Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Keepers of the Springs - Part 3

The modern challenge to motherhood is the eternal challenge, that of being godly women. The very phrase sounds strange in our ears. We rarely hear it now.

We hear about every other kind of women- beautiful women, smart women, sophisticated women, career women, talented women, divorced women; but seldom do we hear of a Godly woman--or of a Godly man either, for that matter.

I believe women come nearer fulfilling their God-given function in the home than anywhere else. It is a much nobler thing to be a good wife than to be Miss America.

It is a greater achievement to establish a Christian home then it is to produce a second-rate novel, filled will filth. It is a far, far better thing in the realm of morals to be old-fashioned than to be ultra-modern.

The world has enough women who know how to hold their cocktails, who have lost all their illusions and their faith. The world has enough women who know how to be smart. It needs women who are willing to be simple. The world has enough women who know how to be brilliant. It needs some who will be brave. The world has enough women who are popular. It needs more who are pure. We need women, and men too, who would rather be morally right than socially correct.

Let us not fool ourselves--without Christianity, without Christian education, without the principles of Christ inculcated into young life, we are simply rearing pagans.

Physically, they will be perfect.
Intellectually, they will be brilliant.
But spiritually, they will be pagan.
Let us not fool ourselves.

The school is making no attempt to teach the principles of Christ. The Church alone cannot do it. They can never be taught to a child, unless the mother herself knows them and practices them every day.

If you have no prayer life yourself, it is rather a useless gesture to make your child say his prayers every night. If you never enter a church, it is rather futile to send your child to Sunday School. If you make a practice of telling social lies, it will be difficult to teach your child to be truthful. If you say cutting things about your neighbors and about fellow members in the church, it will be hard for your child to learn the meaning of kindness.

The twentieth century challenge to motherhood--when it is all boiled down--is that mothers will have an experience of God...a reality which they can pass on to their children. For the newest of the sciences is beginning to realize, after a study of the teaching of Christ from the standpoint of psychology, than only as human beings discover and follow these inexorable spiritual laws, will they find the happiness and contentment which we all seek.

A minister tells of going to a hospital to visit a mother whose first child had been born. She was distinctly a modern girl. Her home was about average for young married people.

When I came into the room, she was propped up in bed writing.
"Come in," she said, smiling. "I'm in the midst of housecleaning and I want your help."

I had never heard of a woman house-cleaning while in a hospital. Her smile was contagious -- she seemed to have found a new and jolly idea.

"I've a wonderful chance to think here," she began, "and it may help me to get things straightened out in my mind if I can talk to you." She put down her pencil and pad, and folded her hands. Then she took a long breath and started:

"Ever since I was a little girl, I hated any sort of restraint. I always wanted to be free. When I finished high school, I took a business course and got a job -- not because I needed the money -- but because I wanted to be on my own.

"Before Joe and I were married, we used to say that we would not be slaves to each other. And after we married, our apartment became headquarters for a crowd just like us. We weren't really bad -- but we did just what we pleased"

She stopped for a minute and smiled ruefully. "God didn't mean much to us -- we ignored Him. None of us wanted children -- or we thought we didn't. And when I knew I was going to have a baby, I was afraid."

She stopped again and looked puzzled. "Isn't it funny, the things you used to think?" She had forgotten I was there -- she was speaking to the old girl she had been before her great adventure. Then remembering me suddenly -- she went on:

"Where was I? Oh, yes, well, things are different now. I'm not free anymore and I don't want to be. And the first thing I must do is to clean house.

Here she picked up the sheet of paper lying on the counterpane. "That's my house-cleaning list. You see, when I take Betty home from the hospital with me -- our apartment will be her home -- not just mine and Joe's.

"And it isn't fit for her now. Certain things will have to go -- for Betty's sake. And I've got to house-clean my heart and mind. I'm not just myself -- I'm Betty's mother. And that means I need God. I can't do my job without Him. Won't you pray for Betty and me and Joe, and for our new home?

And I saw in her all the mothers of today -- mothers in tiny apartments and on lonely farms... Mothers in great houses and in suburban cottages, who are meeting the age-old challenge -- "that of bringing their children to the love and knowledge of God."

And I seemed to see our Saviour -- with His arms full of children of far-away Judea -- saying to that mother and to all mothers -- the old invitation so much needed in these times:
"Suffer the little children to come unto Me and forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of God"

I believe that this generation of young people has courage enough to face the challenging future.

I believe that their idealism is not dead.

I believe that they have the same bravery and the same devotion to the things worthwhile that their grandmothers had.

I have every confidence that they are anxious to preserve the best of our heritage, and God knows if we lose it here in this country, it is forever gone.

I believe that the women of today will not be unmindful of their responsibilities; that is why I have dared to speak so honestly.

Keepers of the Springs, we salute you!

-Dr. Peter Marshall

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3


Anna S said...

Thank you, that was lovely and inspiring. Especially the part on wanting to be free and only doing as we please; isn't it a modern idol everyone seems to bow to these days?

Luke said...

This has been wonderful to read! The battle isn't just external; we each have an inward battle of worldliness vs godliness. Our chidren suffer from it as well. Materialism runs rampant in the world and it knows how appeal to our children's unregenerate hearts. Peter Marshall was right on when he said if we don't raise them with God's standards we are only raising pagans. We pray for our children that they will fear God and not man; that they will please God and not man (including themselves); that their chief end will be to glorify God and enjoy Him forever!