“IT’S NOT FAIR!!” my atheist, feminist opponent declared. “Why would your God allow men to father children well into their old age while the average woman ceases having menstrual cycles by the age of 51.” Her challenge sent me digging into the whole business of menopause and women’s roles, and how they are designed and why.
The facts in a woman’s reproductive life are clear. Pregnancy becomes more hazardous with age, and younger women are more likely to survive childbirth than older women. It is a fact that we see more chromosomal abnormalities in the ova of women over 40, so there are genetic issues as well.
Aside from the survival rate physically and genetically of children born to older mothers, there is the issue of different roles that women have at different times in their lives. If a woman reaches menopause by the age of 50 and she lives to be 80, she has time for a new phase of life–that of being a grandmother. Studies on a variety of societies have shown that the survival rate of children in primitive societies is directly related to the presence of grandmothers. Assuming that human children need their mothers until they are around ten years old, the support of a grandmother can obviously be a positive feature.
We are all familiar with the poem “There was an old woman who lived in a shoe; she had so many children she didn’t know what to do.” As a public school teacher in an inner-city high school, I saw a huge number of grandmothers who came to PTA meetings or conferences about the needs of a child. In our day of working mothers and single parents, the need for the role of grandmother is undeniable.
The apostle Paul described the foundation of the faith of the young man, Timothy, in 1 Timothy 1:5: “When I call to remembrance that unfeigned faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice…”
One of the things that defines us as humans is the exceptional care that we receive from our mothers. The difficult business of raising children today is compounded by the unwillingness of many to accept our biological design. The facts of menopause and women’s roles clearly show evidence of design.
There is no substitute for mothers. At least that’s how it now stands under British law, and that’s the way God intended. Even a biological woman who identifies as a transgender man is still a “mother” and not a “father.”
Freddy McConnell is the current name of a British transgender journalist who was born as a female. She had a mastectomy and testosterone treatments and now identifies as a man. Freddy became pregnant by sperm donation, gave birth to a baby, and wanted to be listed as the “father” on the birth certificate. The High Court of Justice in London said, “No.” Freddy took the case to the Court of Appeal, and at the end of April 2020, the justices agreed with the High Court.
The British Children Act of 1989 requires that a mother be listed on the birth certificate. The justices said that according to the law, “a mother has automatic parental responsibility for a child from the moment of birth.” Further, they stated: “No-one else has that automatic parental responsibility…The fact of giving birth to a child has that effect as a matter of operation of law…From the moment of birth, someone must have parental responsibility for a newly born child…” In other words, there is no substitute for mothers.
Judge McFarlane of the High Court of Justice said: “It is now medically and legally possible for an individual, whose gender is recognized in law as male, to become pregnant and give birth to their child. Whilst that person’s gender is ‘male,’ their parental status, which derives from their biological role in giving birth, is that of ‘mother.’”
There is great confusion in society today concerning sexual orientation, genders, and gender roles. Recently I was required to complete a form that listed seven different options for “gender.”
I thank God that there are biological women who are willing to fill the role of being mothers. Women were designed for that role, and there is no substitute for mothers. For various reasons, many women today are single moms, and here are single fathers who must serve as “Mr. Mom.” The truth is that women can do many jobs as well as men, but no man can fill the full role as a mother. Today we want to thank and honor our mothers, especially Christian mothers, for filling that essential role.
Mothers are important and an organization called MOPS encourages motherhood. On their website they say that there are two billion mothers in the world and that four million babies are born in the United States every year with six out of ten born to single mothers.
Christians should be concerned that five in ten mothers say they don’t feel they receive emotional support from their churches. Outreach ministries of most congregations have ignored the needs of mothers. Mothers are important and we cannot overemphasize the importance of helping young mothers realize that the first seven years of a baby’s life shapes their entire development.