LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–Stay-at-home moms are not a threat to civilization as one feminist argues, but they are one of society’s cornerstones, R. Albert Mohler Jr. said March 22 on Focus on the Family radio program.
Responding to a recent attack on stay-at-home mothers by feminist Linda Hirshman on ABC’s “Good Morning America” in which Hirshman called the life of the stay-at-home mom “unfulfilling,” Mohler said being a stay-at-home mom is a challenging and difficult job, one that requires a great depth of knowledge and skill.
“I can’t imagine what would be more interesting than dealing with the challenges a mother faces,” Mohler said. “She’s got medical challenges, financial challenges, social-relational challenges, psychological and even psychiatric challenges. She has meal and nutrition challenges, and she has domestic engineering challenges. A mom pulls all that together.
“As a dad, we come home and are simply amazed at how it has worked when we are gone. All it takes is mom being sick for one day, and dad finds out what an executive responsibility really looks like.”
In a segment that aired over two days on “Good Morning America” in February, Hirshman bitterly criticized mothers who choose to stay at home and raise their children, calling them “a threat to civilization.” A woman is wasting her education by choosing home and children over workplace and salary, she said. Hirshman was, in part, promoting her new book entitled “Get to Work: A Manifesto for Women of the World.”
Mohler’s response originally aired Feb. 24 on his nationally syndicated radio program. Focus on the Family founder and host James Dobson heard about the show and aired portions of it on his own program. Mohler is a member of Focus on the Family’s board of directors.
Dobson called “Good Morning America’s” attack on motherhood “outrageous” and admonished the network to present the other side of the story.
“This is beyond the pale,” Dobson said. “What ABC has done here is they have gone back and resurrected one of those radical feminists from the 60s and 70s with crazy, off-the-wall ideas — I guess because it helps the ratings. But it is insulting to every woman who is out there doing that (stay-at-home motherhood) job.”
Hirshman is worried that the upswing among women with college degrees — even many from elite universities — who are choosing to stay at home and raise children is undermining feminism.
But Mohler said the fact that so many women — including many who are not Christians — are opting to stay home to raise a family demonstrates the compelling nature of the call to motherhood.
“It’s a sign of God’s common grace — the fact that the family has a compelling call to it, that even those who do not believe in Christ understand,” Mohler said. “But for Christians, it is an even deeper mandate because we are accountable to Scripture and we know that the family is not just about the practical functions of raising children and nurture and all the rest, it’s about the glory of God disclosed in that little domestic sphere where, when things are rightly ordered, God receives the glory and the world looks at it.
“… You can testify to God and be a witness to your neighbors just by the priority of family in your life and by the right ordering of your own home.”
Dobson said the media’s use of radical feminist pundits to address family and motherhood is irresponsible because many of them are not married, do not have children and thus are not qualified to speak to the issue.
“Most of these (radical feminist) writers from the 60s and 70s had never been married,” Dobson said. “They didn’t like children and deeply resented men. Yet they advised millions of women how to raise their children and especially how to produce healthy boys. … Isn’t it interesting that the media never honed in on that incongruity?”
Mohler said Hirshman’s most disturbing comment was her assertion that “an educated and competent adult’s place is in the office.” Hirshman further said staying home with children is too boring and unfulfilling for an educated and “complicated” woman. But Mohler said the calling of motherhood is anything but uncomplicated and unfulfilling.
“There is no corporate CEO who has a job as demanding as a mom, as requiring specialized skills, specialized abilities and intuition,” said Mohler, whose wife, Mary, is a stay-at-home mom. “I am a dad and my wife gets it far more than I do.”
To hear the full Focus on the Family broadcast with Mohler, visit