She Doesn’t Want to Go to College

She Doesn’t Want to Go to College

“Let’s say an 18 year old woman came to you seeking out your advice. She loves the Lord. She doesn’t want to go to college as all of her friends are doing. The Christian colleges are way too expensive and the secular colleges are too godless, plus she has no interest in having a career. All she wants is to be a wife and mother, if the Lord blesses her with a husband. How would you advise her?”

Luba: “Use this time for the following:
* Hours of Bible reading and prayer
* Learning all you can about running a household
* Learning to cook healthy meals
* Be a blessing to parents
* Help an elderly lady at church with cleaning and errand running
* Learn all you can about being a godly wife
* Be content until God brings you a husband
* Pray about starting a business (being a nanny, cleaning – the possibilities are endless)”

Amanda: “This sounds like my 17 year old daughter! She was thinking she would go to university next year and study nursing. I didn’t try to talk her into or out of it, but just prayed she would follow God’s lead in her life. In the last few months, I have seen her change. She talked to my husband and me recently and explained she no longer felt university was for her. She wants to be a wife and mother first and foremost.

“I have advised her to stay home while she waits for God to bring her husband along and in the meantime, learn all she can in the way of managing a home and caring for a family. I have told her to make sure she spends a lot of time in God’s Word and covers her future in prayer and commits it to the Lord. She is also reading some really good Christian books on Godly Womanhood, like Preparing to be a Help Meet, Let Me Be A Woman, Godly Woman 101, Girl Defined, and Love Defined. And you know what, since she has decided not to go to university, she looks so much happier and at peace. She joyfully helps me with laundry (she says ironing is her ‘happy place’!), loves to bake, and clean. I have seen very positive changes in her, and it’s very encouraging.

“Note: she is still in school completing her last year (Christian School), and works casually on Saturdays and after school at (none other than?) McDonald’s. She has learned piano for many years and will be able to conduct piano lessons from home if she chooses.”

Julie: “I am a firm believer that college is NOT necessary. However, I do think it’s important to learn how to work and earn money. Developing a good work ethic and financial responsibility is never a bad thing, in my opinion. It doesn’t necessarily need to be like a waitress or a grocery store clerk, but maybe earn money babysitting/nannying, or maybe house-cleaning?”

Vickie: “When I first decided to stay home, we needed some extra money and I cleaned two houses a week. With only one child at the time, I brought him with me and made enough to pay for all of our groceries. My daughter is like this, too. I agree with all of what Luba said.

“In addition, we live on a small farm and raise animals. She is taking on some of that so she can sell some livestock and with our goat milk we have started a small business selling soap and other natural products. She can do most of it from home and is getting a website started. This way she has been able to make some money of her own and if it continues she could do this as a wife and mother if she chooses. Another thing she has talked about is being a hairdresser. You can go to technical school and that is something she could also do from home with a family.

“She has bought old furniture from yard sales and refinished it and resold for a good profit. There are many things out there like this and she really enjoys being helpful. She does not have a boyfriend but she is looking forward to it. She isn’t sitting around dwelling on it either. She keeps busy and feels when the timing is right, the Lord will let her know.”

Christina: “I’d tell her great. The only thing I would advise to do that if she does decide to go, watch where she goes and for what. There may be a day that she needs to have a degree to homeschool so that a teaching degree may be at use or a nursing degree which also could be useful to use at home, too. But if she doesn’t feel she should go, great! But be in God’s Word and in prayer. Make sure she is being the BEST godly woman she can humanly be.”

Dawn: “Much will depend on her parents and living situation. If coming from a girl whose parents are not on board with waiting, praying, and helping around the home until marriage, she will need to attend college and get a job. I would say chose a college degree/certificate that could be ultimately useful in the home or for her future children’s education. Even better, a certificate program rather than a typical four year liberal arts education which will avoid many of the less desirable teachings. Care-taking and administrative type jobs can also build skills for the home.”

