(To listen to the podcast, see this link.) Sometimes our girls are asked about their plans for the future. Right now they are 17, 22, and 31. They are all unmarried and living at home.
Here is a question along these same lines that we were recently sent via e-mail:
“My husband and I have just finished reading Keeping Our Children’s Hearts. We read it out loud while on a long trip so it provided opportunity for open conversation while reading each chapter. This is quite a new perspective for us, but not one with which we disagree as you have supported each point so well with Scripture.
“However, we have a question about adult children in the home. We have four girls, ages nine to thirteen and have a few years before adulthood, but a question still arises. If they never marry, do they live with us forever? What happens to them when we are gone? This is a question my husband raised. We are not opposed to their living with us, but do they work? So many questions. Did your children ever work outside the home? We would love your thoughts. I am excited to see the Lord work. My husband has been leading our family in Scripture reading for the past few weeks and now we are seeing another opportunity to follow the Lord as we look to shelter, not isolate, our children.” Heather
When we were saved in our twenties, we began reading the Bible and following what we learned there. A whole exciting new way of life was opened up to us that challenged us and caused us to question much of what we had been raised doing and thinking. We both went to college and graduated with bachelor of science degrees. However, when we had children Teri wanted to stay home with our children, and we decided that was what she would do.
As we grew in the Lord and raised our children, we desired the same for our grandchildren—fathers who supported their families and mothers who were home with the children, hopefully homeschooling. We discussed with our children the benefits of that lifestyle and Scripture to support it. “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed” (Titus 2:4-5). “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (1 Timothy 5:8).
We have given our girls learning opportunities just like our boys have had so that they not only have homemaking skills but also have income-producing skills. Sarah has learned business management skills, including Quickbooks, inventory, shipping, taxes, marketing, and more. Not only that, but she also has now authored eight successful children’s books. Anna has bookkeeping skills she learned as she managed the boys’ construction-business books, has her A+ certificate, and much experience in nutrition and exercise. Mary is taking art classes.
Our girls have chosen not to work outside our home, and they have also chosen to live in our home until marriage. They have made those decisions because of the protection and sheltering they have within our home. That doesn’t mean they live secluded lives. They have many interactions with people in our community, church, and across the country as we travel. However, they aren’t going outside our home each day into the workforce. Sarah and Anna are at ages where they could make different choices as to their work and living environment if they so desired, but they prefer it here. Mary will soon be at that age, but she also indicates that she is happiest at home until marriage.
We talked with our girls about the questions that were asked in this e-mail, and we asked them how they would answer those questions. They said that if they don’t marry, they couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. They said they love living here. Yet, if the Lord brings the right man along as a husband, each will be happy for that too. They told us they aren’t concerned about what to do when we are gone because they are already income producing and know they can be self supporting should they need to be.
We like to encourage families to challenge their teens—both young men and young ladies—to be productive during their teen years. When they are teens, they have active minds, they have time, and they are creative. “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). They can be learning new skills and then utilizing those skills in income-producing ventures. Through this kind of a family vision, our sons have developed their own businesses, avoided the influence and cost of college, and started their married lives with debt-free homes. Our daughters have purpose in life and activities that fill their days. If the need should arise, they could support themselves.
We have so enjoyed family life with adult children living in our home. Our culture typically says for young people to leave home when they are eighteen, and often the parents are happy to be free of them. We love conversations with our adult children. We like doing things with them. We seek their counsel, and they ask ours. Plainly and simply, we love each other and like to be around each other. Allowing our adult, unmarried children to live in our home provides accountability for them that they have wanted, and it is economical as well. They are our best friends, and we are delighted that they want to live in our home. Our girls are welcome here until marriage, and if they are never married, they can stay until we are gone, and then the house will belong to them.