How America’s Conscience Was Seared Toward Motherhood
By Doug Phillips
But motherhood is not easily defeated. It was here from the beginning and it has always carried the Church and civilization forward. Motherhood not only perpetuates civilization, it defines it.
At first Jamestown was a bachelor society struggling for survival. But she became a civilization when the women arrived. Plymouth, on the other hand, began as a civilization-families of faith committed to fruitfulness and multiplication for the glory of God, an impossibility without motherhood.
Motherhood is not easily defeated because God has placed reminders of its importance in the very bodies of the women He created. To defeat motherhood, the enemies of the biblical family must do more than make it a social inconvenience, they must teach women to despise themselves by viewing their own wombs as the enemy of self-fulfillment. This means minimizing the glorious gift of life which is only given to womankind. It means redefining what it means to be a woman.
But even this is not enough. To defeat motherhood the enemies of the biblical family must sear the conscience of an entire generation of women. This is done through the doctrines of social emancipation from the home, sexual liberation, birth control, and abortion — all four of which cause a woman to war against her created nature. Instead of being the blessed guardian of domesticity for society, she is taught that contentment can only be found by acting, dressing, and competing with men. Instead of being an object of respect, protection, and virtue, she sells herself cheaply, thus devaluing her womanhood. Instead of glorying in a fruitful womb she cuts off the very seed of life. Sometimes she even kills the life.
Years of playing the part of a man hardens a woman. It trains women to find identity in the corporation, not the home. It teaches them to be uncomfortable around children and large families — the mere presence of which is a reminder of the antithesis between God’s design for womankind and the norms of post-Christian societies.
But women are not the only ones with seared consciences. Men have them too. Consider that fifty years ago a man would have winced to think of female soldiers heading into combat while stay-at-home dads are left behind changing diapers. Today’s man has a seared conscience. He no longer thinks of himself as a protector of motherhood, and a defender of womankind. He comforts himself by repeating the mantras of modern feminism, and by assuring himself of how reasonable and enlightened he is — how different he is from his intolerant and oppressive fathers. But in his heart, modern man knows that he has lost something. He has lost his manhood.
To be a man, you must care about women. And you must care about them in the right way. You must care about them as creatures worthy of protection, honour, and love. This means genuinely appreciating them for their uniqueness as women. It means recognizing the preciousness of femininity over glamour, of homemaking over careerism, and of mature motherhood over perpetual youth. But when women are reduced to soldiers, sexual objects, and social competitors, it is not merely the women who lose the identity given to them by the Creator, but the men as well. This is why the attack on motherhood has produced a nation of eunuchs — socially and spiritually impotent men who have little capacity to lead, let alone love women as God intended man to love woman — as mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters.
Motherhood Will Triumph
There is an important reason why motherhood will not be defeated — The Church is her guardian. As long as she perseveres — and persevere she will — motherhood will prevail.
The Church is the ultimate vanguard of that which is most precious and most holy. She holds the oracles of God which dare to proclaim to a selfish, self-centered nation: “Children are a blessing and the fruit of the womb is His reward.” Psalm 127:3.
The Church stands at the very gates of the city, willing to receive the railing complaints of feminists, atheists, and the legions arrayed against the biblical family, and she reminds the people of God: “Let the older women teach the young to love their children, to guide the homes.” Titus 2:3–5.
It is this very love of the life of children, this passion for femininity and motherhood which may be God’s instrument of blessing on America in the days to come. As the birth rate continues to plummet, divorce rates rise, and family life in America dissipates to the point of extinction, life-loving families will not only have an important message to share, but thy will have an army of children to help them share it.
Teacher: Susie what do you want to be when you grow up?
Susie: I want to be a doctor.
Teacher: How wonderful! And what about you Julie?
Julie: I want to be a soldier.
Teacher: How commendable! And what about you Hannah?
Hannah: When I grow up I want to be a wife and mother!
Teacher: [dead silence] . . .
After years of society belittling the calling of motherhood, something wonderful is happening — something wonderfully counter-cultural! In the midst of the anti-life, anti-motherhood philosophies which pervade the culture, there is a new generation of young ladies emerging whose priorities are not determined by the world’s expectations of them. They have grown up in homes where fathers shepherd them, where children are not merely welcome, but where they are deeply loved. Some of these women have been home educated, which means that many of them have grown up around babies and their mothers. They have learned to see motherhood as a joy and a high calling, because their parents see it that way.
And when asked about their future, these girls know their own minds. These are the future mothers of the Church. Young women who are not afraid to say that the goal of all of their education and training is to equip them to pursue the highest calling of womanhood, the office of wife and mother.
The Cost of Motherhood
Once a lady went to visit her friend. During the visit the children of the friend entered the room and began to play with each other. As the lady and her friend visited, the lady turned to her friend and said eagerly and yet with evidently no thought of the meaning of her words: “Oh, I’d give my life to have such children.” The mother replied with a subdued earnestness whose quiet told of the depth of experience out of which her words came: “That’s exactly what it costs.”
There is a cost of motherhood. And the price is no small sum. And if you are not willing to pay this price, no amount of encouragement about the joys of motherhood will satisfy.
But the price of motherhood is not fundamentally different from the price of being a disciple of Jesus Christ. In fact, Christian mothers see their duty as mothers flowing from their calling to Jesus Christ. And what is this cost?
Christian motherhood means dedicating your entire life in service of others. It means standing beside your husband, following him, and investing in the lives of children whom you hope will both survive you and surpass you. It means forgoing present satisfaction for eternal rewards. It means investing in the lives of others who may never fully appreciate your sacrifice or comprehend the depth of your love. And it means doing all these things, not because you will receive the praise of man — for you will not — but because God made you to be a woman and a mother, and there is great contentment in that biblical calling.
In other words, Motherhood requires vision. It requires living by faith and not by sight.
These are some of the reasons why Motherhood is both the most biblically noble and the most socially unappreciated role to which a young woman can aspire. There are many people who ask the question: Does my life matter? But a mother that fears the Lord need never ask such a question. Upon her faithful obedience hinges the future of the church and the hope of the nation.
In 1950, the great Scottish American preacher Peter Marshall stood before the United States Senate and he explained it this way:
The modern challenge to motherhood is the eternal challenge — that of being a godly woman. The very phrase sounds strange in our ears. We never hear it now. We hear about every other kind of women — beautiful women, smart women, sophisticated women, career woman, talented women, divorced women, but so seldom do we hear of a godly woman — or of a godly man either, for that matter.
I believe women come nearer fulfilling their God-given function in the home than anywhere else. It is a much nobler thing to be a good wife than to be Miss America. It is a greater achievement to establish a Christian home than it is to produce a second-rate novel filled with filth. It is a far, far better thing in the realm of morals to be old-fashioned than to be ultramodern. The world has enough women who know how to hold their cocktails, who have lost all their illusions and their faith. The world has enough women who know how to be smart.
It needs women who are willing to be simple. The world has enough women who know how to be brilliant. It needs some who will be brave. The world has enough women who are popular. It needs more who are pure. We need women, and men, too, who would rather be morally right that socially correct.
As we approach America’s national Mother’s Day celebration, lets remember that we are fighting for the Lord, and it is He who prioritizes motherhood and home as the highest calling and domain of womanhood “that the word of God be not blasphemed.” Titus 2:5.
May the Lord fill our churches with faithful mothers.
President, Vision Forum Ministries