Linguists trace the oft-quoted observation, “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world” back to either a poem by William Ross Wallace or a speech from the Reverend W. Bethune of Philadelphia. Both date back to the early-to-mid 1800s.
“They say that man is mighty, He governs land and sea,” penned Wallace. “He wields a mighty scepter, O’er lesser powers that be; But a mighty power and stronger, Man from his throne has hurled, For the hand that rocks the cradle, Is the hand that rules the world.”
In our increasingly confused age, when cultural elites maliciously and malevolently undermine womanhood and motherhood, it should be stated again and again that moms play an enormously oversized and critical role in society.
And let it be said loud and clear: men can never become women or mothers. To suggest otherwise is to make a mockery of God’s beautiful and perfect plan and design.
Mother’s Day on Sunday will undoubtedly be marked by flowers, cards, candy, phone calls and brunch – but moms are deserving of more than a day and our dollars. They deserve to be acknowledged as the linchpin of life and culture itself.
That’s because as goes motherhood, so goes the world.
C.S. Lewis once reflected, “With my mother’s death all settled happiness, all that was tranquil and reliable, disappeared from my life. There was to be much fun, many pleasures, many stabs of Joy; but no more of the old security. It was sea and islands now; the great continent had sunk like Atlantis.”
I thought of that as my own mother lay dying. She saw my tears and attempted to bring comfort by assuring me that I would be busy with my own family, and that I wouldn’t miss her because of my pressing responsibilities as a husband and father.
She was both right and wrong. I have thought about her every single day for the last eleven years. Yet my focus is on my immediate family, specifically my wife, Julie, and our three boys.
We all know intuitively how important mothers are, if only because we had one – and we either benefited from her love or conversely feel a void out of lack. But maybe one of the most fulfilling aspects of marriage has been to see and admire my wife grow and thrive as a mother.
To put it simply and succinctly, Julie is my hero. I saw her heart break when we lost multiple children to miscarriage, and then watched with a spirit of gratitude as it healed when we adopted our first son.
No mother has loved her children more than Julie has loved ours. She very willingly set down her degrees and professional aspirations and happily picked up all the responsibilities of motherhood from diapers to bottles and all the joys and challenges of children.
Although a teacher and musician by training, she dove into homeschooling with trepidation. It’s been overwhelming at times. But she’s been a fierce advocate for our children, two of whom were diagnosed with severe dyslexia. There have been days when they’ve been in tears – and she’s been in tears, too. She’s researched schools, programs, and tutors.
Our oldest son is about to graduate from high school, and for the last six years he’s been active in a homeschool speech and debate club. Julie has primarily shepherded that effort, too.
As a 7th grader, Riley was painfully shy and didn’t want to have anything to do with standing before a room of people. But we encouraged him, and Julie worked with him day in and day out. She emphasized the value and benefit of the skills derived from public speaking and debating. She’s since accompanied him to tournaments all over the country. He is now thriving – and acknowledges his mother as one of the main reasons.
“Infancy’s the tender fountain, Power may with beauty flow,” wrote Wallace. “Mother’s first to guide the streamlets, From them souls unresting grow— Grow on for the good or evil, Sunshine streamed or evil hurled; For the hand that rocks the cradle, Is the hand that rules the world.”
If we want a healthier and safer world, we must start first by investing in and supporting womanhood and motherhood as God created and intended.