"In pain you will bring forth children..."
To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children (Genesis 3:16a)
(Tim) One mother who recently gave birth to her first child wrote this meditation on the pain of childbirth, woman's curse from our Heavenly Father. Thank God for this mother and every other woman who is not ashamed of her sex, but gives herself to it as an act of faith and courage. How I love and praise God for these women that surround us as we do the work of husbandry in the home, church, and public square! "The woman is the glory of man."
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Thank you ______ for this testimony of motherhood... I had similar thoughts of the "pain in childbirth" part of the curse until this past year.
Even after I realized that the whole pregnancy was included in "childbirth," I think I still thought that once I got through labor and delivery, I would be done with the pain of childbearing. Almost every day, I realize how wrong that is, but I started to learn that lesson in my first days after delivery...
Wow! As obvious as it may seem, it takes one's body a while to recover from the trauma of the "increased pain in childbirth" which, for some reason, I was unprepared for. I discovered there's a reason for church people bringing meals for your family, and it's not just because of tiredness from late-night feedings!
Then there's nursing which I'd mostly only heard women talk of as a sweet bonding experience that they didn't want to let go of. I'll just say it took a while to become even close to "a sweet bonding experience" and leave it at that.
But what I'm learning day by day, now that most of the physical pain really is behind me, is that the scope of the "pain in childbirth" is so much wider than physical pain. It includes fear for your child... It includes heart pain each time your child cries and you don't know how to comfort him. And it's compounded when you begin to realize that one day, it won't be the mere physical pain of gas bubbles that you can't relieve, but the pains of living in this fallen, sinful world and sinning and being sinned against. It's the pain of knowing that one day we will have to say goodbye and let our little ones go. And it's even the pain of desiring more little ones, combined with the fear of going through the physical pain again, which many, many of us deal with.
Still, after coming up with an exhaustive list of the "pain of childbirth" (which I haven't done), it's such a joy to remember the grace of God Who does not give us more than we can bear.
So, I echo you in your closing sentence, thanking God for giving us strength to endure. And I remember that "those He loves He chastises." And I praise Him that He uses all these things to draw us to Himself.
What sheer joy to remember, when I'm tempted to despair in the face of the struggles, that God's very Son came and died that this curse might one day be abolished.
What a mighty, merciful God we serve!
And so we end where we began, "Behold,the handmaiden of the Lord." May God give us grace that our daughters will echo the words.