Christmas 2020 Edition
The Quarterly Newsletter of Wittenberg Academy
The Ninety-Sixth Thesis
Featured Teacher-P. 23
What We're Reading - P. 28
2021 Family Retreat Announcement- P. 30
From the Head Teacher's Desk- p. 3
Avoiding the Feminist Trap: Being a Woman
in A World Where Women Want to Be Men
Mrs. Jocelyn C. Benson
From our Teachers and Students- P. 10-21
Books Every Girl Should Read Before the Age of 21
Raising Your Daughters to be Ladies : A Father's Role in His Daughters Upbringing
Raising your Daughters to be Ladies: A Mother's Role in Her Daughter's Upbringing
A Woman's Role in Holy Matrimony
On the Road with Wittenberg Academy- p. 24
Chaplain's Corner- p. 6
How Young Women Can Serve the Church
Rev. Larry Beane
By Mrs. Jocelyn C. Benson
Avoiding the Feminist Trap: Being A Woman in a World Where Women Want to be Men
Genesis 2:18: “Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.’
Genesis 1:27: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
According to Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, the word “woman” is a compound of “womb and man.” In the creation of man, God made them male and female. Men and women are distinct and this distinction provides order. This order, and all other order God gave in Creation, has been under attack since the Fall. Satan approached the woman, the weaker vessel, with his barrage of disorder: “Did God really say?” In so doing, he attempted to sever her from her head, her husband. Satan continues this barrage today and the attempts at head-severing continue. Christ is the Head of the Church and the Body of Christ, His people, are ever under attack and encouraged to self-decapitate in many and various ways. That Satan attempts to sever Christ from His Bride should serve as warning that he will stop at nothing to succeed. Certainly Hell will not prevail against the Church, as promised in Matthew 16:18, but this does not mean the attacks will not be ruthless. We must certainly arm ourselves against the flaming arrows of the evil one!
Satan seeks to sever the Church from Her Head in myriad ways. Chaos and disorder mark these decapitation attempts, but chaos and order, when viewed as normal, dull the Body into not recognizing the hacking attacks on the neck as the Body is slowly decapitated. One pernicious hack in the decapitation attempt is the attack on women. We see this from the Fall onward, but recognizing and identifying the weapons used to attempt decapitation are vital to avoid injury. God made woman to be a helper to man. In this, she is not less than man, but she is distinct from man. Woman is nurturing. She alone is, as her name implies, created to carry and bear life. In union with her husband, God gives her life to bear. This is orderly and given by God. The attacks against this order, this gift, are many. Some attacks come from within in the lies that women believe and perpetuate that undermine this order. Other attacks come from without in the lies that create a world hostile to women.
Women believe myriad lies that serve to sever her from the orderly protection of the Body and ultimately the Head. Women believe her fulfillment comes outside the family and from her own achievements. Instead of finding her worth in being made in the image of God and fulfilling the orderly relationships God has given her as daughter, sister, wife, and mother, she seeks a self-fulfillment that compromises the relationships that give her the most fulfillment. Girls are told they may pursue and achieve whatever they want. They are told they are a disgrace to women if they do not seek unwaveringly to break glass ceilings and show that women are just as capable as men at everything. To what end is this pursuit? If woman finally succeeds in proving women are just as capable as men at everything, what has she gained? Has she made herself more a woman by becoming like a man? No, in her rejection of the Godly order and distinction of creating them male and female, she has undermined all that it is to be a woman and failed to make her strivings beneficial to anyone.
The world does not help women fight against the lies within her. In fact, the world perpetuates and supports these lies. Our economy assumes two-income households. A woman who strives to keep an orderly home is looked upon as a scourge to all women. How dare she succumb to the oppression of marriage and children, says that world, her true calling is to herself. Viewing husband and children as oppressive, in an evil bait and switch, actually oppresses women by divorcing her from that which she truly is: created in the image of God and uniquely suited to be a helpmeet to her husband and mother to her children. The possessions and income she acquires in lieu of hearth and home does not serve as replacement.
One of the greatest defenses against the lies of the devil, the world, and the sinful flesh is contentment. Contentment aligns women with the order God gave in Creation. Instead of despising the unique distinction God gave women as helpmeet to husband and bearer of children, contentment allows her to find joy and fulfillment in these gifts. She alone can uniquely meet her husband’s unique needs. She alone can bear the children God gives. But what of a woman who does not have a husband or children? Must she then succumb to the distinction-destroying world that encourages women to be men (both literally and figuratively)? Not at all. She still rests in the distinction that God has given her as a woman. A woman waiting and praying for a husband and children is not lacking in womanhood. Instead, she employs the distinctions given her in Creation to serve the neighbors she is given, even as she waits for husband and children.
