Woman’s Identity Way Too Tied Up In Motherhood
The woman who wrote to Pat Robertson’s Christian show “700 Club,” Penny, did not specify if she is a Christian, and one who is a complementarian, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she was one or both.
Four years ago, I was going through an extremely difficult time. My 16 year old daughter left home and moved 2,000 miles away.
Not only was my daughter gone but it seemed like 16 and a half years of my life were gone too. Being an at home mom made it that much more difficult for me.
I dealt with extreme rejection, loss, and sense of purpose. I felt like a failure. I lost my daughter, I lost friends and financially we struggled.
We lost our home and we lived in poverty. I grieved going through so much loss. If my own child didn’t even need me, then what is my purpose in life?
I think it’s unfortunate that some women think their only value is in child-rearing, that they base their entire identity on being a wife and mother, which is what Penny has done.
I think that there may be more at work here, with Penny though, and her issue is not only pertaining to the parenting questions she has.
She mentions her family lost their home and had financial problems and what all. She sounds as though she is in a bout of clinical depression.
It sounds to me as though she could benefit from seeing a psychologist or maybe a psychiatrist to start taking anti-depressant medications.
I am a little alarmed that she is investing so much of her identity and purpose in her daughter. That doesn’t seem healthy.
So, here is the video a bit below – the letter from Penny is the second one, I believe (the first letter is from someone who is afraid she is under spiritual attack).
I thought Pat’s answer to Penny was pretty much on target. I don’t always agree with his advice, but on this occasion, I think he was right, though I think he probably could’ve worded it a bit nicer.
I don’t know if secular culture is as bad now about conditioning women to think their only goal or purpose in life is to marry and have kids, but a lot of my fellow conservatives are definitely still pushing this.
I realize that some liberal and secular feminists disparage motherhood and marriage (not all, but some), and conservatives are reacting to that, but I don’t think conservatives should swing the pendulum to the other direction.
There’s nothing wrong with a woman choosing to marry and have children, but conservatives, gender complementarian Christians above all, need to stop promoting the un-biblical notion that a woman’s highest calling in life is to be a wife and mother.