Yes, we have homeschooled our children all the way through (except for the eldest, who attended a Christian school for the first four years, and a public school for a short time.) When we began homeschooling, we did so because Deuteronomy makes it very clear that we are to teach our children when we sit down, when we rise up, when we walk by the way... all the time. There were no homeschoolers that we knew, no curriculum vendors, no public speakers. We were not part of the homeschool movement. We were simply Christian parents who wanted to raise our family to know and love the Lord, and to glorify His name.
Yes, I have been a stay-at-home mom for most of our nearly 34 years of marriage. I have tried to obey God's word and line myself up under my husband's leadership. Except for a short time as a part-time bus driver, and a short time as a Communications Co-ordinator for Carey Outreach Ministries, I have remained at home, serving my family. I guess I could be accused of being part of the "Patriarchal Movement". I don't see it that way. I was simply obeying the Word of God.
There is a discussion going on right now in cyber-space, and women who are Christians AND feminists are up in arms, decrying those who decide that large families, homeschooling, and traditional roles for men and women are God's plan for their lives. In other words, people like me and my daughters are apparently deluded or under some sort of legalized bondage. We simply can't know what it is to be Alive in Christ if we are stay-at-home moms with large families who are under our husband's authority.
I will quote one of the comments on the "true womanhood" site:
Imagine it… where would you rather be when you’re thirty, when you wake up and read what the Bible REALLY has to say??? Would you like to have 7 children already and a husband you have trouble respecting because he abuses his leadership, or be single and in a position to start your life fresh????? Marriage is for keeps… there’s no sending children back… so say you did wake up in this situation, you’re only option is to pray for a miracle in your husband’s heart!!!! While you gradually become the outcast, because everyone in your circle will eventually catch on to your “rebellion”.
Or, you can grieve for the years that bondage to legalism stole from you, but you can pick yourself up, pray that God would redeem the years that the locusts have eaten, and start living like an ALIVE woman in Christ.
I haven't woken up and felt that all of those years and all of those tasks were wasted. In fact, I believe that God is pleased with my servant's heart, and that He is glorified by my nose-wiping and my dish-doing and my child-rearing.
When I examine my life in Christ, I realize that God has used my marriage and my children to refine my rough edges and make me more Christ-like. How would I have learned patience and trust in a Sovereign God, were it not for wayward children? How would I have learned submission, were it not for a husband who did not always see things my way? How would I have learned applied theology, were it not for teaching my children the catechism, and having heated discussions with my husband regarding the doctrines of grace or the role of women? As iron sharpens iron, so my relationship with Rick and the children God has given us has sharpened me.
How would working outside the home have been more fulfilling? Having to get up early in the morning, fight the traffic, arrive on time, sit in meetings... how is that more blessed? How could having a boss other than my husband have been better? My husband respects me. He knows my strengths. He encourages me in my talents. No boss can ever know me like Rick knows me...I haven't the time left on this earth to invest 34 years in another relationship.
The poster above says
"you're (your!) only option is to pray for a miracle in your husband's heart!"
She says that like it is a bad thing to pray. However, we who are Christians know that it is a privilege to enter the throne room and petition Almighty God on behalf of someone we love. It is a privilege and joy to have a relationship with one man, and to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ together.
Oh, you young thing... how sad I feel for you. How you have missed the joy of learning by paradox that the way down is the way up, and that to be low is to be hight. You have missed that to give is to receive, and that to have nothing is to possess everything. You know nothing of the joy of servanthood, and you have failed to realize that we are most like Christ when we share in His sufferings.
Jesus made himself of no reputation. He did not seek after degrees or recognition. He was content to stay in a tiny area and minister to a miniscule group of unimportant people.
Kind of like a stay at home mom, under the authority of her loving husband, ministering to her children.
Alive in Christ, I'd say.