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Public Breastfeeding

13 Aug

We have stated our views on this topic in another post-

https://theologyarchaeology.wordpress.com/2017/10/11/breastfeeding-in-public/

and we haven’t changed those views. But we have been part of the crowd when a couple of women have decided that was the right time to whip out their breast and feed their babies. Our personal response to the situation was not one of joy where we see a mother being natural or doing something intimate. Rather we were feeling quite uncomfortable

Both times were at a restaurant so we could not get up and walk away,  One time we did change our seats so we would not intrude on such a private moment or be accused of being a pervert or some other negative adjective that would apply if we did not turn away. Another time we just turned our heads. Both times were very uncomfortable for everyone in the restaurant except for the mother and nursing child. And no they did not cover up or be discreet.

Those two experiences and the words found in another article by a woman who said “I could not feed my baby where I wanted to” have led us to rethink some of our views and include one that is talked negatively in the Bible. We have come to the conclusion that public breastfeeding is very selfish on the part of the mother. Basically, because they are not thinking of anyone else in the room, how they will feel and it shows no respect for those who think differently about public breastfeeding.

Notice we used the word public in there. We are not against breastfeeding just that it should not be done where it is a spectator sport. We come to the conclusion about this act being selfish in part because of what the Bible says. Here are a few verses {all scripture is taken from the NASB}

In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets. (Mt. 7:12; Lk. 6:31)

Notice the first two words, they include breastfeeding.

Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification. (Romans 15: 1-2)

This verse goes both ways and those who are caught breastfeeding should be treated better than most are in the current prevailing attitude towards public breastfeeding. Also, women should think of others before they whip it out.

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. (Phil. 2:3-4)

Women should be provided with a safe, quiet, private place to breastfeed and women should look for private places to feed their babies.

18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men (Romans 12:17-18)

It is not living at peace when you demand that you get your selfish way and do what you want in someone else’s place of business or residence.

For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Gal. 5:14)

Is demanding or doing what you want to do in spite of the feelings of others loving your neighbor as yourself?

All these verses can go both ways. Public places should have clean comfortable areas where women can breastfeed in private. It should not be the washroom and women should not be made to feel inferior because they need to feed ther babies.  BUT women should not be demanding that they be allowed to breastfeed wherever or whenever they want. That is a very selfish and unbiblical attitude.

God has given women brains and intelligence so it should not be a very difficult task to know when their baby will be hungry and plan their schedules accordingly. Christian women should take the little extra time and apply biblical teaching to their breastfeeding schedule. Remember the Bible says to do all to the glory of God and that includes breastfeeding.

It is hard for public breastfeeding to be done for the glory of God when so many people do not want to see it done. Also, by not making selfish demands and humbly breastfeeding out of the public eye can lead to evangelistic moments where you can tell other women why you do it in private. You have a moment to share your faith and show the secular world a better way to live.

People will see that you are living by your faith and respect you more, hopefully, and if not at least you were able to plant a seed or water one already planted. Yes, even breastfeeding can be used to further the kingdom of God. But if you let selfishness rule your behavior you will miss out on those opportunities. Christian women need to take a moment and think before they demand. They have more at stake than just feeding time with their child.

It is not about rights. That is a secular ideology from people who do not want to obey God or do what is right. It is about obeying God, not sinning and doing what is right in all situations, even breastfeeding.Think about it. Sometimes it is the little things that garner the most results. Obeying God in the little things goes a lot further than you think.

Breastfeeding may not be a big deal to nursing mothers but if done right, with the right spiritual motives, the right humble, obedient attitude, it can cast your Christian light a long way. Nursing mothers can be a mission field if Christian women get rid of the sinful attitudes, the selfishness and other negative reasons they breastfeed in public.

We show the world the right way to live. The secular world does not show us.

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