An attack on woman as God has made her, is an attack on the family, on the Church, and on society. The lies from Satan are not creative or new. He is still saying “Did God really say?” as he tempts women to abandon their unique place in God’s ordered Creation. Contentment is not easy, but it is a vital weapon against the decapitation of a woman from her the order of Creation and ultimately the decapitation of the Church from Christ, Her Head.
Mrs. Jocelyn C. Benson serves as Wittenberg Academy's Head Teacher .
By Rev. Larry L. Beane
How Young Women Can Serve the Church
In our current culture, the idea of service - of being a servant - is almost a forbidden topic. It calls to mind slavery, which is a hot-button issue, a weaponized word that feeds an agenda of marginalized groups rising up and exacting revenge against their oppressors - at least according to the narrative. Every institution is tainted with this poison, based on race, sex, and issues pertaining to "gender."
The idea of service is repugnant to our popular culture, our academic culture, our entertainment culture, and our information culture. And one of the dominant narratives is that women and girls are oppressed by men and boys. Complementing the narrative of "toxic masculinity" is "girl power" - which is a thinly veiled expression of hostility against the created order of male and female that is intrinsic to humanity (Gen 1:26-28). This is apparent in the rebellion against God and against nature as manifest in the mainstreaming of the idea that there are additional genders - while some have no gender at all.
And so, both young men and young women are growing up in confusing times, like an athlete who is expected to compete in a game where not only are the rules not taught, but they are fluid and rapidly changing - even in the middle of the game itself.
Young women are given a constant stream of propaganda that they are really no different than young men, that equality in dignity before God (Gal 3:28) has been replaced by equality of everything, meaning interchangeability. Movies and books ignore the physical reality that the male and female bodies differ in basic physiology, as women have a much higher pain tolerance and endurance, while men have much greater bodily strength - differences that grow exponentially after puberty and into adulthood. And not just physical, but psychological and spiritual differences are likewise denied: the very real tendency for women to be more nurturing and multitasking, and the male penchant for competition and tunnel-vision. And of course, our secular culture denies the spiritual reality that men and women are created by God with differences that transcend even physiology and biology, that we have been created male and female purposefully by God, and that this distinction is to the glory of God and for the good of creation.
In our current confused cultural paradigm, girls and women are under great temptation to take advantage of what society is offering: the ability to get ahead based on an unbiblical narrative, the lure of building oneself up by tearing down the complementary element of divine creation. In our day and age, perceived victimhood is a ticket to unearned wealth and undeserved opportunity. And this is simply in the air that we breathe.
Given this lengthy introduction, how can young women serve the church?
Chiefly, by seeing service as noble. Our Lord performed the lowly washing of His disciples' feet before giving them the Eucharist for the first time (John 13:1-17). It is not degrading to make sandwiches (as the popular meme denigrating womanhood asserts). Nor does it make you of any less worth, dignity, or strength if you cannot pump as much iron as your brother or beat up a dozen guys like the heroine in a Marvel movie. You are the very person that God created you to be. No matter what the culture says, being a wife and mother are noble, sacred, and fulfilling vocations. And giving yourself to a husband, and his giving of himself to you, and your mutual self-sacrifice for the sake of your children is not disgraceful, but to the contrary is the pinnacle of God's creation.
I would also advise young women not to flee their femininity, not to simply dress, talk, and act like "one of the boys." Rather learn to appreciate and cultivate what it means to be feminine, to grow to allow your very presence to command respect - especially from men. Traditional feminine ways of dressing and carrying yourself will help you to grow in this role, and you will see that the real power of femininity is not in trying to blend in with the masculine, but learning to complement masculinity by being different from it - even as masculinity, rightly cultivated, complements femininity.
In terms of God's kingdom, I would urge young women (just as I would urge young men) to make a commitment, an ironclad promise to yourself and to your Lord, that you will attend Divine Service each week, to hear the Good News, to listen to the Word, to partake of the Holy Supper - for it is in Word and Sacrament that we are crafted by our Lord to become what He has meant us to be - as opposed to what the voices on TV and online have to say contrary to the Word of God. It is here that He equips us for whatever vocation He has created us to serve in. And daily prayer and study of Scripture augments and enhances your Christian life and growth.
