Tract: The High Calling of
By Walter J. Chantry
women will be saved through childbirth, if they continue in faith,
love and holiness with propriety." (1 Tim 2:15)
generation has highlighted the oppression of women. The symptoms are
not difficult to identify. Women have too often been held in contempt.
Large numbers of them have been subjected to verbal, social and
physical abuses. Women's magazines and social activists have pointed
the finger at very serious ill-treatments which subject multitudes to
has little difficulty describing the quandary of women. But it has
completely mistaken the root cause. Consequently, women are being
offered a faulty solution to their real troubles. False diagnosis
usually leads to improper measures of correction. In this case the
cure proposed by the world simply compounds female misery.
to popular assumption, the Bible has a number of things to say very
directly about this issue: Paul, in 1 Timothy 2:11-15, alludes to the
plight of woman. He suggests that she needs to be saved (verse 15).
This cannot mean salvation from sin and God's everlasting wrath. In
this context Paul joins salvation to childbearing. He must have in
view a deliverance from some other extremity. In fact he is referring
to the circumstantial calamities which attend a woman's life. In the
passage Paul gives a solution. His views are not simply a parroting of
the social philosophy current in his own age. Under divine inspiration
he wrote not a private opinion but the very Word of God. CREATION AND
FALL "Women's rights" proponents become livid when God's directives to
women are read to them from this passage: "A woman should learn in
quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or
have authority over a man, she must be silent" (vv. 11-12). "That is
the very cause of woman's distress", they tell us. "She has been
subject to man. We must go directly to the source of grief. Liberate
woman from man's dominance".
Apostle Paul vigorously disagrees. Woman's problem is not her social
position of subordination to man. That is not her trouble.
Apostle Paul first notes the reasons why full submission to man is
expected of woman:
was formed first, then Eve" (verse 13). Man existed before woman.
Woman was taken out of man. This priority of man to woman and the
derivation of woman from man were not incidental details of creation.
They were intended to establish human social order. Woman was made for
the man [Gen
2:18]. She was formed to fill the role of a help suited to the
Paradise, Eve found perfect happiness for a time in a
role which was supportive of man in a social position which was
subject to him.
griefs, therefore, are not the consequence of her social rank but a
direct result of the fall. The experience of being subject to a
sin-filled husband is not identical to submission under innocent Adam.
It is sin in the man which makes him thoughtless of woman and abusive
toward her. Sin in woman spawns discontent with even legitimate and
ideal treatment in her true role. Satan was the serpent who brought
every sting of displeasure to the woman.
Apostle Paul then reminds women of the history of the Fall:
the reason for the curse which they feel so keenly. "And Adam was not
the one deceived; it was the woman who was decieved and became a
sinner" (v14). Scripture is not here heaping all of the blame of this
world's suffering and confusion on woman. If anything, man is more
directly incriminated. But Paul does expect woman to understand her
share of the responsibility in the Fall which has ever since plagued
not deceived. This does not clear man of all responsibility in the
tragedies which have haunted the human race. Adam walked into the evil
rebellion against God with his eyes wide open. He took the fruit from
Eve with no false illusions. His was the deeper sin. He transgressed
fully knowing what he was about. But Eve was duped by Satan. She had
"the wool pulled over her eyes". There is generally in the female
constitution a confiding simplicity (which can become gullibility).
This characteristic perfectly suits her to the role of help-for-man
just as God had designed. There is in this constitutional difference
of woman from man a beauty which defines feminity and is attractive to
Apostle Paul's chief reason for directing woman's attention to her
deception in the Fall was not to "rub it in". It was to reinforce the
necessity of her being subject to man. The Fall with all of its
consequences harmful to woman did not arise from her being subject to
man. The exact opposite is the case! When she abandoned her role of
submission to Adam, and decided to take matters into her own hands,
the Fall came! Eve determined to lead man rather than follow. She
became a temptress instead of a help. Stepping out of her God-given
place and rebelling against the divinely instituted social order, she
brought the world - and womanhood - to ruin. She is not a poor
innocent victim of resulting desolations. Woman under the influence of
Satan is the perpetrator of them all. Her restless defiance of man's
authority is at the crux of human calamity!
world's opinion is that there should be no distiction between man and
woman in the social order. If only woman were emancipated from man's
rule, her suffering would cease! Such an analysis indicts God's
creation order and his post-garden directives as the culprits in
woman's distress. God's Word cites the precise opposite as the cause
of her trouble. This is no mere academic matter. Woman's liberation
from oppression and suffering depends upon finding measures which
correct the root of the malady. If the disease is fed instead of
combated, her last end will be doubly wretched.
