The hay appears, and the tender grass shows itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered.
The lambs are for your clothing, and the goats are the price of the field.
And you shall have goats’ milk enough for your food, for the food of your household, and for the maintenance for your maidens.
If our sons are faithful to look after their herds, and they are carefully trained in diligence, the Lord attaches a precious little promise in these verses. There will be food and clothing enough for their future families. There is comfort here. It is for us to focus on preparing our sons to take responsibility for their future households, and then we enjoy the blessing of God.
Throughout Scripture we find that the man of the household is responsible for “the maidens” (1 Cor. 7:36). Even the Apostles took responsibility for their sisters and wives as Paul asks the rhetorical question in 1 Corinthians 9:5, “Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?” This may seem a little odd to the modern mind since many families turn their grandmothers, wives, and daughters over to corporations and governments for their sustenance. But Paul admonishes men to take care of the needy widows in their own families instead of turning them over to the church or some other institution (1 Tim. 5:8ff). In fact, those men who refuse to take care of their widows are considered worse than infidels. This is basic to a Christian social order.
While a few maidens may find this text degrading, they will always find their sustenance and security in some institutional structure or another. With the collapse of the family in the industrial age, the hearts of daughters have wandered far from the home. When parents declare their intention to raise their daughters to be “independent,” they should clarify what they mean by that word. Do they intend for their daughters to be independent of the state and the large corporation or independent of the family? In the 21st century in America, the largest socialist voting bloc turns out to be single women, which explains the inevitable rise of socialism and total government in once-free countries. The New York Times reported that “In 2005, 51% of women said they were living without a spouse, up from 35% in 1950.” As long as fathers are raising their daughters to be dependent upon the state and independent of the institution of the family, we will see the empowerment of the socialist state.
The more fundamental problem is not so much with the maidens but with the fathers and sons. Without manly faith in God’s promises, and without solid training for our sons in looking after their flocks and herds, we will never see a biblical social order restored. Even among Christian homes and Christian homeschools, there is far more passion today to prepare daughters for the “independent” life than in the 1970s and 1980s. But the reason why these mothers are training their daughters with a vision towards an “independent” career is because they are well aware that 70% of young men are not grown up by thirty years of age. Men are not maturing. They are not capable of caring for a household made up of a wife and daughters (the maidens). So, of course, their women must seek career jobs in the workforce. The results of such a social order is only more single mothers, more children in daycare who will seldom see father or mother, more young men who fail to grow up by thirty years of age, more socialist government programs, and an increasingly dysfunctional socioeconomic order.
Thus, you can see the importance of raising a young man with the character to look after his flocks and herds. But it is more than that. Our young men must know that if they work, God will bless. They must work without worry, believing that somehow their work will not be in vain. They must plant their crops and establish their herds, believing that God will provide an increase for them. Faith is essential in all of life but especially in the area of work. When we go off to work on Monday morning, we must believe that God will reward the works of our hands. This gives the man great confidence and joy in his work.
1. Who is responsible for taking care of the household and the “maidens?” Provide biblical backing.
2. Why is faith important for those who work?
3. How might we train our young men to be responsible for the material well-being of the home?