There’s been a lot of talk about women’s breasts in the media lately, with a heap of mixed feelings about it. There are movements to free nipples, people standing up, sitting down and a whole mess of other things in relation to this topic on women. I’m going to give my own perspective.
Just last week, there was a mom in Dumfries, VA who tried to calm down her 19 month old baby with her breast in the church congregation. She apparently was asked to leave the sanctuary to go to a private room to do it, but the woman didn’t want to. The article in the Washington Post, described the woman as “embarrassed and in shock.” So, what does the woman do? She goes straight to Facebook to criticize her church.
First, things first.
I’ve breastfed 10 children and have also had to do it in church. If you’re in church, you don’t whip out your breast in front of a congregation of people. Respect the others around you (including your husband and yourself) and cover up with a blanket or nursing cover. It’s understood that you’re using the most natural way to feed your baby, but everything ain’t for everybody.
Let’s also look at where you are.
You’re in the sanctuary of worship in church, the house of God. God has always given women the instruction of dressing modestly. We are to be covered, by His order, for a reason. It’s not a form of misogyny. Women aren’t being hurt or having rights taken away because we’re asked to breastfeed in a private room. It’s simply an act of consideration of the others around us to go to a private room to feed our babies. And if your baby is fussy, he’s really interrupting the sermon for someone else.
Seriously. If you’d take a crying baby out of a movie theater so that others can enjoy the movie, why wouldn’t you be as considerate at church?
One other point on nursing in the sanctuary, God created us to nurture. Nursing our babies is a part of that beautiful nurturing. There’s no shame in nursing our children, but God also made man to be a very physical creation.
Like it or not.
Men were created to have visual stimulation.
God did that, not him.
Now, yes, men are required to exercise self control, but as women in the church, we’re required to keep these temptations in mind and not to do anything that would cause our brother to stumble. If you’re in church, pulling your breast out and a man is trying to focus on the sermon, you’re not helping him to focus by having your breast out. Let’s say your action causes him to do a double take, and maybe his mind wanders in to the land of lust (his fault, by the way), his attention to your breast upsets his wife, and there starts a whole channel of events that started with you nursing, uncovered in church. At this point, you have caused your brother to stumble into sin and you, for causing him to sin, have sinned against the very Christ you’re in the sanctuary to worship in the first place!
That’s not any type of cool.
Not to mention, your own selfishness affects many others that you’re not even paying attention to. The congregation was being streamed. I see nothing wrong with not wanting to have a woman in the congregation being seen breastfeeding on a live streamed sermon. While the church has to take on the stance of adhering to biblical principles (the very reason we go to church), this woman, essentially, didn’t care about her church family. After the staff offered her a private room and mentioned that the service was being streamed, I think that her actions in church and on Facebook were plain inconsiderate.
Breastfeeding is a wonderful thing. It’s something we should never be ashamed of doing. I breastfed my babies until they were up to two years old, and I still do it with my three year old. I believe it’s a woman’s prerogative to breastfeed as long as she wants, when she wants, and using consideration and modesty, wherever she wants.
I also believe that a woman’s breasts are for her, her baby, and her husband. It’s ridiculous to go live on Facebook to rant about something that boils down to one woman’s act of inconsideration and, for that matter, ungodly behavior in the church. It’s just a waste of attention. So, I end with the beautiful words of Sweet Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”
Just my two cents.