Thursday, April 13, 2006

Blessed is the Womb

Here is a great piece of writing from The Real Questions and Answers .

    Luke 11:27-28 (NASB):

      While Jesus was saying these things, one of the women in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, " Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed." But He said, "On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it."

    Back in December, I heard a few words from the pulpit at my mother's church which I would have accepted as truth in times past, but which still greatly disturb me now that I'm older and (hopefully) wiser:

      "A woman's highest calling is to be a wife and mother."

    As a single woman who is seeking God's will but who has not been given a husband and children, I find this kind of talk discouraging at best and condemning at its worst. It's a good thing for me and for every other single/childless woman that it is also Scripturally inaccurate.
    The Apostle Paul encouraged men and women alike to remain unmarried, just as he was himself, in order to have more freedom to serve God fully. He encouraged men and women alike to learn the Scriptures, to encourage one another, to lead others to Christ, and to instruct others in the Christian life.
    The Bible never forbids an unmarried woman or a childless woman to be saved.The only childbearing that saves a woman is the birth of Christ, the Savior... never her own childbearing. In short, a woman's highest calling in Scripture is exactly the same as a man's: to be a disciple of Christ.
    I'll go on a limb and risk serious criticism by saying something sure to offend, but it looks like it's true: Christians who believe that a woman's highest calling is to be a wife and mother are reducing women to nothing more than their sexual and reproductive organs.
    We can go into the importance of training children and all that other family values stuff as much as we want, but it still looks like women are reduced from soul and mind to body parts best kept covered. In short, there is a disturbing parallel between this teaching and pornography. Read the rest of the article here.
I am a wife and mother, and I find it just as bizarre to think that a woman's highest calling is to be a wife and mother. It still reduces women who are wives and mothers to the body parts best kept covered. I have made a practice of never shaking hands with the same committed complementarian male twice. (On one single occasion I made an exception. I braced myself and said to myself, I am here for a task.) Usually I am too squeamish to interact with people who think about women in these terms. It is not that I despise these men, but I am too embarassed, knowing all the things they might be thinking.

Yes, I find a similarity between this kind of teaching and pornography.