Living the questions and trying to think theologically... and practically. Learning that these things are more synonymous than I once thought.

Location: Dallas, TX

Monday, June 13, 2005

Poor, Poor, D.J. Tanner

With the large amounts of free time I seem to have on my hands these days, I've been watching a lot of VH-1. Tonight, Chris Knight, aka Peter Brady hosted a show on favorite childhood stars. First up was everyone's favorite big sister, D.J. Tanner. Candace Cameron has grown up to be a beautiful woman with a beautiful family. Along with her brother Kirk, she has converted to Christianity. When asked about her acting career as an adult she said, "I've been offered roles on several series, but I don't think it's biblically right for me to work when my family needs me so much."

Well Candace, I must say I'm pretty disappointed in that statement. Some friends were having a conversation about this very thing on Saturday night. It seems that more and more Christians are taking on the cause of stay at home moms. It's almost like they've reverted back to the pre-60's expression "the woman's place is in the home."

Two big problems here, well maybe three.

1. Not all of us are married. I'm a woman and I don't have a home to manage or a family to care for. So, where is my place? Will I forever be out of place if I never marry? Some hyper-conservatives are even suggesting that there's no real need for women to go to college. Instead, we should just spend some time in the home, mentoring under professional stay at home moms.
www.matthewmcdill.com (I urge you to read with caution. It may seriously disturb some of you.) But what if those girls never marry? How will they support themselves? Subscribe to Southern Living. Read some good literature on parenting. By all means never forsake a college education.

2. There are several mothers who dearly love Jesus and who are not able to stay at home with their children. They are following Jesus by working hard to support that which he has given to them. Yes, it's hard to work 40 hours a week, keep an immaculately clean house, and pour your life into raising your children. Those last two are difficult tasks for any woman (or man), even those who stay at home. We've just got to do the best with the hand we've been dealt, and for some of us that means taking care of our family by working out in the world.

3. I don't think that in any way a woman having a career leads to "unbiblical" living. Where in the Bible does it say that women must stay at home and not have a career? Nowhere that I am aware of, but be sure to let me know if I've missed something.

I completely admire women who choose to stay at home to raise their children. I also respect those who must work while they raise a family as well as those who choose to work outside the home even though they don't have to. You can follow Jesus in any of these scenarios. It makes me sad that so many in the Christian community cannot acknowledge this and therefore leave so many single women and working mother feel either displaced or completely hacked off.


Blogger Sam Davidson said...

While I appreciate your investigative reporting, for me, Candace will always be a friend of Kimmie, a girlfriend of Steve, a niece of Jesse and Joey, a master of Comet, a daughter of Danny, and a sister of Stephanie and Michelle. To me, she is the one who was in charge babysitting when the kid got his head stuck in the bannister, the one who made out with Steve in the dump truck causing an accident in which cement poured into the kitchen, and the one who bought Steve a leather jacket so he wouldn't go to college in Florida. Such innocent mischief - why must you and the Lord rob me of that?!?!?!?

5:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey if you have 6 fingers on you left hand, which finger do you wear your wedding ring on?

3:43 PM  
Blogger D.R. said...


I am glad to see you blogging again. I hope that you will return to your series on the type of church you want to be a part of.

As for this post, let me take the opposing position (big surprise, right?!) just to let you see how someone like Candance and those you disagree with view this issue.

1. The default position of all people is a call to be married. That is the original design from the garden of Eden ("it is not good for man to be alone"). However, within that is a special calling, whether you are a man or woman, to celibacy. According to Paul that calling is better, which I take to mean it is a higher calling. This is because it is taken with the goal of completely pouring oneself out for the Lord. So those called to celibacy (even for a season) should feel blessed and not see themselves as any less of a Christian than those who are married. Additionally, I lament that many in the church have looked down upon singles. I experienced it first hand and still have friends who are being discriminated against because of this.

2. After reading McDill's weblog I don't think he is suggesting women shouldn't go to college, but rather that those who believe they are not called to celibacy should worry more about a home ec education than a college one. While I disagree with him, I think he is more concerned that culture is teaching girls that they are worth less if they don't go to college and have careers. It's just a matter of how you view the cultural pressures.

3. I think that the Bible does teach that the main role of married women is to have children and to raise them. A detailed examination of 1 Tim. 2:9-15 gives way to an understanding that married women are to have specific roles in the family that relate directly to raising and teaching children. I wish I had more room to exegete this passage properly, but I can send you an exegesis if you want one.
Having said that I think women should do all they can to stay at home and men should do all they can to take the role of bread winner. Some of the problem is that men do not take their responsibility seriously enough. That is a failure for men, not women, however.

4. I am sorry that it makes you feel angry or displaced for people to suggest that there are specific, Biblical roles for men and women. I do think that those do exist and contrary to what the culture tells us, science confirms these differences. I am sympathetic to your position and think there has not been enough written from a Biblical perspective regarding the role of single women in the church, which I do believe is something that needs to be done.

So, I hope you see how someone like me views these things. Additionally, for Cameron, I doubt she has to work and her family probably does need her to stay at home - no telling how many kids she probably has!

9:28 PM  

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