Monday, 14 December 2015

Thinking rightly about motherhood

I'm grateful for some of Tim Challies' readers writing in, to correct/improve one of his recent articles. Though Tim had good and useful things to say concerning the value of being a mother and home-maker, he used unhelpful terminology which failed to recognise the Bible's portrayal of a mother and home-maker as being the highest, and most glorious calling of a married woman. It is a unique privilege to be embraced, not depicted as a second-best, or equal option.

When a career in the work-place is "given up" or "sacrificed" in favour of this calling, that which is "given up" is a less glorious, lower calling. That may not immediately feel like it's the case when one is still in the grip of the world's thinking, and on day one of exchanging being a praised professional for a pile of poo, but that does not make it any less the case, when evaluated Biblically. Saying this is emphatically not to pre-judge every individual case and set of every family's circumstances. But it is an important matter for Christians to get right, when living in a society which comprehensively rejects the Bible's vision for how the sexes are to live together.

Tim publishes a variety of responses, and not all of Tim's correspondents get this right. One grinds an axe by taking Tim to task for not saying anything about singleness. But Tim's article was about the choices facing married women. Taking needless offence because our particular case isn't discussed  in detail every time is unhelpful. Similarly, not every married couple is fertile, etc. Unfortunately, though, the particular correspondent I'm thinking of makes her individual case a gold standard for every article about married women to be judged by, and makes absurd comments like "I am afraid articles like yours inadvertently encourages a middle-class Christianity - where women tie their identities to husbands and children instead of God." To read a mild post about the blessings of being a home-maker, and read in between the lines an encouragement to people to turn away from God, is absurd. You don't have to be an expert psycho-analyst to detect someone who protesteth too much.

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