Samantha: “Pray a lot, and I mean a lot. Save your heart for the man God wants to put in your life. Learn to cook well, how to manage finances, and how to keep a tidy home. Learn the basics of home keeping if she hasn’t already. Pray over any potential relationship with a man; do some soul searching and be sure he is the right man for you before ever getting engaged. Be friends first and foremost, because if there is no friendship to base the relationship on, then is he really the one God puts in your life and intends for you to marry? Don’t just go out in the world and date willy nilly; be friends first. Build your relationship with God and draw closer to him. Let God guide you and your natural instinct about situations and people in your life; your gut instinct is usually right.”

Paige: “I’d tell her to be open to what God calls her to do. There are many ways to prepare for motherhood: caring for children by babysitting, serving people in her church by helping them in their household, working with her own mother.”

Rebecca: “There are three ways of thinking about it: 1) becoming educated in case you don’t get married; 2) being educated so that you can teach your children at home; 3) not overeducating, thus providing your husband a temptation for you to work because your salary would be so significant. But if you don’t have access or finances to go to a Christian college, being educated isn’t all that good of a thing. There are many things to think about, that’s for sure.”

Tammy: “As with any career, it’s always possible to learn more. As a stay-at-home, homeschooling, mom I can think of some experiences and classes that would have benefited me or had been fun. Cooking classes or working in a nice restaurant would be a fun way to increase cooking skills. Taking some teaching courses online would increase her “qualifications“ to homeschool in some states. Working in a preschool or as a nanny would give her some more insight into caring for different personalities. Cleaning homes is a good way to learn techniques and make good money. Personally. I don’t think any of it is necessary but I do think it could be fun and increase confidence.”

Christine: “Love all the advice above. I want to add to it by saying, if she needs to work, retirement homes, daycares, someplace that she could learn about caring for others in a different way would be a good way to go. This will also help prepare her for the future as a homemaker, wife, and mother.”

Kim: “She might also look at volunteering. There are so many places where she can use her gifts. Many times, those that are in need of volunteers and would love to see younger faces. I have been volunteering at a local church run foodbank for 12 years and when I first started I was the youngest! I was still home schooling, so I brought my kids to help. It was a great way to get them involved and teach them empathy.”

I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.
1 Timothy 5:14

16 thoughts on “She Doesn’t Want to Go to College

  1. Online classes in early childhood education. She can use them in teaching her children when it is her time, and perhaps serving as a teaching assistant in a local preschool or church before then.

  2. Something must be wrong because the Christian colleges I know of are as worldly and godless as the secular ones.

  3. Hi Lori, Thank you so much for this post!It is very helpful and encouraging to me, as I am 19 and basically in the situation you described. I don’t want to go to college and have a career, but I want to make good use of my time here at home until when/if I am blessed with a husband. It also encourages me a lot to realize that there are other girls out there that share these same desires.Thank you for sharing these ladies’ thoughts!

  4. Sorry, I copied it to another app and saw some misspellings. Love writing on smartphones. Below is edited. Please delete the other.
    As a Christian guy who grew up in churches that taught that it was a bad idea for kids to go to public universities, I can tell you as a guy with a bachelor’s degree and two grad degrees from public universities that I can tell that many of these comments are not written by people who have gone to public universities. I don’t say how many degrees I have because I think I’m smarter than others but simply to let you know that I’ve gone to several public universities.

    1. The Bible says to be in the world but not of the world as we all know. What man, other than someone in full-time Christian work, will not be around the world when they are working? Do you really think that if your daughter is working at McDonald’s that she is not being exposed to more of the world than attending public university for 15-20 hours per week in a class? No, I’m not talking about living on campus.

