Ladies, I feel sick. And I don’t mean that reading The Pivot of Civilization makes me feel sick (though it does); what I mean is that my stomach is constantly queasy. Right now, for example, sitting at my computer typing this, my stomach is taking a boat ride through the stormy sea of green, bubbly gases. Gross, I know, but a common experience during pregnancy nevertheless. Perhaps my condition may help illustrate a few points related to the topic we are going to look at in this blog post: the trials of motherhood.
Chapter Two begins:
Motherhood, which is not only the oldest but the most important profession in the world, has received few of the benefits of civilization. It is a curious fact that a civilization devoted to mother-worship, that publicly professes a worship of mother and child, should close its eyes to the appalling waste of human life and human energy resulting from those dire consequences of leaving the whole problem of child-bearing to chance and blind instinct.
Sanger seems to start out on the right foot when she says that motherhood is “the most important profession in the world,” but ends up in quite a tangle by claiming that leaving child bearing to chance is a “problem” and a result of “blind instinct.” This implies that women who don’t control their fertility are not good mothers, something which would have criminalized the majority of mothers during her time. Throughout the chapter, she develops this idea, using highly-charged terminology such as the following:
“the trap of compulsory maternity”
“the close relationship of this irresponsible and chance parenthood to the great social problems of feeble-mindedness, crime and syphilis”
“children of chance”
“an abnormally high rate of fertility is usually associated with poverty, filth, disease, feeblemindedness and a high infant mortality rate”
“the same tale of uncontrolled and irresponsible fecundity”
“their parents’ cruel ignorance and complacent fecundity”
Personally, I don’t appreciate the negative slant she employs to try to sway readers into a rejection of leaving conception up to “chance” (meaning, God). I’ve actually read most of the book by now, and this is a common tactic of hers: claiming to be scientific and unsentimental in her observations, she nonetheless attempts to excite our emotions by making emotionally-charged statements.
The only form of “irresponsible parenthood” I will acknowledge is that which comes about as a result of pre-marital or extra-marital sex. Sex should be reserved only for marriage; that is the safest and most stable environment for the raising of children. However, even outside of marriage I do not believe birth control is a good option: it would seem to compound the problem, don’t you think?
She also employs stories which she claims are commonplace during her day (and I suspect that perhaps they were) — stories of weary mill workers forced to work during the night shift so they can be at home with their children during the day, becoming pregnant over and over again but not being able to care for their newborns properly. Many of these infants die, and the children that do live are so neglected, overworked (they often work in the mill, too), and undernourished that their condition in life is a constant state of misery instead of the joyful childhood they should be experiencing.
I have heard the same lamentation before, perpetuated on into our current generation: “People shouldn’t have babies when they can’t provide for them. God would want us to be responsible, wouldn’t He?” Though I certainly sympathize with those difficult situations such as the ones Sanger cites in her book, and such as the ones we see even today across the world, I don’t agree with the proposed solution of birth control. Birth control may seem to be the most compassionate response, but there are several points I want to make to show you why I think it is the wrong solution:
- First of all, it is never advocated in God’s Word. This is THE BIGGEST reason why I reject birth control, no matter the person, no matter the circumstance! I suggest we consider the example of the Hebrews during their exile in Egypt: even as slaves in a hostile environment, God caused them to multiply, as He had promised Abraham He would do (please read and compare Genesis 15 with Exodus 1). God’s plans are big-picture and long-term, and though He certainly has compassion for our individual circumstances, there is much more He takes into consideration beyond our personal trials — considerations which we have little or no way of knowing. How could the Hebrews have known that their multiplying greatly, though the factor that would lead them into slavery, would at the same time be the very factor that would cause God to show His glory and power by rescuing them? It was all part of God’s plan, though they knew very little of it. Can you imagine what might have happened if they had used birth control because of their difficult (beyond difficult!) situation?
- Second of all, birth control is a perversion of the way God designed our bodies to function. Wouldn’t it be preferable to suffer than to be a pervert? We don’t think of birth control as “being perverted” nowadays because it has come — largely due to Sanger’s influence, it seems to me — to be regarded as “good” and “responsible” and “normal.” However, it is anything but! Do you think God had condoms and diaphragms in mind when He created our bodies and set the functions of their organs into motion? I can just see it now: “Yes, Adam and Eve, I made you ‘very good,’ but down the road you’re going to need to know how to cram a diaphragm up into your body, or squirt acid up in there, or stuff a piece of rubber over your part in order to please Me by being responsible. Sure, I made your reproductive organs to have a specific job, just like I made your lungs to breathe and your heart to beat; but, I want you to ignore all of that and pretend that you can make them behave however you want, because you’re in charge, not Me.” I don’t know about you, but I think that seems pretty absurd.
- Third, birth control degrades motherhood. Motherhood IS hard, I admit that! And it is harder for some than it is for others. But, is it not the difficulty of the trial which most qualifies us for the reward? Why would God reward us for something that comes easy, that requires no sacrifice, no faith, no denial of self? When we submit to that which is undesirable for the sake of obeying God, we are more like Christ than ever, Who sacrificed Himself for us though He didn’t have to. He wanted to, because He knew what it would mean for us in the future. Christ was not thinking of His present discomfort: He was thinking of the big picture and the long-term plan. When we open our wombs to God’s control, we, like Mary the mother of Jesus, become vessels of honor and dignity! To take that away from others — or to deny our own selves that privilege — from a mistaken concept of “being responsible” actually contributes to the degradation of this sacred service. It becomes a choice of ours, instead of a divine mission.
To conclude, I really, really don’t like feeling nauseous! I really, really don’t like feeling tired all the time! And I hate the bloating and cramping due to gases! Did I mention throwing up? Should I add the intense discomfort of giving birth? Sometimes, to be honest, I don’t like being pregnant. I admit that in moments of weakness, I wonder if it might not have been better if God would have delayed my fertility for a little while longer . . . I am human, after all, and I have frailties and sinful tendencies. Despite all that, however, my convictions must win out! Belief in the Word of God and a commitment to obeying it must override my emotions! And I know that God will help me through it all. It seems foolish to the world, but I trust in God to save me, not just for eternity, but during this life, as well. I know that if other people would but look to Him, too, they wouldn’t “need” birth control to solve their problems.
[God] created women to be mothers with the anointing to nurture children and nest in the home. As they each embrace the unique and God-given strengths given to them they become a strong force for God in this world.
Of course, Satan knows God’s plans and hates them. He seeks to undermine and wipe out every plan of God. And he hates motherhood. He knows the power of godly motherhood to impact the nation for righteousness and therefore wants to wipe it out. He uses humanism, feminism, and progressivism, and sadly, so many listen to his deceitful ways. They are brainwashed to think that motherhood is insignificant and are enticed away from the home into the corporate man’s world.
Homes are left vacant of mothers. The children are in daycares instead of being nurtured by mothers in the home. God’s heart cries and the devil laughs up his sleeves. When he [gets] the mothers out of the home, he can influence the minds of the children to his deceitful ways.
It’s time for the mothers of the nation to wake up. God, the One who created us knows best. He has the ultimate plan. The one that works. The one that brings blessing. The one that brings healing and wholeness. The one that blesses nations.
It’s time to embrace the glory God intends for women, instead of the deception, heartache, divorce, rejection of children through contraception, sterilization, and abortion, and the fragmentation of families–all inspired by the devil.
(from “Perfect Design,” an article by Nancy Campbell, published in Above Rubies, Issue 94)
“Women will be preserved [Greek sozo: saved, delivered, protected, healed, cured, preserved, kept safe, and made whole] through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.”
1 Timothy 2:15 (emphasis added)