A Defense of Motherhood in an age of Disdain for Children and Family-

  Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from God. Psalm 127:3 NIV

 They’re everywhere.

 Stories of women from around the world who freely admit they seriously regret having kids.

 The first time I saw one of the headlines I was dubious. Surely, the author was overstating the extent of the issue to get clicks? However, research revealed this is indeed a real thing. I found dozens of articles on the subject and a plethora of chat rooms and support groups that serve as safe spaces for women who sincerely wish they never had kids.

 My first impulse was to judge.

 Not because women feel the way they feel. I learned long ago, feelings (unlike actions) are not something easily controlled. And as someone who has had some pretty inappropriate thoughts and feelings concerning all sorts of things and people I would never judge anyone for feeling a particular way.

For reals.

 That said, I struggled to withhold judgment when I saw these women vomiting up their feelings all over social media. Call me old-fashioned, but even in the age of compulsive over-sharing I still believe there are circumstances where it is thoroughly appropriate to shut our pie-holes. I still believe some feelings are best left bottled-up nice and tight in the presence of most people. There are some feelings that should only be shared in the privacy of a counselors office or in the presence of a very close friend. Regret over giving birth to a person who might see those regrets in print is one of those times.


 Because defending something or someone is far superior to judging something or someone I will do my best to lose any judgment I’m struggling with and attempt to make a defense for the cause of Motherhood (Matthew 7:12). I will not attempt to gaslight you by feeding you some insipid or overly spiritualized line about how fulfilling and blissful every moment of motherhood is. That is simply not true. Like most things in life mothering does have its moments of blissful fulfillment, but it’s far from easy and blissful, especially in the early years.

 As the Mother of four I know for a fact that while you’re in the middle of raising young children, parenting FEELS like nothing more than a lot of hard work, exhaustion and frustration punctuated with moments of agonizing self-doubt and fear. That being said, as someone who has raised kids to adulthood I can also tell you that mothering is worth the effort for four reasons:

 Mothering impacts the future like nothing else-

 To my eternal shame my children know very little about their great-Grandmother. She was an amazing woman who sadly, died long before they were born. I doubt any of them could tell you her first name (it was Areta). They certainly don’t know what she did for a living or any details concerning her likes or dislikes. However, I see a lot of her attitudes and values including fair-mindedness, generosity, and the value of hard work living on in my own kids. She sowed those ethics into me and I have done my level best to pass her legacy on to them. Most people a hundred years from now will not know or care about what you did for a living but they will know exactly what you valued in life because they will see those values living on in your children and grandchildren.

 Mothering is the best discipleship opportunity you are ever going to get-

 Most Christians long to make a spiritual impact on the future (Matthew 28:18-19). Parenting gives us the better part of two decades to impart spiritual truth into the hearts of our kids. If we go the extra mile and live what we say we believe we will make a significant spiritual impact on the lives of the kids we raise and they in turn will make a spiritual impact on future generations (Psalms 127:4-5) .

 Mothering has the power to make us better people-

 Mothering reveals in gory detail every single one of our shortcomings and less-than-healthy coping mechanisms. When our weaknesses are exposed we have two options, we can ignore reality or we can become better people. There is nothing quite like having a couple of kids watching to give us the incentive needed to work at becoming better people. (Romans 12:1-2, 2nd Corinthians 3:18)

 Parenting makes us dependent on God for wisdom and direction-

 Seriously. Anyone who has parented a child for more than an hour knows parenting kids is scary. Being scared causes a lot of people to look to God and we are all better people when we look to Him for insight and assistance.

 For decades now women have been force-fed the lie motherhood is a waste of their time, energy, and talents. That lie is spread in blogs, books and articles that promote a survivor approach to parenting. Social media is littered with snarky memes belittling motherhood with little adages like “Mommy needs vodka” and “don’t mind the mess the children are being a**holes”. With those attitudes so deeply rooted in our culture it’s not surprising that many women regret having kids. As Christians it is incumbent on us to take the long view of things and remember that we are not called to live comfortable, stress-free lives today, rather we are called to live our lives for the glory of God and future generations. If you’re a mom reading this you are doing a good thing that will make a difference.

God approves. I promise.

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