I know a lot of folks who lend no credence whatsoever to the Bible. “Written by merely impartial, mortal, old men,” they say. “Room for inconsistencies and rife with inaccuracies,” they say.
There are a lot of things that I could point out that are quite flawed about those views, but it would probably fall on deaf ears. But when the scriptures tell us that the word of God is “living and active, sharper than a two-edged sword,” I couldn’t agree more. I think that we as believers should be listening attentively to the scriptures and I am constantly reminded that the word is as applicable today as it was before Christ was born.
“For behold, the days are coming when they will say,
‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore,
and the breasts that never nursed.’
Spooky, isn’t it? At least I think so. Those words are unnervingly prophetic. Don’t believe me? Take a moment and look around at the current culture that we find ourselves in. The disposable mindset that we have towards the things that we used to value. A million babies in the womb are terminated each year. Recent data shows that couples are delaying child rearing or even completely opting out of becoming parents at rates higher than ever before. Motherhood isn’t something to be attained anymore, its value diminished with each passing year. And then you have articles like this. It’s pretty easy to see why the climate towards motherhood is at times chilly and unwelcoming.
Here is just a blip from the linked up post:
“Every time I hear someone say that feminism is about validating every choice a woman makes I have to fight back vomit.
Do people really think that a stay at home mom is really on equal footing with a woman who works and takes care of herself? There’s no way those two things are the same. It’s hard for me to believe it’s not just verbally placating these people so they don’t get in trouble with the mommy bloggers.”
Those are literally just the first two paragraphs. You can only imagine how wonderful it gets from there on out.
I could respond directly to this girl. But, truth be told, as much as I may vehemently disagree with her, she is entitled to her opinion. I could also point out that quite a few of the founding mothers of feminism were both pro-life and pro-family. They wanted a voice. To vote. To own property. To live in a society that wasn’t constructed against them, but instead one that valued and protected them as citizens. I can dig that. And I would stand proudly for that any day of the week.
Judging by the gloomy statistics on the subject of marriage and children, with more and more folks completely opting out of marriage and child bearing, I would say that perhaps these two things will soon not be as commonplace as she thinks. And I mourn that fact.
I would also say that while it might be “easy” to get married and pop out kids, what isn’t easy is doing both of those things WELL. Sure, people get married and divorced all of the time. People have children everyday. So, while one could perhaps argue that “coming across” both of those things are somewhat easy, there is a strong difference between doing something the easy way, and attempting to do something the way it should be done. There is nothing ordinary about that.
There are those of us who believe in the credence of multiplying while also being fruitful. I could probably pop out 20 children if I so chose, but if I weren’t a diligent parent to each of them, who knows what kind of little minions they could turn out to be. I care deeply, as does my husband, about the type of people that they grow up to be. And it shapes how I treat, discipline, love and nurture them every day. There is nothing ordinary about that.
I was married at a young age (gasp!), and statistically speaking, people who enter into marriage around the age that I did are far more inclined to end up divorced. I could toss a coin and leave my marriage up to fate and argue that my husband, “not try to change who I am!” I could then continue to go about leaving my dirty socks everywhere and being a slob, and spend each day undermining his opinions and affections. I instead put a great amount of time, energy and care into my union because I care about him and our relationship.
I want to see our marriage deepen and succeed. Some days I fail at this. Boy, do I fail. But the next day, I get back in the saddle and try again. I don’t do this because I think I’m perfect, and because I think that my husband should feel lucky just to have me. I do it because I want to be a better woman on my death-bed than on the day that I said, “I do.” There is nothing ordinary about that.
It is far from easy to be the kind of mom and wife that I want to be. There are a lot of ideals in this world and they are extremely overwhelming. No one reaches them all. The best that we can do is to care enough to do the best that we can in both ventures. And I am sure that there are plenty of other women out there who are a perfect example of wives and mothers who do both with all of their heart. There is nothing ordinary about that.
This modern wave of feminism that some ascribe themselves to is poisonous stuff. It’s as destructive as it is pervasive. There was a point to women’s suffrage. It was not to get free birth control. It was not to feel entitled to belittle the choices of other women who choose a path that you would not choose for yourself.
Like I already said, I could respond directly to this girl, and go and comment on her blog and say, “OMG, you’re nuts! LOLOLOL,” but I think I would fare better if from here on out I directly addressed the moms instead. If I poured truth into the gaping wound that our world sometimes inflicts on us mothers.
I read those words last night at about 4:30 in the morning. I was up with my youngest who is battling a stomach virus that has moved rapidly through our house this weekend. It has taken no prisoners. I couldn’t fall back asleep, so I did what any normal person does at nearly 5 a.m. and logged on to Facebook.
