The following is a true story:
Once upon a time there was a little blue-eyed girl who was about six years old. Like most little girls, she was intent upon knowing about all there was to know in her little world. She was blessed to have parents who loved her very much, and who also knew that God loved her even more than they ever could. They taught her about God and about His word, the Bible. They took her to meet with the brethren at a church house in the Midwest, and now and then to other places around the country, and so from a young age she knew about God. She learned songs, she learned verses of the Bible, she learned that the church was like a big extended family, and she felt loved.
Because her mama loved the Lord and the little girl's daddy and the little girl very much, and because she understood that the Lord wanted her to be a keeper at home, she made the decision not to work outside the home when her baby was growing up. She stayed home and nourished her physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, while Daddy was out telling others what he knew about God. Her daddy had one job that many people called a big word -- "evangelist" -- but the little girl was too little to care much about that. As far as she was concerned, his job was best when it included things like taking her to the park, tickling her and saying her prayer at bedtime, and hugging her mama. Then all was right with the world. Her mama had a job, too, and a big job it was. She took care of the house and her babies and fed everybody and played with the babies and nursed everybody to health when they were sick and sewed pretty things and fun things and disciplined the babies when they needed it and shopped for things they all needed and made sure it all got done when it needed to be done.
Naturally, that little girl thought a lot of such a mama, though she was too little to understand fully, or to put her thoughts into words very effectively. But she learned to love those parents who first loved her, and her admiration of her mama came out visibly in that she'd pretend in her play that she, herself, was a mama, and eventually she came to talk of how someday she wanted to be a mama too.
One day that little girl was sitting in a government school classroom with a group of other little children her own age. She had been a student since that joyous day when she started kindergarten at age five, and she enjoyed school, as she loved to learn. You see, her mama had taught her that learning was fun. This particular day, the little girl was excited because there was going to be a special project -- the first graders were going to be helped by some older students to make pictures of themselves working at the job they wanted to do when they grew up! They were all supposed to tell the teacher and the class what they wanted to do, and then they'd do their projects.
Well, the little girl thought, that's easy! I know exactly what I want to do! I want to be a mother!
So she told her teacher, and what do you think that teacher said? "Oh, that's wonderful, dear! How great that you want to devote your life to rearing the next generation of happy, well-adjusted children!"
No. Instead it was something with quite a different sentiment.
The little girl didn't remember the exact words, but she did remember that the teacher thought it was important that the girl consider something else, and that she say something else to the class that she could do if she needed to.
She also remembered the faint hint of something that began to be whispered to her impressionable young mind that day which was echoed many times thereafter --never in so many words, but present nonetheless. Where it came from she wasn't quite sure, but what it whispered was this... being a mama isn't good enough.
The girl knew she wouldn't be a mama if she didn't marry or wasn't able to have children, or if her husband died she might have to do something else, and she wanted to be practical, so she agreed she would be a teacher if need be. None of the other little boys or girls seemed to need provisions put on their occupations, things they could do if their careers of choice didn't work out. When it came time to make the pictures, there seemed to be some confusion -- the older student the little girl was paired with thought they were going to be drawing something else other than a mother. It didn't seem like there was such confusion about the other drawings.
But the little girl was certain that she wanted her drawing to be of a mother. She had a vision, she'd seen it in action, and she knew it was what she wanted. And so, later on, it was a drawing of a mother that this little girl took home to her mama and gave to her -- a mother holding a baby in her arms. And her mama put that drawing on display in their home, and she kept it even after she took it down, and treasured it in her heart.
That little girl sat in a great many more classrooms before her career as a student ended one joyous day, a day shortly after she learned she herself was going to be a mama. Because, although she spent years trying to be so practical, and although that teacher wasn't the only one who seemed to think being a mama wasn't good enough, and although she spent a few years wandering and wondering in confusion, and a few years trying to fit it all in, and a few trying to get rid of all the whisperings in her head, and a lot of years immersed in the world that listens to those endless whisperings, that little girl remembered her mama, and she remembered her daddy who treasured her mama, and she remembered her Creator who made her, and she knew that yes, she still wanted to be a mama.
And when the dust settled, and she learned to be less a student of society and more a student of the Bible, she found out where that whispering came from and what it was.
It wasn't from God. God doesn't give His people a job and then decry it.
There's only one other side, and it belongs to the Devil, who schemes, who whispers, who deceives to destroy. What better way to destroy the church than to destroy the family? What better way to destroy the family than to deceive women into thinking that they need something more than God provided? It's an old game he's been practicing ever since he got the best of Eve so many years ago in the garden. Why change what works?
But, while there are so many whispering after so many years that the sound has become like the roar of an ocean, there is still an ark of safety to run to, within which the sound of that roaring is silenced and we can gain a true and lovely perspective. There we can learn what a real woman is, how to become very precious in the sight of God, and how to truly live... happily ever after.
"My eyes overflow with rivers of water for the destruction of the daughter of my people. My eyes flow and do not cease, without interruption, till the LORD from heaven looks down and sees. My eyes bring suffering to my soul because of all the daughters of my city. My enemies without cause hunted me down like a bird. They silenced my life in the pit and threw stones at me. The waters flowed over my head; I said, 'I am cut off!' I called on Your name, O LORD, from the lowest pit. You have heard my voice: 'Do not hide Your ear From my sighing, from my cry for help.' You drew near on the day I called on You, and said, 'Do not fear!' O Lord, You have pleaded the case for my soul; You have redeemed my life. O LORD, You have seen how I am wronged; judge my case. You have seen all their vengeance, all their schemes against me. You have heard their reproach, O LORD, all their schemes against me, the lips of my enemies and their whispering against me all the day." Lamentations 3:48-62
And you know, her mama still has that picture all these years later.
[This was originally posted here.]