The sorrow may last for the night….but J O Y comes in the morning

February 22, 2012 Amy ChildrenGeneralJesusResidency

Child birth.

Let me tell you its messy for the mom, for the family, for the baby, for the doctor, etc. And not just physically messy. I delivered four babies and received about 40-60ish now (the pediatrician who resuscitates the baby in the delivery room or just dries them off depending how messy it all is).

Its painful and sometimes the sorrow in that room from things not going the way we all hoped is bottomless.

Pregnancy is painful.  Parenting is painful.

Believe while I don’t know personally, I live so close to it on a daily basis ,I know.

Last night I went to the woman’s bible study.  Because it was Monday and my Roommate is interviewing and eating grits (for the first time)  in Charleston, SC. She called me and said Amy, how did you ever leave the 60 degrees in Feb, the friendliness and the laid back, sit on your porch and watch the world go by kind of place.?  I told her I have no idea what came over me.  Basically I was homesick and lonely so I went to bible study even after telling myself that a bible study that looked at biblical womanhood in a church that currently loves Mark Driscoll a wee bit too much was a BAD BAD idea for me.

The passage we looked at was 1 Timothy 2, the part where we talk about not braiding our hair, not wearing gold or pearls and that we will be saved through childbearing.  We spent 45 minutes talking about the pain of womanhood from menstruation to labor to motherhood.  Don’t get me wrong, there are times where being a girl is not awesome but there was this sense of shame in the room. Shame about not controlling our emotions, shame about how painful pregnancy, childbirth, etc is.   I finally just came out and said what was flashing in my brain not out of anger but because I just couldn’t bear to watch the other ladies sit there squirming. And because I have worked 95+ hours in the last week and there is no filter anymore, there is just words.

There is no mold of a perfect woman in Christ, its not the secular mold, its not the evangelical mold (gasp).  This should be  liberating not condemning.  My comment actually was not poorly received, the word liberating caused some general discomfort (tragic…read Galatians…please).   Now I will give this church credit while I have never been to the men’s bible study naturally I have heard the sermon excerpts geared toward guys and they are equally hard on men which is a refreshing change in some ways from the norm.  So I don’t think this is one of those “Its all Eve’s fault” kind of things.  Yet I still don’t think most of those ladies left convicted and liberated.  Just convicted and guilty,

The elephant in the room….is when Paul says women will be saved through childbearing, I don’t think he meant the literal practice, I think he was using it as a metaphor. This is especially important because we take the rest of the passage as metaphoric (we still braid our hair and wear jewelery) , I don’t love the lets pick the metaphors out of literal sentence game…either this is a literal passage or its not. Don’t dance around it to the parts you like.

Child bearing results in children and for someone who spends a lot of time with babies….95 hours in the last 7 days.  Babies are complicated and messy and yes they can even bring us pain.  But for the 40-60 mothers who I passed their child to them for the first time….it was pure joy.  A joy that I don’t think happens to men in the same way and I don’t think there are many better pictures of unconditional love.  Being a woman means we have a special understanding of this because we have the capacity to bear children and experience this.So yes we (men too)  are saved through childbearing…through unconditional love, the kind of love that lays down one’s life for one child or one friend.

kind of like Jesus.

Perfect love drives out all fear, drives out sin and pain and brokenness. That’s the gospel.  God has made a curse into something beautiful.

but we didn’t talk about that. and my 95+ hour work brain couldn’t articulate as well I wanted to in the moment.

 


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