Live Like a King

Archive for February 2007

Copyright Dawn King 2007 All Rights Reserved

Chapter 3: Preparing to Be a Sign and Wonder

“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

Some may think that this subject should come after teaching about the physical process of birth. I disagree. Although knowing the physical birth process is important, spiritual preparation is more important. Jesus promised us that if we “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” that He would take care of the rest (Matt. 6:33). In all things your relationship with Jesus should take precedence over physical or worldly concerns.

You will want to seek the Lord if you were trying to prevent pregnancy. You must deal with any negative emotions concerning the coming child as soon as possible. Babies know whether they are wanted or not. In the physical, a mother’s stress can lead to premature labor, an increased risk of birth defects, an increased risk of death within the first month, and an increased risk of psychological problems later in life.[i] In the spiritual realm, your child could be affected by a spirit of rejection that can shadow him for his entire life if not prayed for and broken through the blood of Jesus.[ii]

Marital Unity

“Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12

The ideal way to begin parenting is in a unified, “one-flesh” marriage (Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:6).[iii] If there are any issues hindering this one flesh relationship spiritually, physically, or emotionally, now is the time to take care of it. Seek counseling if needed. There are several areas you need to discuss such as your philosophy of parenting, division of housework, and whether Mom will go back to work.

Unity in a marriage is extremely important. In Malachi, God shows us why He made the husband and wife one: “But did He not make them one, having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth” (Mal. 2:15). Because Satan will try to divide and conquer, it is imperative that a husband and wife share the family vision and agree on basic house rules and parenting style. A united husband and wife are is the first step in raising godly children.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 mentions a threefold cord: the husband, the wife, and God. God is the center of the marriage and the glue that truly makes a marriage a one-flesh relationship. He will enable you to lift up your spouse in times of trial and be able to withstand the attacks of the enemy against your marriage and your family. When you are united as one flesh, you will have a good fruit in raising your children. Children are able to forgive anything and get over any parenting mistake as long as they know their parents love them and each other.

Pregnancy is a good time to formulate your family vision. What is your hearts’ desire for your children? What mark do you want your family to make on the world?

Marital Order

“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her … So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself …Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” Ephesians 5:22-33

In the Christian family, God has laid out a chain of command. Ideally, the husband submits to Christ and the wife to her husband as she would to Jesus.[iv]

If you have other children, they should be in order as well – obedient, not defiant, rebellious, or disrespectful. If you are having problems in this area, see the recommended resources in the back for books on the subject.

To the Husband

“Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.” Colossians 3:19

Men, because you are in a position of authority over your family, God calls you to a higher standard (Luke 12:48). This is not an excuse to lord your leadership role over your wife or order her around like a servant. You are to treat her as compassionately and sacrificially as Christ treats His church. He died for His Bride. You should also be willing to physically die for your wife, as well as die to your wants, needs, and desires to make sure she is cared for. Your wife needs you more than ever during this time in her life. Take an active part your wife’s prenatal care. This does not mean you must attend every appointment. Instead, it means you should hear your wife’s viewpoint and consider her needs before making a decision about her care and birth. Make your choice based on what is best for your wife and child, not what is convenient for you or the doctor.

Most of the pregnancy, your wife will be the center of attention. This is a good thing because she is going through a great deal of physical, emotional and even spiritual changes in preparation for becoming a mother. Unfortunately, the father-to-be is often left out.

Your job in preparing for this baby’s entry into the world and leading your family is equally important. Your wife will be counting on you to perform your priestly duties in the home. You are to be the head of the household. That means you lead your wife and children in the vision God has given you for your family. Learn to truly become the priest in your home. Here are some things you can do as part of your role as priest of the home during her pregnancy and labor:

· Protect her spiritually by asking God for discernment about any spiritual forces that may be coming against her and the baby, then pray on their behalf. Pray over the decisions about the birth itself and for a safe labor and delivery. Make sure both you and your wife get an individual quiet time each day.

· Listen to her fears. When she wonders if she’ll be a good mother, don’t dismiss it. Remind her that she can do all things in Christ. Tell her that she will be a good mother and encourage her.

· Understand the tremendous physical and emotional changes going on within her. Don’t get upset if she is too tired to get all the housework done or pay attention to you. When her hormones go wild and she cries for (what you think) is no reason, hold her. Do not tell her she is irrational.

· Help her to eat in a way that glorifies God. Her care provider may want her on a special diet. If she is to avoid sweets, don’t bring her ice cream and candy (1 Cor. 10:23, 31). Whatever you do, don’t tell your wife you’re going to strap a feedbag to her head because she eats so much. Ask my husband how well received that comment was.

· Encourage her to do the prenatal exercises or better yet, do them with her. (1 Cor. 9:27).

· Encourage her spiritual growth. Ask her what God is saying to her. Pray and read the Bible together. Share with her what God has been speaking to you (Heb. 10:24, 25). This not only encourages her spiritual growth, but also builds your communication skills and intimacy. You will need these skills after your baby’s birth to keep your marriage strong.

You may also have concerns about becoming a father. Instead of listing those concerns in your head and worrying about them, take them to your Heavenly Father. Take the time to study the Scriptures in preparation for being a parent so that you can impart those values to your children.

To the Wife

“The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands.” Proverbs 14:1

At this time in history, the idea of a woman submitting to her husband is preposterous. Feminists would tell you that submission is man’s way of putting down women. It is not. It is God’s plan to help the family run smoothly. Think of your family as a business. If a business had two chief executive officers (CEO), it wouldn’t stay in business very long. There has to be someone who has the final say. God made your husband the CEO of your family. His job is to make the final decisions when there is a disagreement. But just as any CEO would be foolish if he did not consider the advice of his vice president and other counselors, your husband would be foolish to not consider your feelings and opinions.

