Picture this, a young twenty-one-year-old girl, recently married and now expecting her first child. Excited and ready to grab life by the horns. A conversation occurs, one day with her older sister, about her many new and exciting ventures and accomplishments. How does her older sister respond? She states, “Anyone can get married and have and baby! Why aren’t we having parties for women that are traveling the world, getting promotions or advanced college degrees?” That young girl, sitting on the other end of that statement was me. What a deflating statement to hear. What is even more deflating is, I believed her.
In my Facebook perusing, I stumbled across this article, by a woman insisting that women needed to fulfill their economic role to society and enter the workforce when their children are of school-age. The root of her belief and the feminism movement is exposed in one statement, feminism “is not about choice, it’s about equality.” In her view, women will not be equal with men, in worth and value in society, until they can be equally represented in the workforce. Is this not exactly what feminism teaches us? We are not equal until we are like men. Femininity is not valued. Motherhood is not valued. I see it every Saturday at the local abortion mill. If it were truly about women having a choice, then protestors would not mind that we offer patients an alternative to murdering their child. They shout and try to distract away from the life-giving alternative because they want these women to receive their abortion. They want them to deny their womanhood, as much as they have. The greatest opposition to women in America is women themselves.
The evils of feminism are prominent and appear to have a foot-hold on society and that brings us back to the Church. It would be foolish for us to believe, that the saints have not been affected by this deceiving movement. It parades itself as equality and rights for all, and silently destroys the marriage, the nuclear family and eventually the Church.
When you research how women are made in the Image of God, without fail, we are brought back to the garden and to the institution of the first marriage. Together, men and women are image bearers. God created women for a specific purpose. In the role of woman, wife, and mother. That silent anger boiling in your gut, that is it. That is feminism. The thought that you do not want to be reduced to helpmate, servant, and mother. It is echoed in that article I previously referenced. This reaction to God’s design is sinful and if we do not war against this, it festers in our hearts and begins to spill into our relationships.
Today, I want to speak to mothers and potential mothers. There is so much out there written to encourage women who do not “feel enough,” and very little spoken of our sinfulness in motherhood. Let’s not reduce it to anger outbursts and fits of frustration, we need to get to the root of it, where it all begins–conception. I’m going to talk about it because I do not think that enough of the right people are. From my experience, the Church as a whole remains silent on this issue, and the loudest people shouting on this matter, encourage murder as a solution. Does your birth control bring honor and glory to God? (1 Corinthians 10:31) Why are you using birth control? Is your method of birth control an abortifacient? You will be held accountable to God for this. As an image-bearer of God, your body was made to carry and bring forth life. Purposefully avoiding motherhood to pursue selfish ambition is wrong. God commands us to “be fruitful and multiply.” It is His design for marriage. It does not say “to be fruitful to multiply,” but rather they are both commanded of us.
Hormonal birth control has a few mechanisms in which it uses to prevent pregnancy. The first line of defense is tricking your body to think you are already pregnant, causing anovulation, but we all know medicine fails, so it has a backup plan. That is to intentionally shed the lining that your baby would implant into, that brings forth life-giving nutrition, sweeping away your child in the menstruation. If we all agree that life begins at conception, that medicine has done its job, but at the expense of your child’s life. This is something to consider. Regardless of your situation, we are called to use wisdom. Decisions in this area should never be made in haste. Through prayer and wise counsel, seek to glorify God in this area of your life. Circumstances can cause us to use birth control, but the call remains, are we glorifying Christ in our use and form of birth control? If you find that it is God-honoring, to prevent pregnancy in your marriage, there are other methods available. Just remember that despite the control you try to exert over this area of your life, God opens and closes the womb.
If we view children as a burden before their lives begin, then that carries over into motherhood. If we feel that it is something that we can so flippantly plan, create and destroy, we are failing to realize our children are fellow image-bearers. God breathed life in your womb and from that moment you are a mother. That child’s life is valid and matters. We are not expecting a new baby because God has already created it. If your child is in the womb, it is still your child and your conversation and thoughts should reflect that. This is buying into the fallacy that human life is only of worth if it is outside of the womb. It helps support the women that murder their children and simultaneously pains the women, that have never gotten to hold theirs. If we want to affect how the culture views life, it has to start at conception and consistently carry through death. It must respect God’s design and acknowledge that God creates life and decides our death. (Psalm 127:3)
In light of ourselves, motherhood is inconvenient. People speak of sleepless nights, messes that are unfathomable, feces for days, the list goes on, and it is true. I know in my own heart that sinfulness creeps in with what seems like honorable desires. I often find myself jealous of my husband wanting the “freedom” to go out and share the gospel. I start to believe the lie that I never get to do ministry, that my raising my children is insignificant. When in reality, I probably share the Gospel with my children more than my husband does with strangers. In those moments, I have lost sight of what matters. Hopefully, in eternity, I will be standing by my daughters, worshipping the King with them, and they with their children and their children’s children. Ladies, this is legitimately front lines kingdom work. It is just as down and dirty as any ministry that my husband is involved in outside of the home, nevertheless, overlooked far too often. It is easy to get carried away in the tasks of the day, full-speed ahead in survival mode, neglecting the fact that our children are in need of their mother’s love. A mother that will love her child enough to share the Gospel with them. I fail my children daily, but I assure them that their Creator does not. I tell them of a great Savior, that took on their punishment, and He always listened to His mother. I tell them that I need Jesus when I sin against my children, I repent and tell my them why I need the Gospel. They see firsthand my brokenness, so I must show them the God that is far more gracious, loving and nurturing than myself.
How we raise our children, reflects our view of God. Is He supreme? Do we value His way above our ideals? A heart indicator here is, how are, or how would you raise your daughter? I recently looked my mother in the face (after I wrote my blog about submission) as she confessed to me that she did not raise me to be a wife and a mother. She raised me to survive. Is not at the heart of feminism, this animalistic desire to fight for self? I was raised, not to be a woman, but to be inwardly focused and survival-minded. This is counterintuitive to womanhood. So, are you raising your daughters to care for themselves, or to care for others? A strong faith in God should be reflected in your parenting. Trusting in His design and faithfulness to us. Do not raise your children, so that their answer and god becomes themselves. If you raise your child to fend for their own needs, their hope quickly becomes themselves. Our children will face trials, perhaps devastating ones. This should not cause us to parent in a way that reacts, but rather parent in a way that trusts that God is faithful, so hopefully, they will trust that God is faithful.
Motherhood is hard. Being a woman is hard. It is giving, and selfless, and nurturing while frustrated. Everyone warns you that marriage in hard, but it is all fairy tales when they talk about the love you have for your child. No one tells you, that you may have to work to have a relationship with your child. You have to pursue your child, learn their interests, help foster trust. This is not all natural and if you feel distant, desiring a stronger bond with one of your children, you are not alone. I have had to pray for God to stir my affections for my children. I have had to “fake it ’til I make it.’ Grinning through anger because I know that even a lapse in patience, can mean crushing words to my child. I mean, I really know it, because it’s happened, and I have seen it all over their faces.
Just like there is no such thing as a good person, there is no such thing as a good mother. There is such a thing as faithful mothers. Mothers who diligently seek God and His goodness. They trust that sanctification is real and that the Holy Spirit truly is with us, and strengthens us to be something that we are not. So, no you are not enough. You are not fierce, but you a serve a God who is our All in All.