    2. Many of us good Christian guys who work hard to pay our way through school are not looking for a Christian lady who has no degree or training that she can fall back on. I was interested in many Christian girls, but having a degree or a REAL technical skill that she could fall back on if I were to die or become incapacitated was a non-negotiable, deciding factor for me. I’d seen several close friends lose dads at a young age, and their moms struggled so much financially. Insurance and investments don’t last long if a mother can’t make much to pay the bills. Yes, working odd jobs helps pay a bill or two. In your current situation, would you be able to continue in your current living situation if something happened to your husbands? Please take that in the right way, but it’s reality. I pray that they live long lives. I encourage you to take a good Bible-based financial planning course if you haven’t already. For the record, I have a sister and close friends who took the advice many of you are providing, and they are single and well into their 30s and 40s and wish they had gotten a degree that would allow them to live a more rewarding life and allow them to give more to the Lord’s work. In addition, my wife’s father passed away when she was 13. If her mom hadn’t also been a pharmacist, their family would’ve been in a world of hurt financially, but her mom raised her girls and put them both through public universities. My wife will stay home with our kids and will work part time from home because she has two degrees that enable her to do that…and she is still a strong Christian lady who knows how to stand for her faith. She isn’t working because she has to but because she feels it’s her duty if she is going to be a true Proverbs 31 lady…and she is.

    3. I would highly recommend that you do NOT recommend an education degree because, as someone who’s spent a lot of time at public universities, that’s one area where the most Left Wing, atheist and liberal professors usually teach. One of my best guy friends came out of the same university I did with a teaching degree and some very different worldviews. Also, you’d be hard pressed to raise a family on one teaching salary in most states. The point of college is to make more money after than you could when you started…what is the return on investment for the money you put towards a degree? No, it’s not all about money, but most people don’t have $20-30K burning a hole in their pocket for any old degree that will be “fun.” Find a degree that you enjoy, but that will comfortably pay the bills if something happens to your husband, God forbid. Medical is usually one of the best industries, but there are many including starting a business and one that you could run from home.

    4. For young guys and ladies…remember that our Founding Fathers that we all hold in high regard were not slouches in the classroom…nor were many of them poor. Many had PhDs before they were 22. Education is a good thing…read Proverbs. Yes, there are some liberal professors, but get involved in Christian organizations on campus. There are a lot more Christians there than you think. Train your kids up in the Word to stand for their faith and to know what they believe and why they believe it. If after 18 years, they can’t live at home and go to the local university or community college for 15-20 hours per week without being swayed by the world in a classroom setting, we’ve failed as parents. College actually has helped me in my faith even when I disagreed with the content at times because it helped me make even stronger logical arguments for my faith and worldviews. It challenged me to know more about the Bible and to know why I believe it. For the record, I went through 6 years of business school and 2 years in another grad program, and I really only had 3 professors who were really left wing and 2 of those 3 had no issue with my viewpoints as long as I argued my points. The other changed her mind after I challenged her grade. I do recommend commuter schools because the professors are there to teach and not make a name like they do at the bigger research schools. Which ones are research schools? Usually the ones with the biggest football or basketball teams in the state. University of Michigan, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, etc.

    I pray you take this comment in the right vein. We have a lot of young families struggling financially because they went to Christian schools that didn’t have accreditation, and the husbands struggled to find good jobs because most employers look at them as though they don’t have a degree…and we have a lot of people in the USA without a college degree competing for jobs. In all honesty, they should’ve saved their money and gone to the public university or a trade school or apprenticeship program back home. Many jobs will pay a kids’ way through college if they work 20-30 hours per week and keep their grades up. The love of money is the root of all evil…not money. God has blessed our family, but we also live well within our means by having a smaller house and older vehicles than my peers. We’re happy with what we’ve got. I love having the financial freedom to be able to help others, help missionaries in need or church plants or with special offerings because we don’t live paycheck to paycheck because I’ve worked many long hours to get to the point where I’m making a good income but also live well within that income. A good education that enables you to provide well for both your family and the church is not embarrassing…it’s the right thing to do. Think about how much more we could accomplish for the Lord if we had a few more doctors, CEOs, pilots, engineers, electricians, nurses, etc. in our churches? Maybe funding orphanages in Uganda, Christian radio stations in Latin America, and Christian schools or homeschooling for American kids right at home in the USA? Getting an education doesn’t make one a better Christian, nor does not getting an education make one a better Christian…but having an education or real skill does allow you to earn a lot more over a lifetime statistically, especially if you get a degree with a good return on investment. And making more money over a lifetime allows you to also give more to the church over a lifetime.

