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Motherhood Is a Calling (And Where Your Children Rank)

August 19th, 2011

by Rachel Jankovic

A few years ago, when I just had four children and when the oldest was still three, I loaded them all up to go on a walk. After the final sippy cup had found a place and we were ready to go, my two-year-old turned to me and said, “Wow! You have your hands full!”

She could have just as well said, “Don’t you know what causes that?” or “Are they all yours?!”

Everywhere you go, people want to talk about your children. Why you shouldn’t have had them, how you could have prevented them, and why they would never do what you have done. They want to make sure you know that you won’t be smiling anymore when they are teenagers. All this at the grocery store, in line, while your children listen.

A Rock-Bottom Job?

The truth is that years ago, before this generation of mothers was even born, our society decided where children rank in the list of important things. When abortion was legalized, we wrote it into law.

Children rank way below college. Below world travel for sure. Below the ability to go out at night at your leisure. Below honing your body at the gym. Below any job you may have or hope to get. In fact, children rate below your desire to sit around and pick your toes, if that is what you want to do. Below everything. Children are the last thing you should ever spend your time doing.

If you grew up in this culture, it is very hard to get a biblical perspective on motherhood, to think like a free Christian woman about your life, your children. How much have we listened to partial truths and half lies? Do we believe that we want children because there is some biological urge, or the phantom “baby itch”? Are we really in this because of cute little clothes and photo opportunities? Is motherhood a rock-bottom job for those who can’t do more, or those who are satisfied with drudgery? If so, what were we thinking?

It’s Not a Hobby

Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.

Christian mothers carry their children in hostile territory. When you are in public with them, you are standing with, and defending, the objects of cultural dislike. You are publicly testifying that you value what God values, and that you refuse to value what the world values. You stand with the defenseless and in front of the needy. You represent everything that our culture hates, because you represent laying down your life for another—and laying down your life for another represents the gospel.

Our culture is simply afraid of death. Laying down your own life, in any way, is terrifying. Strangely, it is that fear that drives the abortion industry: fear that your dreams will die, that your future will die, that your freedom will die—and trying to escape that death by running into the arms of death.

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  1. Deb
    August 19th, 2011 at 12:09 | #1

    Amen.

  2. Sean
    August 20th, 2011 at 05:27 | #2

    I think being a good parent is a calling. Being a parent can be an accident, or an unwanted circumstance. Just ask any step-parent, and many biological parents. Merely being a parent is just an act of nature; wanting to be a good parent is whole ‘nother thing!

  3. Anne
    August 22nd, 2011 at 06:33 | #3

    @Sean
    “Merely being a parent is just an act of nature; wanting to be a good parent is whole ‘nother thing!”

    Well said Sean. But incomplete.

    “Good parents” put children first:
    Ahead of their sexual desires.
    Ahead of their desire to use children to their own personal “fulfillment”.

  4. August 22nd, 2011 at 07:48 | #4

    @Sean Actually, Sean, being a parent is NOT an act of nature. Parenting is different from siring. Anyone can sire a child but that doesn’t make them a parent.

  5. Sean
    August 22nd, 2011 at 15:32 | #5

    “Good parents” put children first:
    Ahead of their sexual desires.
    Ahead of their desire to use children to their own personal “fulfillment”.

    I don’t think good parents have to have unsatisfying sex lives, Anne. Why create a false choice? And most children are created accidentally, as a by-product of sexual relations, or for personal fulfillment. The vast majority of children. But I see where you’re going, since it’s where you’re coming from: when straight people want to be parents, they’re virtuous and godly; when gay people want to be parents, they’re selfish.

  6. Sean
    August 22nd, 2011 at 15:32 | #6

    “Actually, Sean, being a parent is NOT an act of nature. Parenting is different from siring. Anyone can sire a child but that doesn’t make them a parent.”

    Fair enough. And your observation applies equally to straight and gay people.

  7. Anne
    August 22nd, 2011 at 18:25 | #7

    @Sean
    “But I see where you’re going, since it’s where you’re coming from: when straight people want to be parents, they’re virtuous and godly; when gay people want to be parents, they’re selfish.”

    Heterosexual couples don’t deny children their rightful parents and knowledge of the natural order of the universe. And gay couples do.

    “I don’t think good parents have to have unsatisfying sex lives, Anne.”

    I agree. Good parents can honor their children’s rights AND have a satisfying sex life.

    “And most children are created accidentally, as a by-product of sexual relations, or for personal fulfillment. The vast majority of children.”

    What an interesting and totally fabricated statistic.

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