Growing up as a young girl there was never any doubt in my mind that I wanted to be a mother one day. Yes, there were other goals that I wanted to fulfill but I always thought that I could do it all. I could get an education, have a respectable career, prepare to be involved in a ministry of some kind, travel to exciting places, meet the man of my dreams and still include motherhood in my future.
It happened that way, except in reverse order, and I'm so glad it did because God knew best. Putting motherhood at the end of my list could have meant that I would never reach it. I believe the Lord knew that the greatest preparation to keep me walking close to the Lord was to give me the honor and responsibility of being a mother first.
Early on I met my husband-to-be, who became the love of my life, my life's companion, and the father of my children. Later God blessed us and I became a mother of four children, and I came to realize that was a higher calling and fulfillment than all the other goals I had in mind in my younger years. If the other things happened later on in life it would be fine with me, but God had given me the very best and the most important first!
Motherhood is a beautiful gift from God because Psalm 127:3 tells us that "children are a heritage from the Lord." I found that when I was carrying those precious unborn babies right under my heart they brought me to a very close relationship with my Heavenly Father. Every time I felt the gentle and not-so-gentle movements of those little feet it was like God was reminding me that He had created that child within me. When the little hands would press against my organs I was again reminded that I was privileged to carry God's special creation within me. I felt sorry my husband was missing the special relationship that God was giving to me as a mother. I tried to share the joy with him, but found it hard to express what was going on in my heart and my body.
It grieves me greatly when I see how the blessing of motherhood and the joy of nurturing children are being reduced to that of simply being a "caretaker." In recent years there has been an effort to minimize the importance of recognizing the role of mother and also father in our society, even to the extent of doing away with the holidays for honoring mothers and fathers. More than ever we need to be emphasizing the responsibility that moms and dads play in raising children with good morals and biblical family values.
I have had some of the liberal-minded women try to tell me that motherhood is a second-rate profession with a "caretaker" mentality, after all if you can't do something else you can always resort to being a mother. Regardless of how they phrase it, I am convinced that in the heart of almost every woman is the strong desire to carry a baby close to her heart.
A few years ago I was invited to be a guest on a popular TV talk show and the subject was going to be "motherhood." When I arrived I found I was the only woman on the five-person panel that was married and had children with my own husband. The other four women had not married but desperately wanted to be mothers so they had gone to a "sperm bank" to pick out the kind of sperm they wanted to be the father of their babies. Three of the women were already pregnant and the fourth one had given birth to her "sperm bank" baby three years before. These women wanted to be mothers, but without the attachment of a husband/father for their children.
One of my first questions to them was what will you tell your children when they get old enough to ask about their daddy? Children are bound to ask that question when they hear other children talking about their own daddys. After the show the little child ran up to her mother and began tugging at her skirt asking, "Do I have a daddy? When will I see my daddy? Will I ever get to see my daddy?" The mother tried to hush her daughter several times but she continued to insist on an answer. It was obvious that this mother was more interested in trying to meet her own desires to be a mother than she was for the needs of her child for a loving relationship with a father.
Motherhood is a great calling and can be a rich blessing if you follow the biblical teaching for the family as God has commanded in His Word. God has raised the worth of a woman to enable her to be the kind of mother that is pleasing to our Heavenly Father.
LaHaye is founder of the faith-based Concerned Women for America, the nation's largest public policy women's organization.