There’s that Bible verse that every woman struggles with. We read it and shrug it off, or just read past it really fast and pretend we didn’t see it. It doesn’t make sense. We don’t like it. Therefore, we ignore it. 1 Timothy 2:15, “But women will be saved through childbearing if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.”
Shut the Front Door. The Bible says What?
Why yes, yes it does say that. How could the Bible say women are saved through childbearing? And forever… for my whole life I have hated that verse. Yes, I admit, I have hated a Bible verse. How spiritual of me. I read over it really fast and pretended I didn’t see that, because, well… because.
Then tonight, as I was writing a different post about surrendering my family size to God, I realized that surrendering this area while it has been such a great difficulty for me, might actually be the thing that leads me to a deeper relationship with my heavenly Father.
Now, I was “saved” as a child over breakfast-in-bed in my sister’s room on her birthday. I was probably seven or eight. Then as a teen, my logical side muddled up faith and led me right astray. In college, the kindness of a stranger led me right back to love, and I returned to Christ. Then marriage, a divorce, several moves, a sick child,… all left me wandering aimlessly in my life and in my faith. Then, God got a hold of me again and I married an amazing Christian man and led me on a new journey. That’s the shorthand version of my testimony.
But, as you likely know, surrender is a process, not a one-time event, and surrendering ALL is an important part of the process of salvation. And, for me, at least, surrender, came through childbearing, and the years following that in Motherhood.#surrender is a process. Click To Tweet
Please don’t get me wrong here. I am not implying that childless women are somehow less saved, or that women with one child are less spiritual, or that the actual process of childbearing or motherhood even come close to the work of the cross. I am NOT saying any of that.
Sanctified Or Saved Through ChildBearing
However, motherhood is a constant laying down of one’s flesh. It’s a constant laying down of one’s own ambitions. It is crucifying my desires each and every day. With seven children, four of whom are under seven, my life isn’t my own.#Motherhood is a constant laying down of one’s flesh, crucifying one's desires every day. Click To Tweet
If I want to go out with friends, I have to arrange it with my husband, a family member, or a babysitter. I cannot just leave. I can’t just walk out the door and do whatever I want. I have to surrender my own desires and put the needs of my children right up there with my own needs, and, quite often, far ahead of my own wants. I have to lay down my desires, my selfishness daily, sometimes minute by minute.
Pregnancy is no better. While there is the feeling of elation we may experience when we discover a wanted pregnancy, it is also a literal physical reminder that your life, your body, your brain, your heart, are not your own. Suddenly, every decision, from what you eat, to what you wear, to your activities you participate in, or places you go, … every decision factors in someone else. No longer are you your own person. You’re a mother.
Childbearing, or the actual process of giving birth, is the ultimate act of surrender. There is no choosing to not surrender, but rather, when labor begins, its surrender to it or it will have its way with you anyway. Contractions begin, your body begins to change, there is pain and stretching and all sorts of crazy until, at last that baby comes out. You can’t decide in the middle of pushing that you’re not going to do it anymore. Surrender is the only option.
When you do finally give birth, you give more. There’s breastfeeding, sleepless nights, the baby wanting to be held or rocked or walked. Doing what’s loving requires more sacrifice. And more and more and more.
They grow up, you continue to sacrifice for your children. You continue to serve them, love them… when they hurt, you hurt. It does not end. Mothers with grown children still hurt for their own children. They still sacrifice for their grown babies, and perhaps even their grandbabies.
So, here I am in the thick of it. Seven kids under my belt, five of whom I birthed myself–I am exhausted and learning to still surrender my will to this daily. And I stumble on THAT verse–that verse I have hated ever since the day I first read it, because well, I never understood it.in my endeavors of #sanctification, #surrender, God uses childbearing to teach me Click To Tweet
I am not claiming this as a theologically sound interpretation of the saved through childbearing passage. I know there are many who dismiss it, others who interpret it to mean something entirely different,… and I just don’t have the excess energy to debate this one, because I am a mother. But for me, this is what it means.
Jesus saved me. His death on the cross, his shed blood is the only thing that can bridge the gap between this sinner and a holy God, but in my earthly endeavors of sanctification, of daily surrender, God will teach me and mold me. So as God uses childbearing and motherhood to work out my salvation in me, to develop holiness and to teach me to surrender, I guess you could say, in a way, that I will be saved through childbearing…as much as I don’t like to admit it.