But where men's and women's roles differ in the church, I would urge you to likewise embrace your femininity. Reject the popular culture's assertion that you are a second-class Christian because you are not the pastor. Very few men are pastors either, and no man is a mother or a wife. And don't feel that you have to wear liturgical vestments (which are masculine) and sit with the men in the chancel as part of your service. You don't. The prohibitions and limitations in what we can and cannot (or should and should not) do vocationally are not symptoms of oppression, but rather the wisdom of God in creating us to be who we are. For example, giving birth in our fallen world is a painful process. If men had to carry this out, we would probably pass out from the pain. We are just not equipped for it. We do not have the ability to withstand it. And so we men bless God for the holy vocations of womanhood and motherhood. And likewise, women should be grateful for manhood, for the masculine mental singularity that pushes through has brought to us great inventions and technological advances. Of course, I am speaking in generalities - but these generalities exist because the Lord created them. We are wise to see reality as it is and not "kick against the goads."
I would encourage young women to rebel against the new social norms. I know a woman who is today a happy and faithful wife and mother. She grew up in a traditional, homeschooling family - back in the days when homeschooling was rare. A lady friend of the family asked this young girl (who was precocious and well educated) what she wanted to be when she grew up. She said that she wanted to be a mom and have horses. The lady replied, "Well, don't you want to be a doctor or lawyer?" The little girl retorted, "No, you want me to be those things." I would encourage young women to be honest about what their goals and aspirations are, true to yourself, true to who God made you. You may well aspire to be a doctor or lawyer - but don't aspire to something just because it is expected by society, just because you think you must do these things. Be who God created you to be.
These expectations and pressures on young women in particular to "get an education" and a "good career" before "settling down" is resulting in a crisis today. As childless - or even single women - approach forty years old, they are realizing that their time is running out. And as women give birth at older ages, the chances of miscarriages and birth defects increases significantly. Couples wrestling with infertility due to age sometimes spend tens of thousands of dollars on in vitro fertilization and surrogacy, throwing the dice, sometimes against all hope, of becoming parents. Had they simply let nature take its course when they were younger, they likely would have had an easy time of it.
So if a young woman desires to be a wife and mother, she should think long and hard before just putting this off until the future. I think we tend to do it backwards - for a woman can always return to school after raising children, but it is much more difficult to raise children after putting in years of schooling and career aspiration. The biological clock ticks louder against motherhood than it does against career goals, as the wisdom of Justice Amy Coney Barrett shows.
I would encourage young women to avoid the temptation to engage in hatred of men, of denigration of motherhood, of railing against the church because the church honors God's Word instead of reason or popular will regarding the distinction between the sexes. Rather, find your calling within the church, as there are many opportunities for service that don't involve preaching the Word or administering the sacraments. There are numerous boards and committees that need your expertise. Generally, women are better at men at multitasking. Women generally have an eye for detail that most men lack. Women tend to be gifted in matters of empathy and beauty and the ability to see things from the perspective of others - which provides great advantages and opportunities for service to and for the Bride of Christ. Women generally tend toward hospitality, while men generally look to fix things. So allow the Lord's creativity in you to serve the cause of the Gospel, so that you may play a role in His kingdom to bring people to eternal life.
I exhort women to act with courage, to stand for the Word of God, to embrace the femininity that is a mark of who you were created to be. And remember that service is not a sign of oppression, but rather a sublime expression of love and gratitude toward God, and toward our neighbor. Let us give thanks to God for femininity, and may all young women rejoice in growing into who God created them to be. +LLB
Pastor Larry Beane serves as Chaplain and Paideia IV instructor for Wittenberg Academy.
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By Miss Eleonore M. Mumme
Books Girls Should Read Before they Turn 21
In an earlier issue, I compiled a list of ten books boys should read before they turn 21- our culture’s prescribed age of adulthood. Now we must wrestle with an arguably far more difficult concept for modern progressives: the concept of a lady. The following books illustrate the innate gifts with which women are blessed, and teach girls to grow into those gifts and their proper use.
1. Andrew Lang’s The Red Fairy Book. Although all twenty-five of Lang’s collections would do, I had to choose one, so I will use The Red Fairy Book for the simple reason that it was my favorite. Little girls need fairy tales to teach them to emulate beauty, kindness, and compassion. Fairy tales are fable-like stories: little girls read them and learn to be gracious to all, to bear misfortunes with optimism, and to carry themselves with dignity.
