I want to interrupt my babymoon to share some of the thoughts and discussions we've had around here this past week and a half. It has been a very special time for us as a family getting to know this new little person, moving and adjusting to fit him into our family. He has been held almost constantly by someone, what more could he want really, but to be fed and held and loved by his very own family? I've questioned several times what would happen to him if he were headed to daycare in another four and a half weeks? He wouldn't be the center of anybody's universe anymore, certainly wouldn't be, couldn't be, held like he is now. I'm not disparaging anybody who cares for other's children, as a matter of fact my sister was a daycare provider for years. The children in her care were well taken care of and really got attached to her. But the point I'm trying to make is that nobody will ever love your children like you should, I'm not sure that comes completely by instinct though. Paul directs the older women to teach the younger women to "....love their children". I'm afraid that our society screams something quite different to women and families today, something that sounds a lot like "being a full time Mother is a waste of your time and talents, you were made for higher things, you just aren't cut out to be a stay at home Mother, I love my children but..." And, more unfortunate still, the "Church" is affirming the message; witness the church run daycare centers. What message does that send? The reasoning goes: they're going to put them in daycare anyway, it's better that the children are here where we can teach them about Jesus. Um, okay, so where does thinking lead? People will abuse their children anyway, better to be abused in "Church"? Men are going to cheat on their wives, it's better that the "Church" helps them cheat in a good environment? Pornography is a fact of life, it's better if the "Church" supplies it and can then control it?
I'm not sure that I qualify as one of the older women but I'd like to encourage you to delve into the Word and see what God says about children. After all, it matters little what I say if it doesn't line up with what God says. Families are being made a shipwreck, the Church is rendered ineffective, and society crumbles when we don't take God's plan seriously enough to apply it. I don't believe anything supersedes God's directive for Mother's to mother their children, not any career, not any "ministry", not anything. There is no higher calling for a women but to be allowed the privilege of training and discipling the children God has given you.
While in the hospital I had lots of conversations with the nurses and the midwife about many topics but I was astounded by the amount of anti-child comments that were made to me. Unloving and ungracious comments to even think much less to voice to someone who was in effect a complete stranger. They were speaking of their own children (teenage daughters were really singled out though) as a hassle, a trial, the ultimate low point in parenting. How would you feel if that's how you were viewed? And we wonder why they grow up and seem to be drifting, anchorless, confused and angry. I'd question a lot too. If we don't view the "least of these" as He does, we can't start claiming promises and expect everything to turn out like we want it to. It has to worth the effort to us to get the reward. Kelly has some thought provoking things to say on this same topic, I also recommend A Full Quiver by Rick Hess.