Women should never “settle” with a man in order to have a child. Granted, women are created by God to have longings for procreating and nurturing, and I believe this is evidenced in the fact that women will go to all kinds of technological extremes to have their own biological children. But this desire should never supersede the proper context ordained for raising children. While there are purportedly many different family models that work in our world today, the family model that is the true cornerstone of civilization, that honors God and respects life at all stages, is one that begins with a God-centered relationship between one man and one woman. A woman who “settles” so that the alarm on her biological clock does not sound before the childbearing milestone slips through her fingers is the personification of self-centeredness. Actress Jennifer Aniston argues that women should not settle, not because of any reason I just offered, but because so many other options (assisted reproductive technologies - ARTs) are available to women today.
“Women are realizing it more and more knowing that they don’t have to settle with a man just to have that child...Times have changed and that is also what is amazing is that we do have so many options these days, as opposed to our parents’ days when you can’t have children because you waited too long.”
Aniston made this statement at a press conference discussing her new movie, The Switch, another story about a woman who decides to get pregnant with the help of a sperm donor. This movie is certainly not the first to discuss the options women have in this biotech century, The Switch comes after two other recent movies about sperm donors including The Back-Up Plan and The Kids Are All Right. Going mainstream with these options is not just about promoting scientific progress in reproductive technologies, but about removing so-called prejudice against alternative families. But we shouldn’t be surprised that Hollywood would be the purveyor of secular-feminist propaganda.
Christianity Today recently asked some evangelical leaders about their response to the defeat of Prop 8 in California. Matthew Anderson’s comments speak well for what I believe should be the church’s focus in areas of bioethics and women’s issues in general.
Practically, I think we have relied too heavily on the will of the majority as our foundation for our legal actions. While political orders must on some level be representative of the people to be legitimate, our founding fathers set up a representative democracy for a reason. Without rejecting efforts like Proposition 8, politically conservative evangelicals should shift their focus toward equipping the next generation of leaders with the philosophical and theological training they need to affect society and government from the “top-down.” Majorities are unstable, and while traditional marriage has the upper hand now, it may not in 20 years.
Christians definitely need to stay engaged in the public square on all issues that continue to impact our culture, but in agreement with Matthew Anderson, we need to be intentional and focused about equipping the next generation to think through these issues theologically, and prepare our future Christian citizens and leaders to be unabashedly Christian as they argue these issues in the market place. But this isn’t just about the future of culture, but the future of the church and the role that Scripture plays in the lives of believers. New traditions will be in place in a few short years, and terms like “traditional marriage” and “traditional family” will have been shed of all meaning. But terms like “biblical marriage” and “biblical family” will always have meaning because they always point to a source.
But back to Aniston’s comments, she is correct, women today don’t have to “settle” in order to have children—from a technological perspective, anyway. But without a Christian worldview framework to consider the purpose and role of family and childbearing, what more can we expect? No matter what the law or science may permit, the people can willingly reject it when they have the ability to think theologically.