A Mother of None on a Mother of Six on a Mother of Five

As an infertile, married woman who works outside the home, I’ve struggled off and on over the past few years with feeling like a second-class citizen of the church. It’s not that the church intentionally belittles me and my position; far from it. But in the rush to uplift the crowd of stay-at-home moms with small children, sometimes those in other seasons of life get unintentionally trampled. In the effort to counteract cultural criticism of stay-at-home moms, the church at large uses superlative language to praise stay-at-home moms that inadvertently leaves those Christian women who aren’t in that season, for whatever reason, feeling like they don’t measure up, don’t matter as much. I know that moms staying home with young children do hard work and need encouragement. I know that the church has a responsibility to minister to that significant population within their bodies. But single women, barren women, elderly women, working women – they all need encouragement, too. So I was very refreshed, a little over a week ago, to read the words of a stay-at-home mother of six on this very topic. She of Amy’s Humble Musings has written an insightful post on the issue of a woman’s highest calling (it’s a response to the selection of Sarah Palin as vice president on the Republican ticket, but it’s not a political post). I’d encourage you to read the whole thing, but here’s an excerpt:

I am a wife and mother. It is what God has called me to do. However, this is not true for all women. All women should NOT aspire to be a wife and mother. Instead, all women should aspire to present their bodies a living sacrifice to the Lord. God is glorified in us when we are satisfied with His will for our lives. This is why some marry, some stay single, some have children, and some are barren. Glorify God in your present circumstance, the one you are in right now, not in a future marriage that may or may not happen.

Any other gospel that makes the widow, the abandoned, the orphan, the poor, the single, or the barren unable to attain high favor (or a high calling with God, if you will) because of their circumstance is really no good news at all. The Lord is honored by our love and obedience to His Word, not in our ambition to serve in the “highest calling” as a wife and mother one day [emphasis added].

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “A Mother of None on a Mother of Six on a Mother of Five

  1. Alex and Jill

    Love this…thank you for sharing! I’m going to go over to her site and read the rest now.

  2. Lauren

    Ooh, that’s good. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Shiloah

    Andrea – great post! There are a lot of fascinating comments over on Amy’s blog. I so agree with what you shared about being inadvertently made to feel second-class. Perhaps we should stop lifting up certain groups of people as paragons and focus instead on honoring and appreciating all of various parts of the body of Christ that differ in both appearance and function.
    I’m so grateful for your work over the past 5 or 6 years, which has had a very significant and direct impact on hundreds of people. And that is no understatement!

  4. annikadurbin

    I’ve followed a number of your links this week and found rich resources for my soul. Thank you for sharing. 🙂 We miss you all!!!

  5. Joannah

    Amen! I felt uncomfortable in church for so many years because I was single well into my thirties. I’m going to read the rest of that article.

  6. Vacant Uterus

    This provided such a rest for my soul even though I am a mother now. It’s true that we spend a lot of time as a church bouying SAHM’s at the expense of other, equally valuable women who are NOT moms. It’s such a good reminder (and I have been reminded forcibly of this in other areas this week) that when God’s glory comes first, all other priorities fall into line. And my self-worth is exactly where it should be, safe in God’s hands.

  7. Stacey

    YES! I totally agree with what you wrote. There are several other groups who need support from their church, not just SAHMs. Loved Amy’s post and couldn’t wait to link to it on my blog!

  8. Glenna Marshall

    Thanks for posting this. I ALWAYS felt like a second-class church member before adopting Isaiah and becoming a SAHM. This post would have been very edifying for me!

  9. Renee

    Hi Andrea – thanks for visiting my blog.

    I really appreciated this post of Amy’s and many of the comments, and I like what you’ve added. I very much agree with you about the second-class citizen feeling. It does so often seem that attempts to lift up one group are accomplished by denigrating those not in that group. It may be unintentional, but it still hurts.

  10. Mrs. Tara

    As a Minister of Childhood Education, a woman, wife and infertile- I understand. I am constantly trying to keep things in check although I am afraid as a whole we often fail in this area. I also feel we often “cater” to stay at home moms when we often have many woman in the workplace out of necessity. Thank you for yoru honesty- it was a good reminder to me.

  11. jadunham

    This was so good to read. Thank you!

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