2. C. S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia. Although an exceptional series for all children, Narnia is an incredible trilogy for raising girls. Lucy, Jill, and Aravis are unique examples of the skills of young women and of their growth into ladies— Lucy, in her perpetual faith, Jill, in her willingness to learn from her mistakes, Aravis, in clinging to truth and goodness when she is given it.
3. Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden. Mary Lennox is, at the beginning of this book, entirely unladylike. She is selfish, demanding, and unsociable. However, we see her grow into one of the most selfless young women as she takes onto herself the care of her cousin Colin, and of the garden she loves dearly. This book does an exceptional job of teaching young ladies to do things with their hands, to take care of the people around them, and that this will make them loved and respected women far more than stubborn selfishness.
4. Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Unlike most coming of age stories, which romanticize youth and gloss over the hardships of early adulthood, Francie’s story is a realistic and encouraging depiction of a young lady growing up in a harsh and often unfriendly world. She grows into an understanding of the hardships she sees in daily life around her, while still clinging to hope and finding happiness in the complex world of adulthood.
5. Homer’s Odyssey. There may be no book more beautiful in its depiction of faithful love than this. It is a story centered around the home, and its human representation- Penelope. Odysseus, throughout all his adventures, can never fully cast aside his yearning for his home and his wife. She, meanwhile, keeps his home and kingdom in order in faithful anticipation of his eventual return. She raises his son up into a man worthy of him, and protects their home from invasion—even that of would-be suitors. Penelope is the perfect example for young ladies of a strong, intelligent, loving woman who uses her gifts for the good of her family and community.
6. Sir Thomas Mallory’s Le Morte d’Arthur. Mallory’s grand tales of Camelot serve as a great lesson for young ladies in the realm of relationships, showcasing for them the dangers as much as the joys of romantic love. It also teaches them to better understand the struggles the growing men around them endure as they, too, search for a spouse. It also serves as a great example of the gift it is to think of women as worthy of effort and championship to win over, and to think of men as protectors, defenders, and leaders.
7. Jane Austen’s Emma. I’m not sure there should ever come a day that Jane Austen is neglected on a list of must-reads for women, although I’ll confess I see this book appear far less than some of her other, more acclaimed novels. Emma is such a crucial novel for women, however, because it turns the focus directly on women and their relationships with one another. Emma’s mistakes are chalked up to many things- a lack of reprimand from her governess and good friends, a misperception of friendship, and a sense of pride in herself compared to other women. Her story guides young women through some of the easiest snares they can fall into, and illustrates for them how to overcome and avoid them entirely through maturity and strong female friendships.
8. Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. If there is one novel that can teach its reader the dangers of rushing into a relationship, of infatuation, and of adultery, it is Anna Karenina, and yet it is also this novel which contains some of the best examples of common, ordinary married life. In its very first sentence, we learn that “all happy families are alike- every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”, and the novel shows us exactly what that happy family looks like, and teaches us to have compassion for every family who has not achieved that happiness. It is a marvelous lesson in love and everyday life, and will lead young women to see the very real consequences of their decisions in the early years of their lives.
9. Wendell Berry’s Hannah Coulter. Hannah’s story, told in a first person narrative, rekindles the cross-generational bond that used to pass through every living generation of a family. In a world that has, in many ways, fully segregated all people into age groups, this novel firmly sits you at the feet of a ninety year old woman, in order to learn from her how to live. Berry’s book reminds young women that they are not born to be twenty, but to do all the things that Hannah does throughout her life, and therefore gives them something to hope for, to look forward to, and to work towards.
10. Eula Biss’s On Immunity; an Inoculation. Biss’s creative nonfiction work about motherhood, vaccination, and the medical field lacks all of the aggression those topics tend to have online and in passing conversation. Rather than trying to convince her readers of a certain position, Biss spends the novel wondering about the natural obsession mothers develop with health and vaccination in the modern world. Her book is a fantastic guide for young women as they approach motherhood, and a great guide to keeping sane while wrestling with such deep questions.
As I put both this list and the list for boys to read together, I find it quite natural that there are too many books to choose from and too many things to be said, but I think these novels are a great beginning and a thorough introduction to a good many important conversations during adolescence. And, once your child has finished one list, you can easily usher them right into the other, so that they can begin to understand the boys (or girls) they are suddenly so fascinated by. If you yourself have not read all these novels, use them as an opportunity to remember and reflect on youth and the process of adolescence, and to give your young women grace and support as they struggle to grow into women.
