The right way is often the most sensible way.

Hearth tipped me off to this article which was tinged with alarm over the fact that young Americans have decided that families fare better when one parent is dedicated to the care of home, hearth, and offspring. Why is this generation of young adults so willing to turn back the decades of gains that have been made in pursuit of “gender equality”?

At our core, people sense what makes sense and what doesn’t. The utter unhappiness and relational chaos that accompanies our proliferation of choices surrounding the family dynamic isn’t lost on young people. They have more access to competing perspectives and information than any of us ever had. They can also see that more often than not, traditionally structured families* seem happier overall.

Funny how that works.

Here is another excellent piece I read, written for single women. It’s written by the Botkin sisters, and is a very encouraging perspective on how to approach life as a Christian woman, not solely as a maiden-in-waiting. They really do a great job of dismantling a lot of Neo Trad nonsense here.

*Please, no references to people who believe the “traditional” family structure is the perfect venue to control and constrain the behavior of women. That is not Biblical and it’s not what I am referring to.
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14 thoughts on “The right way is often the most sensible way.

  1. The Botkins Sisters piece is getting a lot of looks so I am thinking I need to add a caveat that I didn’t add to the post.

    I am familiar with the history of their ministry, movement, ‘The Return of the Daughters” and all that. That’s not our deal. We’re not into that mainly because my husband believes (and I agree) that constraining behavior is not the same as heart conversion and regeneration. My experience is glaring evidence of the truth of that.

    What good is it if our kids look good to the outside world and their hearts aren’t right? It’s okay if they go to Hell so long as they look good doing it? Um, no. And they will not know what they believe unless they have a chance to exercise that belief. This cannot be done if they are under constant supervision, and my husband doesn’t believe in treating 20+ year-old as if they are 15. That ain’t us.

    Our girls, come and go, work, attend college (although that is almost over now) drive, travel, go to concerts, hang out with friends, etc. If they decide to move out, we don’t necessarily believe this means they will slide into all kinds of sinful behavior. When they head off to a concert of an artist one of them is a big fan of, we’ll be staying home.

    All that to say, I know that the Botkins are lightning rod figures, but NONE of that detracts from the fact that they wrote a very good piece. It is clear as you read that they have had to re-examine what their lives might look like should *he* never show up. There are all kinds of theories floating online about the *why* these ladies are still single, but whatever the reason, they seem to be expanding the way they view Christian life and purpose in the context of something greater than being a wife and mother.

    I fully expect to have sons in law, grand kids, and the whole nine sometime in the next 5 years, so this is in no way a concession.. But it is interesting to read the thoughts of these young women, who seem to be as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside.

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  2. Happier in part because when you consider average wages, they’re gone after taxes, daycare costs, and other costs of working outside the home. It is as if people get unhappy when they’re spending a LOT of time for nothing.

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  3. True that, Bike. True, that. With the exception of the couple of women I know who work almost solely to pay private Christian school education*, almost everyone else can hardly tell you where the money went after child care, groceries, gas, and other non-essentials that are in fact essential for sanity, like the occasional ordering pizza.

    (*Not everyone is cut out for homeschooling so I commend those couples who figure out a way to sacrifice and give their kids a Bible worldview education rather than half-a%%ing it because ideology.

    I’m not even cut out for it which is why we’re dropping some coin this fall to add some direction and rigor to our newly emerging middle schooler. Elementary is as far as I feel competent to go on my own. I’ll still be primary, but someone else will be directing and accounting for a hefty bit of my kids’ schooling starting next school year.)

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  4. As I told my fiancée’s friend – sometimes in this sad broken world we live in, the poor girl has to bluntly tell the guy, “You gonna marry me or what?” Too many good (more or less, we’re all sinners) men honestly believe that any girl would have to be convinced to marry him against her will, since he’s not as rich as Trump, say. It’s quite sad.

    Marriage is nothing if you can’t get married poor.

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  5. I totally agree. One of the great solidifying factors of our marriage of 23 years is that we started with nothing at the ages of 20 and 22.

    We reflect often on how we basically grew up together. It’s a beautiful thing.

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  6. The ugly flip side, of course, is that studies have shown that porn literally damages your brain so many women (and men!) will need to realize that they may have to marry someone who’s slightly (or worse) brain damaged.

    The good news is that recovery and repentance are possible, and your brain can grow back, but like all healing, it takes time.

    And marrying early helps so, so much! As one who’s getting married later in life (later this month) I highly recommend earlier to all. True marriage, of course; not cohabitation-with-a-piece-of-paper you see so often in and outside the Church, but full death on a Cross marriage: bloody, painful, fruitful, and salvific.

