Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Private

I have been in doubt for quite a while whether I ought to share this, as the author is Christian and I am Jewish, so obviously we disagree on quite a bit, theologically speaking... but it made me cry with emotion as few things I've read online have lately. Here are some very wonderful quotes. 

"We are to submit to our own husbands. Our own husbands. Our own husbands. Not frightened by any fear. This is so very, very important. If another woman's husband desires her to have many children, this is wonderful and it is their private matter. Her womb is a private place between the two of them. No one has any right to make remarks which would hurt them because their family is large."

"Perhaps another husband would love more children, but his wife is only able to have one or two children. Well, this was probably the case with Joseph. Joseph only had two sons. But God sure blessed him with those two boys in Egypt. You can tell by the names he chose for them. His wife's womb was a private place. We don't know why they only had two children, and it is not our business to know. It is God's business and theirs. But Joseph surely was blessed with his sons."

"His body is her body. Her body is his body. They are one. I am not a part of their union, and I have no business prying and asking questions, nor giving advice when I am not asked. Likewise someone to me. I am to submit to my own husband, and she is to submit to her own husband."

I really wish there was a more complete understanding of this matter - that some things must be left private. I sometimes cringe as I sit with other moms at the playground and hear discussions of some matters that I'm certain these women's husbands would want to keep private. 

As for those who pry and poke... perhaps they aren't even aware of the extent of damage they might be inflicting. Even if they are close friends. Even, and especially, if they are family. Because once the friends or family get used to being told what is happening between a husband and wife, it's difficult to get out of this habit. 

How I wish to learn to tread with gentleness; with love; always thinking the best and wishing the best for all people in all things. How I hope to learn to speak when needed, and be silent when it is appropriate. And love; yes, love is the most important of all. It is more important than the feeling of righteousness, of superiority, of spiritual dominance. Fortunately, we all have access to the abundant source of that Love, perfect Love, which we perhaps didn't experience in sufficient measure when we were little. Perhaps our early years left us broken. But all can be well, and more than well, if we allow He Who Fixes Broken Things to reign in our lives. 

13 comments:

Laura Jeanne said...

I agree with you entirely. As society's manners slip away, privacy is a concept which seems to have been forgotten. I too have noticed other women speaking of matters which should be private between them and their husbands. It makes me feel so uncomfortable. And sometimes others, even within my family, ask me questions which I feel are none of their business.

I recently read a book on the impressionist painter Renoir - and I was amazed to read that many of his clients and acquaintances didn't even know he had a family, because back in those days, people simply didn't ask a person about their personal life - it wasn't proper. How times have changed.

I blame reality tv in part for this dramatic change of society's rules.

Thank you for the reminder that the number of children a couple has is an absolutely private matter between them.

Mrs. B. said...

I absolutely agree. When I had been married for less than a month, I had people asking me when I would start having children. I was taking measures to prevent pregnancy at that time, and it was very awkward for me to answer why I didn't want kids at that time. I wish people would have a little more respect for things that are supposed to be between the husband, the wife, and God.

Anonymous said...

In the case where one is not in heartfelt agreement with the other marriage partner, I have found it to be immensely helpful to pray, "If this is Your will, please help me to submit by changing my heart." (Or our husband/wife's heart as the case may be) If we truly want to do His will, He is perfectly able to change our heart to get it in line with His. "Take delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37 I used to think that meant He would give me my good pleasure but later understood it to mean that He will actually put the desires on my heart that are in keeping with His own. I rest in that.
And I certainly agree that it is a personal matter.
Mrs. L.13

Rosemary said...

I.cried reading the whole article, too. We do not know other's circumstances, nor is it our business to pry. My sister went through very painful times caused by family and friends wanting to know when she was going to get pregnant. What are you waiting for? Is there a problem? Etc., etc.

I like the way the author points out that our grandchildren are part of our "quiver". I am in that stage of life now, and it brings me great joy.

Simplicity & Grace said...

I LOVE this article...I had read it long ago, and loved it then, thank you for reminding me of it again.

And, Laura Jeanne, I think it started before reality TV, I think it started when talk shows became popular and everything was talked about in the open on TV.

