Family Sovereigntyby Jenny Marie Hatch
Sovereign, the buzzword in Internet circles also has applications for the family. Why? Over the past decades a shift has occurred in the hearts and minds of some parents. So many have adopted home-school, unassisted family birthing, and a complete severance from government programs and money that this trend toward family sovereignty could be called a movement.
Why? The definition of sovereignty holds the clues as to why families are adopting practices completely out of the mainstream. Sovereign is defined as self-governing or independent. Sovereignty includes in its definition complete independence and self-government. So the definition of Family Sovereignty could be The Family That Is Self Governed.
What does this mean for the modern husband and wife? Is it scriptural?
Scriptures from Genesis to the Ephesians talk about a man leaving his Father and Mother, and joining with his wife and they two shall be one flesh. (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:5, Mark 10:7, and Ephesians 5:31) I like the Genesis version because it talks about a Man who cleaves to his wife. That denotes a sort of bonding, that is true, faithful and cemented. The picture in my mind is of a husband and wife so completely bonded in unity and love nothing can come between them. I believe the couples adopting these practices understand the necessity of independence from most worldly structures. The reason for this is because of an instinctual understanding that when we let anyone do something for us that we are fully capable of doing for ourselves, whether it is birthing, teaching and training our children or even nurturing them when babies, the bond between husband and wife is weakened.
As parents and families gradually wean from the structures that are available for education, health care, and finances, I think it is important to have a clear understanding why we are leaving Babylon for Zion. Not only for ourselves and our own need to be clear about what this all means, but also so we can clearly articulate to others why we feel this deep instinctual need to grasp our sovereignty and never let it go.
I would suggest that as the world continues to separate into those who desire to be parents and those who don't, this notion of Family Sovereignty is going to become crucial to understanding modern life in the new millennium. The chasm between those who live for themselves with the “eat, drink, and be merry” lifestyle and those of us who live for the tomorrows of life with grandchildren will grow ever wider.
In my Mothering these past eleven years I have been blessed to have many close friends who are highly educated, self declared liberals. Through the wonderful natural childbirth community that quietly thrives in Boulder Colorado, I have been privileged to enjoy hours of quiet conversation with Mothers of every nationality, religion, and political viewpoint. Many, many times I was the only Christian, anti-feminist, conservative in the group and I give my liberal friends credit that they have loved me and welcomed my ideas and feelings as valid, despite being a Rush Limbaugh fan. Being friends with those who are ideologically opposite from me in world view and yet sharing a passion for the sacredness of women's bodies and minds has helped me to clarify more clearly what I believe.
I have spent many, many hours thinking about what it means to be a woman and a mother in the new millennium. The word sovereign keeps coming into my mind. I am descended from patriots, so my passion for liberty comes naturally.
I see our generation of parents as being those who MUST understand truth in all areas of our lives. I see our generation as being willing to sacrifice worldly aims and pleasures in order to clean up the planet and make it a more celestial place for our children to inhabit. I see our generation being full of complete fidelity towards spouse and children, amazing strength of character, love of truth, Integrity to principle, with a zealous desire to see the triumphant forward march of truth.
We will honor our parents for giving us life. Like us, they made choices based upon current available information, and if that information tended to be propaganda and harm resulted then we will let it go and remember they made the best choices possible at the time. We will honor them for the legacy they have passed along to us, but that does not mean we have to adhere to every false tradition and practice they utilized in their parenting, just to keep the peace at family reunions. We MUST identify false ideas and practices and set about righting the wrongs of the past two centuries.
Our generation must be thinkers, and workers. We must be men and women who consider carefully our course in life and the principles we espouse. The scriptures say "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled."
As we hunger and thirst for the faith and knowledge that will allow us to overcome years of fear based parenting practices let us be confident that the Lord will fill us up with his righteousness and give us every answer to every question posed. I have spent the past eight years breastfeeding my children on demand. While I nursed I would read books on everything from birth to political ideology and education. This has translated into about 4 hours a day of study time. Based on the time spent and the effort exerted as well as the multiple final exams (my births). I have given myself a PhD in Motherhood. I don't know of any university that would or could grant me an advanced degree in being a Mom, but I feel like it is time to offer my Dissertation and am willing to defend it to anyone who takes issue with what I say.
I believe most of the problems we encounter as parents can be summed up in one word - KNOWLEDGE. The lack of knowledge, the misuse of knowledge or the overabundance of false knowledge, misapplied. As I have sought to increase my Faith and Knowledge one principle has been A sure foundation of belief for me. It is "What does Heavenly Father think?"
“I believe all human beings are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of Heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. I believe gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal and eternal destiny and purpose. I believe in the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress towards perfection and ultimately realize his or her divine destiny as an heir of eternal life.” (Proclamation on the Family)
I trust that Heavenly Father is interested in the DETAILS of my day to day life, and so it has been my practice to turn to him in times of need to ask HIM what I should do for HIS child, who has been loaned to me for a time to nurture and teach. As each issue has come up with my little ones, I have turned to that all knowing source of inspiration, power, and KNOWLEDGE and have felt guided to know what each individual child needed at any given moment, rather than adopt a belief or practice based on some professionals expert "opinion".
As I have struggled to make decisions for and in behalf of my children until they are old enough to make their own choices, I have come to adopt a few principles and beliefs about Knowledge, Freedom, and Self Government. I hope to create a dialog on Family Sovereignty that moves way beyond the current supposedly relevant debates over day care and nationalized health care. I am interested in debating with those professionals who think they know best how children should be birthed, nurtured, healed, and educated and would use the courts to force their cult of professionalism on those of us who are following our hearts to a more gentle and empowered lifestyle. So, let the debate begin….
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