I must admit, I was surprised by the first few chapters. Erin raises awareness for the segment of the population who has decided to "go childless", meaning they are choosing to abstain from having kids for one reason or another. She is very concerned that people are choosing this out of selfishness, and aren't thinking about the great impact they could have for the kingdom through being a mom.
Ya'll, this is where things can really get heated! There are godly moms (and dads) on both sides of this debate. Some couples choose not to have kids because they haven't had the best experiences with their parents, and deep down don't think they are capable of being a good parent. Others are committed to mentoring and investing in other peoples' kids (in the church, in the neighborhood, in the schools), and feel no desire to reproduce biologically when they can reproduce spiritually. And perhaps there is a third side of all of this- some Christians really don't see the value in being a mom (or dad) and just think it's a waste of time. I don't really know any of these people, but I hear they exist.
Erin does a good job of representing the side that says- listen, being a mom is a sacred role and moms are just as important as missionaries in Africa! She rightfully uncovers the lies that washed up out of the first wave of feminism that women are wasting their lives if they are in the homes. I think Erin could have written more about how feminism has progressed over the years, and how there are different types of feminism, and how each one views the role of mother (I just think it would have made a broader, more rich conversation to not label feminism as the source of evil in this area).
I think the gem of the book is when she poses this idea: "The real question isn't 'Is choosing childlessness biblical?' but, 'Is living for myself biblical? Is ascribing to the world's priorities biblical? Is the choice to remain child-free rooted in the flesh?'" In asking these questions, she gets down to the heart of the matter- are we seeking the Lord on the issue of becoming a parent? She even mentions how some people choose to have kids out of selfish reasons, and that's not good either.
After the first half of the book, she goes on to encourage moms to keep on keeping on, to view themselves as having a meaningful role in this world, and also to try and keep their perspective of our children being a gift from God, even when it feels really hard and burdensome.
Erin Davis has a really fun writing style. Her writing is easy to read, yet intelligent. Even if you don't end up agreeing with her, I think you'll agree that she does a good job of explaining her point of view. You have to have a little thicker skin to read this book. She's not afraid to step on toes and she can be very bold in her statements. If that way of writing is helpful to you, I think you would like this book.
I think the one big downfall of this book is that it doesn't do much to bring women together in the whole conversation of whether or not to have kids. It's more of a book that draws a line in the sand.
If you are a mom who feels worn out by people around you saying that being a mother isn't "kingdom-living" then I think this book would be a great encouragement to you. Annnnnnd, one of you will be receiving a free book! Leave a comment on the post, and submit your info into Rafflecopter for a chance to win! Thanks, Erin, for the free book to review AND for being so generous in giving one to our blogging community too!
Congrats to the winner of Beyond Bathtime- Roxanne!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
And be sure to check out our other two giveaways that we are hosting today: 100th post and Mom Connection!