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Sunday, February 9, 2014

A Few Words to "The Mother Club" on Behalf of the Hurting Ones Outside

 

Here is a new article I wrote on the Home Maker’s Corner.  I hope that you will make the time to read this if you are a Christian woman.  It is something that has been heavy on my heart and the Lord brought about a situation that forced me to get this said.

A Few Words to "The Mother Club"
on Behalf of the Hurting Ones Outside

1 Corinthians 13:4-5 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own...

Recently I read a blog post by a well-meaning lady who was addressing an important subject.  She was debunking the "perfect family" ideal that has developed, thanks largely to Quiverfull, Hyper "Biblical Patriarchy" and Family Inclusive Churches.  This is the ideology that large families are more special, more blessed, have better "quivers" and are generally more to be admired by Christians than small families.  (And, let me say here that I have no problem with large families if that's what the parents want.)  The attitudes of some become almost idolatrous, if not fully so.  I was very glad to see her dealing with this subject as it is a serious issue.  No mother should be made to feel like a failure or inferior because she "only" has one or two or three kids!

However - my heart was also very deeply hurt by this lady's article (which is one reason I'm not sharing the link or quotes).  As I read her article I was so glad she was saying many of the things she said and yet so torn because of all the things she missed and even the things she was making worse and more hurtful for others.  You see, for all her good intentions she totally missed the fact that mothers of small families are not the only ones that are hurt by the "motherhood IS our identity" ideal.  She pointed out that women who are mothers to one or two or even adopted children are still "in the club" of motherhood.  I sat there and grieved in my heart for all of us who are mother to none.

Continue Reading.

8 comments:

  1. Thankyou so much for writing this as you expressed many of the things I have thought. As I read some blogs I sometimes wonder if there is a group of "Christian" mothers who have turned pregnancy and children/motherhood into some form of idolatry. Its becomes almost a competition for the greatest number of children one can have. It is better to have two wonderful children that are well brought up than 10 children that you struggle with. God never wanted women to turn childbirth in a competition, nor to have as many children as the body can produce - not healthy for the mother in any way. There are many examples in the bible of women only having one or two children.

    And to all the women who can't have children- it must be a very painful experience and women who have had children need to compassionate and kind (and Christian). They do make the most wonderful aunts. My (late) auntie Helen and auntie Dorothy - both who never had children made the most wonderful aunts - A. Dorothy is one of my favourite aunts:)) Im sure your niece and nephew love you dearly:)

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    1. Thank you for your encouragement, Jo! I'm so glad this article spoke to you this way. I agree with your observations. I would also add that I think having as many children as a woman's body till produce is also unhealthy for the other children in less concrete ways. "Mother" lacking health and having so many to pay attention to leads to children not having that close relationship that they should have with her, and it leads to children raising children - whether it's intentional or not.

      Also, I hope that I can be a good auntie to my nieces and nephews. I take it as a real responsibility/ministry since we don't have children of our own to require my attention. My sister-in-law here has had the opportunity to do some great things for her nieces and nephews upon occasion. I know she values that.

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  2. I so appreciate your thoughts on this, Mary. I have visited sites of this type and have experienced the same sadness as well. My husband and I have only one child. People have said thoughtless things to us over the years, things that hurt and we still remember. We always wanted more children, but have learned to be thankful for the one we do have and trust in the Lord even when we don't understand. It seems there is some type of competition going on in these circles and many times that ugly pride just comes out. Every individual and family is different. Just because a woman has no children or 'only' has one or two doesn't mean she isn't as special to God as the woman who has 15!

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    1. Amen, Melanie! Thanks for your encouragement and sharing your perspective. The lady's whose blog post I read was trying to diffuse that problem for women with "few" children and for that I was very thankful. But, I think she hasn't gotten the whole picture yet (who among us has!).

      Like you say, there seems to be a competitiveness among some that is really disturbing. Even when they try to be "nice" about it and talk of "receiving blessings" (children), there's an aroma of pride in the air. :-/

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  3. May I just second your "Amen" to what Melanie said. My husband and I also have only one child. We have always wanted more, but at the moment God has other ideas. The same thing that happened to Melanie and her husband have happened to us.... we have been abruptly confronted about it not being good or wise to have only one child....for reasons unknown to them we have not been able to have another child. We have left it in God's hands and that's where it shall remain. I have learned through all of this to hold my tongue because I don't always know the whole story about someone and what right do I have to confront them about something that is not my business. May I simply be there for someone who is going through a hard time....may I bring comfort to others.

    I truly appreciated your honesty, dear Mary, and your words of wisdom and encouragement. Thank you so much for sharing God's Word and pointing our neccessary lessons for us to learn and heed. Blessings to you!

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    1. Thank you for adding your experiences, Stephanie. I am still amazed at the things people will say to others about the subject of having children. When did we ever get to the point where so many think it's their business to tell others what to do in that area? I just don't get it. Especially when the person was never asked.

      It's a good reminder to that we all need to beware of assuming things about others. There are so many things that we just don't know. We need to all reflect on that when we're inclined to draw conclusions about situations where we really don't know all the facts. It's something I need to remember in other areas of people interaction as well. It so easy to become interpreters instead of comforters! Hmmm. I think that would preach. :-)

      Thanks again for commenting and for your encouragement, and you're welcome. ((Hugs))

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  4. I understand where you are coming from here, especially being in the homeschool community with a small family (and NOT by choice). I read so much where mothers say people are judging them by the sizes of their large families yet I sometimes feel just as judged from the small size of my family (and again, NOT by our choice). I try and be very sensitive to the situations around me as well (such as singleness, barrenness) but maybe my own situation opened that inside of me. Perhaps they don't even realize what they are saying and doing and articles like this may enlighten them. Thank you for sharing this on the Art of Home-Making Mondays.

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    1. Thank you for your understanding. There are different ways that the Lord opens our eyes to these things, aren't there? Being single till I was 38 made me more aware of the things barren women were going through as well as other singles. I now also see the small families' struggles in that area. I have to admit that I find it just a bit much sometimes to hear the women with large families complaining of the "abuse" they get. While I understand their frustration, I think they little realize that those with few or no children are just as apt to be belittled, just by different people and in different ways. It's so easy to think that our problem is unique and that others who are "different" can't understand it. I know that some people don't realize what they are saying and doing is hurtful to others. We're all guilty of that at times. But, sadly, there are some who I think don't care much, they just want others to "get right" according to their ideas of that. Either way, I hope I might be some help to someone.

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