Conservative family values

As a maternity nurse, I often sneak in ANR by counseling expecting couples that open-minded dads-to-be can help bring in the milk by suckling as due date approaches. I often get chuckles from couples and some actually try it. I think ANR just before regular maternal nursing begins is the blueprint for a successful family. 

— Paraphrase from an ANR blogger I used to follow closely

Conservative and puritanical Christians like my former roommate who saw the Song of Solomon as a stumbling block tend to view this blog and the whole idea of ANR as a liberal, anti-conservative, anti-family perversion. But I think they’re on the wrong side of history. Through most of time, I’m convinced, and especially during biblical times, ANR was the norm. Our idea of conservative and liberal is very dependent on culture and historical context. It’s rooted not in Scripture but in something ephemeral. My research has me convinced that at the core of Couples Nursing is the beautiful, quaint, old-world, conservative and traditional femininity I’ve mentioned seeing in ANR-friendly women, like the two who I followed and profiled most extensively, both of whom are birth doulas, with one mentioning her love for conservative dress. Moreover all ANR-interested women being affectionate, nurturing, breastfeeding mama hens speaks to traditional feminine gender roles. I don’t see eye-to-eye with her on open-ended childbearing, but the woman who owns this blog also speaks beautifully to this old-fashioned, God-endorsed, natural family value system. Notice how she praises breastfeeding and feeling quaintly feminine in her dressing style.

My main point is: an ANR is a truly conservative family value. Everything about it at its core points to the wisdom of the ages. Yes, ANRs are a long lost tradition in which I bet all ancients partook, with their divorce rates probably much lower than ours.

Christians who fall under the complementarian camp outnumber those who self-identify as egalitarian. The majority of believers affirm a man’s role as provider and protector, and the woman as nurturer and caregiver. An ANR lies at the heart of this dynamic, as it not only empowers women to be who God created them to be in a traditional sense, it’s also a woman’s uniquely feminine way to provide for and protect her husband. It’s God’s special way to give back to the breadwinner some of the bread he’s won.

Personally, I see the term “conservative family values” as becoming an evangelical cliché. I’d rather just have Christian, gospel-saturated values.

Because it prevents adultery (see Prov. 5), strengthens a marriage and keeps a family together, having frequent, loving, sacrificial, thrilling sex, along with breastfeeding, with one’s spouse is a conservative family value.

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