Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Society vs. The Biological Clock (aka "God's Design")

The last century of mainstream American society has played a vicious trick on women by feeding us a big fat lie. We've all heard the lie, and most of us have recognized the lie as a lie:

"You can have it all."

There were many steps that got us here, and many will argue about the importance of each of these, but here they are, in my view (cause this is my blog and I get to say what I think) :

  • The first was the public education movement, which removed from women the career of being an educator and mentor for their children, and put children's minds squarely into the hands of government. (Unfolding Grace has a excellent new post that outlines Thomas Jefferson's thoughts on public education. Pop over and check it out to understand the shift that has taken place in our society's views on public, compulsory education.)
  • Next came the birth control movement, which suddenly gave married woman some other option than being a mother. (An incidental result at the time, this move also gave married and unmarried woman alike the freedom to sleep around without consequences.)
  • The women's liberation movement came next, suddenly giving the married woman (whose birth control and nifty home appliances gave her much unused time once her 2-ish children got off into school) the opportunity to not only work, but to "be equal with a man" and have a career.
  • Then came the sexual revolution, naturally. "Men have been able to sleep around indiscriminately without consequences," went this line of thinking, "now I can too!"
**** Note how each step progressively brought the woman's heart farther away from the home, her husband, and her children, and focused it more and more on herself.****
  • Then came the abortion movement. This is the obvious next step. When you have a society of people who have, for 50-ish years, been able to fairly predictably avoid having children, and it has become fashionable and even desirable to do so, and then you add in two ingredients that lead towards unwanted children: (1) men & women who are not married to one another mixing in the workplace day in, day out, and developing dependent relationships on one another (i.e., a businessman and his secretary- both of whom come to rely on each other- him for her assistance, and her for his praise-- sounds ominously like the marriage relationship, doesn't it?), and (2) the idea that sex is divorced from commitment and that you not only can but should engage in intimacy with anyone for whom you have feelings, then abortion is the next logical step. Of course it is; how could it be otherwise? Society now has come to *need* it. Because children are no longer a delight and gift within the family structure, and the family structure isn't the primary focus anyway. Suddenly, women who have had affairs and did not consider the consequences of their actions , OR young women who bought the lie that they could have it all and sleep around without consequences ALL find that God's plan for biology still works as it has for thousands of years... when you have sex regularly, there is a great likelihood that you will become pregnant. When the focus is all on "me", a little person inside of me seems less and less like a blessing and more and more like a liability. Thus, abortion is an easy "out". (Of course, the after effects of an abortion are far less easy.)
  • It is at this point that we come to the present generation.
Women who grew up in or after this generation of educational "freedom", "equal" opportunity, and abortion on-demand have truly had entirely different input into their hearts, minds, and lives than any generation of women before them. We have been told things like:

"You can have it all."
"You can be anything you want to be."

"We've made sacrifices so that you can live your dreams."

I should point out that it was very obvious in the "education" that most of us received from society that "having it all", "being anything we wanted to be", and "living our dreams" was, primarily about career. Not family. Not housewifery. Not being home with our children. And certainly not more than one or two of those (heck, if you really want to live the dream, who needs kids?)! See this article if you don't think that last point has become mainstream.

At this point, society's trickery catches up with all of us. Here is the way that each of these steps has the potential to harm us and our families today:
  • Little boys and girls, from a young age in this public system of education, are geared towards careers and "dreams" for which compulsory schooling cannot prepare them. They must pursue higher education if they are to obtain the dreams that they've been given.
  • They are given "sex education" from sources other than their parents, beginning at a young age, which (contrary to what proponents will tell you) has brought with it a higher degree of youths having sex at increasingly younger ages. Many are put on birth control (chemical interference with a young body) or have abortions (at an age when they are unable to even comprehend the risks or damages that it will do to them for a lifetime) to deal with the unwanted pregnancies that sexual intimacy has brought.
  • The education they receive in government schooling is, at best, amoral and insufficient to prepare them for the work they will need to do in order to make ends meet.
  • Then they are shipped off to college, where sexual misbehavior and drunkenness is the norm. They hear from parents, sometimes overtly, sometimes subtly, "wait until after you achieve your goals to get married." (I recently wrote about this.)
  • Then, if they are to "achieve their dreams", they must often enter either grad school or land themselves in a lucrative career, neither of which allows for the average person to also successfully pursue and have a marriage or family of any kind.
  • Finally, around the age of 30, they may begin to feel the desire for a family, which used to kick in and be the norm when the hormones are a'raging (around the ages 15-25). {By the way, we're just fooling ourselves when we say it's wiser to wait until you're older to have a family, because then you're more "mature". A hundred years ago, average eighteen year olds in America were vastly more mature than the average twenty-eight year old in America today. The main reason? Responsibility. When responsibility is cast on young people who have been properly trained by their parents, they mature. They grow up, even if that "family" is being sprung on a "young" 18, 22, or 24 year old. We've all seen the "kidult" phenomenon, of kids living at home well past their mid-20's. We're treating grown men and women like children, and so they act like it. OK, tangent over.}
  • All the prospects have been beaten and battered just as they have been, and it is difficult to find anyone with whom to fuse a life and become one with. (Because, typically speaking, one's life up to that point has been centered around the self: his/her own goals and dreams, and no one else's.)
  • If one is successful in finding a godly marriage partner at this point, one is then inundated with advice to "wait a few years and really get to know each other before beginning a family." There is significant difficulty in fusing two separate lives and careers after more than 10 years of self-focus and self-promotion.
  • At that point, the couple is nearly 35 (some are near 40), and the physical realities set in: it is difficult to get pregnant when one does not ovulate regularly; it is difficult to have a healthy pregnancy when the odds of disease and genetic problems have risen greatly from just 5-10 years previous; it is disconcerting to realize that one will be nearly 60 years old when a child graduates from high school ("wasn't my grandma about 60 when I graduated?"), and the difficulties become more and more apparent, and one finally realizes that you can NOT "have it all". (An interesting USAToday op-ed highlights how the limits of the biological clock are hitting women hard!)

As a peculiar people (1 Pet 2:9), as aliens (1 Pet 2:11), as strangers in this land (1 Pet 1:1), as pilgrims (Heb 11:13), as people who are called to be separate (1 Pet 2: 9-10) and different from the world in which we live, our lives should look different from the world. People ought to see the differences in how we live and ask, "what is the reason for the hope that is within you?" (1 Pet 3:15) But as John Piper has said, all too often, they aren't asking, because "we look like we're hoping in the same things THEY'RE hoping in!"

We need to consider the advice that we give, whether to other Christians or to our children, and examine whether it lines up with the Bible or with society. The two are not always at odds, but in this instance, and on many of these issues, our ideals and "dreams" ought to look different than the world's. It should be clear that our goals for our children are not the same as theirs. It should be clear that our methods for raising our children are not the same as theirs. It should be clear that our hope is in something other than the "American Dream". It should be clear that we differ from the society around us in meaningful ways- that we are not self-focused, that we do not look down on marriage, children, or the family in any way, and that we are not willing to sacrifice all things at the altar of self-promotion and career.

[Please know that it is not my intent, in ANY way, to wound or condemn those who find themselves in the situation of singleness later in life, whether of God's calling on their life, their own choice, or because of circumstances out of their hands. Rather, my aim is to clearly show that the plan of mainstream American society isn't working, and is actually HARMFUL to those who try to follow its pattern. - Jess]

Edited to add:
This related article, released January 2008 is worth reading: DOES FEMINISM FAIL WOMEN?


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