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    By Johann Christoph Arnold

    May 7, 2014

    Available languages: Español, 한국어, العربية

    • glenda

      Never tolerate the slightest disrespect for ANYONE.

    • John Becker

      It has long bothered me that people who choose motherhood over careers and people who choose careers over motherhood (or who balance a career and motherhood) should find themselves at odds. We really are all in this together, and our fundamental task in life is to help each other to become the best persons we all can be. I appreciate that Mr. Arnold treads gently on this topic, and it is courageous for anyone to bring it up. But there is more than one way to serve God and to serve the world. If we can begin conversation by honoring other people's choices, some made or lived in great pain, rather than by attacking those choices (often out of a perceived need to defend our own), we might have a better chance to emulate the Gospel community of love. The beginning is not the whole conversation, but a gentle beginning is perhaps the only hope of bringing compassion into the whole conversation.

    • Nellie

      I do feel the same, so many woman today want to sit in an office,(they told me, to relax, be themself) while uther people must look after the child, sometimes not only 3 months olds. They strife for money, while the needs of the child is set aside. I had a nursery, then some moms wil come, please dont let the child sleep today, sothat if I come from work she is so tied, that she wil be in bed by the time I come from work, why do they even have children?. Uthers wonder why the child does not speak with them about their stuff at school, because when they come from school they tell me what have happend, and forget about it, later when mommy come's they forgot about that, unless they and mommy has a good relationship, quality time. Most of the mommy's must do washing, clean the house, start dinner, then in stead of talking with the child, put them in front off the tv. I was lucky one of those mommy's that could stay wanted to stay at home, and today I can thank God for that oppertunity, I do have a good relationship with my sons, and they always tell everybody, mommy was always there, nothing was to much for here. Thank you for these peaces, I love reading them.

    • Mairi Baden

      Some interesting points were made in this article, but in my opinion, perhaps too much emphasis was put on the mother's responsibilities. What about a father's responsibility to share in every duty of child raising? Are you surprised that “women rebel against child raising” with all responsibilities placed on them in this manner? Perhaps, as the author says, it achieves little to avoid having children if you know you or your spouse may be unfit parents, or that the burden will fall solely on you. But what little it achieves is worthwhile: the sanity of the couple and preservation of the relationship. Of course, I expect no less from a religious site, as the sexism of all branches of Christianity is an established fact, but just wanted to respond. Peace!

    Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." – Proverbs 31:28

    A true mother thinks day and night about the well-being of her children. She is the first to praise and comfort them and is also the first to protect them when she senses danger. It is she who has carried them and borne the pains of pregnancy and childbirth, and it is she who now continues to carry them in her heart. Her intuition is often clearer than her husband's, and she will not let him make light of her concerns or reassure her too easily. She will also be the first to turn to God on a child's behalf. Perhaps that is what inspired the old Jewish saying, "God could not be everywhere at once, so he gave each child a mother."

    When a child cries at night, it is usually the mother who comes to its bedside first. She feels her child's pain instinctively and will bear it not only as a burden, but also as a privilege and a joy.

    A mother's sensitivity and love are boundless. She will continue to hope for her children long after others have given up on them and pray for them even when everyone else has condemned them. Moreover, she will believe for them when they have ceased to believe.

    A good mother is a role model for her immediate family and for everyone else she meets. Her joy makes those around her happy. And every woman is called to be a mother, whether married or single, and whether or not she has had children. People notice a woman who loves God and whose primary concern is serving others.

    I cannot thank God enough for the love of my own mother, and for her deep relationship with my father. Even though they could never be called "religious" people, it was obvious to us seven children that our parents loved God, each other, and each one of us. And while it was clear that our father was head of the family, he never tolerated the slightest disrespect from us towards our mother.

    Many women today resent the idea of motherhood, but they forget that it is a privilege as well as a task. Once regarded as the highest calling of woman, it is now pushed aside by "real" careers and viewed as an inconvenience or even an embarrassment. While this rebellion might be understandable in the case of oppression and abuse, it achieves nothing. How different family life could be if we admitted our confusion over the roles of man and woman; if we sought to rediscover God's plan for both, and regarded one another with respect and love!

    Women today hold important jobs right up to the time they go into labor, and that is admirable. But when pregnancy and children require it, a woman's first priority should always be motherhood. She should be a mother first and foremost – and only after that, a doctor, teacher, lawyer, manager, or accountant. Far from regretting or resenting it, she ought to feel that motherhood is a gift, and that in God's eyes, there is no sacrifice more worthy than one made for a child.

    One of my favorite examples of motherhood is found in the Old Testament. Hannah was barren for years but vowed that if she had a son, she would give him back to God. Her wish was finally granted, and even though she must have found it very hard, she kept her promise – she gave Samuel to the priest Eli to raise as a servant of God. Her childlike faith was rewarded not only once, but several more times: in time, she and her husband Elkanah were given five more children.

    From Why Children Matter by Johann Christoph Arnold.

    Contributed By JohannChristophArnold Johann Christoph Arnold

    A noted speaker and writer on marriage, parenting, education, and end-of-life issues, Arnold was a senior pastor of the Bruderhof, a movement of Christian communities.

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