Miss Eleonore Mumme serves as Tragedy and Art and History of Composition instructor for Wittenberg Academy.
Click here to see our full course offerings!
Registration is Open for the 2020-21 Easter Term!
Below are the classes that are only offered during Easter term:
Psychology with Mrs. Jocelyn Benson
The explanation to the First Article says, "I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ear, and all my members, my reason and all my senses, and still takes care of them." It is from this foundation that we will study Psychology- the study of the mind and its functions. This class will cover various topics in the realm of psychology. In addition to gaining a basic understanding of the brain, learning, and behavior, students will read the writings of scholars in the field of psychology and discuss these writings through the lens of our Christian worldview.
Biology with Mr. Jeremy Staub
Biology is the study of life. What better way to study life than in a school that allows us to study the God who created all life around us, including ourselves. In this class we will start with the simplest part of organisms (cells) and continue all the way up to the relationships between organisms (ecosystems). We will study key scientists and their impact on biology over the course of history. We will also take a look at the impact that the various areas of biology are having on our modern society and world.
Music III with Kantor Thomas Lock
Music III focuses on Luther and the Chorale. Students will examine Luther and music and early kantors as well as Bach and others' settings of modal chorale tunes. Finally, students will also look at Gregorian, Anglican, and other methods of chant in modern hymnals. As an introduction to this material, students will learn the Church Modes from Medieval and Renaissance time.
Anatomy and Kinesiology with Mrs. Erika Mildred
This course examines the anatomy and physiology of the human body in relationship to exercise. Students will engage in physical and mental activities to strengthen their bodies. The wonder of God's creation can be seen through the human body. It is the creation that God came to save. The aim of this course is for the student to see the beauty of the human body and be moved to appreciate it and care for it properly.
Representational Drawing with Mr. Jonathan Mayer
As Creator of the universe, God was the first artist. But he also put into mankind the ability to observe and appreciate his creation, as well as to imitate, in a small way, his creative work. This class is an academic introduction to drawing with dry media (charcoal, pencil, and soft pastel). By means of demos, studio projects, and excercises, the course will cover principles of light and shadow, drawing technique, composition, and color theory. In addition, the students will learn to participate meaningfully in group critiques; to talk intelligently about their own work, and to give pointed feedback to their classmates.
Quadrivium B with Mrs. Rebecca McCreary
Numbers can be comforting to some people because they can be concrete and absolute in basic studies. Moving to advanced studies requires using numbers abstractly, which is a different skill. This course extends arithmetic and numeracy skills through real problems, such as figuring out the interest of credit card payments, but also uses those problems to prompt thinking about the abstract side of numbers to prepare for more advanced study through generalized use of formulas and integers.
An Interview with Mr. Reps by Miss Grace Reps
You may be wondering how an unmarried woman without children is qualified to speak to you about fatherhood. The answer is I'm not really qualified, except through the observation of father figures in my life, father figures in books, and ultimately my father himself. But why listen to me ramble on about what I think being a father means to my father when you can hear it from him directly?
I had the opportunity to interview my father, Mr. Terry Reps, about his experience with fatherhood. Mr. Reps is a retired dairy farmer and current wood-worker. He and his wife, Shawn, have three daughters who, I can admit, tested his patience a time or two (or two million). Terry's life-long wish of having a son finally came true in 2017 when his eldest daughter married his favorite (and only) son-in-law. He has since then been blessed with two grandchildren: a grandson and a granddaughter.
I asked Mr. Reps to talk to me about raising daughters. After all, he should certainly be an expert after twenty-three years of fatherhood to three girls. You can read the entire interview below:
1. As a father of three girls, what would you say has been the most challenging part of raising daughters?
"One of the most challenging parts for me has been listening to them and not just giving them advice. Also, making decisions that are not always popular with them. As a man we see things in a different way than say our wives and we want to protect our daughters, not just throw them to the wolves. Sometimes that is going to make us seem like the bad guy to our daughters."
2. It is common knowledge that mothers are big role models to their daughters as daughters look up to their mothers for an example of what being a wife and a mother should look like. Girls play pretend, or ‘house’ as my sisters and I used to call it, and pretend that they are wives and mothers. Being a wife and mother is something that girls seem to pick up rather quickly from observation of their mother, grandmother, and other female role models. How do you think fathers shape the imagination of their daughters? In other words, how do you think fathers factor into the ‘house’ that young girls play?
