In which I rant at the church *gasp*

So the other night, I was having a heated text message discussion with my mother when I should have been sleeping.

It was about (among other things) how I do not understand the prevalent “church”* attitude that marriage and motherhood are the most important things a woman will ever do.

While few churches are obvious about this attitude (and frankly, I kind of respect the ones that are more…I meant at least y’all are being transparent and honest), it’s there in almost every church I’ve ever been a member of.

And this attitude is being passed on to our daughters who are then growing up thinking that they only way (or the best way) to live their life is by being a wife and  a Mom (preferably a stay at home Mom).

This is complete and utter crap.

Let’s ignore for a moment the dozens of instances in the Bible where unmarried women make amazing contributions to God and the world. Judith. Mary Magdlene .Mary (Jesus’ Mother)** . Ruth* Miriam.

I could go on.

Even ignoring the Bible for a second– I just don’t personally believe that this is the message God wants us to pass onto our daughters.

Because it basically flies in the face of the whole “Trust God” thing.

  • What if it’s not his plan for you to be a wife? Or a mom? Or a mom but not a wife? Do you have any idea how hard it is to un-condition societal expectations?

Because it has jack squat to do with God and everything to do with culture

  • Y’all, I hate to break this to you, but the Bible is every bit as much a historical document as it is a religious text.  Let’s keep that in mind when we’re reading it.

Because it is so so demeaning towards God.

  • Guys, I’m not sure if you got the memo, but God is the creator of the universe. He spoke the universe into existence. He created every single person you know for a purpose. To say that the greatest purpose of EVERY woman on the planet is to be a Mom is essentially saying “God, I know you’re only making the one model of woman, so I’m just going to tell her how she’s supposed to feel, what’s supposed to fulfill and drive her, and tell her what her purpose is.” Are.you.serious.

Because at the end of the day you are saying you know better then God. You are saying that you know the mind of God.

  • Again. Are you serious? You’re going to sit there and tell me that you with your puny human mind know for a fact–and preach this to young, impressionable girls—what God’s plan for their life is? The arrogance. The sheer hubris is mind blowing to me.

It’s not that I don’t think that motherhood and marriage are not good and wonderful things. They are. I love being married, and I’m sure I’ll love being a Mom. But you know what? I don’t think that is God’s only plan and purpose for my life. Because I know that his plan for me is so much richer then that. So much bigger then what I can imagine.

I guess when I get off my soapbox and step away from the rant, here’s what bugs me:

To say that I am not a “good” Christian or that I am endangering my marriage  because I don’t place my marriage and motherhood at the center of my life is horrifying. (And yes, I’ve heard that. From a pastor. During a service.) I don’t presume to know God’s plan for anyone because I’m not God. So what gives the church*** the right to teach multiple generations of women that they MUST prize motherhood and marriage above all else. That if they don’t have these things, they are incomplete. Last I checked…they weren’t God.

A note: This is not meant to put down stay at home Mom’s in the least. It is a tough, wonderful job and I know many amazing women that do it. But it is not the only choice for Christian women. And it’s time we stop acting like it is.

*I’ll grant that her story was framed in the context of remarrying and being an ancestor of Jesus’ but the beginning of her story? Dude, she’s a bad ass!

**Ok, yes, she was chosen to be a Mom by God. But she was chosen by God to be a Mom to the Savior of the world. It has always felt…different to me then the current teaching of “Motherhood must be your calling” .

***Obviously not all churches do this. But a lot do.