I believe every child has a profound need: to be loved, cherished, and cared for by a mother who loves them. And it's not just a need, but an important part of God's design for shaping human beings to become healthy, strong, resilient.
For thousands of years the view of motherhood described in the Bible was generally respected in cultures around the world. 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 and value 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.”
I found that I was confused by the differing voices, the multiple opinions of what the role would mean for me. But it was in studying scripture and seeking God that I found peace and freedom to become the mother I needed to be for my own family.
~from The Mission of Motherhood, Chapter One
This summer, I will be hosting a podcast series on some of the issues that confront mothers today, while using my book, The Mission of Motherhood, as a basis of some of the discussion.
At almost 65, and through many seasons of life,
I see now even more than ever that the relationship between a mother and child often determine the emotional health, mental strength, confidence, faith and vision of the child when he or she becomes an adult.
I have no desire to argue philosophy, I just want to encourage. At this point, I am not going to change my opinion but just want to share wisdom I have picked up along the way. Get your own copy and join me in this series.
I will be discussing: Postpartum depression, voices in culture, to work or not to work, and many more issues. My desire is to get to the heart of God, to see how He imagined our role as He created women with such beauty, finesse, intelligence--just what a community of people would need to flourish. I hope you enjoy this series.
Most of all, though, as we begin, we must consider that as believers, we have committed to serving God with our hearts, souls, minds, treasures, times. So as we see the eternal value He places on babies and children, we must also regard children with the same high regard as He would direct us to do.
I may surprise you with some of the answers I will give. Again, in motherhood as in other areas of life, we all want the black and white answers, the formula, "Just tell me what to do." But we need to be careful of just repeating what others have said about any issue and learn to seek God, scripture and try by faith to reflect truth within the wide boundaries He allows for us to exercise wisdom, skill and faith according to our own stories. I hope you will join me.
These are the two books I will be using this summer in my podcasts. The first 6 weeks, Mission and the second 5 weeks, Ministry. Get your own copy or give one to a friend and build your own community of friends who are cultivating the same values. Hope they encourage.