Childbearing and the Blessing of the Matriarch
Posted: Thursday, January 11
Verse of the day
“Our sister, may you become the mother of many millions!" (Genesis 24:60)
Rebekah is packing her bags. Yesterday, a traveler asked her for a drink. Her simple “yes” unlocked a future she could not have predicted. A new life. A new city. A new husband. Her family requested 10 days before her departure, but the request was denied. So . . . Rebekah is packing her bags.
In verse 59, Rebekah’s family offers a prayer as she begins to depart. “Our sister, may you become the mother of many millions! May your descendants be strong and conquer the cities of their enemies.” Here’s my question . . . why was this their prayer?
Was childbirth their greatest hope for Rebekah’s future? For women without children, it can be heartbreaking to consider one’s value through this lens. For women WITH children, it can be heartbreaking as well because of the disregard for a more intrinsic appreciation. Was Rebekah’s greatest achievement in life to be childbirth? Beyond her personality or talent or character, would bearing children be her only notable contribution?
Absolutely not. The prayer for Rebekah is not about having children. It’s about having influence. “May your descendants be strong and conquer the cities of their enemies.” Rebekah was a queen in the lineage of Christ with an influence expressed and remembered across generations. She was not chosen because of the health of her physical body but rather the health of her soul. THAT was Rebekah’s greatest achievement. Consider Rebekah's mother-in-law, Sarah. Sarah was barren for 90 years, and yet she was the leader that God selected.
In the days of Rebekah and Sarah, childbearing was a woman’s opportunity to express her influence. I am thankful for women who have risen to that calling today, and I’m also thankful for the endless kaleidoscope of ways that women can now express their influence. I’m thankful for women who are a matriarch in their occupation, a matriarch in their church, or a matriarch in their community. Godly influence expressed from generation to generation — this is the blessing of the matriarch.