real encouragement for real homeschooling moms

october 19 podcast

Podcast Logo Listen here to this week’s podcast, which is part one of two on the topic of visionary daughters as a whole month of Spunky continues.



  Corrie wrote @

Good stuff. You brought out a lot of pertinent points. I especially liked the point about going to extremes in order to make our points and how we don’t need to do that; all we need is scripture in order to make our point.

Also, the point about those who are raised hearing the extremes (ie., women who work are women who sell their flesh cheap in one night stands to co-workers) do not operate out of a sound mind, is very good.

I am glad you brought out the conflicting teachings in the patriocentric movement. For example, you spoke of the Botkins’ statement that Amy Carmichael and Mary Slessor were basically not biblical and/or doing the will of God because they left home to be on the mission field instead of remaining in their proper role of helper to their fathers.

But then Stacey McDonald, in her book, tells us that Amy Carmichael, Gladys Aylward and even Anne Boleyn, Florence Nightingale and Clara Barton are all “women of virtue” and she even suggests making a page in a virtuous woman scrapbook for each of these women.

How do these two opposite sentiments meet? Is it wrong for a single woman to go out on the mission field and heed the call of God or is it virtuous for a woman to go out on the mission field and heed the call of God?

  Cindy Kunsman wrote @

I really appreciate this week’s podcast. Again, the “same for all” mentality of the system communicates through all the examples given.

I strongly relate to the Florence Nightengale example and the points made about the contradictions in the patriocentric argument. I would like to add another woman of virtue to that list: Catherine McAuley, founder of the Sisters of Mercy. At the age of 48, she inherited a fortune but, as a woman in the early 1800s, was unable to hold title to land and assets. She was living as a Protestant at that time and desired to use the money to care for homeless women and educate their children. The Protestant Church of Ireland would not permit a female layperson to operate such a ministry, so she returned to Catholicism (as she converted to Anglicanism as an adult) to establish the Sisters of Mercy. Within ten years (at the time of her death), she had established 14 such missions, one of which helped develop nursing into a respectable ministry (as care of the ill was primarily done by the dregs of society) and established education for women, training them to be educators of children. She, along with Florence Nightengale, helped establish the care of the ill as ministry rather than a terrible, nearly intolerable misfortune.

I am grateful for this, too, because it was the Sisters of Mercy who provided a college environment for me where , like Karen’s musically talented daughter, I also flourished and bloomed as a nursing student. We had 2000 students, over half of which were commuters, over a third were over the age of 40, and the day students were 90% female. I stayed on campus for two years, and I did not expereince anything like the college experiences that many people relate. So I argue, as thatmom does, for the choice and size of college as a consideration that need not make college an unsafe experience, given that you’ve done your job well, raising your daughters with good discernment and grounding in God’s Word.

When I entered college at 16 (one of the few options available to me at the time as I was too young to do most anything else), my goal was to become a missionary to Africa. Along the way, I met my husband and answered God’s call to marry him, although I have had many opportunites to participate in short-term missions projects. Also, like Karen states, when I decided to marry, nursing was ideal for allowing a woman to stay home with young children and homeschool. Shift work and weekend options make it ideal for homeschooling and raising little ones when the father is able and willing to help, never requiring childcare.

  molleth wrote @

Just wanted to go on record and share how much I’ve been enjoying the podcasts! 🙂 I recently linked to them over at as I think anyone studying the issues of faith and gender needs to be aware of the patriarchal movement. Thanks for your voice in all of this (and Spunky and the other contributors as well). It truly is a blessing.


  thatmom wrote @


Your point about going to Scripture rather than to extremes is exactly correct.

Another thing I see along those lines is the technique the patriocentrists often use of creating a crisis in order to offer their solutions, via a book for sale or a conference to attend.

Do you remember when Al Gore ran for president and every time he spoke, he listed all sorts of crises and then offered his solutions? Just listening to him scared the American people, especially the elderly who were most apt to vote.

