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Summary: How would we show our love if we really loved our children the way the Bible teaches us to love them?

MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER

CENTRAL CHRISTIAN, BROWNSVILLE, TX

ILL. There was an article in the Reader’s Digest a few years ago entitled "What Motherhood Really Means," & subtitled, "It Will Change Your Life, But Not the Way You Think."

The writer is telling of a conversation with one of her friends. "`We’re thinking of starting a family, & I’m taking a survey,’ her friend said half jokingly. `Do you think I should have a baby?’ Carefully choosing my words, I replied, `It will change your life.’ `I know,’ she said. `No more sleeping on Saturday mornings. No more spontaneous vacations.’

"I think to myself, `But that’s not what I meant at all.’ So I try to decide what to say to her. I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes - that the physical wounds of child-bearing will heal, but that becoming a mother will leave an emotional wound so raw that she’ll forever be vulnerable.

"I look at her manicured nails & stylish suit & think that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will reduce her to the primitive level of a bear protecting her cub; that the urgent scream of `Mom!’ will cause her to drop even her finest crystal without a moment’s hesitation.

"I feel I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career she will be professionally derailed by motherhood. She might arrange for child care, but one day she will be going into an important business meeting & will think about her baby, & she’ll have to use every ounce of discipline to keep from running home just to make sure her child is all right.

"I want my friend to know that everyday decisions will no longer be routine. That a 5-year-old boy’s desire to go to the men’s room rather than the women’s at a restaurant will become a major dilemma for her. The issues of independence & gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that a child molester may be lurking in the restroom.

"Looking at my attractive friend I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but she’ll never feel the same about herself; that her life now, so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child; that she would give it up in a moment to save her offspring.

"My friend’s relationship with her husband will change. But not in the way she thinks. I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who is always careful to powder the baby & who never hesitates to play with his son or daughter. I think she should know that she’ll fall in love with her husband again for reasons she would now find very unromantic.

"I want to describe to my friend the exhilaration of seeing your child learn to hit a baseball. I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog for the first time. I want her to taste the joy that is so real it hurts.

"A glance at my friend’s face makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes. Finally, I just say, `You will never regret it.’ Then squeezing my friend’s hand, I offer a prayer for her & me & all the mere mortal women who stumble their way into this holiest of callings."


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