So… Can My Daughter Go to College?

The role and function of women today and consequently their divine design and their ultimate well being in life, their meaning and sense of satisfaction is being continually attacked and perverted. And sadly, tragically, there are churches and evangelical institutions, colleges and seminaries that have brought into this even though the Word of God is absolutely clear on the matter.

– John MacArthur

should-i-go-to-college-Unfortunately, it’s true. Not only has our culture rejected God’s ordained plan for different roles in biblical manhood and womanhood (roles He intended for our benefit, not oppression), but Christianity at large has allowed this un-biblical thinking to permeate the church and the family.

Has this resulted in the “freedom” of women? Have they satisfied their lust for usurping the role of man as the leader in the church and family? Have they found emancipation from the yoke of help-mate, homemaker, and child-raiser enlightening?

They may think they have, but they haven’t, and the reason is because God designed the roles of man and woman to be a blessing – not a curse. It’s not a chauvinistic reaction to the Fall, but it’s part of His perfect original design as part of His original creation.

So what is God’s design for woman? We can divide her roles between the church, and the family, and these roles are outlined quite clearly in many passages, but is perhaps summarized best in Titus 2:3-5.

Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.

This is the will of God. It doesn’t depend on our personal desires, preferences, or culture. So… where do we commonly take issue? I think we all know. God desires them to be workers at home and subject to their own husbands?

That’s what the text says, and it’s really nonnegotiable. And if you claim to believe God’s Word but refuse to obey it, the Word of God is dishonored. In other words, you make a mockery of God and His truth by your sinful behavior while claiming to be a Christian.

But what does this mean? How is this applied? This is where we have to be really careful, because we cannot impose our personal preferences on others, nor can we bind their consciences with guilt because of how we may want to apply a text. This is otherwise known as legalism – which Paul does not mince words to condemn in the book of Galatians.Dont-do-it

So, the question here at hand, in response to Karl’s post, 2 Reasons Why My Daughter Won’t Go to Collegeis “Can my daughter go to college?” In other words, if God’s desire is for my daughter to get married (1 Tim. 5:14), and be a worker at home, is it wrong if my daughter goes to college? Or we could even as the question this way, “Should my daughter go to college?”

Now, before answering that question, let me point out a few things from Karl’s post:

  1. The title, which reads (in case you missed it), “2 Reasons Why I Won’t Send My Daughter to College” (emphasis mine). This is not to say that I agree or disagree with his reasons, but simply that these are his decisions for his family – not yours, so to be fair, going by the title alone we can’t really say this smacks of legalism, since he’s not imposing an extra-biblical standard on you. 
  2. Karl also said, “Just to be clear, I don’t intend to demean or discourage young women in school or in the workforce. There’s a point where it becomes gray.” The issue here is first a matter of the heart – namely, what is your reason for going to college? So you can honor God? Or so you can pursue independence? Once you’ve dealt with this you can determine what you’ll do with the degree.
  3. And this, “Please let me reiterate that I don’t intend to discourage or condemn single Christian ladies who work.” Okay, so even though this quote doesn’t explicitly say so, this leaves room for the possibility of the gift of celibacy, or, for those who marry later in life and need to support themselves in the meantime.

That being said, I also want to make clear that what Karl does (or what I do for that matter) is not the issue. What is the issue is whether or not we can honor God by sending our daughters to college, or whether our daughters can honor God by earning a degree and entering the workforce. We shouldn’t see going to college and working a professional career (gift of celibacy?) as juxtaposed against God’s desire for women. It can complement His desires. There are many reasons why it would be contradictiongreatly profitable for your daughter to go to college, and maybe there are reasons why it wouldn’t be. But this is a decision each individual parent needs to make, and you might even have to make one decision for one child, and a different decision for the other because you know where their strengths and weaknesses are.

You might be confident that one child is spiritually mature enough that you know the temptations of the world will be detestable, and a secular university would provide him/her with a unique opportunity to be a testimony for Christ. Or, you might know that your son or daughter needs the framework and influence of godly Christian professors, so a Christian university is a better option. But really, I am FAR more concerned that your children can find a good church at whatever university they attend. THAT should be every parent’s priority since it’s the church where we are held accountable and equipped for Christian living.

But let me be clear, just because you sent your daughter to college, does not mean you’ve sacrificed her on the altar of men. College can be a great thing (in fact, there some [not many] colleges and universities that even equip young women to be lovers of their husband, lovers of their children, and workers at home – The Master’s College is one of them), and your daughter can still honor God by her decision to go to college. BUT she cannot go to college at the expense of her responsibilities in the home, for her husband, and for the church.THAT’S the issue as I see it. If she is negligent in any of those areas, it’s the college or work that HAS to go because things are her foremost priority and responsibility.

Be faithful to the Word of God, and do not make a mockery of God and His Word by your disobedience. No one has the right to violate God’s Word – for any reason, there’s never justification for it.

There’s a LOT more that could be said on the issue, and undoubtedly, a lot more will be said in the comments thread below. However, I ask two things: 1) that your comments are helpful and respectful, and 2) if you have an issue with something Karl said, take it to Karl’s post so he can answer you there. I won’t answer it, I’ll just delete it 🙂

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Matt Tarr

About Matt Tarr

Matt currently serves as pastor-teacher at High Point Baptist Church, Larksville, PA. Prior to his ministry at High Point, Matt also served in the counseling department at Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, CA, and as a chaplain at the Scranton-Wyoming Valley Rescue Mission. He enjoys spending time with his wife Melody and his two children, Jonathan and Timothy.