her husband. Likewise, a young woman can learn those same skills at home if her parents can transition from parenting to allowing her to mature as a woman in their own home. Another consideration is that many young women may never become wives–either by choice or by default.
American culture has coined the phrase “boomerang generation” to describe the scores of young adults who return home after completing college. There are countless articles about how to get them to move out and become independent. The cultural ideal is clearly for young adults to establish their own lives after college–independent of their parents.
But should we as Christians have a different perspective on this? What are some ways to prepare to submit in marriage? I’d love to hear from you—how has God spoken to your heart on this issue?