I don’t think my blood pressure has ever spiked as high as it did in the wee hours of this morning. The birds were starting to gently sing. The sun was beginning to peak up over the horizon and shine through my bedroom windows. And I was sitting in bed and….,let’s just say that I was not amused. At first, I was wrapped up in the very idea that someone could be so dismissive of what millions of women do every. single. day. Around the world. The nerve!
But then the Lord brought the above scripture to mind. I was reminded once again that we battle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and the prince of darkness. The prince of lies. And he has been as busy as ever. I take compassion on this girl. I hope one day her mind changes and that she can experience motherhood and the profound wonder that it is. I hope that she leads a great life.
(Let me say that I do not look down on any woman, or couple, that decides not to have children. But that I am going to spend the next few minutes regaling everyone about the amazingness that moms are. I also know that fathers are incredibly important in their children’s lives and value their role deeply. Again, I’m gonna be raising the roof about moms for the next few minutes. Please don’t take this as an affront. K?)
Let me instead take a few minutes to address you, mom.
What you do IS extraordinary. Every. single. day.
I could easily list a thousand reasons why, actually. For example, there are the moms who toil into the wee hours taking care of their little people who are sick or who have woken up startled from bad dreams. Moms who have sewn, painted and assembleed the vivid Halloween costumes that their children come up with during fits of fancy. Who drive their kids to their after school activities. Who do crafts with them and encourage their budding imaginations to break down new barriers and create. Moms who read the same books about dinosaurs over and over, and commit the names of those prehistoric beasts to memory so as to properly converse about them with their son. Who wipe noses, fold laundry, make sandwiches and check under the bed for monsters.
And do you know undoubtedly why what you do is so awesome, mom? These “extraordinary women” that the author of that post talks about? Who would grow up and be inclined to go to college and trek through Asia? Who does she think RAISES them? Who does she think ENCOURAGES them to reach out and touch their dreams and to be all that they can be? Who does she think CODDLED them when they were newly born to this world, rosy-cheeked and helpless, or broken-hearted from breaking up with their first love??
Who does she think trusted their child’s instinct and fully threw their support behind them when they decided to go to college? Or join the military? When they first decided to pick up an instrument? To paint on a canvas? To lace up their running shoes? To climb on to the back of a horse? To stand in a soup kitchen line and serve the downtrodden and the homeless? To aim to join NASA? To aim to attend Johns Hopkins and be a surgeon? To aim for the olympics one day? To love others and to serve others and to care about this chaotic world?
The moms. The mothers. The Mommas.
These extraordinary women don’t just emerge from the cabbage patch. They don’t fall from the sky and land in the yard because the stork drops them.
Extraordinary women are the results of extraordinary work of their mothers. Of their parents.
Sure, sometimes I wish that I had finished school before becoming a parent. But in hindsight, it matters not. And guess what? My daughter will be here to SEE me (Lord willing) walk across that stage and receive my long sought after college degree. I hope that one day I can run a marathon, take up rock climbing or work skillfully in the field of photography. And guess what? My daughter will be here to see me run, to see me climb and to see me master the art of self-discipline.
And hopefully, she’ll know that she can do it, too. That if she wants it badly enough, if she trusts God with all that she has and is and that if she works hard for what she wishes to achieve, there is a chance that she can accomplish it. I know this to be true, my children are two of the greatest motivators in this entire world to be the best woman I can be, to serve God wholly and try to change this world, even if only in some small measure. And I try to pass that knowledge on to them at every juncture; at every chance to give up and give in.
Those without children will never know the motivation and solidarity that a child can provide. There is nothing ordinary about that.
And I wish that motivation for anyone.
And one day, I hope that my daughter, who is already extraordinary and can balance a cracker on the bridge of her nose and jump with both feet off of the ground, will decide to have an extraordinary child of her own. That she will display the same sacrificial love that I have (hopefully) shown her, and that it will be etched in her heart forever like no other love before. Because that’s one of the strongest and most prominent pillars of motherhood: Sacrifice.
Don’t we esteem not just those with great minds and creativity, but those who are great givers? Not just those who pontificate, but those who stand to act, and give freely of themselves? Those who put the causes, the needs of others before themselves? It’s wonderful when someone acts heroically in an instant or grows up to undertake great causes. Who was the compass that pointed those children in the right direction to grow up do those great things? Mothers. Parents. Because what is the purpose of the gift of life if we don’t aim to give it away?
What you do every. single. day. moms is EXTRAORDINARY. And if modern feminism tells us one thing that we can actually grasp on to and practice, it’s this: we can make our own choices and we don’t owe anybody an explanation.
I don’t need to look down on anyone to esteem myself. I know that what I do matters and that it counts. I hope that the other mothers know the same and can hold that truth close to their heart. Our role is divine. It is authored by the God of the universe.
I can hardly think of many other things that are as extraordinary as that.