Land Center dinner discusses motherhood
FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – The Land Center for Cultural Engagement and Southwestern Seminary hosted a dinner for Southwestern women March 20, featuring speaker Jennifer Morse, who addressed the social and economic significance of motherhood.
“I want you to feel affirmed by what you’re doing,” Morse told her audience of 65 women, which included mothers, grandmothers, those ministering to mothers, and others who may one day be mothers.
Morse, the founder and president of the Ruth Institute, says their goal is to declare the importance of lifelong, married love to college students. But they have also taken up the task of cleaning up after the sexual revolution.
Morse said that revolution has created groups of victims that had not existed before, including the children of divorce, those reluctantly divorced, the donor-conceived, and the heartbroken career woman.
Morse fits herself into that latter category, which she focused on during the dinner.
Growing up as a member of a working-class, Catholic family, Morse said she married the first man who asked at age 20, despite her own lack of commitment and warnings from those close to her. That marriage came to an end by the time she was 24.
She later remarried, but they decided not to have children until after she completed her doctorate and when she was not teaching. But when that time finally came, she faced a crisis in her faith when she struggled with infertility for more than four years. Morse said other women face similar situations, sacrificing motherhood until later years for a chance to have their own career and join men in the workforce.
An idea that also rose from the sexual revolution was the belief that mothers could continue working and their young children would develop just as well without her own personal attention. Morse said this is not necessarily based on fact, which she witnessed.
When unable to have biological children, Morse and her husband began to look into the adoption process. They decided to adopt a boy just over 2 years old from Romania. Just before he came, they also discovered Jennifer was pregnant. Within six months of adopting the toddler, they had a daughter. They quickly saw the drastic difference between the two young children.
Because he had lived the first two years of his life without a mother or father’s attention, the young Romanian boy could not talk or interact with people when he joined the Morse family. He did not even know how to make eye contact.
The Morses’ daughter on the other hand, developed just as a healthy young girl should under the love and attention of her parents. Only after consistent investment from his new parents, did the Romanian boy begin to develop normally.
Morse said in some situations the mother must work to support the family, becoming a victim herself, but she must remember the importance of time spent with her children.
The sexual revolution also led to the acceptance of sex outside of marriage and the belief that men and women are completely interchangeable—a superficially attractive idea, Morse says, but one fraught with danger.
“It’s caused a lot of problems,” Morse said. “And it’s caused a lot of misery.”
Morse says Christian women should be careful not to believe those ideas society and the sexual revolution present to women as truth. Instead, they should minister to other women who might be caught in that lie or are its victims.
Society often tries to silence those victims so the rest of the world remains in the dark concerning the negative effects of those lies. Morse says women should love those victims and try to bring Jesus Christ and His healing to them.
Morse has opportunities to debate with women who support the sexual revolution, and is often able to win those arguments but says that is not what will change their way of thinking and way of life.
Morse says Christians must “put down our debate model and pick up our hospitality model” in order to reach those women.
Southwestern first lady Dorothy Patterson attended the dinner and said it was a great time of “stimulating conversation” with the other women and an “entertaining and edifying” program. She looks forward to other similar events in the future.