Three Reasons Women’s Ministries Might Want to Focus Less on Marriage and Motherhood
I’ve been saying many of the same things on this blog for the last several years that this 2022 essay says.
Churches, especially gender complementarian ones – and not just in women’s ministries, but overall, in every facet of a church – make single / childless / childfree women feel ignored or unwanted, except for those Christians who patronizingly behave like the only use for a single, childless woman is to babysit the children of the married couples.
Reminder to Christians: more adults are not marrying these days – at all. Some may marry, but not until their 30s, 40s or older. Many (even if they do marry) are choosing to forgo children.
When churches focus on marriage and motherhood to the extent they do, they also send a message that being married and a parent is necessary for sanctification or relationship with God, which is false.
A person does not need to marry or have children to be sanctified, know God, or to be mature, ethical, godly, loving, or responsible.
March 25, 2022
by Rachel Baker
Women’s ministries are often the home to every category of woman: Single, married, mother, widow, and so forth. As a Women’s Ministry Director, I both attend a women’s small group and organize the women’s ministry meetings at my local church.
In my small group alone there is a vast array of women, each in different categories, some are empty nesters, some are starting families, some are intentionally single, while others are single with the hope of being in a relationship in the future.
We cover the gamut, so why is it that women’s ministries’ regularly cast their focus on the married mother?
Don’t get me wrong, as a married mother I have absolutely benefited from Bible study curriculum and content focused on marriage and motherhood, however it should go without saying that these types of studies do not represent all women.
If you are in a position at your local church in women’s ministry or as a small group leader here are a few reasons why you might want to steer your Bible study content away from marriage and motherhood:
Studies Solely Based on Marriage and Motherhood Can Feel Exclusive
As a young married woman and then young mother I desperately needed support and connection and resources to help me feel a little less alone in that particular season of my life.
Marriage ministries and parenting ministries absolutely have a place within the church; they are absolutely needed.
However, when our larger-scale ministries such as women’s ministry or small group ministry only focus on young-married or motherhood we can miss out on the richness that comes from a group of women of all life-stages and relationship status.