Monday, May 15, 2017

The Myth of Socialization in Schools

One of the most common questions people have about homeschooling is "How do you get your children socialized?" They seem to think that socialization is something you need schools for and that children who don't spend all day in the presence of their peers are somehow deficient in social skills. This is false.

One of the primary reasons for this confusion is that a lot of people think of "socialization" as the kind of environment you get in public school. You know - all the cliques and after school sports and spending a lot of time with people exactly your age while looking down on younger kids and looking up to older ones. But that's not socialization.

Children are best socialized by spending a lot of time with adults and children of many ages, but especially adults. They primarily learn how to be social by learning from those older than themselves how to act in social situations. They don't learn how to be social from other kids their age who are still trying to figure it out.

In no other area of life do people think you need to learn things from similarly clueless people. You don't learn how to be a doctor by learning from other medical students. You don't learn to be an electrician from other students in electrician training. 16-year-olds don't learn to drive from other 16-year-olds. In every case, you learn from those who are more experienced.

Socialization is the same way. Children need to spend large amounts of time with adults who can teach them how to behave properly and interact socially. Learning primarily from their peers, who don't know yet, teaches bad behaviors and peer-dependence (which the Bible warns about, by the way), not a well-balanced social understanding.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Men Should be Providers and Women Should be at Home

Given the needs of children for a full-time caregiver who knows and loves them, it is important for one of the parents to stay home and provide that care. That's a controversial idea in our culture today, though it shouldn't be. However, many people who accept the idea of a parent staying home with the children claim that it doesn't matter which parent stays home. It could just as well be the father as the mother, couldn't it? But no, that doesn't work nearly as well.

There's a reason that societies have historically had separate and distinct roles for the man and woman such that the father works to provide for the family while the mother stays at home with the children and cares for the home. Even in our modern society, it makes a lot more sense for the man to be the main breadwinner and the woman to stay home. Here's why.

1) Every family needs someone to build a steady career, and it's a lot harder for a woman to do that when she keeps taking time off to have babies. It's even more of a problem for her career if she breastfeeds and provides the nurturing that a baby needs specifically from the mother for at least the first year. The man is in a position to build a career more effectively than a woman simply because of biology.

2) Men are tasked with the role of provision. It is the man's responsibility to ensure that his family has the needed resources to survive - food, shelter, money for necessities, etc - in ways that don't apply to the woman. Men are called to be providers.

3) Men are naturally designed to gravitate toward provision and to gain satisfaction from working to provide in ways women do not. On the flip side, women are designed to gravitate toward caring for children and keeping a home in ways that men are not. Women are more in tune with the needs of children and have a greater ability to multitask, which is needed when keeping a home and caring for children. Men are designed to focus strongly on a task and a vision, which is often advantageous for the kinds of work needed to build a career and provide for a family. Men generally have an outward focus toward the world while women are more naturally oriented toward the home. In addition, many jobs that are needed by society involve hard physical labor which men are well-suited for and women simply are not. The physical and mental aptitudes of men and women lend themselves better to a division of labor that involves the woman staying home while the man earns.

4) The relationship between husband and wife thrives far better when they have traditional gender roles that involve the husband as main provider and wife at home. Studies have shown that wives respect their husbands more and have more sex with him when the wives do the housework and the man does the providing. Men and women are not only physically designed for traditional roles, but mentally wired to appreciate the opposite roles in a spouse as well. Women have a far harder time respecting and being attracted to a husband who fulfills a womanly role like caring for children or housework instead of providing.

5) History tell us that men have produced the vast majority of civilizational advancements when motivated by the desire to provide for their families. Societies are safer, more productive, more innovative, and more stable when men apply their specific manly skills to the problems their society faces. The greater aggression, strength, and focus of men are a huge advantage when applied to the workforce, technology, protection of the weak, and many other areas that require men to leave the home and work. Women simply don't have the same skills or the same drive.

6) The Bible specifically tells men to provide and women to keep the home.

Titus 2:3-5 tells us "...that aged women likewise be reverent in demeanor, not slanderers nor enslaved to much wine, teachers of that which is good; that they may train the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sober-minded, chaste, workers at home, kind, being in subjection to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed..."

Meanwhile, men are told in 1 Timothy 5:8 "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." It is men who were told in Genesis that the sweat of their brow would be needed to provide food for their families.

There are many reasons, both Biblical and practical, that indicate that men are to be the main providers for the family while women are needed to tend the home and children. This isn't about being stifled or pressed into arbitrary roles, but rather a fulfillment of the inherent design of men and women and also a matter of providing best for the specific needs of children. Men, women, and children do better when these roles are preserved, the marriage is stronger, and society flourishes. 


Monday, January 30, 2017

What Women Should Do to Prepare for Marriage

The church and culture today do little to train or prepare women for marriage. In fact, they often teach or encourage bad habits that undermine preparation for marriage. Chief among the harmful philosophies women absorb is feminism, which tells them they don't need a man and don't have any specific womanly roles in a marriage to even prepare for.

In reality, there are a number of things women should be doing to prepare for marriage. Here are just some of them.

– Studying what their role would be in marriage and what their husband’s role would be and embracing this vision for marriage.

– Understanding the authority hierarchy of marriage and how important it is.

– Studying apologetics so they are prepared to teach their future children about the evidence for Christianity.

– Practicing proper submission to authority, self-control, wisdom, care for children, house keeping, and other godly traits for wives.

– Learning to build up a man through encouragement and support.

– Practicing good money habits so that they will be able to live within their husband’s income and frugally so as to lighten his burden of provision and ensure that she can be home with the children and not forced to work. This includes, at minimum, avoiding debt of all kinds and avoiding unnecessary spending on luxuries.

– Practicing teaching children and learning about their needs and how to care for them.

– Learning to control their tongues to avoid being bossy, argumentative, nagging, vulgar, or foolish with what they say.

– Developing a feminine attitude and demeanor that embraces their God-given and uniquely feminine traits and abilities.

– Practicing discretion and modesty in all things.

– Being chaste and having a proper understanding of Biblical sexuality, which includes sex being only within marriage but given freely within marriage, and also understanding what sex means to a man.

– Learning how to resolve conflict peaceably.

– Learning how to place others first.

– Keeping in shape and developing good eating habits and hygiene.

– Learning to cook healthy, nutritious, and delicious food and to do so frugally.

– Learning to clean and organize a house effectively and to keep it maintained in a state of order and cleanliness.

– Learning wisdom and proper priorities in life so that they are prepared to provide wise help to a husband and not blow issues out of proportion.

– Evaluating men on character traits and practicing being attracted to good character over looks or style. Also, realizing that there isn't just one soul mate out there who will show up at the proper time, but that there are only better or worse choices that she can make (and that she will have to live with).

– Getting what education they can without going into debt. This would ideally be in a field that will help with future training of their children (science, math, education, child development, etc) or that provides skills to help a husband or run a household (bookkeeping, home economics, gardening, canning, etc).

I’m sure there are others as well, but these are some of the major ways that women can prepare for marriage. There's a lot more to it than most women know. Not all of these need to be complete before marriage, of course. There's always more to learn. But working on these areas and having an awareness of the gravity of marriage and the skills required of them will make women better prepared to be good wives and mothers.