"Daughters look to their fathers as guidelines for what they look for in a potential husband-good or bad."
So what sort of example would you say fathers should be setting as they serve as their daughter's guideline for a potential spouse? In other words, what kind of husband would you want for your daughters?
"Christ is the ultimate picture of the bride-groom. Christ loved the Church by laying down His life for her. Husbands are to do the same every day in what we say, what we do, and the choices we make to protect and support our wives and families."
3. Fathers have an enormous weight on their shoulders to be the head of the family, to promote a faithful and pious household, to protect the innocence and imagination of their children. How do you as a father keep Christ as the focus of your household in the midst of a sinful world that is shouting at you to submit to the world’s standards?
"First and foremost, marry a godly woman. 'The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world'. There is a reason the world hates the God-given vocation of a woman to be a mother.
But just as important as this is finding a Bible-believing church and attending that church. If the father doesn't find church important enough to go, you can bet his children will not find it important either. Despite what the world says, fathers do play an important role in the choices their children make. Teach your children the Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments, the Creeds, and marrying a godly woman will make this a lot easier as you will have a partner in this. The only treasure we take with us to Heaven is our brothers and sisters in Christ- our children and grandchildren. All the rest is a waste of time. So get out of bed or turn off the TV, get your suit on, and take your family to church. "
4. When you think of a ‘Lady’ what characteristics do you think of?
"When I think of a lady I think of my wife. A loving mother, a dutiful wife, a godly woman."
5. In biblical times, women rejoiced at their vocations as wives and mothers and wept when their children or ability to have children were taken from them. Now today, women are being pressured to be men. To reject their vocations as mother and wife. To join the workforce. To think that “men are trouble” and “women don’t need men”. And, Lord have mercy, to slaughter God’s most precious gift, their baby, in the name of choice and convenience. In a world where girls are encouraged to be anything but a lady, how do you as a father push back against the world to show your daughters that being a lady is good and God-pleasing?
"I think we fight against this by treating their mothers and other women, for that matter, like ladies. Uplift and encourage mothers in their vocations. Show your daughters that life is precious and motherhood is precious. The little ones in their care are the future, just as the little ladies (and gentlemen) in our care now are the future."
6. How can fathers teach and encourage their daughters to be ladies?
"By treating their mother like a lady so they see what the relationship between ladies and gentlemen should look like, by teaching them about ladies in the Bible who set good examples, and ultimately by catechizing them and keeping them grounded in God's Word."
7. What advice would you give fathers who are just heading into fatherhood with a daughter?
"Protect your daughter like a lion. Teach her that she is important and that she deserves respect and others deserve respect from her. You will make mistakes. After all, we fathers are sinners in need of God's grace. Be a man. Admit when you make mistakes. Ask for forgiveness from your daughter. Ask for forgiveness from your wife in front of your daughter.
Above all, love your daughters. They need that assurance from their fathers that they are loved. Your daughter will look for a husband who is like you-good or bad. That is the weight we carry as fathers of daughters. Do it right and you will be blessed with good men as sons-in-law and, Lord willing, you will be blessed with grandchildren. My cup overflows."
Raising Your Daughters to be Ladies: A Father's Role in His Daughter's Upbringing
By Mrs. Glenda F. Mumme
Raising Your Daughters to be Ladies: A Mother's Role in Her Daughter's Upbringing
According to my 1968 unabridged, illustrated Webster’s dictionary, the word lady is “often used in late old English as a kind of title, applied to females of royal blood, equivalent to ‘princess,’” and the first definition states “female of birth, breeding, good manners, and refinement; also Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary. A woman who, apart from her birth, has good manners and a kind, generous, and honorable character.”
We have been born again in baptism as daughters of our Heavenly Father. The Ruler of Heaven and Earth has made us heirs with His Son. The kingdom is ours. Our blood is royal. We are ladies. In our new life we should daily learn and ever grow in good manners and refinement and learn to be kind, generous, and of honorable character. But how? Where? From our mothers. Our good and gracious Father gives us what we need; He gives us our earthly mother and He gives us our mother, the Church. So how does an earthly mother raise daughters to be ladies?
The question is an important one and must be taken seriously. It is more than lots of pink dresses and stockings, curlers and makeup, coy words and smiles. Any pretender can don those, but that does not make a lady. “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised!” (Proverbs 31:30) A mother raises a lady by training her in the fear and wisdom of God.