That is what I see the patriocentrists doing. They pronounce a “crisis” of some sort….goddess-worshipping college professors, desperate housewife villifiers, Marxists around every corner, etc. And then, surprise, they have a $16.00 book to :”encourage” you. As we recently read, if these people really wanted to “encourage” someone, they would offer their writings via a pdf file!

I am not saying that the workman isn’t worthy of his hire and that it is always wrong to write a book or cut a cd and make money from it. However, it strikes me as unethical to create a problem only to turn around and sell someone a solution for that problem!

And that brings me to the idea of the extremes. In creating the problems that need to be solved, you have to go to extremes or there is no crisis. It is a great marketing tool.

  thatmom wrote @


Thanks for sharing your own story with us. And you made a great point….young women ought to be about serving the Lord is whatever capacity they are able and in whatever way their are equipped to do so. And the Lord is well able and usually does bring along the young man, interrupting their plans or blending the plans of both individuals, to His glory.

I enjoyed reading the biography of Florence Nightengale because she was a woman of strength of character and was used to influence the lives of many, even those of us blessed to live in the 21st century.

Have you read about Mary Anne Bickerdyke? I included her on a podcast back in June because she was so greatly used by the Lord during the Civil War, called out by her pastor and her church to “mother” the troops. Her contributions to medicine and healthcare also affect us today. Pretty monstrous, huh? 🙂

  thatmom wrote @

Hi Molly,

I am so glad to see you here! And thanks for the kind words about the podcasts.

I have missed reading your comments at the TW blog but am happy to have a link now to your blog.

One thing you pointed out in your recent blog article in your personal testimony is that we are not the extremists! Isn’t it sad that the patriocentrists have chosen to push us into the camp with the pro-abortionists just to try to vilify us? It is purely and clearly a violation of the 9th commandment!

I understand that the Monstrous Regiment of Women movie that has been promoted by Vision Forum has a fairly graphic abortion scene in it. What would be the purpose of that other than to horrify views and to equate women’s suffrage and women being employed outside the home with baby killing? I think that is outrageous!!! (Though I have yet to see the film, I understand that there is a pretty skewed view of the women’s suffrage movement…the Gunn brothers are Scottish, I believe, so they probably don’t actually understand the beginnings of this movement.) Have you seen this film yet? I would like to get your take on it.

  Cindy Kunsman wrote @

thatmom wrote: Have you read about Mary Anne Bickerdyke?

I have. She is another of countless women who have devoted themselves to caring for the ill during desperate times. It often makes me wonder who the patriocentrics expect to be there for them in the middle of the night when some health crisis arises? Or caring for our wounded soldiers today? I heard a news bit this week stating that we didn’t have nearly enough chaplains to minister to our troups in Iraq. I would imagine that a Christian nurse would be a double blessing to the wounded, but I guess that the patriocentrists believe that such things are better left up to the lost and the men.

Speaking of the Civil War, I wonder if the patriocentrists believe that Walt Whitman violated a gender role rule of the day when he volunteered as a nurse?

  corriejo wrote @


Yes, the abortion scene was distressing, heart-breaking and it certainly elicits a lot of emotions.

It brought back to me the memory of delivering my stillborn Oliver in February of 1995. He was about that size. It was very hard to watch.

I am totally against abortion but I am totally for the right of all citizens of this country to be able to vote. I guess that makes me a ????????

What I found ironic was the two Scottish female professors who opened the film. Their segment was concerning the life and teachings of John Knox. It was very interesting and it is obvious that these women are very learned and well-spoken. I could have watched more of them and heard more of what they had to say.

But, the ironic thing was that these two women were the anti-thesis of all that is “So Much More”, Vision Forum, Raising Maidens, etc. They were college-educated women , college professors, career-women who taught men and to boot, they were theologians!

I wrote to one of them and asked her if she knew that the film was promoting the idea that women should not work outside the home, go to college, teach men, have a profession/career because a woman’s role is to always serve a man, and that a woman should not vote. She had no idea. She was just asked to speak about John Knox and his life.

