Losing the forest for the trees...

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In response to the post "The death of motherhood..." in which I cited 1Timothy 2:15 ("Yet woman will be saved through bearing children, if she continues in faith and love and holiness, with modesty."), some have asked how 1Timothy 2:15 applies to men, fathers, singles, or barren wives? To which I respond:

First, it is Scripture that declares woman will be saved through childbearing. How and in what ways is debatable, but the statement is there.

May men be saved?

Of course—the Apostle Paul was a man and he was saved. May single women be saved? Of course. Childless wives? Of course.

Those who do not bear children, whether men or women, are not saved through the bearing of children, but this does not mean they aren't saved because they don't bear children. There are many means of grace.

But what about married women who are fertile and wholly or partially repudiate childbearing? Are they saved through childbearing?

It might be better to ask whether their repudiation of childbearing is rebellion against God and places their souls in jeopardy? The answer is...


I think this is the point of the post: that women who are married and repudiate motherhood in part or wholly thereby repudiate one of the central means of God's grace to woman. And repudiation matters.

So what about single women or barren wives?

God has other means to accomplish His work with them, but we must get our minds off this modern morbid habit of sacrificing the normal on the altar of the abnormal. The norm for women is marriage and fertility—not singleness and barrenness—and here in 1Timothy 2:15, God has addressed the normal. Not the abnormal.

What place does fatherhood have in God's plan for the salvation of man? I don't mean to be nasty, but can't we listen to 1Timothy 2:15 without having to move off it because postmodern victims whine about how it makes them feel to be excluded? There's a time and place for everyone in God's economy, but the barren, the single and childless, and men are not here addressed. Save them for another text and another discussion so this text may be burned into our minds. Otherwise we never learn the rule because we're always sidelining the rule with demands that the rule take a back seat to the exception to the rule.

You see, whenever we come to a text of Scripture and protest its specificities by asking, "But what about ME" or "What about HIM or HER," our complaint that God has excluded this or that person in the specificity of this text, here, is just the old postmodern ploy of demanding that God repent of all those distinctions He has made and called "good." Man or woman, married or single, fertile or barren, black or white, rich or poor, church member or officer, saved or damned, Heaven or Hell; postmoderns sneer at such "binary" or "dualistic" categories and thinking.

So again, back to the actual words God inspired here: married or single women giving themselves to the bearing and raising of children should take comfort from this Scripture promise rather than feeling guilty that their single and/or childless sister in Christ is excluded.

Let us keep in mind that the essence of God's decrees is that most will be excluded based on His perfect will:

(Jesus said) Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. - Matthew 7:13, 14

Do we love the doctrine of election and reprobation?

If we love the God Who decrees all things according to His holy will, we will love His predestination to eternal life and foreordination to damnation and Hell. Everything He does is perfect and we love Him with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength.

But what about my much-loved yet unbelieving brother or son?

(Jesus said) If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. - Luke 14:26

It is not heartless to answer, "Do you love God and hate your family or do you love your family and hate God?"

You respond, "But why should I hate my brother?"

Because our love for God and His ways is to be all-consuming. We must not think we are nicer than God.

No question prayer is a means of grace. No question a man's work tilling the soil is a means of God's grace. No question single and childless women are saved by other means than the bearing of children. No question a marriage that is childless is still a marriage. No question men are saved, too, although they can't bear children (yet).

But back to 1Timothy 2:15:

Yet woman will be saved through bearing children, if she continues in faith and love and holiness, with modesty. - 1Timothy 2:15 (RSV)

What are we willing to say to our Christian sisters who are living a life of repudiation of this means of grace God lovingly declares in this verse—that is the place for us to focus our attention rather than allowing compassion for those suffering under abnormalities to gag this blessed truth.

Hope this longer response was helpful, dear sister.


PS: I'm placing this as a main post, so please comment under the post, if you'd like.

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and big lots of grandchildren.

Want to get in touch? Send Tim an email!