Monday, 28 March 2011

Wombs and Warfare

This might not seem like what you want to think about on a Monday morning. Then again it might kick start your week in all kinds of ways! Ch 3 is titled 'Conception, Pregnancy, Childbirth'. 

I have not read or thought a lot about these things beyond going through the births of our two children with Jane. We will have been married 10 years in the summer. Our oldest is 2. And we are grateful. Very. 

I found this chapter clear, compassionate and very sensible. Surprising too. So, this lovely quote kicks us off:
When women are talking babies they are talking shop. (p21)
But quickly the big theme of the chapter is hit on ... that therefore this is an area of great temptation in this way: 
It is only natural that they develop strong opinions about nearly everything having to do with conception, pregnancy, childbirth and child care.... When women have strong opinions about the many issues surrounding the bearing and rearing of children, they can cause division and disputation in the church. This should not be. (p21)
She highlights these texts: 1 Timothy 4:7 & 1 Timothy 1:4 & 2 Timothy 4:4 & 1 Timothy 2:14 & 5:13

This chapter if full of some very good material on conception, family planning, on being unable to conceive, on not being married at all, as well as some gutsy talk about childbirth itself. 
I'll leave it there I think ... except to post the 'warrior woman' poem she quotes by Anne Bradstreet
Before the Birth of One of Her Children 
All things within this fading world hath end,
Adversity doth still our joys attend;
No ties so strong, no friends so dear and sweet,
But with death's parting blow are sure to meet.
The sentence past is most irrevocable,
A common thing, yet oh, inevitable.  
How soon, my Dear, death may my steps attend,
How soon't may be thy lot to lose thy friend, 
We both are ignorant, yet love bids me
These farewell lines to recommend to thee,
That when the knot's untied that made us one, 
I may seem thine, who in effect am none. 
And if I see not half my days that's due, 
What nature would, God grant to yours and you; 
The many faults that well you know I have 
Let be interred in my oblivious grave; 
If any worth or virtue were in me, 
Let that live freshly in thy memory 
And when thou feel'st no grief, as I no harmes, 
Yet love thy dead, who long lay in thine arms, 
And when thy loss shall be repaid with gains 
Look to my little babes, my dear remains. 
And if thou love thyself, or loved'st me, 
These O protect from stepdame's injury. 
And if chance to thine eyes shall bring this verse, 
With some sad sighs honor my absent hearse; 
And kiss this paper for thy dear love's sake,  
Who with salt tears this last farewell did take
Low mortality in childbirth is God’s goodness to us! Of course how we so often treat the unborn is another matter. 

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