Women, when you wake up in the morning, are you ready to take on your curse-ravaged homes?
To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”
But women will be saved through childbearing – if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.
1 Timothy 2:15
Kim Ransleben wrote an article for Desiring God blog (John Piper’s baby) entitled, “When Women Face Their Cursed-Ravaged Homes”. The article makes me question which is cursed-ravaged, the home or the woman’s body as an “earthly home?” By using 1 Timothy 2:15 as the key verse for the post, I would have gone with the latter explanation for the article. But then in reading on, the meaning was lost on me and all was blurry. Here is the gist of the article:
1. Relationships (spouse, children and friendships) are painful.
2. Women grow weary and seek escape outside the home.
3. By reading stories of women in the Bible, we can gain strength to keep on going.
4. The Gospel turns us back to our homes.
I’m still confused. Who, or what, is exactly cursed? How exactly does “the Gospel” turn us back to our homes?
The author mentions the curse placed upon Eve in Genesis 3:
Paul knew that in mentioning Adam, Eve, and childbearing in the context of this verse, he would call to mind that very real curse from Genesis 3. Yet here he isn’t condemning us by that curse, but is telling us that the very area of the woman’s curse is now one of the most powerful tools in our sanctification.
Here I assume she is talking about woman, as a person, being cursed; the specific curse placed on woman. However, at the end of the article she says,
As we embrace our calling to face our curse-ravaged homes with hope, we will find ourselves overflowing that same faith and love for a world desperately in need of it.
Now I’m wondering if she is talking about the home-life being cursed due to dealing with difficult relationships and women wanting more in life.
“Being a life-giver and a most suitable helper is wearying work.” Kim Ransleben
When I read the author’s bio, I noticed that she is a curriculum writer and Bible study teacher. Her article, however, gives us no indication that she did any exegetical study on this verse. Simple questions such as, “Who is the audience this author is writing to?” and “What are the cultural issues Timothy is dealing with?” are essential in Bible study. I read it more as “women’s lives are nothing but cursed, so pull yourself up by your bootstraps and quit your whining for something better.”
The final advice that bothers me is:
Turn your heart back to your family, back to childrearing, back to the place of our sanctification.
Family and childrearing is not a woman’s place of sanctification. If that is the case, then there are many women that I know and love who are not sanctified because they either choose to not have children or they are physically unable to. But, I’m sure Piper and his crew would have something to say about that.
Honestly, something didn’t sit right with me when I first read this article, and as I write this, I’m struggling to figure out exactly what bothers me. How does this article sit with you? What are your thoughts?
photo credit: taken by Kathi at Sistine Chapel