The abortion issue has brought into focus the uniqueness of women who are willing to be mothers today compared to 50 years ago. In 2023, many women consider the demands of motherhood to be excessive. Trans advocates are pushing girls to become boys so they do not have to go through childbirth and motherhood. People are correct in saying that women have often been unfairly treated by denying them equal pay or job opportunities. However, abortion is a different issue because it involves another life.
From a scientific and medical standpoint, when a baby is conceived, it is a human being. A woman’s choice has allowed the baby to come into existence. People obey or disobey God’s moral instructions by choice, and whether the baby is allowed to live is another moral choice. Our culture faces a significant moral decision. Will we allow humans to destroy another human whose existence causes unwanted demands?
Abortion rights advocates campaign on the idea that a woman has the right to choose what to do with her body. They consider pregnancy as just a change in her body, not the production of another human being. However, morning sickness and microchimerism clearly indicate that the baby is not just an extension of her body. (We have discussed microchimerism before HERE and HERE.)
A major point often overlooked in the abortion debate is that having a baby and being a mother are two different things. My first wife was a great mother but never experienced a pregnancy. Some have said that a mother has less pain in having a baby than in raising one. As adoptive parents of three wonderful children, we went through the pain of raising children and did so joyously. There are scores of women in today’s world who are willing to be mothers and desire to take on the role, but for physical reasons, like my wife, are unable to become pregnant.
In 1 Timothy 2:15, Paul addresses the significant role uniquely available to most women: “Yet she will be saved through child-bearing…” Timothy was a great ambassador of God because his mother, Eunice, and grandmother, Lois, raised him in God’s Word. Of course, a woman can be of great service in other capacities if she chooses, and the Bible is full of examples of such women. However, being a mother and raising children who will positively change the world is what Mother’s Day is all about. Unfortunately, in today’s world, fewer women are willing to be mothers, so we thank God for women of faith who accept and carry out that responsibility.
I would like to be a mother. I can’t imagine the joy of motherhood bringing a new life into the world, nurturing that child and watching her or him grow into a productive adult. I want to be a mother very badly, but I don’t have the equipment to do that.
Yesterday we talked about how atheists and feminists try to vilify Christ and Christianity by suggesting that the Bible treats women as second-class citizens. However, Christ and His apostles treated women as equals. (See John 4 and Galatians 3:26-29.) The passage the atheists point out is 1 Timothy 2:9-15. That passage tells us that women can be saved in childbirth. In other words that role is so important that being a mother can be an opportunity to fulfill an incredible role that God has made available. Women don’t have to accept that role, but it is available. No matter how badly I want to be a mother, it simply isn’t possible.
A woman can accept the role of being a mother, but men have no way to choose that role. In the spiritual realm, God has given men a role. Just like the baseball team, having the male lead the family spiritually doesn’t diminish the value of a woman any more than being a first baseman diminishes the value of a catcher. A woman’s worth is not diminished by allowing her husband to fulfill his role as a leader in worship.
Unfortunately, most men are not up to fulfilling the role of being the spiritual leader of the family. Frequently women have to step in and help when the male refuses or is unable to fill the role. A first baseman can fill in for a catcher, but that is certainly not the way the roles are assigned or work their best.
Tomorrow is “Mother’s Day,” and we have some thoughts on women and motherhood.
We are seeing a new aggressiveness on the part of atheists and feminists to vilify Christ and Christianity. Feminists take passages like 1 Timothy 2:9-15 to suggest that Christians make women second class citizens. Atheist speakers like Richard Dawkins attack the Bible saying it is one of the most misogynistic (hating women) books ever written. The truth is that Jesus and the teachings of the Apostles were centuries ahead of the secular world in treating and presenting women as equal to men in every way.
It is essential to look at the example that Jesus set in his interactions with women, such as the Samaritan woman in John 4. There was great animosity between the Jewish culture and the Samaritans. John 4:9 reminds us of this when Jesus speaks to the woman, and she responds, “How is it that you, being a Jew, ask me a Samaritan woman for a drink of water?” She is both a hated Samaritan and a woman who in that misogynistic culture was indeed a second class citizen. The passage even adds, “for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.” When the disciples of Jesus show up in verse 27 “they marveled that He talked with the woman.” Jesus not only talks with her, but He stays in the Samaritan city for two days.
Jesus treated women as equals, and they worked with Him in His ministry. (See Luke 8:1-4.) The Apostles taught that men and women were equals. Galatians 3:26-29 tells the Christians of their day and ours, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither bond nor free, there can be neither male nor female for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
The passage in 1 Timothy 2:9-15 has to do with roles. We need to understand that equality does not mean sameness. As an example, is everyone on a baseball team equal? The answer to that question is undoubtedly “Yes, they are equal.” The catcher has a different role than the pitcher, and the first baseman is different from either of them. They are all essential and equal. They have different roles and even different equipment, but all of them are critical to the success of the team.
Today is Mother’s Day, and while the Bible does not command us to have a special day in honor of women, much of the biblical narrative is about women of faith, their qualities, and how God blessed them. Here are some examples:
A WOMAN WHO WAS HEALED. Mark 5:25-34.
Here was a woman who was unclean according to Leviticus 15. She knew she needed help from God because doctors had done nothing but take her money. She was able to get past legalism and religious prejudice and make her faith work to affect a healing. Jesus calls her ”daughter” in verse 34–a title He never used of any other woman.
A CANAANITE WOMAN WHOSE CHILD WAS HEALED. Matthew 15:21-28.
This was the only time Jesus went outside of Palestine. Like the Samaritan woman of John 4 she was persistent and got past nationalism and religious prejudice even though the disciples tried to send her away (verse 23). This woman wouldn’t give up, and neither should we. She was satisfied with “crumbs” because she knew what was really important.
THE WOMAN WHO KNEW FORGIVENESS. Luke 7:36-50
She knew where to go to get spiritual help. She was prepared to reach out and honor God (verse 37). She sought forgiveness according to God’s plan. She stood behind Jesus showing respect. She wept showing repentance, and she showed humility by kissing his feet. She showed honor by anointing with oil.