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Child running toward her mother

Made for Love

What Makes Women Special

Alice von Hildebrand

Available languages: Deutsch, Español, العربية

  • Mike Talbert

    This article should be the start of a dialogue.

  • Jenni Ho-Huan

    This is so spot on. Decades later, we continue to reap the grievous fruit of lies: from media, broken relationships and a total lack of compass...Becoming and being a mother has been the most amazing, astounding and fulfilling aspect of my life; I am so grateful that somehow I had the grace to embrace it. Men and women need to face each other as gifts from God and not objects for our own end.

  • Nicole Solomon

    I believe America's children are suffering every bit as much if not more than 3rd world countries. They are starved for love and attention, while being thrown toy after toy to alleviate the guilt parents feel for their inability to spend time with them--which is what children desperately want. It is almost the norm where I live that children live with their mom's all week and visit Dad on weekends! Children that live in a 2-parent home are the odd-balls out! Thank you for sharing this with us! Her clarity on the issues with society and perceptions of both men and women are very true!

I think very highly of women and their role in God’s plan. From day one in the Bible, woman is viewed as being very, very important. Woman is created to give, to provide, to help, to console. We are made by God for love and community.

Read Genesis. It is so rich, but unless you go on your knees and meditate on it you are not going to grasp its full message. God first created nature and the animals, and everything was beautiful and good. Look at trees, at birds, at flowers, sunrise, sunset. It’s so magnificent. But on the sixth day God created a being, Adam, in his image and likeness. And Adam looked at all the animals, and found that none was worthy of him. There was no one worthy of him and his dignity. And Adam was lonely.

Simone de Beauvoir, a French feminist existentialist of the last century, claimed, “Women do nothing.” The tragedy is that we’ve swallowed this lie.

Then God said, “It’s not good for man to be alone.” This is because we are made for communion. As human beings, that is our mission in life. So God gave Eve to Adam, and made her out of him, from his rib. And what is Adam’s response when he sees Eve? His response is enchantment: “Bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh!” Personally, I believe that Eve was also impressed with him. There he was, strong and courageous, and he would protect her, the one who would help her, he was the one who was truly made for her just as she was made for him.

The tragedy of today’s feminism is that it is based on the lie that we women are somehow oppressed because we can never gain higher positions in the state or in the church, and so on.

But an even bigger lie is the idea that from the beginning woman was made inferior. This is unbelievable. What does Adam say about Eve? He says something amazing. Amazing! He calls her, “The mother of the living.” This is a gem. The mother of the living! Between woman and life there is a bond which is so deep that one cannot separate the two. Genesis doesn’t say this about Adam. Adam is not the father of the living, but Eve is the mother.

This is why abortion is such a terrible sin. For the first time in history we think that women and life can be separated. What does Christ say in the gospel in reference to Satan? “He was a murderer from the beginning.” So you have Satan – a murderer. And you have Eve – the mother of life.

In God’s image, men and women are equal although our bodies and gifts and temperament may be different.

There is a Spanish proverb that says that if you tell a small lie you will be caught, but if you tell a big lie everyone will think, “Oh it’s not possible for that to be a lie.” What has happened today is that Satan has fooled women into believing that we are inferior if we bring forth new life. We have to change diapers, we have to cook, we have to feed our child; caring for a baby keeps us busy twenty-four hours a day. So now women think, “If I am bound to the house taking care of my babies, for goodness’ sake I’ll never be president! I’ll never be Speaker of the House. I’ll never be this or that or that!” It’s such a lie.

Suppose you choose a career over children; suppose you are Speaker of the House. After a few years your term will be over. Then who is going to talk about you? Who is going to remember you a few years later? But if you are a mother, well then you always have work, and more importantly, you have the joy of nurturing a child who is made in God’s image and likeness – a child who has an immortal soul. Think about that! To give a child love, to educate him, to bring him closer to God. The link between mother and child from the moment of conception is very deep. As women, we must treasure this gift. Many of today’s feminists look down upon that and say it’s nothing.

Simone de Beauvoir, a French feminist existentialist of the last century, claimed, “Women do nothing.” That’s what she wrote. “Women do nothing.” The tragedy is that we’ve swallowed this lie. We want careers, and to be independent. We don’t need a husband because we can stand on our own two feet. All the while, something beautiful in God’s creation – that God created Eve for Adam and Adam for Eve – is rejected, ruined.

And what is the result? Women lose their self-dignity and their respect for others. We fool around and have “fun” with another human being who, in the end, we often despise. So then we throw ourselves away to another someone. There is no giving – there is only taking and performing. And if we can’t perform satisfactorily, we get dumped for someone else.

All this is tragic, because we are made for love. Every person has an immortal soul. When I walk down the street in this very, very sad and decadent world, and I meet someone that I do not know, I try to make the effort of saying, “He or she is made in God’s image. Maybe it is stained, maybe it’s filthy, maybe it is whatever it is, but the image is still there.”

All of us are made in God’s image and likeness. And because of God’s image men and women are equal. Although our bodies and gifts and temperament may be different, we complement each other. This is what makes Christian marriage so beautiful. Man and woman, husband and wife, complement each other in love. It is in this union that we are made for each other because we really are made for love.

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Contributed By Alice von Hildebrand in 2012 Alice von Hildebrand

Alice von Hildebrand, professor emerita at Hunter College and widow of anti-Nazi German philosopher, Dietrich von Hildebrand, is known for her outspokenness on topics from feminism to liturgy, and for unabashedly witnessing to the joy of the gospel.

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