    I love you all as brothers and sisters in Christ and just wanted to provide my perspective as someone who’s been around awhile and has spent years in public university and has also seen close friends struggle because they didn’t or didn’t at least choose a good technical school that would allow them to have a good financial footing to support a family and God’s work.

    I’m writing this from Afghanistan on a smartphone after working 17 hours straight, so I apologize for any misspellings or autocorrect errors.

    God bless you all.

  5. Mrs Lori Alexander,

    I have only recently within the past week found my way to your site, and am grateful to have done so. As a male lone wolf in my mid-30s, I have long been dismayed at the state of affairs in the West. In our time, I have come to the conclusion the plague in the West is that women are prideful, and men are cowardly (Gen 3:16). The power of a God-fearing, feminine, female voice to the ears of a young woman is noteworthy; if I were to explain the very things you do, it would come across as brash, brazen, controlling, hateful etc. THANK YOU.

    I look to the Word for guidance on how I should be living my life, so as to grow closer to God. I can look to the world around me to witness the effects of the lessons given in the Bible. For the post you have provided today, I immediately think of ‘The Millionaire Next Door’ which outlines very clearly the truths about earthly, monetary wealth and refutes all of the common lies with statistical analysis of those who have achieved financial independence. It isn’t the lawyers or doctors or brokers who drive fast cars. Overwhelmingly, they are tradesmen who married young (and only once) with a wife who stayed home to raise 2+ children and started a part-time career AFTER the children were raised. The concepts you preach (directly from the Word) are well proven in this book.
    BOOK SUMMARY: If a woman seeks financial gain, her best bet is to forgo a career, marry, have children young, raise them (everything that you preach, directly from the Bible). Her husband is to play good offense with his career, she plays good defense with stretching dollars. At the conclusion of rearing children, the married couple will have made more as a team than they would have been able to accomplish for each other as individuals (Gen 5:2).

    Time and again in my life I witness testimony from the World that the best way to navigate our earthly phase is to follow His Word.

    What to do when a young woman is no longer a child, not yet a wife?
    * In all things, be thankful for the season in which one finds themself, for He is gracious (1 The 5:18)
    * Hone skillsets useful for marriage NOW while there are fewer distractions (Prov 20:4, Prov 28:19-20)
    * These very skillsets can be monetized during marital preparation (Prov 31:18)
    * Wether you are single and preparing, married and serving, mothering and raising: do each task with discipline and praise (Prov 31:15, Col 3:23)

    Thank you again for your voice. It is a gift for women to hear God’s wisdom and guidance for their lives from the mouth of a fellow woman (Tit 2:3-5).

    I’ll nestle into being a quiet lurker of your site, preparing myself to be a better offering to my future wife, and inspiring fellow men in my mensgroups to not shirk from our duty of leadership. Keep ‘circling the wagons’ Lori!

  6. If she wants to be a nurse she could go to a community college and get the 2 year degree. She wouldn’t live on campus, so her exposure to other students/faculty would be minimal. I don’t see where going to college makes you less of a Christian woman. I myself have an advanced degree and worked for 5 years before my husband and I had children (we did not use birth control, I had a miscarriage, and had problems getting pregnant). When my kids were toddlers , I worked 12 to 14 hours per week in a library. My husband sat with the kids 2 evenings and Sat afternoons, and my mom sat with them one weekday afternoon. I still had plenty of time to be a wife, mother, volunteer at church, etc.
    Anyway, sure at a secular college you will be exposed to non-Christian thinking. But you do so in everyday life, and seriously if you aren’t, you should evaluate why you spend so little time in the world (if only through the internet). You shouldn’t seclude yourself from others with different views. Once a girl is an adult, she should be able to listen and appraise different viewpoints without being led astray. That is a crucial skill to develop.
    In nursing most of the classes are medical with only a few liberal arts classes. And it’s not as if an entire semester of a class is devoted to debunking Christianity. You can take an entire semester of liberal arts classes and never hear anything anti-Christian.
    If a young lady doesn’t want to go to school, or work, make sure it’s because she feels called in a certain direction, and not just fleeing from the world because she’s scared.

