John Calvin- Theologian and Lactivist

Found an interesting quote the other day:

John Calvin, in commenting upon Genesis 21:7 states:

“. . .the Lord does not in vain prepare nutriment for children in their mothers’ bosoms, before they are born. But those on whom he confers the honor of mothers, he, in this way, constitutes nurses; and they who deem it a hardship to nourish their own offspring, break, as far as they are able, the sacred bond of nature. If disease, or anything of that kind, is the hindrance, they have a just excuse; but for mothers voluntarily, and for their own pleasure, to avoid the trouble of nursing, and thus to make themselves only half-mothers, is a shameful corruption.”



Filed under family, spiritual

10 responses to “John Calvin- Theologian and Lactivist

  1. morningjoy

    What a beautiful quote. Doesn’t it seem obvious that nursing is the best way to nourish and nurture a baby? It’s also an incredible experience for the mother. I treasure the memories of nursing my three children. It wasn’t always easy, especially at the beginning, but determination and support from other moms got me through the rough times.

  2. Longing for Holiday

    Not sure about being so hard on non-nursers. But I’m pretty impressed about anyone who reads Calvin (or any Reformed theologian) enough to find that quote!!

  3. It seems as though, to some degree, embracing mother-hood was taboo in Calvin’s day just as it is in our day. If God’s word is true, it should not be thought loathsome to be a mother but a beautiful experience.

  4. Mandie

    I just came across your blog and wanted to say that it’s great!!! I’ll definitely be back for more! God Bless.

  5. I wonder if John Calvin ever had a hungry newborn sucking heartily away, but being unable to properly latch onto, his raw, bleeding, chapped nipple?
    If he HAD, and persevered, then maybe he could offer advice to mothers.

  6. Stacy Leigh

    Hahaha Danka, I think you have a great point! But I do love it when a man has such a high view of motherhood like that. 🙂

  7. danka, it seems to me that if you have gone through all the trouble of nursing, while still nursing, then you would only be reinforcing Calvin’s position all the more.

  8. I love this quote. *grin*

  9. Great quote. Nice to meet you again.

  10. who, again, is john calvin and why are we supposed to do what he says???


    (the cousin)

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