Anonymous said...

The ones who are so open about it are the ones who have ruined it for everyone else, making the expectation that we all must reveal everything about what is actually our private lives. They mean well, and many many of them are religious women, and they want to share with the motive of "helping" other women and families, and maybe they do - but their own out of control and constant disclosures of every birth control or health issue is what gives people the expectation that ALL of us should share that way, and have no problem with it. It gives people the idea that if we don't volunteer the info, that they have any right in the world to ask us.

But it can also sometimes be lessons from Hashem. I knew a woman who married and had her first child all within the first year of marriage. She came across as quite satisfied and prideful about this, and affected to worry about how she would cope with having one baby every year and ending up with dozens of children. She had another two children spaced quite "normally", but has since those years ago simply never conceived again.

I can have compassion for her pain in this (she did want a large family of children), but all the hurtful questions she receives now, she completely set herself up for this by how she felt she had to share every detail of her birth control and first pregnancy, how pleased and proud she was to be letting Hashem give as many children as He wanted (because surely it would be very very many).

Other women disclose all their private details, then feel so put upon and offended if they have a miscarriage and people dare to ask them about it or about what their future plans are. The people are only continuing what she herself began! How I wish we could all keep decent privacy amongst our close family and chosen friends as in the older days.

Kate said...

It is natural to be hopeful for children to come once a marriage union has been made, but I think it is best to keep the wondering and opinions to yourself. I'm appalled at the number of people who think their opinion matters in this matter. I know of newlyweds who were bombarded with, "when are you going to knock her up" or other such vulgarities. On the other hand, I know newlyweds who became pregnant soon after marriage and they were bombarded with, "isn't it too soon? You should have waited. You should have been more careful. Blah blah blah."

I'm a more open person, myself, but even so, conception (or lack of it) is not for the masses to opine about.

living from glory to glory said...

Hello, I also just wanted to keep our position on our view of our size of our family private.But we made some really bad decisions. We wish we could change it.But in our culture we are no longer really private. Not very modest anymore. May some of this be restored as we grow in wisdom.
Blessings, Roxy

Liora S. said...

I too am Jewish and thus theologically of course disagree. However, I can wholeheartedly agree that privacy is a lost virtue of our generation. People do not know how to behave anymore. I hate when people ask me 'when are you going to get married?" in a way which implies that my single status is a moral failing of sorts. G-D decides when we marry, who we marry, and how many children we have etc. It is truly nobody's business to pry into these matters or to make assumptions. I have had friends going through fertility issues and NOTHING is more painful than questions such as "so when are you going to start a family?" It's hurtful and RUDE RUDE RUDE!!!

jAne said...

such a rich, excellent, thought provoking, and wonderful post. thank you.

Laura :) said...

I agree. People are nosy. My husband and I adopted our daughter and we do not wish to have biological children. Our choice. No one else's business but we have been questioned so many times and it is rude.

Joluise said...

One of the issues I have with blogging is the blogs that push for large families and think that anyone who doesn't have a large family isn't a "real" christian. Many Christian families don't have lots of children and there are many reasons for this - and others need to respect this as you say. Now that my son is married I am being asked when they will start a family. I have no idea, when they are ready I would assume - but the pressure has started it makes me cross.

I don't know how many times I have been reminded that Christian women don't work and if I do, them, once again I am not a "real" Christian - these comments are often hurtful as the bloggers don't know me, nor my husband and our suitation and as you write it is private and no one elses business. What works for us may not work for others, but that is between a husband and wife and no one else.

Mrs. Anna T said...

And sometimes there are women whose heart is bleeding to have children, but for some reason it is impossible. If you have no children, some people will be gracious enough to consider that you might be having fertility issues; but if you already have one or more children, people usually will not consider such a thing as secondary infertility, which is more common than one might believe. They will simply assume you "decided you are done", and that is hurtful. No one should feel like she must give an account of her health and fertility to everyone.

Or perhaps a woman dearly wishes to have more children but her husband decided that they have enough. Again, very painful, but it's better to submit to one's husband than ruin a marriage.