Saved In Childbearing

by David Padfield

What kind of mark will you leave on the world? For most men, their mark on the world will be measured in terms of their work, the job they held, the business they started or the politics they debated. For centuries a woman's mark on the world was usually tied to her husband's achievements. The Bible teaches a woman's greatest achievement will be found in her children.

In Paul's first letter to Timothy, he said women were to "learn in silence with all submission" and that they were not permitted to "teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence (1 Timothy 2:11-12). After reading these words, some women might think that since they had no visible role in the public proclamation of the Word there was nothing left for them to do. Since they were not to become elders, deacons, preachers or even Bible class teachers in the public assembly, how could women be saved? Paul answers this question by stating that women "will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control" (1 Timothy 2:15).

Catholic commentators are fond of trying to apply 1 Timothy 2:15 only to Mary, the mother of Jesus. "But it is more likely that the meaning is much simpler; and that it means that women will find salvation, not in addressing meetings, but in motherhood, which is their crown. Whatever else is true, a woman is queen within her home." (William Barclay, The Letters to Timothy, Titus and Philemon).

"Sometimes women and men, too, think this is assigning women to an inferior position. Inferior in the sense that she is not by nature, physically or morally, suited to public positions or to counteract the rougher elements of the world. But she is of finer texture physically and morally than man, and is better fitted (superior to man) for work of nursing, training children, and keeping home attractive and cheerful. She is the trainer of children and the companion of man in the home, becomes the conservator of virtue, morality, and religion and of all the purifying and elevating influences shed by them. No more sacred and no higher office did God ever lay on mortals than that he has laid on woman to bear and train children and subjects for his everlasting kingdom. The woman who neglects the duties she owes her children and her home for the public life that God has created for man leaves her work, her character, and her mission." (David Lipscomb, Commentary on the First Epistle to Timothy).

Recently I had the opportunity to travel overseas with a group of other Christians. For nine days we rode the same tour bus and visited the same historic sites. While I enjoyed the company of all, two godly women made a lasting impression on me—a mother and her eighteen year old daughter. They stood out because of the genuine love of a mother for her teenage daughter and of that daughter's love and respect for her mother. In a world where many parents cannot even have a civil conversation with their children, it was refreshing to see these two women sit together on the bus and talk as friends. Such a friendship between a mother and daughter does not happen by accident. Whatever else this woman might accomplish in life, her lasting contribution to the world will be her children.

Years ago someone said, "The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the nation." Ladies, if you want to influence the world, start with you own children.

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