  7. It is wonderful to hear about a young lady (still a maiden) who has the right instincts. She is at her peak at 17-18, where she can potentially land a better man than she will ever be able to later, as she ages and has less to offer a husband. The age at which a woman starts increasing the odds of her giving birth to a baby with Down’s Syndrome due to advancing age? NINETEEN. Age eighteen is a woman’s “sell-by” date, if she’s serious about having a real family (three is replacement rate, not two, and replacement rate is just breaking even).

    This chart shows just what a would-be mother who delays until half (or more of her looks, and >80% of her fertility is gone (wrong side of 30), as so many women are led to do now. Note that it’s best-case scenario, without accounting for fertility reducing/ending STDs so common among young women who don’t marry early, and instead spend college years and their twenties on the carousel:

    Typed out:
    “Oldest age a woman should start trying to have children based on desired family size”

    Chance of realization 1 Child 2 Children 3 Children
    W/O IVF 50% Chance 41 38 35
    W/O IVF 75% Chance 37 34 31
    W/O IVF 90% Chance 32 27 23
    With IVF 50% Chance 42 39 36
    With IVF 75% Chance 39 35 33
    With IVF 90% Chance 35 31 28

    It’s from here:

    There are two other things to consider:
    1) Another related piece of information not widely known outside of fertility professionals is the life expectancy dropoff issue that aging would-be mothers face.
    “It turns out that there is a roughly even reduction in life expectancy in daughters with increasing maternal age (but not increasing paternal age, which affects health of children much less ) past starting at the latest by about age 34. Conceiving at age 44 [if you even could] would knock about a decade off the life of any little ones you’d want to put in dresses and put bows in their hair. And, it’s not a case of “they just die at 66 instead of 76, with everything the same before then”.
    Rather, they’d have about a 14% reduced life expectancy (more likely to die during every year they’re alive) and reduced vitality (health) all through life, from the very first day you hold them in your arms and you tell you that you love them. It is apparently universal for all women, can’t be tested for (other than with a calendar), and can’t be avoided. It is probably related to universal changes with advancing age in ova cell organelles called telomere shortening, from most human cells only having a certain number of times they can divide.
    This effect likely also applies to considerable extent to sons as well, but this is not as well understood. Further supporting these findings is what many researchers have consistently found about people who live really long lives (with good health and keeping their minds intact into advanced old age): they nearly always had very young mothers. (Health of cytoplasmic DNA, which comes exclusively from mothers and none from fathers, is apparently much of the reason for this.)”

  8. Continuing:
    2) Imagine a young woman who thinks she wants to be a surgeon and a mother both.
    First, she takes the customary 5 years that STEM B.S. degrees commonly take. That puts her at age 23. Then, there’s getting into medical school; she might get to go that same year, or (as many do) it takes her another year just to get in. That’s age 23/24 best/worst case so far. Medical school takes 4 years, but more than a few doctors have to repeat a year. She’s at 27/29 now. Neurosurgical residency takes 7 years, but repeating a year is not rare. (A close friend of mine who’s a surgeon repeated TWO years.) That’s 31/34.

    Now, what is her situation? She’s age 31-34, no husband (when would she have had the time to get or keep one?). She likely has 300 grand in school debt. Anyone who just finished a medical residency is a poster child for deferred gratification, where she’s busted her tail for preceding dozen years, with none of much pleasure or money (so far) to show for it. It’s ALREADY too late (see the above chart) for her to have much of a family, even if the day she finished her residency, she dropped the whole thing, finding a wealthy husband who’d take on an almost third of a MILLION dollars in nonbankruptable debt for the dubious child-bearing capacity of a woman that’s as old as her mid-thirties. And, who’d go through all that (5 year STEM degree with super-high grades essential, medical school, residency, all with no fun/fulfillment/money to speak of), without working in their field some, FINALLY? No one. She’s looking at multiple years to work and pay off that debt, and then, no kids. Not much of a life plan for any woman that genuinely wants a family.

