This is an updated version of a post I did for Mother’s Day 2016. And one, along with its companion that I’ll post next week, are two of my favorites. And giving myself a “day off” seems like a good way to celebrate Mother’s Day.
“All I wanted to be when I was a boy was a dad,” said no man ever. When they’re probed deeper, many men will open up to how much they desire a wife, to be a dad, etc., but it’s not the first response they typically give.
“I all I ever wanted to be was a mom.” How many times have we heard a woman say this?
A couple of years ago, when I was on the retreat, we had to give three words to describe us. I have five but followed the rules. “Engineer, writer, Christian,” was my response. Wife and mom are the other two. I was the only one who didn’t use at least one of those two words to describe myself.
I purposely didn’t short list them. Why? Because while all define who I am, wife and mom are defined by relationships. Although I had more control over the fact that I’m a wife and a mother, they’re no different than being a granddaughter, daughter, sister, niece, or aunt. I’m those things too.
Am I slamming stay-at-home moms? No! Do I think women who are housewives or moms are inferior? Absolutely not!
What then is my purpose in writing this?
There are so many reasons that a girl may not be able to be a wife or mother or loses that status. Singlehood. Infidelity. Infertility. Inability to adopt. Miscarriage. Child death. Divorce. Losing custody. Incarceration. Illness. Widowhood.
What happens when your daughter dreams of motherhood but is faced with its impossibility? What if she’s dreamed of marriage but finds herself alone? Should she feel like a second class citizen because she’s unmarried or doesn’t have children? Definitely not. And where is a woman most likely to feel ashamed to be single or childless?
The church, the very place she should be welcomed with open arms. John recounts Jesus breaking social custom to minister to the unmarried woman at the well. He spoke highly of widows. We are doing all young girls a great disservice by putting motherhood on a pedestal. Yes, children are called a blessing, and there are the stories of Sarah, Hannah, and Elizabeth bearing children in their old age. But in 1 Corinthians Paul encourages believers to remain single and only marry if they burn with passion. I believe the assumption of childlessness goes with this.
We should guide our daughters (and sons) to search their hearts and pray for God’s plan in their lives. Help them find their passion and purpose in Him not another human. On the other hand, if your child is called to stay at home and care for children, support them. Do not make them feel that it is a “lesser option”.
Young people should have the opportunity to live on their own. Hopefully long enough that they have a bit of a nest egg. Both sexes should be taught finance, how to cook, clean, mend, and do basic repairs. It fosters independence in both sexes and helps groom them learn to serve their spouses and children.
Every woman should look at being a wife or mother as a blessing and not a definition. Gifts not an identity. Men should look on being a husband and father in a similar way. They truly are.
Because when the day ends, I am equally a Christian, a wife, a mother, an engineer, and a writer. While I strive for the role of Christian to remain the most-important, all five are part of the fiber of my being. I am forever grateful for my husband of nearly 19 years and my two kind, bright, and beautiful children who are very much a part of my identity. I’m also thankful for the gifts and desire God has given me to write and practice engineering and the daily thirst to know Him and serve Him.
What are your roles? Do you struggle with any of them taking too high of a priority?