Why does God give women brains? This question is asked with rhetorical snottiness by those women who avoid pregnancy and/or child rearing in favor of other pursuits, and dreary but genuine inquiry by the rest of us. I've been pondering it myself for a long time and here's what I've got: absolutely nothing new, but maybe you're bored today. Please keep in mind I'm not exactly a great thinker.
You are American, therefore you are a pragmatist (and, as we were reminded on a Groundhog Day of yore, a nominalist--but let's save that for another time). You value things for their practical application, including yourself. You look at your set of skills and consider them wasted if you don't use them "out there in the real world."
But what does Scripture say? "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made"--NOT fearfully and wonderfully useful. Your gifts are who God has made you, in addition to being tools he has given you to use. Their application not more valuable than the testimony your unique existence gives to his creative power. So first of all, you are smart, beautiful, gifted, virtuous, because you are a work of God, not because he needed a sculptor or an engineer or a blogger down there to straighten things out.
For Adam no suitable helper was found. A heifer wasn't good enough. The man needed someone corresponding to him. Philosophers have suggested that humans seem to uniquely possess such characteristics as questioning, laughing, believing, communicating through language, etc. What's good for the gander is a goose, ie someone who can fly, honk, float, and give him a gosling. So second, you match your husband, who is almost certainly human. Laugh with him, will ya?
Let's get messier, though. To a certain extent, people see through pragmatism's weaker arguments; for example, most women are willing to sacrifice their college bikini ratings to have children. But to completely give up the protections pragmatism offers our pride is difficult. If I'm this smart, don't I deserve an advanced degree? Or, more cunningly: Isn't it bad stewardship for me not to cultivate and make use of my talents? For the glory of God, of course?
Lest we forget, there is an office in the church which frees women to make full use of their extra-parturitional gifts and talents: virginity. But let's assume we're speaking of people who opted out of that. Are they being bad stewards by reading board books rather than starring in movies, issuing Band-Aids instead of performing surgery, negotiating Lego-sharing and not drafting contracts?
Well, you stewardship-mongering pragmatist, why did God give you a functional uterus if what he really wanted you to use was your impossibly extraordinary brain/talent/looks/whatever? It amazes me that after what my own personal goulash of organs, juices, and hair has been through in the past five years, it can still function nearly as well as it could before my first pregnancy (and the "nearly" is pretty artificial since it refers mostly to deliberate, exclusive exercise, for which I rarely have opportunity now). It would be bad stewardship of this protoplasmic marvel not to keep having kids, since God has equipped me so well for the task. After my last labor, I wonder if I'm not starting to acquire some actual skill when it comes to childbirth (don't worry, it still hurt something awful). Let liberals train for critical societal boons like marathons. I'm training for overpopulation, and I'm getting darn good at it.
As I heard in a stewardship sermon recently (not from my husband, btw, or any of the usual suspects), there's a fourth T beyond time, talent, and treasure: tissue. Work it, girls.
About that spectacular brain: wake up, self. What great improvements has the world missed out on in the past five years since it's been deprived of my public presence? To paraphrase a quotation shared by one of my beautiful associates: much of what I thought was my talent was just pride. Moreover, the sin-bleeped world I will always have with me, but I will not always have my children as such. We're getting to a simple answer you've heard before, but listen again: the only people to whom you are irreplaceable are the members of your family. You're your kids' only mom, even if you sing like Diana Damrau, shrink government like Margaret Thatcher, or criticize texts like Barbara Aland.
Other people can sing. Other people can shrink governments. Other people can tell Kurt he's full of crap. And they will. But no one else can be your kids' mom. Fulfilling the tasks associated with that office is something you can always do in good conscience--unlike those other things, which leave the nagging worry in the back of your mind about what in your kid's life you're missing while you're off doing them. No one can ever regret the unimpeachable good she has done her children by giving them life and serving them as only a mother can (although the devil and the world will surely impeach for all they're worth).
Even secular sociologists will tell you there is no better way for you to serve society (aka the world) than taking care of your own family. This is the most important task on anyone's stewardship list. If you're a gourmet chef cooking for your family every night--your family is exceedingly blessed. I wish my family got such great treatment. Well done, thou good and faithful servant. What is the world to you, anyway, with all its vaunted diners? We all want the best for our children--how foolish it would be to forget to give them the best of ourselves, whatever that might be.
Why did God give you a brain? Because He gives all people brains for His glory and the good of
His people, starting with the little ones asleep upstairs and the big one off at another blasted meeting. Go on, thank Him. And then figure out what you're going to feed everybody tomorrow.