Our Lady Mary, the Mother of our Lord, sets a fine example for us. At the Annunciation she shows her honorable character as she graciously accepts the angel Gabriel’s proclamation by saying, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38) And, at the marvelous words of cousin Elizabeth, Mary responds with a beautiful song of praise: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant, For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.” (Luke 1: 46-55) Mary’s responses shine forth from a lamp full of faith and Biblical knowledge. We repeat and speak what we know. By her words, we know that Our Lady Mary, the Mother of our Lord was not an occasional Jew. She knew the Law and the Prophets. She knew and believed in the Promised Messiah. She knew and believed the Savior, the Son of God, would be called her son. As mothers today, our lamps full of faith and Biblical knowledge should shine forth so that in raising our daughters we can “teach them diligently to your children and talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” (Deuteronomy 6:7)
We can learn more from Mary. Consider the following. She has Jesus circumcised at eight days, and she goes to the temple in Jerusalem for her purification. “And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him. Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover.” (Luke 2: 39-41) Mary was not too tired to teach Jesus the rhythm of a life of faith and neither should we be. This rhythm is the most important part of raising ladies. Every week we bring them to God’s House. Every day we teach them to pray. Every year we learn more and teach them more.
In this same way let us raise ladies who are praised for their fear of the Lord. Establish the Godly habits of attending the weekly Divine Service, of daily prayers, of following the Church year through the years of your life. Use the catechism to aid you in teaching your daughters to be kind, generous, of honorable character and to use good manners. Learn it yourself, model it for your daughters, teach it to them when you walk, when you lie down, when you rise. Let it be so ingrained that the words of the Lord flow from your mouth and the mouths of your daughters as freely as they do from Our Lady Mary, the Mother of our Lord. By the grace of God, through Holy Baptism, your daughters are Ladies; women of royal blood, daughters of the King. It is your blessed responsibility as a Christian mother to teach them what that looks like.
Mrs. Glenda Mumme serves on the Board of Directors for Wittenberg Academy.
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Eating Together As A Family Fosters Relationships and a Culture of Learning
A woman’s role in marriage can be stated in a single word: submit. To say this is, of course, to invite the monolithic wrath of Feminism and the swarming qualifications of secularized Christianity. The one idea which the sinful nature hates more than any other is that of submission. So it has been from our primal parents’ fall, when they defied the loving command of God and sought equality instead of submission. Indeed, our sin-saturated hearts can hardly hear the word submit without welling defiance. Therefore, if we are properly to understand the role of woman in marriage, we must properly understand what it means to submit.
The English word submit comes from the Latin sub + mittere, to send or put under. Under what? Under authority. That word, too, raises our hackles. Authority carries with it connotations of ruthless command and domination, but these linguistic burrs distract us from the word’s pure meaning. The term authority does imply having power, but it need not be loveless power. Just as an author tells a story for love of his characters rather than for the mere thrill of controlling them, so the Christian conception of authority implies loving rule. The fact that authority can be corrupted into dominance does not make it an evil in itself.
So when St. Paul and St. Peter instruct wives to submit to their husbands (Eph. 5:22-24, Col. 3:18, 1 Peter 3:1-6), they are not chauvinists recommending that women be treated as doormats. They see the order of the cosmos within the walls of the home. All Creation is linked through relationships of authority and submission. The husband who is charged with loving his wife is under authority, too; namely that of Christ. The wife submits to the authority of the husband not because she is helplessly oppressed by a patriarchal system, but because she willingly loves and trusts him.
And if this is the meaning of submission, how can it be offensive? Would not even the atheist admit it is good for wives to trust their husbands? Would not even the Feminist agree that women should love the men they marry? Submission is, in fact, the essence of love. We fear and love God by submitting to His commands, as we learn in The Small Catechism. The wife who peacefully submits to her husband is simply loving him.
Practically speaking, a wife’s submission takes on a thousand forms. Most directly, it means allowing her husband to provide for her needs, to lead the spiritual life of the household, and to speak on behalf of the family. It also means resisting the feminine inclinations to nag or quarrel (see Prov. 19:13; 21:9; 25:24; 27:15), to complain about his peccadilloes, or to compare notes with other women. Ultimately, it means living in gratitude and contentment that this man is the one given her by God and thus this man is the “right” one, so that, as King Lemuel writes, “She does [her husband] good, and not harm, all the days of her life” (Prov. 31:12).
