It’s almost Mother’s Day in the U.S., and that means different things to different people. Growing up, it was a day to make handmade cards and give flowers or chocolate to Mom and Grandma and tell them how much we appreciated and loved them.
When I was a teen, I noticed a difference. People were more cautious about celebrating Mother’s Day, because they wanted to be sensitive to women who struggled with infertility, loss of a child, loss of a mother, or lack of a mother. They wanted also to be sensitive to single dads, who were “both mom and dad.” These days as an adult, it seems like a day for generalized social media posts and perhaps a call to a mom or anyone considered a “mother figure.”
As someone with an odd relationship with my mother, it felt a little weird to go along with all of the planned activities in school or church, knowing that my sparkly hand flower would end up battered, torn, and thrown out. But it never hurt me that other people wanted to celebrate their mothers.
As I got older, I was able to recognize that my mom did the best she could, even if it wasn’t great, and I appreciated what she was able to do for me and my siblings. Regardless, the celebration of one group of people should not be squashed to make others comfortable.
There is a Father’s Day for the single dads to be recognized. There’s a Grandparent’s Day. There is even a Bereaved Mother’s Day. We can acknowledge the struggles of others without diminishing the honor of those intended.
Out With the Old, Out With the New?
Mothers play a huge role in our world, for good or bad. But I’ve noticed a growing trend among the younger generations.
Even though we want to recognize and celebrate our mothers (or mother figures) for all they have sacrificed, we don’t want new mothers to rise up. We tell young girls that they don’t have to be a wife and mom—they can be whatever they want to be, like an athlete, astronaut, doctor, or president.
Why not tell them they can be both? I’ve heard some horrible catchphrases going around regarding child-rearing. Children are “crotch goblins,” not blessings from God or even young human beings. Of course, we are all familiar with the section of society that doesn’t believe that an unborn child is a valuable human being (Which is utterly heartbreaking.) Society is trying to redefine what even being female is.
Our society has a lot of ideas about what a woman is. God has clearly defined it in Scripture, but we are just not satisfied with His plans and we have to make up our own rules. These days, a biological man can declare he feels like a woman, participate in women’s boxing, and crush the skulls of biological women while being applauded and awarded.
A biological man beating a woman used to be considered physical abuse; now it’s called “brave.” I don’t think trans people should be banned from sports: I think they should have their own league, where everyone participating has already agreed to the differing standards and physical differences that can be expected. But, I digress …
Feminism Without Femininity
Trans issues aside, there are a lot of messages bombarding women.
We’ve probably all heard the phrase:
“Anything a man can do, I can do better!”
I saw a post on social media a few years ago that resonated with me. Essentially, it said that women have been trying for so long to prove that they are equal to men that they are losing what makes them unique as women.
Sure, I appreciate the ability to vote in elections, to pursue a career that interests me, or even to live on my own. But have you realized that women (in general) have the ability to grow a whole new human inside their bodies? That is a miracle, and one unique to the females. What man can do that?
If you don’t know who Elizabeth Elliot is, I highly recommend looking her up. She was a phenomenal woman who lived an impressive, Christian life. Here is a quote from her on feminism.
“It is a naive sort of feminism that insists that women prove their ability to do all the things that men do. This is a distortion and a travesty. Men have never sought to prove that they can do all the things women do. Why subject women to purely masculine criteria? Women can and ought to be judged by the criteria of femininity, for it is in their femininity that they participate in the human race. And femininity has its limitations. So has masculinity … To be a woman is not to be a man. To be married is not to be single – which may mean not to have a career. To marry this man is not to marry all the others. A choice is a limitation.”
We hear over and over that “It’s okay to want a career instead of kids! Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about it!” And I don’t disagree with that. But all the while society is striving to “empower women,” those who are content with a domestic life are being minimalized and even shamed.
A Strong, Godly Marriage Is Not A Burden
We’re told that we need to have good self-esteem self-worth, and self-efficacy, we need to read ALL of the self-help books, and we need to pursue self-love and self-care every day. We’re also given the suggestion that getting married or having children is the end of all of that.
Here’s a potentially surprising statement: submission to your husband is not weakness. It’s a demonstration of some other self-words; self-control, self-lessness, and even self-respect.
“WHAT?!” Yes. None of these are negative words. A friend once said to me that “Meekness is not weakness; it is power under control.”
Here’s the thing: I WANT to be a stay-at-home-mom. Yes, it’s hard work; but so is a career. I’m not a strong, independent woman. I’m a strong woman, dependent on my husband to lead me, provide for me, and to make me take a nap (or shower) when I need to. And I’m okay with that.
My Life As A SAHGM
A lot of well-meaning people I knew discouraged me from getting married when I did. I got engaged when I was 19, after 6 months of dating a guy I had known for about 8 months. CRAZY, right? We were married only one year after we met, a couple of weeks after I turned 20.
Most of the arguments against me getting married were not about the amount of time we had known each other, surprisingly. The main argument was simply that I “needed more life experience.” Basically, I needed to be older.
When asked why, I never got a clear answer. It was thought that I needed to go to college or start a career first. I had no idea what kind of degree to pursue, so wasting time and money by aimlessly taking classes and switching degree programs multiple times seemed unwise to me.
As far as a career, I didn’t have a strong desire to work in any particular field. I didn’t grow up dreaming of being a doctor or an esthetician, or anything else. I was content with following where my husband would go and supporting him. I worked to provide income for a couple of years as he was in school full-time. I was glad for a break when my health started declining and we decided I would stop working. Fast forward two more years, and now I am the primary caretaker of our son.
Another quote I appreciate from Elizabeth Elliot is from her book, “Let Me Be A Woman”.
“We are women, and my plea is Let me be a woman, holy through and through, asking for nothing but what God wants to give me, receiving with both hands and with all my heart whatever that is.”
My life is good. I am in no way oppressed or demeaned by my husband or by the role that I fill. I like the idea of being that sweet, plump Southern Mama that you read about in books. The one who everyone in the neighborhood calls Mama, who stuffs you with homemade meatloaf and cookies.
Being a Boss Babe, Gamer Chick, Queen, Slayer; none of that appeals to me.
So I say with Elisabeth Elliott, “Let me be a woman” (who plays video games).