Editor’s note: you may recall that we published an article that was the kick-off to a series on Joy Jensen’s blog. Joy has graciously allowed CFYC to publish the whole series. Tune back each week for what could be a life-changing set of articles.
Have you heard the expression “Put your ducks in a row?” In a nutshell, this idiom means “get your act together.” Do you want to be a successful mother? You need to put your ducks in a row.
For those of us who are already moms, it’s wise to periodically evaluate how we are doing – are there some areas in our lives that need some attention, so that we might be more godly, more focused, more effective in our mothering? Are you adequately preparing your daughters for motherhood?
If you are not yet married, NOW is the time to seriously evaluate how you can properly prepare yourself for that life-changing role of motherhood. Although you may think you are a long way away from becoming a mother, the choices you make now will greatly affect your success or failure in that role.
God has mandated a certain order to this process of becoming a mother: marriage first, motherhood second. This has been God’s design from the very beginning. Only after joining Adam and Eve as husband and wife did God tell them to be fruitful and multiply. In Paul’s first letter to Timothy, he said that younger widows should marry and bear children, in that order. (1 Tim. 5:14).
I can think of a lot of qualities one needs to possess
before entering motherhood,
but foundational to them all is the need to
SELECT A GODLY MAN.
Many young women do not respect God’s design for the family; some don’t even see the need for a man and furthermore, they go out of their way to avoid one, even matters of reproduction. In the online magazine, MarieClaire.com, there was an article published March 2010 entitled “Sperm and the Single Girl.” The article asserted that an “urge, deep and primal, is driving single women in their 30’s, women with solid careers and financials, to forget about finding The One and move ahead with having a baby.” These women go down to the local sperm bank and read over a list of desired features. In addition to looking at attributes such as ethnic background, height, weight, eye color, etc., some women look for things such as how easily he tans/burns and how much hair is on his chest. They want to know his favorite food and sports, as well as listen to voice samples. Once they settle upon an “ideal donor”, they pay for the desired sperm and proceed with clinical implantation. This is morally reprehensible. This is essentially the same process people go through in order to breed animals.
Every child needs a daddy and a mommy
who is committed to providing a loving, nurturing environment,
with the goal of preparing this precious little soul for eternity.
Some wouldn’t dare go as far as the young women mentioned above, but there are many more young people who do not respect God’s order for creating a family – marriage first, children second. In May of this year, a Gallup Poll was taken and 59% of the participants indicated that they believe sex between an unmarried man and woman was morally acceptable. Even in the Lord’s church, there is an epidemic of out-of-wedlock births. This doesn’t include those who secretly chose to terminate their baby’s life through abortion.
If you are not ready to be a mother, you should not engage in the intimate act that brings children into the world. If you want to enter into the marital union, you must also be ready for the responsibility of parenthood. Even if you have a plan for timing the arrival of children, we all know that “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” More importantly, sex outside of the bounds of marriage is sinful. The Bible calls it fornication, and it is included in a list of sins that will keep one from heaven, Gal. 5:19-21. Being intimate without the benefit of marriage is a completely selfish act, with no regard for God’s laws, no regard for the spiritual condition of your partner, and no regard for life of the child which could result from the unlawful union.
Having a baby outside of marriage has become so common place that many people think it’s just not that bad any more. Additionally, parents have swallowed the philosophy that we must protect the fragile egos and self-esteem of children, and therefore children should not be made to feel guilty about anything. However, guilt and shame are necessary parts of the repentance process in order to fully appreciate God’s forgiveness. Read David’s mental anguish as he dealt with his sin of adultery (2 Samuel 12, Psalm 51). He was ashamed, he felt guilty, and he humbled himself before God with a repentant heart. If you’ve made sinful choices, you need to experience the guilt; you need to grieve. Can premarital sex be repented of? Certainly. Should we treat young women who have conceived a child outside of marriage with compassion? Absolutely. Should we forgive those who repent? If we want God to forgive our own sins, then we must forgive others. But bringing a child into the world without the benefit of marriage is going to bring some life-long consequences.
It’s not good enough to merely select a man,
you need to select a GODLY MAN.
Time does not permit me to detail all of the specific qualities you should look for in a potential husband, but suffice it to say that the man you choose to marry will be the father of your children. He will determine to a great degree how successful you will be as a mother. Before you decide to love a man – yes, it’s a decision, a choice, not simply an emotion over which you have no control – you need to discuss many things. What are his beliefs on marriage, divorce and remarriage? Does he want children? How many? What are his views on roles of husbands and wives? Will he want you to work outside the home? Does he believe God has given him the responsibility to provide for his family? How does he relate to children? Does he get along well with them or does he treat little kids as a bother? Does he have younger siblings? How does he treat them? What are his views on child discipline? What about homeschooling? In which circumstances would he allow himself to forgo worship? Your agreement upon these and many more topics will greatly affect your success or failure as a parent.
Becoming a mother is not a decision to be made lightly. Bringing a soul into this world is a great responsibility. Children are a blessing from God and they deserve a godly daddy and a godly mommy, who care about their eternal destiny. If you are already a mother, take time to evaluate your priorities and make needed adjustments. If you have not yet promised yourself to a man, now is the time to give serious thought about what kind of man will help you be a successful mother, in view of eternity.
By Joy Jensen
Joy and her husband George live and serve as missionaries in Iringa, Tanzania, East Africa. They have four children, and a much-loved son-in-law. You can follow her adventures (and find many wonderful posts) at her blog.