Rev. Mark H. Creech
In his book Laugh Again, Charles Swindoll tells this fabulous story about a three-year-old, freckled-face boy in a hallway. The little guy's pajamas are unsnapped, his diaper sagging, and he has a little teddy bear dangling from his hand. He's standing in front of his parent's bedroom door, which is closed. On the door is a sign written by a weary mother: "Closed for Business. Motherhood Out of Order."
That brings a chuckle because every mother sometimes feels that way. However, when motherhood truly closes for business and is out of order, it's not a laughing matter. It's a travesty.
If you want to contemplate what "Motherhood Out of Order" looks like, consider something happening in Raleigh on Mother's Day Weekend this year.
Last week, the North Carolina General Assembly passed legislation that lowers the limit for elective abortions in the state from 20 to 12 weeks. It includes exceptions for rape, incest, and the mother's life.
Because North Carolina's current restrictions on abortion are more lenient than most Southern states, the Tar Heel state has become a destination point for abortion. Yet the legislative proposal by North Carolina lawmakers that bans abortion after the first trimester is still less rigid than certain neighboring states, which prohibit abortions at six weeks or when an unborn child's heartbeat can be detected.
Democratic Governor Roy Cooper has been traveling the state and trying to drum up support for his expected veto of the legislation. Supported by groups like Planned Parenthood and the Democratic Socialist of America, Cooper tweeted that he would hold a rally on the Bicentennial Mall in Raleigh to veto the bill and encourage legislators to sustain his veto.
Now pause and think carefully for a minute. Hundreds of women, many of which, possibly most, have had an abortion, gathered together to rally around the governor's veto for killing unborn babies on the eve of Mother's Day.
If this isn't a picture of "Motherhood Out of Order," I don't know what is. It is a sign of our spiritually decadent culture. If it is true the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world, then without a wholesale change of heart about the incomparable meaning and joy of motherhood, our society is facing an inevitable collapse from within.
Hyperbole? I think not!
In describing the marks of the last days before Christ's return, the apostle Paul used a phrase in his second epistle to Timothy, where he writes:
"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, [author's emphasis] trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away" (2 Tim. 3:1-5).
Note the phrase "without natural affection." This expression describes a callousness or coldness towards one's relatives, including parents, siblings, and children. It suggests disregarding the natural bonds of kinship and failing to fulfill the basic obligations of love and care to one's family.
It's natural for a mother to want to draw her baby to her breast to nurture and nourish it. The physical contact experienced is the way mothers bond with their babies. Skin-to-skin contact provides warmth and comfort to the child. It helps regulate the baby's breathing, body temperature, and heart rate. It's also been shown to promote better sleep and calmer babies.
Mothers naturally want to hold their babies close and cuddle with them. Cuddling releases hormones like oxytocin, which promotes bonding and attachment between mother and baby.
When babies cry, mothers naturally want to comfort and soothe them. They will use various methods to calm their little one down, such as rocking, singing, and shushing.
It's entirely natural for a mother to gaze lovingly into her baby's eyes, smiling and speaking baby talk as they respond. This exchange is an essential aspect of the social and emotional development of the child.
It's natural for a mother to be tuned to her baby's cues. Whether changing a diaper, feeding, or comforting, mothers characteristically demonstrate a natural instinct for responding to their baby's cues.
It's natural for mothers to often kiss and hug their babies as a way of showing affection. Hugs and kisses release feel-good hormones, promoting an essential attachment between the mother and the baby.
What isn't natural is for a mother to kill her baby. Abortion is to be "without natural affection."
No doubt, this is why a 2018 literature review found abortion negatively impacts women's mental and emotional health. The study found:
"The association between abortion and higher rates of anxiety, depression, substance use, traumatic symptoms, sleep disorders, and other negative outcomes is statistically significant in most analyses."
According to a study by the Guttmacher Institute, the most common reason women seek an abortion is they say they can't financially support a child. Other reasons included concerns about how a child would negatively impact their life's goals, feeling unprepared for parenting, and feeling they have completed their childbearing.
These may be considered legitimate reasons for an abortion, but for each one, there is a better alternative than the purposeful taking of an innocent, helpless human life.
When we trust God, he always provides for what he orders. Abortion is not a natural choice but an unnatural one. Abortion is to be "without natural affection."
Mothers rallying in protest and cheering for the death of children on the eve of Mother's Day? That's a prime example of "Motherhood Out of Order."© Rev. Mark H. Creech
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