As our baby’s birthday looms larger on the horizon, I’ve been trying to order my thoughts about childbirth and make sense of how to have a biblical view on the subject.

There’s not a lot written from a Christian perspective when it comes to the topic of birth, which is unfortunate because it’s an amazing time for women to see the power of God at work in their lives. Instead of setting our gaze on Christ as we nurture a new life and prepare to welcome them into the world, we’re encouraged by worldly voices to look inside ourselves.

The topic of childbirth generally separates people into one of two camps: a mainstream medical approach, or a “crunchy” natural approach. While they seem very different, they boil down to the same basic focus because the culture we live in prizes self-fulfillment. People are obsessed with themselves, and make decisions based on how they will benefit.

Some think they’ll get the best experience from a painless delivery with an epidural, and some think they’ll get the best experience in an unmedicated environment without intervention.

I’m not here to argue the merits of either approach. It ultimately doesn’t matter.

Whatever approach I take, if my approach to birth is centred on me, I’ve missed the mark. It doesn’t come down to medical or natural – that should not be the measuring stick of success. A Christian’s philosophy of birth can land in either camp, but there’s more to consider.

I’m not the hero of the birth of my children, God is. Birth shouldn’t be focused on self, because childbirth is not about me. The purpose of my life is to bring Jesus glory.

Consequently, that means the purpose of the birth of my children is to bring Jesus glory.

My life as a Christian is shaped by the gospel of Jesus. Confessing Jesus as Lord means he has authority over me, and I want to live differently because of who he is and what he has done. Knowing God and being known by him is not an ethereal idea that has no practical application. My theology must have an effect on my everyday life, otherwise it’s not much use.

So here are few principles that I feel give practical application to living out my faith in Jesus Christ as a pregnant and soon to be labouring woman.

We are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:13-14)

My baby has been forming and growing over the past 9 months, no thanks to anything I do. The eyes of the Lord are on every unborn child, overseeing the microscopic details of their growth and development. He knits them together with wisdom and love.

My body was designed to nurture the life of each precious child God ordains to grow in my womb. It was designed to give birth: the Creator of the universe created my body for the task. Childbirth is a normal part of life that has been happening since Eve gave birth to Cain. The female body did not evolve to obtain this ability, it was purposely made for it.

The world is corrupted by sin. (Romans 5:12)

The world we live in is not as it should be. The curse of sin, brought on by the rebellion of mankind, has made what should be a perfect place very imperfect. Bad things happen because of the corruption of sin. People get sick, and in childbirth, I know that things can go wrong. My hope is not in a philosophy of birth, but in God.

I don’t trust birth: I trust Jesus.

Giving birth is painful and joyous. (John 16:21)

Birth is not easy: it is difficult and strenuous. It takes work, but it is work that women are capable of. Jesus talks about a woman giving birth being filled with sorrow and experiencing anguish because her hour has come, yet this sorrow is quickly forgotten in the wake of the joy that comes when a baby is born. He compares this to the sorrow we experience as we wait for his second coming, and the joy we will one day know when he returns. How amazing is it that he allows us to experience this comparison to the joy that is coming our way?!

I am commanded not to fear. (Psalm 27:1, John 14:27)

The Bible is filled with commands not to fear, and declarations that we have nothing to fear because the Lord is on our side. When I consider the God I worship, knowing his steadfast love and faithfulness, I know that I have nothing to fear when the time comes to give birth. He made me, he is with me, he won’t leave me, and I have nothing to fear.

God is sovereign over all things. (Proverbs 19:21, Ephesians 1:11)

The God of the universe holds my life, and the life of my unborn child, in his hands. He determines the day a child will enter the world, the circumstances surrounding their birth, and their health when they are born. He is sovereign over every detail. It is God who gives life and sustains it. He numbers our days and has determined when our baby will be born.

Birth is often referred to as an empowering experience. I disagree. There’s no goddess hidden inside me, waiting to show her strength. Instead, I believe birth is humbling. I am a weak woman loved by an amazing God, who welcomes me into the miracle of bringing new life into this world. He is glorified in the welcoming of new life, because he’s the one who makes it happen. We get to be along for the journey and marvel that he would allow us to experience the joy of it all.

The purpose of birth is not to make me amazed at my abilities and my strength to get through such a physically demanding and painful experience; it’s to put me in awe of my Saviour, and cause me to worship the one who endured more pain and suffering than I can imagine so that he could bring his people into new life.

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