Sunday, November 29, 2009
"Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety." 1 Timothy 2:15
As we await the birth of our new little one, who has decided he doesn't care a thing for expected due dates and time schedules, I found myself pondering this verse this morning. Not being able to travel, I was unable to attend church this morning and my family opted to stay at home with me, "just in case." Everyone is hoping that our new baby will join us at any moment, but there is no sign of things to come.
So what is it that this verse means? Well, we know that it isn't talking about eternal salvation, for Scripture clearly teaches that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone (Romans 3:19, 20). We also know that this doesn't mean that women maintain their salvation by having babies because salvation is sustained forever (Romans 8:31-39). The Greek word used here could also mean "to rescue," "to preserve safe and unharmed," "to heal," or "to deliver from." Mothers have a unique intimacy and bond with their children. They spend great amounts of time together and they have a great influence on the lives of their children, thus giving them a unique responsibility and opportunity for rearing godly children.
I also think that children "rescue" us from ourselves in other ways. Many times I would have been tempted to veer into sin were it not for the little eyes watching me. Because of them, I am more cautious about what I do and say, more thoughtful of the results of my actions.
I find that I am also humbled by their thoughts and that I learn much from them. For example, my oldest daughter, Sarah, wrote letters to some of her pen pals just before Thanksgiving. A custom in our home when the children are young is for them to bring their letters to either Michael or me so we can proofread them for proper spelling and grammar. Even though Sarah and Abby have far outgrown the need for our help in this area, they still bring us their letters to read. As I was reading something that Sarah wrote in one of her letters, I was struck by the faith behind one her statements. She wrote about how she had been diligently praying for William, that he will not lose his eyesight, but that his eyes would be made whole. She wrote that she had been reading in the book of Daniel and remembered how God saved the 3 Hebrew children in the fiery furnace and prevented them from being burned and that God shut the lions' mouths when Daniel was in their den. She commented how amazing God is and that there is nothing He can't do and that if He could do that for them, she knew that He could heal William's eyesight.
This was humbling to me because it made me think how easy it is to get our focus off of God. It is so easy to listen to "experts" who give us a prognosis and just prepare for that fate. Of course I am still hoping and praying that William's eyesight will be healed, but which is stronger: my belief in the doctors' prognosis, or my faith that God will heal? Certainly we must still prepare for the worst. But I am also praying that my faith will be like that of my child's.
"Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein." Mark 10:15, Luke 18:17