"The saintly women desire nothing else than the natural fruit of their bodies.
For by nature woman has been created for the purpose of bearing children.
Therefore she has breasts; she has arms for the purpose of nourishing, cherishing,
and carrying her offspring. It was the intention of the Creator that women
should bear children and that men should beget them."
Luther’s Works, 5:355
|painting by Mary Cassatt|
"Luther frequently celebrated the blessings of children and the wonderful calling of motherhood.This quotation from Luther is just as jarring today as it was in the sixteenth century. In Luther’s day, church authorities had despised motherhood and privileged celibacy. Today, society has transformed motherhood from a badge of honor to a symbol of disgrace. Sure, Hallmark still sells plenty of Mother’s Day cards, but just as this celebration can be neatly scheduled on the calendar, so also motherhood must fit the schedule of one’s busy lifestyle, rather than vice versa. Our “pro-choice” world insists that true womanhood requires the ability to choose against motherhood. But if motherhood is to be a choice, shouldn’t it be God who does the choosing? After all, it is God who puts to death and brings to life (Deuteronomy 32:39), and it is God who opens and closes wombs (Genesis 29:31, 30:22)....
Luther understood that it was through marriage that God blesses all the institutions of the earth, and that it was through marital procreation that children should be born, and the church would prosper. If the devil were to destroy motherhood, he would achieve a great victory against the church. There would be fewer children being born, and fewer being raised in God’s Word..."
from the article Celebrating Mother's Day, Luther-style, By Emil B. Huntington