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  7. Nice piece, E. Just found this new blog of yours and working backwards through each post. Love it.

    I agree with Bike. People tend to resent rushing around, coming and going, with little to show for it. I know precisely one person who is on top of every aspects of her life -her husband, their kids, every penny of their money, every minute of their days, is accounted for and preplanned. I am not like that, tend to flow (a bit too much…one must keep a hand on the reins even when giving the horse his head!), and get frustrated at my lack of accomplishment when I’ve been busy busy busy and feel like nothing was finished.

    I imagine how much less I’d get done if I had to be out of the house some 50+ hours a week working full time and commuting. Horror!

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  8. As the CS Monitor article, “current research” shows…only what current mood is, not any actual fact. I worked for social “scientists,” more accurately statistics-manipulators, and I tell you this: their research reveals what they want to see, and if it’s contrary to their desired vision, then they pull out their M.D. In Spin.

    At Easter Mass, an older woman commented on how my hat, and my girls’ Easter bonnets, reminded her of when she was little, and how sad she was that people didn’t “do that (wear hats, etc.)” anymore. Not to get Pharisaical at all here, just pointing out that things are only gone if we let them go.

    No one is stopping anyone from equality or tradition. More often than not, we allow zeitgeist and personal fears of inadequacy or ridicule hold us back.

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  9. “poor girl has to bluntly tell the guy, “You gonna marry me or what?”

    TomD, FWIW, I had two such instances. Eight years, from HS through college and into careers, and it just wasn’t going to happen with my first BF. He wanted something more than what I could offer. He didn’t want marriage or family; I’d wasted my time.

    So I’m that post-wall chick who captures a beta for marriage. My second BF was all over the place with women. Don’t know why he settled for me but we’re more than ok now, three kids, crazy in love with everything about life.

    Some people might need more time. That’s not a hard and fast rule, probably more of a symptom of our gimme now! culture than anything else.

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  10. @ goingtothefields:

    Welcome! But can you remind of who I knew you as before? I would like to be able to make the mental connection.

    To your comments:

    I am not like that, tend to flow (a bit too much…one must keep a hand on the reins even when giving the horse his head!), and get frustrated at my lack of accomplishment when I’ve been busy busy busy and feel like nothing was finished.

    I imagine how much less I’d get done if I had to be out of the house some 50+ hours a week working full time and commuting. Horror!

    Yep, that’s me. I use lots of guardrails to keep myself moving in the right direction.

    No one is stopping anyone from equality or tradition. More often than not, we allow zeitgeist and personal fears of inadequacy or ridicule hold us back.

    Totally agree. Most of our stated explanations of what we do consists of post hoc rationalizations of our instinctual desires, fears, etc.

    I actually found myself in such a situation recently at someone’s surprise that for the past several years our family has a quasi- tradition of going to church on Good Friday and skipped Easter Sunday services. It was a turn from the zeitgeist of the crowd I was with, but my hubs doesn’t tend to care about the dominant trends, so…

    Don’t know why he settled for me but we’re more than ok now, three kids, crazy in love with everything about life.

    Love to read stuff like this. Switch the three kids to five, and yep. Same here. So pleased for the blessing you are enjoying in your family.

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  11. Els I’m Cran from TC. Hearth has me friended me on Facebook. My handle comes from a Wendell Berry poem. Glad to read your wisdom again. If I could accept quieting my own mind, I might discover my own wisdom.

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  12. Hey, there! I thought that was you but I wasn’t sure. Glad to hear from you.

    How close are you to being a farm wife? Closer than when we last touched base, I hope. It seems to suit your strength and simplicity of character (I mean that in a good way).

    And I love Wendell Berry. Great writer, he is.

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  13. Farm wifery is going…slowly. It costs a bit more than the homesteader crowd might advertise, at least in my area. Perhaps I could scavenge tons of farm-ish materials locally but I have little sin tow and I’m far less inclined to the romanticism of small town barter than I was five years ago. Small town barter exists, but one must be a part of such economy if one expects success.

    I don’t care to make my own cheese but yogurt is accessible. Raw milk was recently approved for sale in my state (NJ) but the implementation of such sales is far off. I’m a month away from my first flock of laying hens, and in the meantime my garden grows and flourishes, and I shop markets to supplement what I cannot grow, raise, or make.

    And sometimes I just want shrimp or salmon and I buy some!

    Otherwise, I’m settling into peace and trying to leave the World behind – never easy. Seems like you and yours are doing the same. I have kept you and everyone from the old place in my prayers. God bless and be well.

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