I have been remembering you in prayer and pray that the LORD is sustaining, guiding and providing for everything that concerns you. I originally wrote today’s letter as a blog entry. I hope to encourage you in your home and with your family.
Yep – I let a typo become the title and framework of this Letter. I hope it encourages you. <3
I say… mothers: Untie!
This, I say, for many reasons. Older mothers have been afraid to say things to their capable, confident, well accessorized, independent, younger counterparts. Now, at first blush, my description of the younger counterparts may seem critical and maybe even judgmental. O, not so. I actually marvel at the capabilities of the younger mothers – and am astonished at the proliferation of baby-childcare-childhood merchandise and training materials. But I also marvel at the independence I see and the sad consequence of that independence. I see many young mothers as unaware of their lack of skill or unaware of their self-centeredness or unaware of their marginalizing of their older counterparts. To many younger confident mothers, the older mothers are passé – obsolete has-been’s who aren’t really relevant because times have changed and the archaic ways have been replaced by the nouvelle motherhood – the, what I call: bigger, better, more motherhood. The “righter than you” motherhood.
Now, here is a potential for trouble – young mothers may feel unnecessarily accused or offended at this point and that’s not my intention. My intention is not to ‘slam’ young mothers or to reprimand or criticize. But to say: Mothers! Untie!
Untie! Old mothers… Older mothers… Younger mothers… Young mothers: Let us all not be so bound up in sanctimonious thinking that we forget where we are, where we’ve come from or where we’ve been.
So that, when a young mom says, for example: we’ll never spank our children! You don’t reply: “Then you’ll wind up with little terrors who will destroy the property of every home they visit and be miserable to spend time with.” Instead, maybe a better tact would be to demonstrate how and when and where and why to properly discipline and hopefully the overly confident- inexperienced young mother will take into consideration the biblical mandate to discipline properly and to love and respect properly – and quite possibly understand the reason Titus 2.3-5 is included in the Word. You will gain respect, you will impart understanding and wisdom and, more importantly, you will gain a loyal friend in that young mom.
So that, for example, when an older mom describes how to do something that goes against or doesn’t line up with contemporary conventional thinking, young moms don’t bristle and close their ears to other options – and old moms need to see there are some great ‘new ways’ of doing old things better and not be so callused, closed minded or hard hearted to new ways of seeing things. We need to see there may be new and better ways. We might need reminding that the old way of doing things just might still be the best way – and just because appliances and convenience have replaced many things – that doesn’t mean the old ways obsolete.
Just look at the number of so-called retro things are popular. Aprons, cookbooks, wheat-grinding, bread, clotheslines, soap making, herbs and tinctures, natural products, cloth diapers and on and on.
Untie! Young mothers… untie yourselves from the preconceived notions that the older mothers think they know everything and want to ruin rule your lives. Be taught! You’ll be teachers one day!
Untie! Young mothers… from the thought that generations before you are antiquated and this generation now (finally and fortunately) has things figured out. Learn from the old ways while you’re walking the new paths.
Untie! Older mothers… Untie from the old ways that aren’t profitable! Be teachable and adaptable to the new ways. Hold fast that which is good… (1Thessalonians 5.21 “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”)
Untie! Older mothers… be what God has called you to be. Be it! Teach it! Live by example – and if your example isn’t so good right now – get it there… study, improve, correct, change, apply! Get your life in order, learn what you ought to know, be what you ought to be: that(!) the Word of God will not be blasphemed in or through your life – Let the Word be lived through your life!
Unite your heart to fear the LORD and to live in obedience to Him.
Let us learn from Titus 1.9 and 16 and 2.1: “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers… They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate… But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:”
And older mothers: we need to be sweet. The younger generation needs an example to follow. Let’s strive together – not against one another. Let’s unite.
With sincere love, your sister in the LORD, —pamela