I wrote her many, many months ago. It seems that Phyllis Schlafley would be against the notion that women should not vote and that Carol Everett would be against it, too. Not only that but Everett is an egalitarian and she believes women should be able to serve as pastors if they are called to do so.

For the average “Joe” who isn’t interested in research or who knows nothing of the women in that movie, it would appear that these women are all on the same page as the Gunn Bros/Vision Forum/Botkins/McDonald/Chancey but they are not.

Phyllis Schlafley has a ministry in her own name, I don’t even know her husband’s name and I never hear about him. If I am a white-washed feminist, what does that make her? 😉

I think that the best policy is honesty. If you are going to proclaim that you are the teacher and spiritual leader you had better make sure you are honest and that there is nothing you are hiding from your public. When you are telling others to follow you, you had better have no skeletons in your closet. I am disheartened with some in the hyperpatriarchal movement because they are not honest and forthright about their family situations. They could be a great asset to the many families who are struggling with issues of divorce/remarriage and raising step-children and dealing with ex-spouses and visitation, for example.

A long time ago I decided I would fling open the doors of my closets in order to keep myself honest, accountable and humble. There is nothing that keeps you more real than taking a good look in the mirror and seeing that you are just another bozo on this bus called “life”.

Talk about sanitized! I think there are a lot of people presenting their lives as something that they are not. I can’t trust people who are not honest. I will not follow a person who is not forthright and honest in all of his/her dealings.

  Denise wrote @

Bravo ladies! Hooray!

Finally, someone has clearly and succinctly stated what I have thought for some time now.

When Spunky pointed out that whether something is prudent or not is important in family decisions, but to put forth (as the patriarchal teachings do) that something is Biblically forbidden when it’s not — is just plain wrong — I wanted to cheer.

Much of what they are teaching as ‘dogma’ is really in essence a wisdom call for each family. The Lord wants us to seek His will and leading in our lives. He wants us to ask for His wisdom and He’ll gladly give it to us.

They in essence take the Lord out of the picture by just making it simple and stating ‘this is the only way it’s to be done’ – one size fits all, cookie cutter Christians.

Praise God it doesn’t work that way. The Lord desires that we walk with Him, that we seek Him in everything and that we do it all for His glory.

It is so freeing to not live your life as if you have to fit into a man-made mold! They bind heavy burdens on people that the Lord never intended us to carry.

Yes, we live in a culture that is getting more corrupt every day and as parents we need to protect and guide our daughters, and sons, and use wisdom when making important life decisions. But those decisions are going to be unique to each family and home and situation, and, as you so aptly pointed out, fear should not be the ruling factor when making those decisions.

Let’s face it – none of us questioning the patriarchal teachings are anti-marriage and family for our daughters. Many of us have made prudent decisions regarding college for our daughters and/or sons, and have opted for other options, etc. None of us are encouraging our daughters to live the life of the selfish feminist.

But we have to exercise discernment and see that much of this patriocentric teaching is a knee-jerk, ‘pendulum swinging’ reaction to the anti-biblical radical feminist teaching of our culture. When in reality, the radical feminist teaching is a knee-jerk, pendulum swing against the anti-biblical Victorian teachings of the beginning of the last century. We often romanticize the Victorian era and see it as a time when ‘women were happier’, when in reality they too had it wrong when it came to marriage. The prudishness (within marriage) taught then and the view of women in the Victorian era was just as in error as the radical feminism rampant today. Unless we look to the clear teachings of Scripture regarding marriage and family, we’ll continue to have these huge pendulum swings, back and forth, back and forth.

When we begin to rely on books, how-to-manuals, and movements over and above seeking God’s will through His Word and prayer, we’ll continually have these errant teachings. Why is it that we seek ‘law’ over grace? We would rather have someone write us out a nice plan for our lives than walk with God and seek His will for each of our lives.

One thing that has bothered me through the years is the emphasis put on the homeschooling movement within the church. Don’t get me wrong. Our family is all for homeschooling – we’ve been doing it since our first child was born more than seventeen years ago. But the church is made up of more than just homeschooling families. What about the widows, and the single people and the broken families, etc. etc.?

