Did you read that recent New York Times article on the United State’s declining birth rate? Unsurprisingly, that article upset Lori Alexander, a fundamentalist blogger who urges women to stay at home and raise babies.
“There are no high-fertility countries that are gender equal,” according to an article in The New York Times called Americans are Having Fewer Children. “Women have more agency over their lives, and many feel that motherhood has become more of a choice.” Many are not choosing to have children and be home to raise them. No, they want to be men and have freedom to have careers, use birth control so they can have sex without consequences, and pursue their dreams!
Um, yes. Yes, Lori. That’s what we want to do. Well, except for the actual being men part.
The only problem with this is that it leads to dire consequences. Of course, it does! God created women for a specific purpose and He created men for a specific purpose and they are different, good, and beneficial to a healthy society.
Um, okay … what consequences?
Check out the reasons from this article why women aren’t having children. One high on the list is student debt and women carry most of it! But don’t try to warn them about this or you will be blasted even by the “Christian” community! College and careers are idols in our country and debt is one of the main reasons women aren’t having children. This is foolishness!
Still nothing on what these “dire consequences” are. As for student debt—yeah, that sucks. And yeah, it’s one of the reasons many women are postponing childbearing (or going without it entirely). Lori’s solution, though, is simply not going to college. And not so that we can go to trade school, either. Lori wants us at home having babies and quietly submitting to our husbands while they go have careers.
Which sounds … fun.
(Just so we’re clear, that’s what’s called sarcasm.)
Lori next summarizes the reasons the New York Times article says women are having fewer babies, briefly responding to each:
“want leisure time” (pure selfishness and hedonism),
Um … okay.
“haven’t found a partner” (it’s not politically correct to say “husband” anymore and most men aren’t attracted to feminists women, no, not even to “Christian” feminists),
That’s … not how this works. I would like to assure Lori that my husband is very attracted to me, and yes, I am a feminist. The real issue, to the extent that there is one, is that feminist women aren’t attracted to sexist assholes, which limits their pool and seems more men’s fault than feminist women’s.
“can’t afford child care” (this shouldn’t be something they even have to consider since mothers are the ones who should be caring for their own children),
Unless both partners want to keep working—not all women want to be stay at home moms—or a family can’t afford to have one partner stay home full-time (Lori has words about this, too—if I remember correctly, she thinks that if women left the workforce, men would get paid more, and families could afford to be single-family. This makes perfect sense, except for the fact that women started working outside of the home due to economic pressure and not vice versa.)
“no desire for children” (a product of a godless society),
Okay, question—do we really want people who don’t want children raising children? That sounds painful for everyone involved.
“can’t afford a house” (the burden of school debt is one of the main culprits here),
One of, certainly—but not the only. There’s this little thing called low wages that also creates a problem for many millennial would-be homeowners. And having one partner quit work doesn’t exactly help. (I find it interesting that Lori doesn’t challenge the idea that children should be raised in houses, and not in apartments or condos—this is a very American sentiment.)
“not sure I’d be a good parent” (then learn from a godly, older woman),
This rather depends on the reasons people give for not thinking they’d be good parents. It’s often not about unfamiliarity with good parenting methods. (Speaking of which, I have issues with pointing parents to those Lori would deem “godly, older women”—their advice tends to revolve around using corporal punishment to “train” children into unthinking obedience, none of which is okay with me.)
“worried about the economy” (live a life of faith instead of fear!),
I find myself curious what Lori would say about people in poverty who have kids they can’t afford. I very much suspect it would be closer to “keep your legs together” than “good job living a life of faith.”
“worried about global instability” (“be anxious for nothing…”),
“career is a greater priority” (than having loved ones that you’ve invested your life in surrounding you on your death bed?),
Hold on a tick. How is wanting more leisure time “pure selfishness” while having kids so that they can be there when you die isn’t? This seems more about different priorities than anything else, because in either case (wanting more leisure time and wanting a child at your deathbed) the desire is me-centered.
Lori goes on, quoting from the NYT article:
“Jessica Boer, 26, has a long list of things she’d rather spend time doing than raising children: being with her family and her fiancé; traveling; focusing on her job as a nurse; getting a master’s degree; playing with her cats.” This life sounds a lot easier than a sacrificial life of being a help meet to a husband and bearing and raising children but what are the rewards for the kind of life she wants to lead? Has she not read all of the articles being written by older women who regret not getting married and having children when they were young? They are growing old alone with their cats. These women have short-term vision instead of the long-term vision and the blessings that come with living a sacrificial life for the Lord and His ways.
Okay, Lori needs to figure out what she’s actually arguing here, because I don’t think she knows. Either happiness doesn’t matter—and all that matters is doing God’s will—or women are happier if they marry, become homemakers, and raise children than they are if they remain single and/or childless and have careers. She seems to be trying to argue both, but if the second is true the first is irrelevant at best.
Look at how confused her writing is:
You can’t go against God’s clearly stated will for you, young women, and expect good things to happen. He calls you to have meek and quiet spirits. He calls you to marry, bear children, and guide the home. He calls you to be joyful and thankful for all the good that He has done. This is what this culture needs – young women willing and available to live according to God’s will for their lives. Love being a woman! You are loved and valued by God Almighty. Stop listening to how culture wants to define you and begin searching for your identity in Christ and His will for you.
I’m confused. Are we supposed to be happy? Or merely to do what God wants? Or both, maybe—but only because
Lori God has so commanded? I mean, Lori could say right out “if you stay home you’ll be happier,” but she’s not—instead she’s saying that God “calls you to be joyful and thankful,” which may be the least joy-inspiring thing I’ve ever read.
I say it matters which Lori is arguing only because she seems to want to have her cake and eat it too. She insists that women are to do XYZ because God said so and throws in the word “sacrificial.” But she’s also arguing that women who have careers and do not have children are miserable. Maybe women are just always miserable? Perhaps childless career women are miserable because their wombs ache (or something), and SAHMs with kids are miserably self-sacrificial and all godly and such?
“For better or worse, mothers are the makers of men; they are the architects of the next generation. That’s why the goal of becoming a godly mother is the highest and most noble pursuit of womanhood” (John MacArthur).
Said a man.
The only dire consequence Lori offered in her article was growing old alone with cats. To return to my earlier thought, if that’s the most awful thing she can think of—being old and not having kids—doesn’t that make her the selfish one? She’s doing what she believes will maximize her her own pleasure and happiness, right? Heck, that make her almost hedonistic. So much for being sacrificial!
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