The old adage, "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world" is perhaps truer than most today would admit. Views of motherhood have gone through radical changes in the last fifty years: from being seen as the epitome of marriage and womanhood to a second rate, less than desirable position, certainly not a career. However, the baby boomer generation put a high value on family and the strong economics allowed women to be stay at home moms. Today that figure has dropped drastically through the years and even more recently. While economics is certainly a factor, a person's view on the value of motherhood plays even a larger role.
One can track the eroding of family values from the sixties onward, which has placed a much higher value on the career woman rather than the stay at home mom. But why is this? Is economics the only factor to blame? No. The gradual turning away and precipitous fall in the last decade from Christian values plays an important role in the decline of value placed on motherhood. While there are mothers who place worth in their family and hold down a full time job, it's a juggling act at best. Usually someone pays a high price, either the mother, the children or the family, though in some instances this doesn't hold true.
Yet the truth of the matter rests with the lack of importance placed on motherhood and raising children. In most cases, more significance is placed on either acquiring material possessions for the family or in place of the family and pursuing personal goals or desires. Teachers in this country can tell you that our children are paying a very high price for this change. Many children are coming to school who have never been read to, never explored pre reading skills such as coloring, cutting and gluing, never played with blocks and participated in hands on games. So far reaching are the problems they have crossed economic borders and no longer hold true just for low income or inner city children.
While the exact opposite may hold true for some children in a higher economic strata, one thing children lack across the board is emotional stability, respect and unconditional love. Some parents who work go overboard in providing every material thing a child may need, but not the love and the boundaries that are also needed. This in itself is a doctrinal thesis, but is mentioned here as just one of the results of a declining value of motherhood. Focus on the Family has been addressing these complex, family issues for years and is a great parenting resource.
However, the crux f the matter lies in the belief system of our society. If one doesn't believe in the absolute importance and priority of raising children, then all the programs: private, Christian or government, won't fix the problems. God instituted marriage and told Adam and Eve to be "fruitful and multiply" (Genesis 9:7) . Notice the two words are linked together, fruitfulness not only implies abundance but fruition, the attainment of something desired and matured into fruit. Not only does God say to multiply, have children, but to desire them, place value on them and bring them to fruit, to a healthy and mature state.
Fruit is nourished from the nutrients that pass from the roots to the tree and into the fruit. If the tree is not nourished properly, then the fruit will be small. We are seeing today, not only in our schools, but in our society in general. Children and young adults are becoming more self-centered and absorbed. Like small fruit they cannot give anything else to others because they don't have enough nutrients to produce fruit in themselves. If we don't feed children, physically, emotionally and spiritually with what they need, they will not mature properly. Without a strong foundation of agape, unconditional love and a deep understanding of what children need, we will fail as parents. But as we place value on what God places value, we will have success. The Bible tells us "Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward" (Psalm 127:3).
Mothers, we have a divine calling! Don't let society or anyone else tell you otherwise. Place value on them as God does and watch them thrive. Trust Him to help you with this God given career. Right now you might be in a difficult place with raising your child, but they are your reward, especially for the future of families and ultimately our country. Remember, it is your highest calling.