What the Church Didn’t Tell You about Motherhood


Today we will hear lots of praise for mothers. Those who lost their mothers may grieve. Those who cannot conceive may feel less than who they should be.

Today those who did not feel nurtured by their mothers will mourn what can never be. Women who lost a child will also.

Today mothers who find motherhood overwhelming will wonder. Where is my support?

Motherhood may or may not be welcomed by women. Those feelings are rarely acknowledged in the church.

The doctrine that motherhood is a woman’s destiny and greatest fulfillment can leave some feeling diminished. It’s a lofty dream to measure up to and sometimes unattainable.

Men without natural feelings may use children against mothers they want to control. A frequent saying is that grief is the price of loving. That doesn’t make it easier.

But what women of faith were not told is how lonely motherhood can be.

Assuming parenting is mostly a mother’s task can be the beginning of many injustices. Abuse does not honor motherhood. The church is silent about this.

A man spends a few minutes impregnating a woman. A woman spends the rest of her body and life dealing with it.

Mothers in abusive relationships find many walls but no doors. A father who abuses a mother is not a good dad.

Children are used to control mothers by men unable to feel natural emotion. Men may sue for custody, not because they want to take care of the children, but to escape child support.

Recently patriarchal influence in family courts has increased. Judges are awarding custody to dads who abuse even though the children do not want to live with their fathers and abuse has been documented. Lawyers uphold fathers’ “rights”, leaving wives re-traumatized: first by the abuse and then by terror for her children.

Patriarchy follows the standard pattern of placing the majority of responsibility on the mother and the authority to dominate on the man.

An authentic way to honor mothers is to remove this heinous injustice.