Several years ago I attended the most beautiful event at the United Nations hosted by The Holy See (Catholics). The speaker shared the following words that are worth sharing:
“True respect for women means respecting and reverencing her in all aspects of humanity … including her feminine genious and femininity in caring for the dignity of everyone in nurturing life and love and in developing others’ gifts.
When women are given the opportunity to thrive and reach their potential, the whole of society benefits.
Womanhood needs to be protected in regards to motherhood, marriage, and family life.
The unique dignity and value of motherhood is insufficiently defended.
Women’s essential contributions to the development of society through their dedication to their marriage and to raising the next generation are inadequately acknowledged.
A woman is someone who is born with space for another.
Women’s equality and full empowerment should never force her to adapt to maleness in society but in having society adapt to her femininity and dignity.”
All of these words by our Catholic friends ring true in “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” Here, we learn about the power of mothers, life, and motherhood:
- Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.
- The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife.
- We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.
- The family is ordained of God.
- Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.
Although every woman’s journey toward motherhood may look different, we need not look far to see the influence and value that mothers have in the world.
In this Raising Family Podcast episode (Counterfeit Healing, Infertility and True Empowerment), Angela Fallentine, co-founder of TheFamilyProclamation.org, discusses her time advocating for the family at the United Nations (3:55), annotating the family proclamation and creating the website (6:53), her experiences with infertility (9:50), and choosing to not take that on as part of her identity. “So many times when we’re filling a hole in our hearts, especially with infertility, we try to fill it with the world and it doesn’t fit. We try to fill it with feminism, post-modernism, secular ideologies, and activism … but it’s never sustainable and it’s never full empowerment. Christ is the only one who can fill those holes.” (16:42)
Angela has found that connecting your pain to your identity is disempowering. “I know it may seem so ironic … defending the very thing (family/children) most say I lack, … the thing that by all means causes pain. And yet, my answer to that is, it’s eternal truth and eternal truth doesn’t change because of our circumstances. Truth is truth … it doesn’t change the doctrine and it doesn’t change the beauty of eternal families.” (10:50)
Tune in for more ideas on what we can do to build bridges in the church, even when we don’t come from the ideal family.