I have just uploaded a post on my “infertility” blog, following the comments this morning by leadership contender, Andrea Leadsom MP. As I was writing it, I realised that all through the Bible are statements and actions by which people have been immortalised forever, for the rest of us to learn from, admire, emulate etc.
There’s Jabez, who has hardly anything said about him, and is remembered for his one prayer, 1 Chronicles 4:9-10.
There’s Nabal, who’s remembered for his “harsh and evil” nature in 1 Samuel 25.
There’s Barak in Judges 4 who was supposed to be general of Deborah’s army.
Need I go on!?
With British politics being played out the way it is, we have two women fighting it out to prove themselves the best option to lead the country through the turbulant future following the Brexit result. This should have been a brilliant opportunity for women to be seen as the strong leaders they are.
What do we have instead?
A fight over why one woman is better because she has children, but the other woman couldn’t. Would this even have been raised if the two contenders were both men??? I don’t think so!
Motherhood was previously the measure of a woman’s capability, which is why women who couldn’t conceive have felt so condemned over the centuries! You only have to look at the response of Rachel in Genesis 30:1 to know the desperate plight of women who were defined by motherhood. Or condemned by infertility.
While I thought we had progressed, it seems I am wrong! With the comments heard from Andrea Leadsom’s own mouth, it seems that not only has she condemned women who can’t have children as not being as good as she is, but she has surely dragged us back to the archaic mindset which many of us have been trying to be released from. Indeed, many of the 1in3 women still are surrounded by people who have this old-fashioned way of thinking about women, and so stand alone and lonely in the middle of their storm.
While it seems Andrea Leadsom may well be eternally remembered for today’s comments, I know that God doesn’t hold a woman’s ability to conceive or not the measure by which we are esteemed. Thank You Jesus!
So whether you are a mother, a grandmother, a woman walking through the battle-wearying journey of infertility, or a woman who just doesn’t want children, you are defined by who you are in your own right! We are held up by the measure of Jesus, not by the measure of our reproductive-ability. We are measured by whether we accepted the truth of Jesus as the way to God, as the Son of God, and how we put into action His word and standards in our life.
I, for one, won’t allow the condematory nature of comments like this to stick themselves to me. I know that even as a childless woman I can walk tall in the fullness of who I am. I’m gonna stick my feet into my favourite heels and walk taller with my head held even higher, knowing that even I did want to run for Prime Minister, even without children, I would be the best at my job! Because of who I am, my skills, my abilities, my experiences etc…these define me, which God has used to shape and mould me over the years.
Like many pieces of a jigsaw puzzle which are revealed through time, every thing I am and have been through fits together to make the whole picture of who I am become clear. The Creator of the jigsaw, the One who is putting the pieces together knows exactly which piece goes where, and He knows exactly what it will look like, even though there is no lid with a picture to follow.
The gift of motherhood may or may not one day be bestowed to me, but even if it does – it will only ever be one aspect of who I am and what I can achieve with God’s hand in mine! It will only ever been one piece in the jigsaw which makes up STEPH.