Most people would say this in response to me telling them that I teach Home Economics: "Really!?, they still teach that in schools?"
It's quite interesting to me to see how much our society has degraded the home and its many functions. In the guise of "women's rights," we have conditioned countless generations of high school girls to think that home making is not a high calling. As a result we now have over-stressed, over -worked women who have farmed out their children to be cared for by others. While they pursue personal gain and a false notion that the modern "liberated" woman can and will have it all. I'm not trying to cause a war between what each individual mother chooses for her life, but I am trying to "tip the scales" of balance back towards a perspective equal to the idea that staying at home with your children is just as important if not more to that of the career/working mom. This negative perception of a woman's womanly duties have been undermined for far too long.
My job as an educator is to give my students a fair and accurate view of both sides. For so long, there has been a retreating of women from the home. Perhaps we need to bring back an education of what actually being in the home entails, rather than indoctrinate upcoming generations of women into a one sided narrow view, which states that fulfillment only comes from the emancipation of her maternal instincts in order to forge a way in the male dominated market place of corporate America. Chasing the male characteristics of a career outside the rearing and caring for the children she bore herself. Actually within reason, this gender reversal of the roles and trying to be a man is unnatural. But Feminists have played the woman for a fool since the time she said that she can eradicate the products of promiscuity in obtaining an abortion, therefore, "biologically" being just like the man in that regard. Woman, as God created her, is more intelligent than Feminists would like her to think. You see there is a lot to be said to the natural draws a woman feels when she has a child of her own.
Why I teach Home Ec. to girls is to tell them: it is okay to want to stay at home with her kids and leave the corporate path; it is okay and she has not "regressed" back to the stone age because her maternal call ways heavily on her desire to care for her house, husband and children.
In my attempt to prepare for my class and as I was reading the introduction in our Home Ec. book, the first paragraph was a perfect example of what I have been trying to relay to my students:
"Technology has made life easier for billions of people, but one of its greatest benefits is its contribution to women's rights. Liberated from the need to have someone at home all day long, women could work in offices, flip burgers, run banks. Home economics ("home ec" to dwindling generations of high school students) was seen as a lowering of horizons, regressive even." paragraph 1, page 6 Home Economics Vintage Advice and Practical Science for the 21st Century Household
Most progressive educators would be thrilled with this analysis, and on the other hand some of my counterparts would veer away from a book whose first paragraph states such falsity so emphatically. I however, see an opportunity to teach my students; first, to be ever aware of ideologies that go against the Bible, and second, to teach them to think about what the author is saying and why it is something they can or cannot agree with when it's compared to what the Bible says. My ideals are grounded in what the Bible has to say on every aspect of life. This is how I view the world. (Everyone has a world view of some kind, secular, humanistic, or Biblical)
On the contrary to what the world seems to value (as stated in the opening paragraph) I would like to pose this question: who will remember what office you worked, what bank you ran or what kind of burgers you flipped when you are sitting on your rocking chair in some assisted living care center? Who will remember if you scaled the highest mountain, ran the fastest time or traveled to all the countries of the world? My Biblical world view teaches me that life is not made up of what is temporal, but what is eternal. When life ends here on Earth, another life begins in eternity. Titus chapter 2 speaks about what God places value on in His ultimate design for man and woman in their roles in such capacities within and out of the Home. Again, each situation is different for those who encounter life. And the ideal won't always be attainable. I am trying to teach God's ideal as He states in the Bible. And specifically the ideal as it pertains to women, Tit 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; Tit 2:4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, Tit 2:5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
This ideal is what I try to have my students strive for, not what the world says. It all comes down to what will be remembered when our lives on this earth are done. What will be remembered is the heritage that you as a mother laid as a joint heir to the grace of life. 1Pe 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them (wife) according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
In the role as mother you will have your part in molding and making a future generation of Christians who can continue to pass on the knowledge of God's beautiful salvation through Jesus. This is a sobering and daunting thought, and more worth should be doled out to those moms who would choose this ideal. Choosing to "lower your horizons," as the introduction pointed out is actually quite the opposite when choosing to be the sole care provider of your children, house and home, it's not "regressive."
Technology may have made laundry easier, a dishwasher may make it easier to wash dishes but technology cannot replace what is a mother's steady figure of constant nurturing care and guidance give and requires her to be in the home from day to day(if not until the children are of school age, which then, gives her more freedom to choose her daily duties). Being "home all day" is what makes that position so irreplaceable, for you can only be a mother to the child you gave birth to, all others are just a replica. (Not to demean those who have no choice in the matter, again, I'm striving for the ideal.)
We need to raise up a generation of women who will not run from their posts of the home or be intimidated in their decision by a godless society that tells them they have chose a course less desirable in life, but be glad and return to what is the most important role, as Ellen Key said,
"The Mother [sic and wife] is the most precious possession of the nation. So precious that society advances its highest well-being when it protects the functions of the mother."
It's about time we reintroduce Home Economics back into life, back into schools, and back into the minds of generations to come- a vocation worthy of its pursuit. It's time we as a society begin to protect and cherish the office of motherhood and home making once again. It's time to advance moms, not demean them.