Motherhood and Suffering…Is It a Sign?
There were several great questions/concerns brought up during the past week’s discussion on birth control and God’s sovereignty over the womb, and I wanted to revisit a few.
Again, in case you’re just coming across this post, I discuss birth control with a non-condemning motive; I have one intent only–to engage you to be sure you have thought about, prayed about, and searched out fully the topic of children and are completely convinced of your decisions about the subject.
I had an article published in Encouraging Word magazine a few years ago entitled “The Mission Field of Children”. If I can find it (!!) I will try to provide a link to it.
In that article I addressed one of the most commonly missing elements of the discussion of God’s sovereignty over the womb.
To explain, I drew a parallel; think of someone called to the mission field in New Guinea. It is a noble calling. People are impressed. The more physical suffering the missionary endures, the more applause he receives! (Not that that’s his goal, mind you…just the reaction of people.)
Does he get sick from the tainted water? Does he suffer from dysentery? Does he live in poverty? Does he even have to sometimes ask people for money to survive?
And yet, his difficult conditions are never held as a measure to whether he is fulfilling God’s will. No one says, “Well, what does he expect?”
I think of Paul. Called to preach the gospel. Soon after, beaten almost to death, and then thrown into prison. How easy would it have been for him to use the “wisdom that God gave him”, and say, “Well, obviously I misunderstood God’s will for me. If he wanted me to preach the gospel, I wouldn’t be stuck in here!”
I submit that motherhood can be seen as a mission field. Based on the earlier conclusions that God gave us a fruitful womb, and then said to be fruitful, bear children, and let our quivers be full, (and he never revoked the command), it should be concluded then, that THAT MAY INVOLVE HARDSHIP.
In most realms of ministry, hardship is in indication of being in the center of God’s will, not a sign of being wrong.
The article goes on with a plea to the Christian community. No matter your personal decision about children, we need to ALLOW the mother of many to be tired, stressed and emotionally drained sometimes. That’s not a sign that she is wrong!!!
In addition to allowing the missionary to suffer, we allow the working woman to suffer without tsking her as well. We don’t shame the overworked career woman who still has to come home and manage a second full-time job; we generally try to come up with solutions to make her life easier. (Better child care, and “family-friendly” work schedules.)
Motherhood is a mission field. And I promise there will be struggles! Physical ones, emotional ones, financial ones, even spiritual ones.
A hardship alone is NEVER an indication that we are being unwise or irresponsible. Let us remember that!
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Paul Romans 8:18
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