Joshua 2:12 Now therefore, please swear to me by the LORD that you will indeed show kindness to my family because I showed kindness to you.Give me a sure sign that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and that you will deliver us from death.”
A while back I was praying and asking God to bless me with a family, my own family. As I was praying, suddenly, I remembered a statement that I absolutely loved and had sworn and practically lived by, “Marriage is not an achievement”
In that life altering moment, God opened my eyes and allowed me to see the folly of my words. Indeed marriage is not achievement, it is something far greater. Marriage is family. With what can we compare the gift of family? When I think about my father, my mother and my siblings I cannot thank God enough. I have a place I belong, a place I belonged before I got the “achievements” I now have. While, I cannot add them in my CV like I do with my “achievements” and I cannot hang them on the wall for all to see, they have far greater meaning and value in my life than anything I could ever achieve.
And yet here I was, desecrating on that very institution that I was now asking God to bless me with. Why would God bless me with a family when I truly had no regard for that institution? I repented in dust and ashes for those and other words that I had blindly confessed to and with that prayer began a journey towards leaning into God’s heart for the family.
I know when that phrase was coined it was meant to correct a culture that had oppressed people who did not get married at a certain age or those who did not want in entirety to get married. I agree wholeheartedly that marriage should not be the subject of our worship. But as is typical human nature, we tend to over correct an injustice by creating another injustice.
We live in a culture where a title such as wife and mother and other responsibilities generally done by women are regarded as objectifying women. Women are being encouraged to “be more” which I think is a good thing what I don’t agree with is when that more is simply career attainment. Which then begs the question, does this mean that when a woman is a wife she is being objectified but when she is pursuing a career, that career title is not objectifying?
Does this also mean that when a woman is carrying out “traditional” roles at home such as cooking and taking care of children she is being objectified but when she carries out her roles in the office she is not being objectified? That a woman is encouraged to be the best she can be in the office but when she serves her father, mother, husband and children she suddenly becomes an object?
This kind of mindset is set to not only devalue the family institution but humanity in general because it removes the focus from serving each other. While we could say the difference is the same, my question is why do we prefer to serve institutions and not people and yet it has been proven that serving the latter is more fulfilling.
I am not writing this to state that marriage is the most important thing in life because salvation is. But here’s the thing, I recognize that even before the world told me that being a wife and a mother is being objectified I had that desire that practically every child in every single state in the world regardless of status is born with; An innate desire to belong, to be known and to know and to procreate.
Realizing that this desire to want to have a family is innate and therefore placed by God has rid me of the shame imposed by the world specifically towards women like myself who desire to have a family.
Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.