“But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her the products of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.” Proverbs 31:30-31
I believe every child has one profound need: to be loved, cherished, and cared for by her very own mother, whose womb was her first home. And it’s not just a need, but an important part of God’s design for shaping human beings according to His will.
For thousands of years the view of motherhood described in the Bible was generally respected in Western culture. Motherhood was seen as a noble and important calling. Women considered themselves blessed to bear many children, and it was considered normal and good for home and family to be the central focus of a woman’s life.
By the time I became a mother, however, the American culture had dramatically redefined the role of motherhood, and the biblical model of motherhood no longer drove the imagination of culture. Somehow, over the course of the last century, traditional motherhood had become a lifestyle option–and for many, a lesser option–rather than a divine calling.
One confidant told me, ‘The most important thing you can do with your life is invest it in your children. Their lives are more important than building a career!’ And what she said certainly seemed to ring true in my spirit.
But other advisors assured me that I could handle the challenge of balancing children with career–after all, most of the mothers I knew were doing just that. One woman, an older missionary, even advised, ‘Don’t let your children control your life! You’ve got lots of gifts and messages and a ministry to share with the women of the world! It would be a waste of your time and experience to focus too much on your children and lose your ministry! Don’t have more children. It will take up too much time.’”
Sally Clarkson, The Mission of Motherhood, Chapter One
I’ll never forget the look on the man’s face that afternoon.
My friend and I were in her front yard, setting out items for a garage sale. It was a chilly morning, and the neighbor across the street clutched a steaming cup of coffee as he walked over to say hello and look over the goods. My friend introduced us and as he shook my hand, she added, “She has three boys!”
The man stopped mid-shake, wide-eyed. “But … you look so happy!”
Ahhh, yes. Welcome to this century’s evaluation of children!
You probably hear it, too …
(Please join us at MomHeartOnline today for the rest of Chapter One’s study–and we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!)