When I look down at my maternal body, I see a white line running from one side to the other. I feel the ache in my left hip where my tendon shredded during labor. I see the stretch marks, the loose skin, and the broken veins. I see scars.
Our culture tends to have a contradictory view of motherhood. On the one hand, moms are saints, pregnancy is beautiful, and childbirth is the miraculous epitome of love, joy, and hope. On the other hand, pregnancy is viewed as a freedom-curtailing curse, labor is avoidable via abortion, and children are a means by which women are oppressed by men.
Both of these views are damaging to women, and wildly unbiblical. Yes, sexism is real. Yes, motherhood is glorious, mundane, fulfilling, and agonizing all at the same time. So how do we, as Christians, handle the dichotomous beauty and trauma of childbearing?