Addressing the Fear That Surrounds Childbirth.
Every woman alive, single or married, likely has had fear of childbirth in some form or another. Fear is natural with the thought of pain or of the unknown, but often it can turn into morbid fear that paralyzes us. Although we are subject to natural fears of this fallen world, we should not be in bondage to them. It is my desire to not only encourage women in birthing babies but also to encourage them to live in the reality of the truth. God is the standard of all truth and without Him we have no firm foundation on which to stand. I love the Creator and I believe He has the answers to all our fears.
What drives the fear behind birthing babies? When I break down all the details involved in birth, I have come to see three root causes.
Fear of pain.
Fear of injury.
Fear of death.
How does faith in God address fear of pain? Pain is sometimes bad, but sometimes it is not. Pain can help to protect us or alert us that something is wrong. Pain is a result of the fall of humanity, but as Christ has come to redeem us in all things, this includes the pain in childbirth. It has been analyzed that the pain and hard work of childbirth bonds you to your baby. Pain in childbirth is not pain of injury as if something is broken. It’s pain with a purpose! When you run a marathon, you’re going to have pain because you’re working your body very hard. Labor is your body working hard to bring your baby into the world. Muscles are contracting and moving, pelvis is shifting and cervix is opening. God designed the process of birth and it is quite an amazing miracle when you think about how your body can do such a thing. As a Christian, we can see and believe that pain is allowed and governed by our loving Savior who also suffered much pain while on earth. His pain far surpasses any pain that we could ever feel. There is comfort in that. He knows exactly all about the pain of childbirth. He is near and with you in it. You can rest in Him. He will provide you strength. The scriptures speak so often of God’s strength and how He is there for us to rely on. Fight the fear of pain by remembering it’s your body working to bring your baby into the world. Fight the fear of pain by trusting Jesus in it, realizing it’s only for a moment in time and for a great reward…a sweet precious baby.
How does faith in God address fear of injury? Injury with ourselves or our babies is a possibility in childbirth, therefore we need to look at it, but in a rational way. All humans live every day with the possibility of injury. Again, we live in a fallen world and we look for a new world and the restoration of all things, but it’s not yet. As a Christian, we live under the sovereign guidance of our loving Father. What He allows for our lives is always right. Romans 8:28 may not be comfortable or without pain, but always right. Along the way, we are not without His comfort and help. 2 Cor. 1:3-5 We also need to remember that God did not give us these amazing bodies to be placed high up on a shelf, dusted and kept safe to be admired like a trophy. He means for us to use these bodies and trust Him with the outcome. The flesh we live in is not forever. As Christians, we are subjects of a very real Kingdom and He who sits upon the throne is ruling and reigning with wisdom, love and all knowledge. We can trust Him with our bodies. But you can’t trust someone you don’t know. Fight the fear of injury by knowing Him. Soak yourself in Scripture. The more you read about Christ, the more you will know and trust Him. Search out His promises and cling to them. Write them on your walls and hide them in your heart. Remember, He designed your body for this, but if injury does come to us or our babies, we have a hope. A hope that is steadfast and sure! 1 Peter 2:6
How does faith in God address fear of death? Perhaps this is the hardest of all fears associated with childbirth. As Americans, we have grown up with the mindset that life is meant to be golden and the American dream is the ultimate. We are greatly affected by our environment. We are surrounded by comfort and wealth on every side. Comfortable living often dims our eyes to the reality of death in this fallen world, but yet death still remains to be reckoned with. We all have an appointment with death. When dealing with the reality of death, we must first share the bad news before we can share the good news. Much like you first need to know you have cancer in order to understand why you need the cure. So, to begin we must each ask the question, “What happens after I die?” the Bible says that “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement.” One day we will stand before God, and be held accountable to His holy law. How well have you kept His holy law? The Scriptures say there is none good and that all have sinned.
Sin is rebellion against God and His truth. We have broken His laws and we are all guilty. We have lied, lusted, stolen, cheated, hated, committed fornication and adultery either in the mind or in action. We have been full of pride, selfishness, envy, greed and self-righteousness. We also have been obsessed with materialism and love of the world with no love for God or others. We are simply guilty. We are not good.
On judgment day, if God were to judge us by the standards of His law, would we be innocent or guilty? Would we go to Heaven or Hell? The Bible says that we would be guilty, and that means eternity in Hell.
See, the world is in bondage to the fear of death because of sin. We are all guilty and we know it. Sin brought death into the world because it is the penalty of breaking God’s laws. . . if God is a just God and cares about justice, then sin must be punished.
Now here is the good news!
God, the just Judge of the universe, is also rich in mercy. He sent His Son Jesus to suffer and die on the cross and take the full punishment for sin, then rose from the dead… showing the penalty fully paid! God commands you to repent and put your faith in Jesus alone for salvation. Repentance means a change of mind. It’s when you change your mind about your sin, begin to hate it and realize your need for a Savior. Don’t just believe in Jesus – trust in Him, like you would trust in a parachute to save you. You don’t just believe in a parachute, you put your trust in it by putting it on! That’s what you must do with the Savior. Cry out to God, confessing and forsaking your sins. Trust in what Jesus did for salvation, not in your own good deeds. You can not save yourself. You are not good enough. Trying to do good things will not save you. Going to church will not save you. He has paid your sin debt for you, took the punishment that you deserved and offers you forgiveness and eternal life forever with Him. Christ promises a new heart with new desires.
This is where the Christian faith makes the most difference in life. In all of life, including childbirth.
Death has been defeated in Christ.
This simple statement makes all the difference and we need to be living in the reality of that statement every day of our lives.
Death is a reality.
How should we respond? With truth!
Christ came to defeat sin and death for us. Therefore, we have no fear. We are free!!
“Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” John 6:29
“And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:40
If in childbirth we die, or our baby dies, hope remains. We are simply going home to be with our King. For Christians, death is not the end, only the beginning, and herein is where our hope ultimately lies, because eternal life with Christ is ours.
“Never fear dying, beloved. Dying is the last, but the least matter that a Christian has to be anxious about. Fear living -that is a hard battle to fight, a stern discipline to endure, a rough voyage to undergo.“ -C. H. Spurgeon
So, why do we still feel the sharp pang of fear of death from time to time?
Either we have no faith or our faith is weak.
We are not resting in Jesus and trusting that what He said is true. He is alive and He did not lie.
I hope with all my heart that these thoughts on fear of childbirth may be an encouragement to you. Often the question comes to my mind, “Are we going to live like Jesus told the truth or not?” If He was a liar, forget Him. But if He told the truth, and I believe he did, we must trust and cling to Him for there is no one else to trust. May we all let our sinfulness and weakness drive us to Christ, for there, we will find sweet rest.
Never forget, every child in the womb is a beautiful blessing that God has given. Of course the enemy of our soul wants us to cave to morbid fear of birthing something so beautiful and sweet as a darling newborn baby.