Tuesday, December 08, 2009


From Charles Dickens, _A Tale of Two Cities_, remarking on the unreality of French upper-class society:

Such homes had these various notabilities left behind them in the fine world of Paris, that the spies among the assembled devotees of Monseigneur- forming a goodly half of the polite company- would have found it hard to discover among the angels of that sphere one solitary wife, who, in her manners and appearance, owned to being a mother. Indeed, except for the mere act of bringing a troublesome creature into this world- which does not go far towards the realisation of the name of mother- there was no such thing known to the fashion. Peasant women kept the unfashionable babies close, and brought them up, and charming grandmammas of sixty dressed and supped as at twenty.

A lot of similarities to our own upper-class society, I feel. Women have few babies, if any, and are obsessed with looking as if they never had any. Career women too often relegate their children to the care of others, and feel it more important to pursue the fashions of the day than to raise their own children. "Breeder" is a term of contempt in large swaths of our society. Women of sixty are desperate to look and act like women of twenty.

But God told us that women will be saved by childbirth. There is no justification to be found in the act of childbearing, but there is justification in faith. Part of faith is embracing, not rebelling against, what God has made us, whether men or women, whether young or old. It is Biblically defensible to not have children. But it is not Biblically defensible to not have children, or to have very few children, in order to be able the more freely to pursue our own lusts.

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