You know that you are getting old when it becomes necessary to explain and defend common sense norms to the next generation (and to the forgetful of your own generation). I honestly never thought I would see the day when I would be explaining that one of the major purposes of getting married is to raise a family. Admittedly, my own background did not really prepare me for this. My mother abandoned our family when I was young. My father has been married three times. And my generation glorified the career woman, not the stay at home mom. Partly because I grew up without a mother, the societal message that devalued motherhood found no place in me. I knew better. I did not know what I had missed, but I knew it was important. I intuitively knew that marriage equaled creating a family. I knew that meant taking on roles larger than myself of wife and mother.
I remember the first time I was introduced to the misogyny of the liberal male. I was talking to some male friends about our future plans. One guy wanted to work in a homeless shelter or possibly with disadvantaged youth and another did not have a particular plan yet. We were only in high school. When I shared that I wanted to be a stay at home mom and maybe have my own small business on the side, they were silent. Then they began to question. “So you want someone to take care of you? You want to be dependant on a man?” I was amazed at both the incredible double standard and at the complete lack of understanding. “No, I want to take care of people—specifically my people. How is that different from the helping professions you are interested in? Do you want to depend on the homeless or youthful offenders?” It was impossible to explain to my friend the driving need I had to create and care for a family. It is a part of who I am much like his anti-capitalism was a part of his identity.
The first time I held my son, I loved him completely and unconditionally. He did not need to do anything at all except exist in order to receive it. It healed my heart in many ways. I realized that my own mother must have loved me. Babies take an incredible amount of attention and care and my mother had to have taken care of me or I would not have survived. It also gave me a whole new perspective on how much God loved me. It is one thing to hear about parental love and how God’s love is like that. It is another thing entirely to experience it. Until you are a parent, there is a whole facet of God’s love for you that you just cannot grasp. Finally, having a child and being a mother feels amazing. It is like running a marathon and using your muscles to the max. It is thrilling. It is doing something you were designed for.
Did the Apostle Paul teach people that women were to be silent every time that there was a church gathering in the early Christian era? Of course not! But many folks have learned this doctrine based on a misreading of a Greek word in the 1 Timothy 2 text which J. Zens uncovers in his book, What’s with Paul and Women. The author’s granddaughter, Melanie, has just wrapped up the audio book version of the book which should be available on Audible within a few months.
What’s with Paul and Women: Unlocking the Cultural Background to 1 Timothy 2 – Kindle edition by Jon Zens, Wade Burleson. Download it once and read it on your Kindle …