Apostle Paul does not abandon woman with an indication that her misery
is self-inflicted. A promise is given from the Most High: "But women
will be saved" (v15). This is not a text on remission of sins but
deliverance out of sin-related suffering and oppression. Woman will
triumph over and emerge from the misery and curse under which she is
held by forces of evil.
are women saved? By their joining militant organisations which demand
rights equal to man's? By proving that women can "make it" in the
world of business, politics, sports, and even the pastorate? By
escaping from home where she has been buried in obscurity and where so
many evils have been perpetrated by abusive husbands? Never! That
approach only institutionalises her rebellion against her God-given
pathway to real salvation was appointed by the Almighty. It is
motherhood. "She shall be saved through childbirth" (v15). The first
gospel promise was given before any curse was pronounced on man or
woman. And the promise wonderfully involved the means of motherhood.
"I will put enmity between you [the serpent] and the woman, and
between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will
strike his heel" [Gen 3:5]. God our Maker would not allow the human
race to perish. Now that Adam and Eve had sinned and Paradise was
shattered, the only hope lay in God himself. "I will" is the message
of grace. One means was mentioned as the instrumental course of
salvation from the devil's clutches. It was childbearing! Deliverance
comes, not through man's vocational efforts in the cultural mandate,
but through woman's childbearing. How wrong women are when they
imagine that their hope lies in imitating men's careers. As they
abandon motherhood for the office and factory, they despise God's
carefully designed means of breaking the devil's yoke and fleeing the
miseries he has inflicted.
It is to
woman, not man, that God assigned this high calling. But her hope is
not identified with her political savvy, her business acumen, or her
social activism. It is in childbearing! Women today are so eager to
abandon "mere" motherhood to duplicate male labours. How tragic, when
the hope God has given woman and for all of our race is tied to
childbearing! Of course the central attention of Genesis
3:15 is upon one seed of the woman, Jesus
Christ. He who was born of the Jewess, Mary, delivered the decisive
death blow to the head of the serpent on
He purchased salvation for all who are redeemed.
before Christ came, a godly seed of the woman was set against Satanic
forces. Childbearing prepared the way of the Lord. When about to raise
up mighty leaders, Jehovah God, often sought out peculiarly able
women. Jochebed, the mother of Moses; Hannah, mother of Samuel;
Manoah's wife, mother of Samson, are leading examples. Through their
childbearing the course of history was wonderfully altered. Since
Christ has come, a godly seed carries the gospel to all the earth to
gather God's elect and hasten Christ's return. Raising a godly seed is
still of the profoundest importance to the cause of God in the earth.
at once that the most profound work of the ages - God's work of grace
- is directly related to motherhood. Appreciating God's purpose, "Adam
named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the
3:20]. Today, through contraceptives and abortions, women can
avoid the "nuisance" of having children. Using these means, they are
free to seek what they think are higher and more noble callings. What
relief to the forces of darkness! Nothing crushes the cause of sin
like godly childbearing.
obvious that more is intended by "childbearing" than the physical
process of conceiving, carrying a child in the womb, and bringing him
into the world, but mothering that person is assumed. More is
expressly stated by Paul. "Women will be saved through childbirth, if
they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety" [1Tim 2:15].
Conscientious motherhood cannot follow the selfish pattern of having a
child only to send him off as soon as possible to a day-care centre.
Of course, at times this is essential for survival! But at other times
it is produced by a selfish interest in one's own career or in
acquiring more wealth. Women want to get on to more exciting things.
This low view of a mother's task is damaging the church.
saved out of homes in which parents did not care for their children.
