Like most men I cannot fathom women. This is in spite of the fact that, from adolescence onward, women ultimately preoccupy most of our thoughts, either directly (via fantasies) or indirectly (trying to attract them with charm or acquiring wealth). Although most men are loath to admit this, a woman’s mere presence automatically commands our attention (some more effectively than others of course). However, with age I have come to realize that by far the most impressive of ladies are those who embrace motherhood with gusto. Most of us will know at least one such woman, and our first encounter perhaps played out this way: “How many children? Eight!” Stunned silence then follows. How do they do it? That’s the question I’ll try to tackle in this column.
VIDEO: New film ‘I lived on Parker Avenue’ explores a teenager’s journey to meet his biological parents, how close he had been to being aborted and why they ultimately chose adoption.
In Russia such women are called “heroine mothers.” Here in Canada we prefer to label them deluded. Anyone willing to throw their lives away swimming in a sea of dirty diapers must be mentally unhinged. And yet this societal judgement does not square with my personal experience. I know three women who fit this description and all convey an amazing calm. They’re plainly in control, far more in fact than most mothers with the more socially acceptable two or three children.
What is the secret behind these Wonder-Mothers?
Of these three one deserves special mention. Her family includes three natural and four adopted children (two brother-sister combos). After teaching her adopted kids for two years in a weekly Bible class I can attest them to be as well behaved as any child and without exception adorable. After getting to know her older children I reached a conclusion that the other two moms have further reinforced. We often assume that large families are more unruly and uncivilized than smaller ones. For me, this is now a myth that these ladies have thoroughly debunked.
When I chat with such women they seem like any other. They have all the usual human stresses, of course. But when considering the size of the mob they must manage daily, modern psychological wisdom would no doubt forecast serious depression, if not suicide. To successfully heal the inevitable emotional scarring, to steer through such a maelstrom of teenage turbulence, and through it all to still be able to muster up the energy to love unconditionally surely demands abilities beyond those of mere mortals. And yet I’ve never heard of a single Wonder-Mother taking her own life. (Sadly, the same cannot be said for other women.1.)
So what is their secret? What other variable could possibly be at play? It’s worth noting that these women and their husbands are all actively Christian (two Catholic, one Pentecostal). I’m therefore driven to believe the explanation lies in the supernatural. We Christians believe that through prayer we can call on the Holy Spirit for comfort2, counsel3, and energy4 (along with many other amazing powers).
My father wrote last week on Margaret Wente, an accomplished columnist for the Globe and Mail. Ms. Wente had dedicated her Mother’s Day column to lament the fact that fewer women in Canada are choosing to take on this important role (herself included). The implications from her column are grave. She essentially pointed out that each new generation of natural-born Canadians is now 25% smaller than the last. As her piece was being published thousands of concerned citizens throughout Canada similarly expressed their sentiments on the issue by participating in the March for Life. This annual event tries to draw attention to the fact that almost 100,000 Canadians are now being killed each year via abortion. In 2016 more than 16,000 of these abortions were children in their second and third trimester5.
Canadians increasingly expect government approval before taking action, but this need not be so. Successful causes begin when citizens take initiative first with governments inevitably (and often reluctantly) following suit. Imagine for a moment many of Canada’s 50,000 or more churches setting up ‘baby funds’6 which were gifted to pregnant mothers currently seeking abortion? Such women would be found by working in concert with existing pro-life counselling services to identify candidate recipients. Each mother could receive such a tribute after choosing adoption over abortion. Church leaders could further support this cause by simultaneously and aggressively encouraging more adoptions by many of Canada’s ten million Christians. With each successfully-implemented baby fund a church’s congregation could rejoice that their collective action had just saved one more young Canadian life.
If these baby funds persuaded more young mothers to choose life, and more within Canada were to subsequently step up and raise these children in Christian communities, then many more young souls will ultimately be saved in the truest and holiest sense of the word.
I would love to know your thoughts on this issue via email or comment. Please share this idea with friends and family. The more we do so, the more likely it will bear fruit.
May God make it so.
Vince Byfield is Editor for TheChristians.com Web Journal and Manager of the Society to Explore And Record Christian History (or SEARCH) which publishes the twelve-volume history series ‘The Christians: Their First Two Thousand Years‘