Millennials, roughly defined as those born between year 1980-2000, have been described as the “me generation”. I was born in 1988, so I fall squarely within the millennial range, yet I have chosen something that many women in my cohort are eschewing; young marriage and motherhood.
Now if I had been born during my grandmothers’ era, or even my parents, my marriage at age 21 and first baby at age 22 would not be at all unusual. Both of my grandmothers had six living children, and this was not uncommon. My maternal grandmother had a medically necessary full hysterectomy at age 28 but she already had six children! In today’s America, this would be met with raised eyebrows.
Although some of the “me generation” accusations seem heavy-handed and a bit unfair, it has become clear that many women my age simply do not want marriage or children. News articles and magazines proudly declare the decision of my generations women to say “no” to putting off their careers and sacrificing their independence in order to have children.
Tonight I put my children to sleep and it took some time because my oldest daughter (five years old) was sacred. I stroked her hand and rubbed her back. I soothed her with my words of safety and security. My presence was what she needed. I kissed the top of my three-year-old daughters head, and the chubby cheek of my 21 month old before closing their bedroom door. All the while my womb was filled with the kicking of our fourth child, and first son.
There is a part of me who would have preferred to go read a book, or write, or crochet. A part of me that comes out on difficult parenting days when I just want to walk out the door and do what I want unhindered. Yet, this is the path I have chosen. I have chosen a path of sacrifice for their sake, and in return they fill my cup to overflowing with love and fulfillment. I cannot imagine losing this, not for a thousand years of independent living.
Their dependence is temporary, and it is an honor to be their security and comfort. It is an honor to raise these beautiful little people. When I die, I will feel full of gratitude for the chance to do something as wonderful as this.
What do the scriptures say about children? What does the Word of our Creator say about bringing life into the world? One word seems to fit it all; blessing.
Blessing! To have the fruit of the womb and the fruit of the breasts is blessing. To nurse a child and rock them on your knee, it is a blessing! To work hard by the sweat of your brow, to sacrifice for these little ones, it is a blessing.
Yet, the focus of the world is on “me”. Now, I am not condemning everyone who chooses not to marry and have children. Indeed, the scriptures put this forth as a noble and righteous path to be walked as well. However, the reason must be for God, not for self-indulgence. The Apostle Paul says that he is better able to serve Messiah because he is not also focused on a wife and children. I understand that, and it is a choice that can be made. But the reasons given in our society to refusing children are not something aligned with scripture.
Money. We don’t have enough money! Yet women in countries all over the world, women in refugee camps, are welcoming children. For a Biblical example, the Israelites were horribly oppressed under Egyptian rule. Their newborn sons were under threat of death. They were worked hard all day long baking bricks in hot ovens. If there ever was a time to say “not now” to children, surely slavery and the threat of death would be it! But is that what we see?
Americans look at their 3-bedroom home and say “not enough”. Americans look at their bank account and say “not enough”. It may be true in the natural, but that is what faith is about. Faith is trusting that what Yahweh calls a blessing is always a blessing, and when he gives us children he will provide for them because they are His own.
I am not here to condemn anyone, certainly I have fallen short in many places and too often lack trust and faith. But I see the women of my generation refusing such a precious gift, a blessing, and seeking after what the world has to offer them. Yahushua (Jesus) says “I do not give as the world gives”; what he gives us is better in every way.
There is another narrative to follow. We do not have to value what the world values or want what the world wants. Indeed, the world is enmity with God! So, those of us who call ourselves believers, let us open our hearts and our hands and our homes and our bodies to the blessing of children. Let us be amazed at how He provides. Let us value what our Creator values most of all; human life.
As women, we have the incredible ability to create life . We nurture and grow a living and eternal soul within our bodies, and bring them forth. It is an incomparable gift, let it not be wasted! May you be a fruitful vine within your husband’s house. May you praise Yahweh unto your children’s children.
Psalm 128:3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table.
Psalm 127:3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.
Exodus 1:7 but the Israelites were exceedingly fruitful; they multiplied greatly, increased in numbers and became so numerous that the land was filled with them.
Exodus 1:17 The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live.
Exodus 1:20 So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. 21 And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.
Genesis 49:25 because of your father’s God, who helps you, because of the Almighty, who blesses you with blessings of the skies above, blessings of the deep springs below, blessings of the breast and womb.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
1 Corinthians 7:17 Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches.
Philippians 4:6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.