To all the "iron ladies"

Under the Light of His Word:
A movie…a life

The movie “Iron Lady” based upon the life of Margaret Thatcher, former England Prime Minister was highly promoted at the beginning of 2012. I was very interested in watching it, as I used to admire her. Moreover, in the late 90s, I used to be called by colleagues at work as “the Thatcher” or the “Iron Lady” –something of which I felt proud of at that moment, Nevertheless, as years passed by, and more particularly, as God has continued to work in my life and heart, now I understand I should have not felt proud at all.

By watching this movie, I was impacted by her legacy in her family. It made me think of Galatians 6:7:  “you cannot mock at God, you reap what you sow”.

Certain scenes reminded of many of my own mistakes as a mother. I so identified with these scenes that I even asked for my son’s forgiveness (mostly for my time as a “workaholic”).

I could title this article “Do not waste your life”, like John Piper’s book. Or perhaps, more personally, “Woman, do not waste your life”.

As I am neither a politician nor an economist, I cannot evaluate her legacy in her political career. As a mother who committed many mistakes, based upon Titus 2:3-5 which commands older women to teach younger women (or mothers) to love their children, I would like to refer to the other “career” that was evolving at the same time in her life: raising little children; which is part of God’s Design for women as being “Life givers” (Gen. 3:20).

As it happens with public figures, you may find detractors and defenders. In her case, there are political trends defined under her last name Thatcherofiles and Thatcherofobics. Her life is so controversial that even the feminists of her time were not on her side, because they understood she did not support them.

The first aspect to consider is that she grew up in a Christian home and her father was a lay preacher. Maybe that was the reason why in several of her speeches she appealed to the Word of God. When asked about the role of women, she indicated that the mother/child relationship was the strongest bond ever. She stated that women should not act as if they do not have children. Nevertheless, as it happens with many of us, she did not live out what she preached.

One of the scenes in the movie that most impacted me was her cry and her answer at a marriage proposal. She told the fiancé that she was not a woman to be washing dishes or taking care of kids at home. I thought that maybe her cry was due to the fact that she knew what God’s will was but she did not accept it.  Similar to us, when we do not want to surrender to His Will, as James 4:17 teaches us that “knowing good and not doing it is sin”. Nevertheless, they got married; it seems that the fiancé did accept her conditions for getting married.

Another  shocking scene is when her twin children asked her to remain at home and started running behind her, but she refused to listen them and closed the car door glass and left. When we do this to our children, we are not only closing a door (May it be of a car or a room), but also (and worst) closing the doors of their hearts.

As a paradox –or perhaps, God’s discipline in our lives, or consequences of our sin the career for which she sacrificed her family end as honorably as she intended as she was asked to resign prior to the end of her period and was forbidden to run again to candidacy. After that, when being interviewed she said that if she would have the opportunity to live again, she would never take that career because of the damage it caused to the family.

Her daughter wrote a book criticizing her mom regarding her absence from home. She referred to a time when she asked her mother why she could not be like her friend’s mothers and Mrs. Thatcher’s reply  was that her friends did not have the privileges she “enjoyed”; those are the deceptiveness of our hearts as Jeremiah 17:9 teaches us.

Today, London and British journals present her as a lonely lady who receives little to no visits from her family; who spends Christmas alone with nurses or care takers. This is quite the opposite of the Proverbs 31 woman who is blessed and whose children praise her.

May the Lord have mercy upon us and that we can be called “blessed by our children” when we are no longer “iron ladies” because years will ruin iron at the end.

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