Mentu has an interesting post on his contemplations of his family life as he is in the waiting room for a vasectomy. I’d suggest giving it a read, as it’s an interesting look into a man choosing to make his hedonistic lifestyle permanent, but regretting the things that might have been.
I wish Mentu luck, and hope he does not come to truly regret and doubt his decision in the future, but that is not what I wish to write about. Instead, I’m going remark on something he wrote in the post:
I thought about the Manosphere. In my opinion, pro-marriage and Christian bloggers in these parts talk far too much about how to find a good wife, and not nearly enough about how to find a good mother. After a long and exhaustive search, I have finally given up. I actually gave up about three years ago, to be perfectly honest. Women who might make decent wives pop up every now and then, but women in the 21 to 31 year old age range who would make good mothers have gone the way of the Dodo Bird. It’s not as if they’ve rejected the idea; they’re not even aware that the concept exists.
He’s right, the Christian manosphere does seem talk more about finding a good wife than finding a good mother, but I don’t think it’s a deficiency of our discussion, rather Mentu is making a definitional mistake in separating the two. For myself, and I’m sure for most present and future patriarchs, the distinction between a good wife and a good mother is non-existant.
A good wife is necessarily a good mother.
The purpose of marriage to the Christian is twofold:
- To sate “passion” so as to avoid sin (as per 1 Corinthians 7:8-9, 36).
- For man to have a helper is his mission, which is in itself twofold: to be fruitful and multiply and to have dominion over the earth (as per Genesis 1:26-28, 2:18-24).
Some Christians may marry only for the purpose, they need passion and sex and marriage is the only allowed sexual outlet. This is not sinful, but neither is it complete.
A Christian who marries solely for passion, or as we would say today, love, is missing out on a fundamental part of a godly marriage, which is having many children. His marriage is incomplete.
The Bible repeatedly and consistently talks of the blessing of a large family of many children. It is one of the greatest gifts a man can have and, in the Bible, to bless someone with many children is one of the highest blessings possible.
- And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:28)
- And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” (Genesis 9:1)
- I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, 18 and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice. (Genesis 22:17-18)
- And they blessed Rebekah and said to her, “Our sister, may you become thousands of ten thousands, and may your offspring possess the gate of those who hate him!” (Genesis 24:60)
- Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments! His offspring will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. (Psalm 112:1-3)
- Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! (Psalm 127:3-5)
- Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways! You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord. (Psalm 128:1-4)
- Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers. (Proverbs 17:6)
Anybody who does not have a full quiver is robbing themselves of a great blessing.
Patriarchal Christians realize the benefit of this blessing. For the complete picture of marriage, the purposes are intertwined: you marry to sate passion, have support, and have children. Any good wife will fill all three of these functions.
There is no difference between a good wife and a good mother, a good wife is necessarily a good mother. If a woman is not a good mother, she can not, by definition, be a good wife.
So, when a patriarch-to-be declares what he wants in a wife and talks of searching for a wife, it can be implicitly assumed that he is also looking for a mother with those traits. I know I am.
Having said that, what are some things to look for in the future mother of your children?
As far as I can recall, the Bible itself does not speak much on what makes a good mother apart from being a good wife.
For the most part, what would make a good wife, would also make a good mother:
- Someone family oriented.
- She wants to marry and have children young.
- She’s loving, patient, understanding, and nurturing.
- She’s reliable.
- She’s not lazy.
- Strongly opposed to divorce.
- A virgin, or at least very low count.
- Strongly religious.
- She’s biblically submissive.
- She has a good group of friends who display positive traits.
- She’s not a feminist.
Some other indicators I’d look for that apply primarily to someone looking for a wife and mother, rather than just a wife:
- She truly desires children from from her teens/early twenties, rather than wanting children later in life simply because the biological clock is ticking.
- She does not want a career, but would make motherhood a priority. (A career and a job are distinct categories: working part-time or a home business is fine).
- Her friends are also fruitful and family-oriented, and either have or want children.
- She has the traits you desire in children.
- She’s involved in child-oriented activities in church (works in the nursery, Sunday school, or children’s programs).
- She lights up around other women’s children and coos over babies.
- She’s good with other people’s children.
- She’s babysat in the past and was good at it.
- She has traits you want your children to have.
- She’s not easily disgusted (especially by children’s excretions).
- She has the physical indicators of fertility. (This one’s easy, is she physically attractive?)
Those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head, there’s probably more.
I’ll end by saying this:
If you are planning to have children, make sure your potential wife would also make a good mother.
On this blog, when I talk about a good wife, a good mother is implicit. For those of you who don’t make that connection implicitly, make sure that your potential wife would also be a good potential mother.