The homeschooling movement has become big business and has split the church in many ways and movements such as patriarchy play right into that. Sadly, in my opinion, the focus and reliance is off the Lord and diverted onto man and his manuals for ‘successful Christian living’.

Just some thoughts…

You ladies are doing a wonderful service by getting this discussion out into the open. How refreshing and freeing!

  thatmom wrote @

Hi Denise and thank you for the many wonderful comments. You have brought up many things that really need to be discussed further.

You talk about the secular feminist agenda and how it is a reaction to previous abuses. This is so very true. Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald have taught that feminism was alive and well in the Garden of Eden. I do not agree with that perspective. I do agree, however, that one’s views of Creation and the relationship between husbands and wives and men and women, in general, is at the core of our beliefs on having a Godly family.

If you believe that women were subordinate to men prior to the fall, then the whole patriocentric worldview makes sense. If you believe, as I do, that it came after the fall, then it does not.

Feminism within the secular culture today is a reaction to the abuse of women in the past. That does not mean that the solutions feminists found in addressing this are all correct. Many of the patriocentrists believe that all relationships must reflect some sort of hierarchal structure, thus any sort of egalitarianism is wrong. They fail to realize that Karl Marx, whom they credit for much of the downfall in our current culture, had a view that is quite accurate. He believed that a study of the history of the world shows that all struggles of mankind are class struggles. There is abuse and then a reaction to the abuse, etc. and it is repeated over and over again. I agree with this. I just do not agree with his solutions.

Rather than beating each other over the head with “I’m in charge” all the time, wouldn’t it be wonderful to continually dwell on the one anothers of Scripture? My prayer is that one day there will be 10 times the number of downloads to listen to my podcasts on one anothering our children than the ones talking about patriocentricity!!!

  thatmom wrote @


Another thing you mentioned that I think is worthy of discussion is the idea of homeschooling-centric churches. I have been a part of two such ministries and know that those who does not homeschool their children do not feel welcome at this kind of a church. I would love to see that addressed by those who promote the NCFIC etc.

  Maureen E wrote @

I’ve been following all of this with interest. It’s really helped me to focus my thinking on this issue (which was already pretty much in agreement with your points).

Here’s my question: Every Christian denomination (I’m Orthodox, not Protestant) wants to emulate the early martyrs as our models for real Christianity. How do the patriocentrists account for all of the young women who stood for the Christian faith against older pagan men, including their own fathers? St. Barbara, for example. Or Sts. Faith, Hope, and Charity, who at 9, 11, and 12 stood against the judges and suffered torture and death for their faith? I tell you, they put me to shame. We cannot be afraid of following our Godly calling, no matter what our gender.

I’m bringing this up because you’ve all done a great job of looking at the Biblical issues involved. Keep up the good work!

  thatmom wrote @


Yet another fascinating thought I haven’t had regarding this issue.

Do you have a good source for studying these women> I would be very interested in that.

  thatmom wrote @

Maureen, I clicked on your link and smiled when I read this:

“Her parents loved her for her beauty, intelligence and modesty. Dioscurus, who was cruel and a pagan, had her shut in a tower in order to preserve her from suitors.”

Sounds a little too familiar to me! 🙂

  Maureen E wrote @

I don’t know of any particular source, but in searching around on Orthodox Wiki I found a few more examples of women resisting their family or having authority over men in the early church.

St. Hilda of Whitby
St. Demiana
St. Irene–similar to St. Barbara
St. Mary Magdalene
St. Paraskevi
Sts. Cyprian and Justina

And you’re right, that quote does sound quite familiar.

  Maureen E wrote @

I tried to comment before and it wouldn’t go through…Oh well!

I’m not aware of any one source with information, although looking through Orthodox Wiki does come up with a few:
St. Hilda of Whitby
St. Demiana
St. Irene–similar to St. Barbara

And you’re right, that quote does sound quite familiar!

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