I read the other day an alarming article about the significant rise in the number of “walk-away” mothers in our current culture, and the corresponding rise among single-parent fathers in our nation. This was no spurious right-wing blog, but a mainstream news article from CNN citing a number government studies. Even more unexpected was the fact that the article speculated that the reason for it was a rise in the “me-first” mentality that eschews postponed gratification, that values making money, that values business success, and that values pleasure now.
For years we’ve tried to remind men that fatherhood is more than just a sexual contribution to the procreative process. It would seem that they time has sadly arrived that we must now remind women, too, that motherhood is more than just bearing children.
The effects of this unnatural shift in “walk-away” moms and other dysfunctional motherhood practices have not been insignificant either. How many children live in poverty’ without fathers; unsupervised; raised by TV, peers, video games, and gangs; because women who have borne children have neglected to be true mothers. From having done a number of years of counseling individuals and families, it’s apparent to me that good mothers can make a huge difference in children, whereas poor mothering can have detrimental effects that a child will struggle against for years.
What a tectonic shift from only 50 or 60 years ago! Make fun of it, if you want, but the effects of a functional, traditional family is unquestionably much better. Even among widows and divorced women who are forced to be single-parent families, when mom is actually being a mother, the results are much, much better. It would seem that the picture of motherhood that the media and feminists ridicule from the Ozzy and Harriet days may not have really been all that bad.
On this Mothers’ Day, let’s consider the deeply wise counsel of what has been called the Worthy Woman of Proverbs 31 and meditate on how we might apply it—even in the 21st century…
- “An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.
- The heart of her husband trusts in her, And he will have no lack of gain.
- She does him good and not evil All the days of her life.
- She looks for wool and flax And works with her hands in delight.
- She is like merchant ships; She brings her food from afar.
- She rises also while it is still night And gives food to her household And portions to her maidens.
- She considers a field and buys it; From her earnings she plants a vineyard.
- She girds herself with strength And makes her arms strong.
- She senses that her gain is good; Her lamp does not go out at night.
- She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hands grasp the spindle.
- She extends her hand to the poor, And she stretches out her hands to the needy.
- She is not afraid of the snow for her household, For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
- She makes coverings for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
- Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land.
- She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies belts to the tradesmen.
- Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future.
- She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
- She looks well to the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness.
- Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
- “Many daughters have done nobly, But you excel them all.”
- Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
- Give her the product of her hands, And let her works praise her in the gates.”
Happy Mothers’ Day.