Q: Where did you get all your ideas about the role of daughters? What groups did you grow up around? Were you raised in a particular group of conservative homeschoolers?
A: Some Americans presume that we grew up in a very conservative, sheltered, homeschooling crowd, and were never confronted with people who believed differently than we. Actually, the opposite is true. Until two years ago, all our friends, save one, had been college girls or were/had been in the military. From the time we were little girls, many young women like these new Christians have loved coming to our home to learn from our parents. The girls we spent the most time with while writing our book were Christian girls from non-homeschooling, often non-Christian backgrounds, sometimes abusive backgrounds. Since our father has ministered to so many different kinds of people – Muslims, political leaders, college kids, military veterans, television and film professionals, journalists, non-Christian public school kids, businessmen, missionaries, refugees – these were the people we grew up around (though always supervised and overseen by our parents. We spent time with these people as a family). Until traveling to the States two years ago, one of the crowds we were most unfamiliar with was the conservative American homeschooling crowd.
We both spent our most formative years in New Zealand, an island paradise and spiritual wasteland. Militant feminism got a foothold in NZ at least a decade before it did in most Western nations, giving us a chilling picture of what America may look like in ten years. More clearly than any book, sermon, or lecture could have done, seeing feminism’s natural, devastating aftermath in a more developed stage revealed to us just how terrible are its ravages. It was obvious even to many of the secular pundits. Even many of the most liberal college girls were disgusted with the feminist “utopia” they had inherited — particularly by the men it produced. We heard “Where have all the men gone?” everywhere we went. Women had long ago charged forward to seize the authority they were not meant to bear, and led in the churches, the government, the workplace, and the family. The result was a society of families in shambles.
This is the world we grew up in, and these were the people that we ministered to. We were never able to rely on homeschooling support, like-minded friends, or ministries to help us develop our convictions. The principle of being directed by Scripture alone was something our parents had always made important to us; our circumstances made it essential. We had nothing but Scripture to tell us how to live (the foreign culture around us, to which we had no loyalties or inundation, didn’t attract us at all), and as we both approached our “graduating” years, we plunged into our personal studies of the role of daughters in earnest. Our sense of urgency to find the real answers, and share our findings, was largely fueled by our hundreds of hours of serious conversations with both college students and college faculty, both on and off campus. We became intimately familiar with the litany of issues and crises that affected girls in NZ, Australia, Britain, Europe, Asia, South Africa, and America.
We realize that “experience” is not a pre-requisite to being able to read, understand, and exposit the Word of God, but this background, coupled with the benefit of having two extremely wise parents who’ve been around the block and have the stories to prove it, helped us cement our thinking.
And after we were established in our convictions and well into our book, we were astonished to find that there were people on the other side of the world who had come to many of the same conclusions, long before we did. Guess they must have been reading from the same Bible…
If you have a question you’d like to add to the list of questions we’ll be answering, please send it to damsels (AT) visionarydaughters (DOT) com.