Motherhood

Thoughts From An Older Mother

In Titus 2:3-5, we read of the words of our Lord in commanding women to teach other women several different concepts. The one that is of interest today in my blog is the command for women to teach other women to love their children. The Lord tells us that this issue should be taught so that the Word of God would not be blasphemed. Pretty important stuff!
So here is my story. After our 3rd child was born, I began telling others, with great surety, that this would be our last child. We had named our precious little boy Zachary and I laughingly spoke of how he was our last and the “z” at the first of his name stood for the last child…just like the last letter of the alphabet. Looking back, I believe I felt some kind of embarrassed pressure to apologize that we had already gone beyond normal size family which at that time which was probably 1.8 children.
Then, a couple of years or so later, you can imagine our surprise when my husband and I discovered that our proclaimed ideas of ideal family size that we had decided on was to increase! What would people think of us? Oh my! Isn’t it sad how that women who were designed by God to be able to cooperate with Him in conceiving and carrying a precious new life can actually be intimidated and ashamed to tell other women their exciting news of another pregnancy? It does happen…it did to me and to other mothers I have spoken to or have read their stories!
Sadly, we live in a culture where children are many times considered burdens and are not accepted and not embraced with joy and happiness. The most sickening part is that the church should have been salt and light in this area…but as a whole has failed to be!
When we discovered we were expecting our 4th child, my husband was pastoring a church in which an older missionary’s wife attended. This Christian lady that I had respected and looked up to as a Godly woman came to me one church service and begin to tell me with great disapproval that SHE could have told me how to prevent this pregnancy from happening! I was so hurt by her apparent disdain and her lack of loving new life. I was being reprimanded for having another child that God Himself created! Imagine this coming from a elderly Christian woman who should have been excited and encouraging me at this time of my life! I was the younger mother! What was this older mother teaching me? Why was she upset that I had been blessed with another child?! I was just devastated by her harsh and unloving words and seemed to go into more of that ungodly kind of embarrassment which sorta felt like a need to apologize about my newly conceived son. Ironically, her little “prevention method” she told me of was the very one I was using and I was even going beyond her recommendations! How confusing to me at that time!
Sadly, I have a hard time really remembering many words of encouragement or excitement coming from women I was associated with during my entire childbearing years. For some time I felt pretty much on my own in endeavoring to embrace children as blessings. If I was encountering difficulties, which, of course, happened, I couldn’t really go to an older mother that already had shown her disgust for me even having more children. I mean, what would she say? I thought it might be something like…”See! I told you not to have so many children!” I surely didn’t want to hear those negative words when needing encouragement.
Thankfully, later on I became acquainted with Nancy Campbell, who issues the magazine “Above Rubies”, and she from a distance sent me encouragements many times by her magazine and personal letters. It was so wonderful to hear an older mother’s sweet words of comfort and encouragement! I literally clung to her words and was so excited to see her letters or magazines in the mailbox!
As the years have rocked on, I can say that I am thankful for these hard times I went thru as a young mother. I believe it prompted me to really search the scriptures for myself because I had been led astray by the teachings of older women. We hear today of the words being using by the pro-abort crowd…”Trust women!” I say really?!!! We had better not trust any woman who isn’t teaching and living the truth of God’s Word but is instead blaspheming it.
You see, I began realizing at a time in my life that I too hadn’t embraced children as the Lord intended. So it was after the birth of this child, our precious son Bryan, that the Lord gently but persistently began speaking to my heart to let Him decide how many children we should have.
All of our lives, my husband and I, had been raised in the same church and we had been blessed and exposed to Godly preaching and teachings. Strangely enough, all that teaching never seemed to contain much if any exhortation about these scriptures in Titus and other scriptures that told us of children being blessings sent from the Lord. I had never really given this concept of trusting the Lord in this matter much thought and I found that it wasn’t really comfortable for me to do so!
As the Lord dealt with me much when in prayer, finally in desperation, I bargained with Him that if this was really His leading that He would allow someone to come to me and speak of the idea of letting Him plan our family. It happened! Just a few days later a woman came to me and delivered the message. Was I overjoyed and happy? No. Then with a critical heart I started judging the messenger and told the Lord that I wouldn’t accept it from a single mother that wasn’t even married at the time. Stubborn me! Finally, I seemed to hear the Lord whisper to me the question…”would you live this for Me only because of the reason that I asked you to and if you were the only one in the world that did so?!!” Oh my! What could I say to the One who loved me so much that He had laid down His life for me. Of course, I just had to answer affirmatively.
But wait! I might still have another option! You see I had been learning that in the scriptures we are taught that wives are supposed to be in subjection unto their husbands. So, I then proceeded to go to my husband and told him of these things that Lord was dealing with me about. I rationalized that since he was my earthly authority, maybe he would just pray about it and decide that this wasn’t really the Lord’s leading in our lives. I was still fearful and doubting.
After time spent in study and prayer, my husband and I came to the agreement that we could surely trust our Creator in this area. We were blessed with 5 more children. To be exact…eight living children and one little miscarried premature twin that we haven’t got to meet. It is my desire to tell others that we serve a mighty God who is able to be trusted and He cares about every area of our lives. He does desire a Godly seed according to Malachi 2:15…and He does say that the fruit of the womb is His reward and that children are His heritage. (Psalms 127:3). I believe that when He is sought for wisdom in this issue, His answer will be the same as He has already stated in His Word as His first commandment to man…be fruitful and multiply…which incidentally was never rescinded.
I believe our Lord is eager and ready to bless His children with new life. It’s so very sad that as Christians we don’t always have that same eagerness to cooperate. Oh, that we could love and embrace life and fruitfulness as the Lord does. May we as Christian women carry the message everywhere we go and in all of our words and actions that God has blessed us as women with a womb in order to cooperate with Him in bringing forth new life. We have the wonderful opportunity to bear children and to embrace a loving mother’s heart. Even for those who might not be able to bear children…a mother’s loving heart can still be cultivated in loving others and in showing love for children. May we as women never be known by others or especially by God as blaspheming His Word in failing to teach love for children.
I believe we can help restore and reaffirm the love of children into our society by the words we speak and attitude that we carry. Maybe, just maybe, the anti-child, abortion death spirit reigning among us would not have become reality if Christian women had followed the Lord’s intentions for us in embracing life and loving children?!!! Shame on us!
I have long ago forgiven those women who may have wrongfully counseled me with negative, unloving words about my children. Now that I am older I must be diligent in encouraging younger women to love children. I wish we could have had even more children…maybe we could have if we had this truth earlier in our marriage. Sadly, we have to live with the knowledge that we may have even aborted some of our children with the birth control pill that I used early in our marriage. What regrets we now have to live with!
This isn’t intended as a harsh and unloving message. It is a loving message intended to bring a change in thinking. A message of life and love and sweet babies that grow up and are lifelong blessings. Because as these dear children marry, we gain more precious lives to love. Then comes the blessed season of grandchildren! Who would not want an abundance of sweet grandchildren to love?
Let’s truly be women that can be “trusted”…trusted to faithfully teach God’s important message to others women…Children are truly blessings!
P.S. Let’s tell them that today…not only with our words but also with our actions!
Blessings!
-Connie

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