Edited to add this introduction to my post:
Yes, this is my response --- as a conservative, Christian mother --- to the announcement that the single, teenage daughter of Governor Palin (McCain's choice for vice president) is currently pregnant and planning to marry the father of her child.
I am open to suggestions that a Christian response should be something different...and Biblical reasons as to why.
I'd also like to hear from those, especially conservative Christian mothers, who either agree or disagree with the substance of my "confession". Do you relate? Why or why not?
I am freely confessing the following to my half-a-dozen or so readers, and urging that other mothers join me in being both honest and humble. Let us not rush to judgment. Let us not hold other mothers to impossible standards. Let us realize how much we all need Jesus, how much we all benefit from His grace.
So, on to the confessions:
1. I am not a better parent than God. Beginning with Adam and Eve, all of His children have sinned. Every single one, except for Jesus. So have mine. While at times I wish we didn't have free choice and sinful natures, I am so thankful for the remedy for sin that God provided through His Son Jesus. I stand in desperate need of that remedy. So do my children.
2. Like every mother of many who has neither been born to privilege, nor been able to afford household help, nor has had a husband who enjoyed paternity leave, nor has had the luxury of extended family/church members with no other responsibilities, I have had to return to work fairly soon after the births of my babies. Meals needed preparing, children needed tending, raising, and feeding, babies and toddlers needed changing, the house needed cleaning, and my host of responsibilities to my husband and children didn't abruptly end just because I had a newborn. That's life, especially for the middle-class and working class. Sitting in an office doing paperwork and answering phones, with my baby in a sling, would have seemed like a welcome break on many days. But envy should not make me attack a mother who ventures to her office, just like it should not make me attack mothers whose husbands are able to wait on them hand and foot for six weeks post-partum. God chose my path for me. It's one I don't regret.
3. I have ignored doctors' advice and even direct orders. I willingly, no eagerly, got pregnant with my first child. I have refused pre-natal testing. I have had more than two children. I have breastfed my children. I have given birth in my late 30's. I have not hired a nanny. Etc., etc. While many viewed me reckless and irresponsible for these choices, they were made after much prayerful research. I don't regret any of them. In fact, they all turned out to be, even more so in hindsight, the best choices in our particular situation.
4. I have sinned. Yes, even today. Without the grace of God, I am ruined. Utterly without hope. Not only am I a sinner but, even when I mean well, I am not all wise. I don't have perfect understanding. I make mistakes. I fail. I fall down. But...God still loves me. Someday, when I get to Heaven, it will not be because my theology was correct, or because I wasn't a feminist, or because I stayed home with my babies. It will not be because of my own efforts. It will not be because I meant well or was sincere. It will not be because my good deeds outweighed my bad. It will not be because I am basically a good person, because I'm really not. It will be only because of Jesus.
5. And the few good things about me? The few good things I may accomplish along the way? Jesus deserves all the credit for that as well. I am weak; He is strong. The right things I do are only through Him Who strengthens me.
What about you?
This post, along with my entire blog, is copyrighted. Please read and honor the copyright notice at the bottom of the sidebar. Thank you.