In part 2, I addressed how being truly pro-life means treating God’s gift of children as mercy rather than embracing the curse of an unfruitful womb.
“SHE WILL BE SAVED THROUGH CHILDBEARING”
Many evangelicals assume, due to an unbiblical view of salvation, that Christianity is not concerned with earthy things like bearing children. The apostle Paul says, however, “She will be saved through childbearing–if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control” 1 Timothy 2:15. That statement is prone to all sorts of misunderstanding. Paul is referring to God’s promise to Eve, mentioned above, that her offspring would crush Satan’s head. Her redemption came through childbearing ultimately when Christ crushed Satan’s head on the cross to give the Church forgiveness and victory over the devil (Rom 16:20). But, Paul says, “If they continue in faith and love and holiness.” So, he is pointing believing women back to the pattern God gave to Eve. They are not saved because they have babies. But they are saved as they embrace their God-given roles as mothers as an outworking of their faith and love and holiness.
Childbirth, additionally, is still oriented toward future salvation. As I said earlier, it is only reasonable for unbelievers to hate fruitful Christians because it is a sign they are losing the war. Christians should love fruitfulness for the opposite reason: when combined with faithful parenting, childbearing is one of two weapons for spreading the kingdom throughout the earth (the other being evangelism). Many of the New Covenant promises are towards fruitfulness or faithfulness of children. “And I will multiply on you man and beast, and they shall multiply and be fruitful. . . . And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. (Ezekiel 36:11, 27). All the promises of God are yes in Jesus Christ (2 Cor 1:20). The outworking of Christ becoming our curse for us is greater fruitfulness, in that we trust that our childbearing will not be frustrated by the tendency toward apostasy which characterized the Old Testament assembly of God. Rather we labor to train our children, believing that Christ will make our work fruitful through the Spirit.
So, imagine that John Doe was raised a Buddhist, but was converted during college. He marries a good Christian woman, Loretta, whose parents were believers but not very faithful to Christ. One important aspect of their choosing each other was their common desire to raise up the next generation of believers. With that goal in mind they each work hard to raise their children in the Word and to model repentance and forgiveness to them. For decades they labor in faith and weep and pray as children struggle with the temptations of the world. The fruit of their labor is seven children, six of whom have more or less healthy relationships with the Lord, and one they are still praying for. They look back on where they came from and they see God’s mercy in saving them and using them to bring so many faithful Christians into the world. They see death in their past, and life in their future in the form of (Lord willing) hundreds of great-great-grandchildren who are faithful to Christ.
Having just spent a considerable amount of time discussing the calling of Christian women, let me address men. Men, listen, read the Scriptures and learn to value fruitfulness as they do. Encourage your wives to value fruitfulness. Work hard and live at a lower standard of living so that your wife can use her strongest years in her calling as a mother. The primary problem in the church is men who do not value what God values. They consider the “blessings” of a quiet, uncrowded, restful, richly-decorated house to be more valuable then the actual blessings of children. They would rather their wives “man up” and get to work earning money, than to waste time pursuing Eve’s calling to be life-giver (what the name Eve means).
In a hundred years their posh houses will be falling apart, or, if well-made, inhabited by some very fruitful Muslims. Their handful of descendents will wonder what they can do to have a greater impact in their communities. As their churches age and die, they have fewer and fewer distractions in worship. No more babies cry, children do not have to be taken to the restroom, and there are no teenagers to reprimanded for texting their friends. The elderly congregation hires a rock band and a pastor with spiky hair in a desperate and blatant attempt to lure young people from the church down the road.
On the other hand, imagine the great-great-great-great-grandchildren of the Duggar family in a century. Perhaps, they have grown exponentially to number in the millions. (Do the math.) If so, they have a powerful influence on a small city. They are the leaven, leavening the whole lump. Mercy, love for life, and hard work have replaced a culture of despair and fear. Even those who hate them, cannot argue with their numbers. Like the OT church in Egypt, they could be set to take over an entire nation in three hundred more years.
That can happen when blessings are treated like blessings. We must learn not to dream of small, insignificant things. Rather we must consider the incomparable value of children—children who (if God is gracious) will never cease to live as worshipers of God forever and ever along with their innumerable children and grandchildren. We must make our first priority, outside of loving our wives, to raise a house-full of sons and daughters to love Jesus. We must look forward to family reunions—that we may not live to see—where great-great-great-grandchildren converge on an ancestral home every few years to sing hymns to the Lord, praising God that they exist because we did not despise His mercy.