Childbirth and the Bible - a brief glimpse at my studies recently...

I have been doing a study on childbirth in the Bible and came across a few interesting verses. The first is the Genesis account of childbirth; “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children…” – Gen. 3:16. Unfortunately, many translations interpret the word ‘sorrow’ here to mean pain. But the word, sorrow is first “itstsabown” and then next “etseb”. Both of these words are more accurately translated as emotional turmoil, hard work, and toil. This same word is translated many other times in the Bible as those above. Pain in childbirth is not a curse. Hard work in childbirth was a declaration.

Another verse is 1 Timothy 2:15 and it states “Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.” It is interesting to note that the word used for saved is not pertaining to salvation issues, as was previously taught by the Roman Catholic Church, but instead it refers to preservation. God promises to protect and comfort us if we continue in faith (belief in our bodies and God’s design for childbirth), charity (love and affection), holiness (purity), and sobriety (literally, self-control).

Those two verses together make me wonder if part of the reason there is a season of hard work to bring our children into this world is to bring us back to reliance on God and to trust our bodies. Perhaps He was looking ahead to a time when we put more trust in medical society (midwives, obstetricians, tools, and interventions) than in those things that we should – Nature. Another idea is to cement the bond of parent and child.

We know that, by human nature, we do not appreciate those things which are ‘easily obtained’ – perhaps that includes childbearing and our children. And, perhaps that is part of the reason why our society is so far from familial morals and beliefs. Fathers are abandoning their families, mothers are abusing and killing their children, children are lawless and unruly… and it simply breeds another generation even further removed from the family unit than the last. Feeling, experiencing, and working through the toil of a first-stage labor could be nature (God’s) design for helping us to appreciate Him, our bodies perfect design, the family unit, and our children more.


Jillian said...

Very interesting, Nicole! Particularly the translation of "saved" in 1Tim 2:15. Sheds a whole new light on things.

Basically, as a result of the fall of man, Adam would have to "work" to produce fruit from the earth, and Eve would have to "work" to produce fruit from her womb.

Interesting parallel, yes? :)

Wonder how it would be in a perfect world...?

"Oh look, the baby's here! I didn't even feel that. Hand me a towel, would you, Adam?"


Anonymous said...

Really good post!


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