Not long ago I was at an estate sale and purchased several rare editions of the magazine, “Ladies Home Journal” dated 1912 and 1913. Every issue’s primary focus was on stay-at-home motherhood, homemaking, child rearing and marriage. The articles were written by pastors, women’s leaders and even a Presidential statement from President Theodore Roosevelt.
It amazes me the changes that have occurred in less than one hundred years. Women fought for the opportunity to grow in education and careers and this has blessed women with new opportunities. However when modern mothers left home in the 1960′s in search of success, the career woman was elevated and the role of a mother was then looked down upon. The idea of dedicating one’s life to raising children losts its value and mothering was reduced to a menial task. Taking care of the childre” became a job most anyone could do and certainly not a role that an educated career minded woman would waste her time on. An entire generation of mothers walked away from the best job they could possibly have. They traded their most fulfilling purpose for something that did not bring them long term fulfillment. Feminists enouraged women to “have it all” but it never quite worked! Women found they had to give up too much and in the process lost a lot of dignity for even when they could dress like a man, earn money like a man, become educated like a man, they were still not a man… their hearts longed for more.
Exhausted and disenchanted, women are now admitting that corporate America will not bring the same fulfillment that mothering brings. We are finally coming to terms with the reality that work and family do not balance as well as once thought. The sacrifices that women and families have been required to make are not worth it!
Isn’t it interesting how women are retuning to what God knew all along?
God created the role of wife and mother so that we could find our ultimate purposes apart from college degrees and workplace performances. Many are returning to more traditional values in the home. Thanks to Martha Stewart who glamourized homemaking and
food network stars like Rachel Ray who brought gourmet cooking into vogue, staying at home has taken on a feeling of luxury. As well, an array of pregnant celebrities are glamourizing motherhood. Women everywhere are finding contentment once again in the roles that their mothers once considered trivial.
However the idea that motherhood could actually be a spiritual gift has not completely reached its fulfillment in Christendom. It’s not that our leaders do not talk about the importance of motherhood on Mother’s Day, in fact most preachers do an excellent job beautifying the value of mothers and our role. But often parenthood seems to be expected as a given. In other words anyone can be a parent. This may be why church going women will often say they need a way to contribute to God’s work other than just being a mom. Often women are encouraged to volunteer in the nursery, to evangelize, to organize church functions, to teach Bible Studies and dream of becoming the next Beth Moore, but pour themselves whole heartedly into motherhood? The emphasis on motherhood as a single all consuming life-purpose has been completely overlooked.
MOTHERHOOD is never listed on spiritual gift profiles!
This may be why women today seem very concerned about what they are suppossed to be doing for God. Many seem to fear that they will some day stand before Him and have to apologize. “I am so sorry God I was only a mother and it took all of my time and I could not do anything else.” Because motherhood has not been recognized as a true calling, women are afraid that God will not say, “Well done!” Ladies we have been spoon fed a diet of cultural garbage! Yes, it is a wonderful thing to have a career and it is nice to teach an occasional Bible study or volunteer in the church or community but the single greatest contribution that you will EVER make to the advancement of the Kingdom of God is the way that you love and care for your children!
Being a mother is the most important job you will ever do! Your love affects eternity and don’t ever forget it! We are the caregivers, the teachers, the role models, the source of love in the home. This role is far superior than anything else.
God never stopped asking women to answer the call of motherhood. It is the most wonderful expression of our heart possible and a role which will reap the final words from our Lord, “Well done you were a good and faithful mother!”