The woman who submits to her husband then receives from him authority to carry out all other aspects of her role in marriage. Should she be blessed with motherhood, the wife is to raise children with loving authority in the name of their father. By submitting to her bridegroom, she receives authority over the running of his household, the management of all their daily bread. The woman who rebels against her husband’s authority will never be able to do these things. She will inevitably unravel the family.
To knit the family together into a godly whole—that is the task of the wife, accomplished through submission to her husband. In this way, the Christian home becomes a little corner of the fallen world where Edenic order is restored. As the wife submits to her husband, trusting his submission to Christ and modeling to their children how to honor and obey those in authority, we glimpse the undoing of the original rebellion. Here, through the daily life of the household, Christians live out their petition “Thy will be done,” and the good and gracious will of God is done on earth as it is in heaven. In this ordinary place and way, wife, husband, and children alike are strengthened and kept firm in the Word and faith, woven together as the bride of Christ, to whom they humbly submit. +HCS
By Mrs. Heather C. Smith
A Woman's Role in Marriage
Mrs. Heather Smith serves on the Board of Directors for Wittenberg Academy.
A Statement from Our
Board of Directors
At Wittenberg Academy, we pursue the good, the true, and the beautiful because we value those things which endure. In keeping with this philosophy, we highly recommend that students use printed books and readings as much as possible. Our instructors supply information so that families may purchase necessary books or print off copies of readings. At the same time, we recognize the financial sacrifices that many families already make to provide an excellent education for their children. For this reason, we also offer options for using web or other electronic copies of readings, most of which are available free of charge. Since the choice to use print, electronic, or combined means for readings will not limit a student’s participation in classes, each family may utilize the option deemed best-suited for them.
Mrs. Holly James
Paideia A and III
Mrs. James is a born-and-raised, corn-fed Nebraskan. She graduated from Hillsdale College, earning a B.S. in English with minors in Greek and Chemistry. After teaching for a year in New Mexico, she now lives in Israel with her husband, John, and works as a freelance writer. When Mrs. James is not working, chances are she is either out jogging or snuggled up with a strong cup of coffee and a good book.
On the Road with Wittenberg Academy
Conferences this Christmas term
No upcoming conferences
Click here to listen to the Magnificat
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
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A point of confession
2020-21 Academic Year Dates
Michaelmas: September 8-November 25
Christmas: November 30- February 28
Easter: March 2- May 22
Trinity: June 1- August 21
"For if we wish to have excellent and able persons both for civil and Church leadership. we must spare no diligence, time, or cost in teaching and education our children, so that they may serve God and the world. We must not think only about how we may amass money and possessions for them. God can indeed support and make them rich without us, as He daily does. But for this purpose He has given us children and issued ths command: we should train and govern them according to His will. Otherwise, He would have no purpose for a father and a mother.Therefore, let everyone know that it is his duty, on peril of losing the divine favor, to bring up his children in the fear and knowledge of God above all things (Proverbs 1:7). And if the children are talented, have them learn and study something. Then they ma be hired for whatever need there is."
~ The Large Catechism, Part I: The Fourth Commandment, 172-174
WABC Poetry Reading
(Below are the poems that were
recited in WABC at the Poetry Reading in November)
Frost, "The Silken Tent"
Longfellow, "The Village Blacksmith"
Coleridge, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"
Tennyson, "The Eagle"
Blake, "The Tiger" (The Tyger)
Shakespeare, "Blow, Blow, thou winter wind"
Keats, "Ode to Autumn"
Frost, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"
Stevens, "The Emperor of Ice-Cream"
Eliot, "The Hollow Men"
"O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger." ~Psalm 8:1-2
There are legion podcasts out there, why is Wittenberg Academy joining the ranks of podcasters? There are questions out there worth asking, and we want to ask them!
Welcome to the Wittenberg hour, where we explore big questions and discuss that which endures, by means of that which has endured, so that scholars may endure.
Join us in exploring big questions! You can listen to our podcasts on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and many other podcast providers. Just search for The Wittenberg Hour!
Welcome to the Wittenberg hour!
Wittenberg Academy is excited to invite you and your family to our
2021 Family Retreat!
logos: Wittenberg Academy Family Retreat 2021
When: April 22-24, 2021
Where: Camp Okoboji, Milford, Iowa
Who: The Rev. Dr. Gregory P. Schulz
Cost: $300 per family (Includes room and Board)
Registration closes April 9, 2021
Click here to register for Wittenberg Academy's 2021 Family Retreat
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