  9. This was such an interesting post! I love all of the replies!!

    My thoughts:

    (1) Find places to volunteer, either per one’s interests or to bless those who need help (the elderly or young moms at her church, etc.). This is one of the only times when one can donate large amounts of time without having to worry about needing an income.

    (2) Read, read, read. As a homeschooling mama, I am plunged into a world of books that I desperately want to read, but am so busy that I can only get through a small portion of them. Get a reading list and start diving into classic literature (the good stuff!) and classic children’s literature. Now’s the time, when you HAVE the time.

    (3) Learn homemaking skills. So many skills have not jumped the generational divide, and when one is still single is the time to learn them. For me, this was sewing. My mother is an excellent seamstress; I can barely sew on a button. Unlike cooking, this skill did not cross generations. As an extremely busy mama now, I am frantically trying to figure out how to regain this lost skill (which I should have gained as a child) in order to teach my own daughters, so that this does not become a self-perpetuating generational loss of skill. If one has any homemaking skills that one would like to learn (gardening, cooking, cleaning, sewing, canning, baking, etc.), this would be an awesome time to learn it via mentoring, reading, YouTube, etc.

    Thanks for this great article.

  10. I think it was indicated that Christian colleges were pricey in the scenario, hence the reason for not going to one. But I guess you can add in secularism creeping in.

    All the same, am in 40s would love to meet someone and be wed and stay at home. However came late to the table do to speak, so stuck working but if I was much younger and have learnt what Lori is preaching. Would have volunteered at college. Gotten a part time job and worked on my housekeeping skills together and do what James said Christians must do and that is look after those less fortunate rather than get career orientated. I won’t list the side effects of doing so.

  11. Diana, great advice!

    Also I enjoyed reading through the responses. One thing stuck out to me, the fact that this girl stayed that she did not want to go to college and the advice by a couple of modern Christians who completely ignored that fact and listed all the reasons why she should. To truly be helpful I would have expected to hear a lot more advice like Diana’s. Perhaps even helping her think out debt free living situations when she marries. It is disheartening to hear all the advice that college is the only way. If you are not called to go to college be ye a young woman OR a young man than you should not be pressured into going. I happen to have met a lot of people with good lives that never stepped foot on a college campus.

  12. I have a bit of a problem with the above quote “I have advised her to stay home while she waits for God to bring her husband along and in the meantime, learn all she can in the way of managing a home and caring for a family.”

    Just “wait” huh?
    If we have any other goal in life (job, skill, etc.) we are told to actively pursue it. But for the most important goal, you think God wants us to be ‘inactive’ and just wait?

    I think when parents know this is their daughters goal, as it should be – they should be doing everything possible to help her achieve that goal. Seek out other like-minded families and get to know Godly young men and help her find her goal!

    I do know of one young woman who went to her parents at age 18 and said “I want to get married – help me find my husband.” And they did exactly that, and she was happily married within a year or so afterward, and they now have 3 beautiful children. She knew what she was seeking, and sought it in a Godly way.

    I know so many wonderful young women who have “just waited” for God to drop the perfect man into their life – and they waited until they were 28, 30, 34….
    They had their list of what their perfect man would be like that God will give them; but never found him waiting inactively at home.

  13. Thank you Stephen. Very well said, and I hope this advice is heeded because you hit the bullseye with your comment.

  14. I so hear you! 🙂 The “college as a sacred cow” mantra was super-super strong in my family as well. In middle- to upper-class America, there is just an unthinking, unswerving devotion to the “college is the only way” worldview. You may not think, you may not question, you must only obey, and any other option is simply out of the question. Things like entrepreneurship, apprenticeship, military, trade school, or (for young women) staying at home – those options were so far out of the question that they were not even discussed. Unfortunately, that sacred cow is just as sacred inside the church as outside of it.

  15. If I had an 18 year old come to me stating that she didn’t want to go to college for any particular reason I would support her 100%

    College degrees are overrated anyway…

    However I would advise her to
    consider taking up a vocational course at a technical, careers or community college just so she can get a job until she becomes a mother.

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