Only Women Can Be Mothers (Part I)

Have We Forgotten This Fundamental?

By Douglas Phillips

Only a woman can carry in her body an eternal being which bears the very image of God. Only she is the recipient of the miracle of life. Only a woman can conceive and nurture this life using her own flesh and blood, and then deliver a living soul into the world. God has bestowed upon her alone a genuine miracle — the creation of life, and the fusing of an eternal soul with mortal flesh. This fact alone establishes the glory of motherhood.

Despite the most creative plans of humanist scientists and lawmakers to redefine the sexes, no man will ever conceive and give birth to a child. The fruitful womb is a holy gift given by God to women alone. This is one reason why the office of wife and mother is the highest calling to which a woman can aspire.

This is the reason why nations that fear the Lord esteem and protect mothers. They glory in the distinctions between men and women, and attempt to build cultures in which motherhood is honoured and protected.

In his famous commentary on early American life, Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville explained:

alexis

Thus the Americans do not think that man and woman have either the duty or the right to perform the same offices, but they show an equal regard for both their respective parts; and though their lot is different, they consider both of them as beings of equal value. They do not give to the courage of woman the same form or the same direction as to that of man, but they never doubt her courage; and if they hold that man and his partner ought not always to exercise their intellect and understanding in the same manner, they at least believe the understanding of the one to be as sound as that of the other, and her intellect to be as clear. Thus, then, while they have allowed the social inferiority of woman to continue, they have done all they could to raise her morally and intellectually to the level of man; and in this respect they appear to me to have excellently understood the true principle of democratic improvement.

De Tocqueville contrasted the American understanding of women, with European sentiments:

There are people in Europe who, confounding together the different characteristics of the sexes, would make man and woman into beings not only equal but alike. They could give to both the same functions, impose on both the same duties, and grant to both the same rights; they would mix them in all things — their occupations, their pleasures, their business. It may readily be conceived that by thus attempting to make one sex equal to the other, both are degraded, and from so preposterous a medley of the works of nature nothing could ever result but weak men and disorderly women.

The War on Motherhood

America’s glory was her women. De Tocqueville believed this when he wrote:

As for myself, I do not hesitate to avow that although the women of the United States are confined within the narrow circle of domestic life, and their situation is in some respects one of extreme dependence, I have nowhere seen woman occupying a loftier position; and if I were asked, now that I am drawing to the close of this work, in which I have spoken of so many important things done by the Americans, to what the singular prosperity and growing strength of that people ought mainly to be attributed, I should reply: To the superiority of their women.

But this birthright would be exchanged during the last century for a mess of pottage. Perhaps the greatest legacy of the 20th century has been the war on motherhood and biblical patriarchy. Feminists, Marxists, and liberal theologians have made it their aim to target the institution of the family and divest it from its biblical structure and priorities. The results are androgyny, a radical decline in birthrate, abortion, fatherless families, and social confusion.

Incredibly, the biggest story of the 20th century never made headline news.[1]Somehow we missed it. It was the mass exodus of women from the home, and the consequent decline of motherhood. For the first time in recorded history of the West, more mothers left their homes than stayed in them. By leaving the home, the experience and reality of childhood, family life and femininity were fundamentally redefined, and the results have been so bad that if this one trend is not reversed, our grandchildren may live in a world where the both the true culture of Christian family life and the historic definition of marriage are the stuff of fairy tales.

Many “isms” have influenced these trends-evolutionism, feminism, statism, eugenicism, Marxism, and more. But in the end, the philosophical gap between the presuppositions of the Atheists, eugenicists, and Marxists of the early 20th century, and the presuppositions of the professing Church in the 21st century, have narrowed dramatically. The goals of the state and the goals of the mainstream church have so merged, that the biblical family with its emphasis on male headship, generational succession, and prolific motherhood are a threat to the social order of both institutions.

Less than one hundred years ago, the architects of the atheistic communist Soviet state anticipated the death of the Christian family. They explained the need for destroying the Christian family with its emphasis on motherhood, and replacing it with a vision for a “new family.” Lenin wrote:

lenin

We must now say proudly and without any exaggeration that apart from Soviet Russia, there is not a country in
the world where women enjoy full equality and where women are not placed in the humiliating position felt particularly in day-to-day family life. This is one of our first and most important tasks. . . Housework is the most unproductive, the most barbarous and the most arduous work a woman can do. It is exceptionally petty and does not include anything that would in any way promote the development of the woman. . . The building of socialism will begin only when we have achieved the complete equality of women and when we undertake the new work together with women who have been emancipated from that petty stultifying, unproductive work. . . We are setting up model institutions, dining-rooms and nurseries, that will emancipate women from housework. . . These institutions that liberate women from their position as household slaves are springing up where it is in any way possible. . . Our task is to make politics available to every working woman.

In his 1920 International Working Women’s Day Speech, Lenin emphasized:

The chief thing is to get women to take part in socially productive labor, to liberate them from ‘domestic slavery,’ to free them from their stupefying [idiotic] and humiliating subjugation to the eternal drudgery of the kitchen and the nursery. This struggle will be a long one, and it demands a radical reconstruction, both of social technique and of morale. But it will end in the complete triumph of Communism.

Lenin’s comrade Trotsky played a key role in communicating the Marxist vision of what he called the “new family.” Lenin and Trotsky believed in the overthrow of Christianity by destroying the biblical family. They sought to build a new state, free from historic Christian presuppositions concerning the family. This meant denigrating the biblical notion of male headship and hierarchy within the family. It meant eliminating any sense that there should be a division of labor between man and wife. This required delivering women from the burdens of childbirth and childcare. It meant adopting tools like birth control as guarantors that women could be free to remain in the workforce. Trotsky said this:

Socialization of family housekeeping and public education of children are unthinkable without a marked improvement in our economics as a whole. We need more socialist economic forms. Only under such conditions can we free the family from the functions and cares that now oppress and disintegrate it. Washing must be done by a public laundry, catering by a public restaurant, sewing by a public workshop. Children must be educated by good public teachers who have a real vocation for the work. Then the bond between husband and wife would be freed from everything external and accidental, and the one would cease to absorb the life of the other. Genuine equality would at last be established. . .

The most disturbing part of quotes like those above is how similar they sound in sentiment and spirit to voices today from individuals who claim to be a part of the Church of Jesus Christ. Even more disturbing is how many of the anti-family social reforms are presuppositions of modern Christians in America. Presuppositions which have been fully accepted.

Next Month: How America’s Conscience was seared towards Motherhood.

May the Lord fill our churches with faithful mothers.
Douglas Phillips,
President, Vision Forum Ministries

[1] In his 2002 book Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News , Bernard Goldberg wrote: “They don’t report the really big story — arguably one of the biggest stories of our time — that is absence of mothers from American homes is without any historical precedent, and that millions upon millions of American children have been left, as Eberstadt puts it, ‘to fend for themselves’ — with dire consequences.” p. 166