Today, Mary Mohler answers questions on being a mom.
Can you tell us about your children? What are their names and how old are they? What is your favorite part about being a mother?
Katie is eighteen years old and is a freshman at Union University. Christopher is fifteen years old and is a freshman in high school. I have always had a strong maternal instinct. The years that we spent waiting for children intensified that instinct even more. I love being a mother! My children are such a blessing to me. Al and I thank God every day for the privilege of being their parents. Their time in our home has gone by so quickly. I have so many treasured memories of every stage. I faithfully kept a journal when they were preschoolers and love to reread some of the amazing things that they used to say and do. One fabulous aspect of motherhood is how my children genuinely love me and need me on a daily basis. It has been a joy to watch them grow up and develop their own personalities. We are trying to get used to having Katie away at college but it’s just not the same without her at home every day.
The pivotal moments when each one of them made a profession of faith in Christ and were baptized were beyond compare. I pray that the Lord will continue to guide their every move as they seek after Him daily. I echo the words of John in 3 John 4, “I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth. “
Recently, you wrote a wonderful article in the Journal of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood entitled “Motherhood Matters” where you have some very encouraging and practical thoughts to share with mothers. You start out by saying, “I truly cannot remember a time when I didn’t dream of becoming a mother.” Does this mean that you always embraced complementarian values as taught in Scripture? Has there ever been a time when you questioned the importance of your role as a wife and mother and if so, how did God’s Word address your questions?
I was raised by parents who modeled Christian marriage and parenthood. My mom stayed home with us even though she could have earned a substantial wage working outside the home. I appreciated that then, as much as I understood it, and I appreciate it even more now.
My support of complementarian values has really been a natural result of my Christian walk. Scripture clearly and plainly supports my understanding of the importance of my role as a woman. I have never doubted that God loves and values me every bit as much as he does men. I am happy that He has created me with the desire to be a wife who fully supports the leadership of my husband and thrives in my role as a stay at home mom. If I had a divided heart on these matters, I would be miserable. I am thankful that the more I read about the feminist agenda, the more adamant I am about biblical femininity. That cannot be said for all women but I give God the glory for protecting me from believing lies.
What do you think is one of the greatest needs among mothers today and how would you encourage them?
As I said in the “Motherhood Matters” article that you kindly referenced above, I think moms need to stop apologizing for doing a full time job full time! I am not going to state that all moms must be stay at home moms but for those who are, they must stop feeling inferior for their decision. I am tired of the mentality that is becoming more and more prevalent that says women who stay at home raising their children are wasting themselves even as they serve to drag down the economy. That’s a lie. Women who are home raising their children should do so with gusto and no regrets. No one can love your children like you can. God made you to be their mother and no one else. Learn everything you can about how to be the best mom you can be by God’s grace. Hold your head high when you state that you are a mom—not “just a mom” but a mom full time. Love your job because the days are fleeting. Those precious little ones will be grown up sooner than you think. Motherhood is a high calling now just as it has always been. Those who think otherwise are deceiving themselves.
You are also well-known in the evangelical community for your teaching on modesty. Why do you think this is such an important topic? How did you help your daughter develop biblical convictions about modesty?
I have been most surprised by how God has allowed my voice to be heard on the subject of modesty. My zeal for this area of Christian womanhood can be traced to a gradual uneasiness about what I was seeing in society that led to a full fledged frustration by what eventually crept into Christian circles and later prevailed with a vengeance. I could only wonder with great disbelief as I saw Christian parents who share strong convictions about the things of the Lord simply abdicate any authority when it came to what their daughters were allowed to wear. What was an understandably common issue in a secular society with no accountability to God and a driving desire to make a splash runs completely contrary to a Christian worldview. Why then is immodesty so prevalent among believers, I had to ask? It was heartening to realize that as I began to write and speak about the problem that many women stepped up and agreed that this is a huge problem. It was discouraging, however, to have others question why one would “bother” to deal with modesty when there are so many other pressing issues in the twenty-first century.
My conclusion led me to believe that accidental immodesty is rampant among believers. We don’t set out to look like the world but for any number of reasons ranging from a love of fashion to simply being clueless, we allow ourselves to stoop to the careless level of the world and thus cause our brothers to stumble by flaunting them with visual stimulation in church or wherever we happen to be!
I am pleased to say that since Katie has heard this topic discussed at home since she was a very young girl, it has never been an issue of contention for us. I used to feign disgust and force myself from breaking into a grin when as a preteen she would hold up a blatantly immodest garment at a store and declare, “Mom, look at this! I can’t believe that girls would wear this out of the dressing room.” I wanted to smile at my delight in not being forced to teach her the hard way what she had wisely concluded on her own. Katie is now on her own as a college freshman. She is a beautiful young woman on the inside as well as the outside. Friends have teased Al for a decade that he needed to have a big stick ready for whomever came calling to date her. I can honestly say that we do not worry about her seizing her newly found freedom away from home to abandon modesty. Katie has strong convictions about presenting herself in such a way that she will honor her Lord. She sets an example for those who openly choose to do otherwise and has not succumbed to the very real peer pressure that exists to cross the line. I cannot express how thankful Al and I are that our daughter pleases us in this way even as she seeks to present herself in a very feminine manner. She is truly a girly girl who has always liked skirts, dresses and heels and there’s not a thing wrong with that.