These have lived useful lives for the Lord. But most of the greatest
servants of God who have dealt the mightiest blows to Satan's kingdom
were raised in stable homes. It is almost always a mother who makes it
stable. Today nothing can replace the care and training of a faithful
mother. Those who lack this blessing in their childhood carry a burden
throughout life. Emotional scars and character flaws from mother's
neglect are handicaps in serving the Lord. Even grace at conversion
does not eliminate these liabilities.
sets its wares before women: Look at the money you can make! A pay-cheque
is an immediate and tangible reward for labour. Look at the influence
and respect you can command in a successful career! There is fun and
excitement in the work world - the social stimulation of interesting
people, the excitement of travel, the glamour of attention from
others, the intellectual challenges, and so on. But in reality these
often prove to be the baubles of Vanity Fair.
assigned a nobler work to woman than merely to parallel man's
activities. There is no more pitiful person in the world than the
woman who "has it all together" in business but whose family has
fallen apart. She is the epitome of energy, organization, talent, and
efficiency - only her children have not turned out well.
Loneliness and non-recognition attend motherhood for a time. But that
is the perspective of this world only. How does the Judge compare the
socialite, the dynamic business "success" in comparison with the
mother who is selflessly training children with an eye of faith fixed
on a spiritual kingdom and her hope firmly fixed upon the Lord? Some
will think this is an emotional appeal to put women down once again.
Rather, it is a conviction that many women have abandoned their
highest dignity and hope for lesser things.
involved in motherhood? After birth pangs bring children into this
world, there come years of life pangs. It is a mother's task and
privilege to oversee the forging of a personality in her sons and
daughters. For this she must set a tone in the home which builds
strong character. Hers it is to take great Christian principles and
practically apply them in every-day affairs - doing it simply and
naturally. It is her responsibility to analyse each child mentally,
physically, socially, spiritually. Talents are to be developed,
virtues must be instilled, faults are to be patiently corrected, young
sinners are to be evangelized. She is building men and women for God.
Results may not be visible until she has labored for fifteen or twenty
years. Even when her task ends the true measure of her work awaits the
full maturity of her children. Moses would be much more than an
Egyptian rebel and an obscure shepherd, but Jochebed would not live to
observe the consequences of her motherhood.
godly mother is to succeed at this task, she must be a woman filled
with faith, love and holiness. These must not be occasional, but
consistent qualities of life [1 Tim
2:15]. It is no wonder that women spurn this
task, preferring the halls of government, the materialistic empire or
the busy office. There is no more demanding work in all the world, no
more awe-inspiring job-description than raising a godly seed! It will
challenge all the genius, talent, and grace that any human being could
possess. Should women be educated? Assuredly the moral educators,
psychologists, spiritual shepherds, and advisers of future generations
must be well-trained!
hope, the church's hope, the world's hope is joined to childbearing
with continuance in faith, love and holiness. Young women, here is a
life-long calling! It is the highest any woman can enter. There is
much more to it than the worldly images. Take it seriously and God
will bless the generation to come.
it spiritually and the Lord will give you the liberation you desire.
Some day the glamour girls who leave their children in a nursery will
reap their reward. They will sit in their plush houses holding fat
bank accounts and will look with envy at a godly seed.
why Proverbs 10:1 tells those who are children that "A foolish son is
the heaviness of his mother". Immorality is a public shame to the
mother of one who breaks God's law. Her whole life was devoted to
raising her son and daughter. Father has a career as well as a home.
But all of mother's eggs have been placed in one basket. Motherhood
could not be a part-time hobby. If you become a fool, you will break
your mother's heart. Godly women do not live for kisses and nice
little gifts, but to see their children walking with the Lord in
righteousness. All of a godly woman's hopes in this world are bound up
with the children of her motherhood.
the most encouraging signs in our age is an increasing number of young
women who aspire to being godly. They are serious about motherhood.
They have ordered their priorities biblically and already demonstrate
the traits of faith, love and holiness. But they will come under
fierce attacks. "Feminist" literature will belittle them as doing
nothing significant. As sacrifices mount, temptations will increase to
fall in with the world's system.
Young men, to follow the Lord fully your wife will need to be reminded
that you share her vision for pleasing God through rearing a family.
You must let her know that you admire her labors in motherhood. And
churches must combat the deluge of worldly propaganda. They must
continually hold out the biblical ideal of women's service to God and
humanity in childbirth, and continuance in faith, love, and holiness.
In due time faithful mothers will have the seal of God blessing on