Your job as a wife is to be a “helper suitable” for her husband. You help him achieve the family vision God has placed within his heart and submit to his leadership in all things, even if you believe he is wrong (unless he asks you to sin).

Preparing for the birth of your child is an exciting time. Below are some things you might do in order to prepare for birth and motherhood.

Attitude Toward Pregnancy: It’s All About Perspective

“Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23

Imagine you are driving to a prenatal appointment. You’re running late. You get on the highway thinking that you’ll get there almost on time. As you’re cruising down the road, your windows are open and the radio is playing your favorite song. Suddenly, traffic stops in front of you. You slam on the breaks, look at the line of cars in front of you, and realize you will be late. Very, very late. You start to get angry and mumble under your breath. After an interminable wait, you finally pass the cause of the delay. A car is broken down in the middle lane, steam pouring from the engine. You decide to give the driver a piece of your mind and roll down the window. As you pass the car, you see a mother and two young children peering out with frightened faces. All your anger deflates and you think, “Poor woman.” For a brief moment you put yourself in her shoes and saw things from her perspective.

The perspective you choose determines your attitude. How often do you hear mothers speaking about how wonderful their pregnancy was and how much they loved it? I haven’t heard many. Sometimes I feel a little strange because I’ve made the choice to love being pregnant. It breaks my heart when I hear women focusing on all the discomforts and inconveniences instead of the blessings of a new, eternal life inside them. They do not see God’s perspective on their pregnancy and do not see that carrying a baby as a high privilege.

We Christians are called to a higher standard. We are to see things from God’s perspective. His perspective is that children are a blessing and that He has given you a precious gift. We are called to accept this gift joyfully with open arms and love our children unconditionally. God’s definition of love is not just a gushy feeling but an action. He tells us that “love suffers long and is kind… does not seek its own… thinks no evil… bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor. 13).

You can also take the perspective of someone else during your pregnancy. How would a woman who has been barren for years feel about being pregnant? Do you think Sarah, Hannah, and Elizabeth complained about every little ache and pain? They rejoiced in their pregnancy and counted every discomfort as a blessing. After several miscarriages, I revel in the morning sickness, because I know that means I have a healthy baby. When the baby starts to move and keep me up at night I am grateful I have a healthy baby kicking around inside me. It’s better than the alternative I experienced several years ago –a fetal death at 19 weeks.

Yes, it’s all about perspective. We must decide which perspective to use in our pregnancy. Since we are to have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16), we should see things from God’s perspective. When we have complaining thoughts rise within us, it is God’s wish that we take them captive (2 Cor. 10:16). We must choose to replace them with positive thoughts. Scripture admonishes us to meditate on “whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy” (Phil. 4:8). When you feel like complaining, aloud or to yourself, choose to stop that thought and replace it with a thankful prayer to God. Instead of dwelling on the thought: “I’m so fat!” you can replace it with the thankful, “Thank you, Lord, my baby is growing so big and strong! It won’t be long until I can hold him!”

Here are some examples of thoughts to take captive and thoughts to replace them with:[v]

I Hate Being Pregnant Because:

I Love Being Pregnant Because:

My body is so big and fat

My baby is getting so big and strong

My clothes are too tight

Even my clothes remind me of my baby

Everything makes me sick, I can’t eat a thing

I’m so picky now, I only eat the best food

Everybody asks me when I’m due

Everybody is interested in my baby

I can’t stand to cook

I get to take a break from cooking

My back is always sore

My baby is growing so fast, sometimes my body can’t keep up

There’s too much information to read

I’m learning so much

I’m moody all the time

I don’t even try to hide my feelings anymore, I have to work on my problems

Life will never be the same again

Life will never be the same again

The discussion about attitude obviously extends to your words. Watch what you say to your friends and family. There is a time and a place to discuss your discomforts with your care provider. Don’t relish in telling everyone your discomforts and whining about how terrible you feel. James 3:10 says, “Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.” How can you say one minute how much you love your baby and the other say how miserable you are? Choose to focus on the positive and bring glory to God.[vi]

Your attitude also determines how people see you, how you feel about yourself and your baby, and how your husband responds to you. Proverbs 17:22 says, “A merry heart does good like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.” Your good attitude and joyful countenance will calm your family’s worries for your heath and add to their joy about your pregnancy. A whining complaining spirit will chase away any joy you feel about your pregnancy.

A Wonderful Promise from God

“Notwithstanding, she will be saved in childbearing, if they [women] continue in faith, love and holiness, with self-control.” 1 Timothy 2:15

Until I decided to do a detailed word study on this passage, I never understood it. It seemed to me it was saying that a woman’s salvation is based partially on her ability to give birth. I knew that wasn’t the meaning. After digging around in my Bible and Zodhiates’ The Complete Word Study New Testament, I finally believe I understand what Paul was saying.

The word “saved” in this passage is from the Greek word sozo. It means salvation, both physically from danger or suffering and from spiritual bondage and death.[vii] The commentary in my Bible defines faith, (the Greek word, pistis,), as a “divinely implanted principle of inward confidence, assurance, trust, and reliance in God and all that He says.”[viii] “Love,” agape, is a special kind of love that always acts toward the recipient’s best interests.[ix] The Greek word hagiasmos translated “holiness” denotes the Holy Spirit’s work in us that sets us apart for salvation and for enabling us to be holy as God is holy.[x]

The last word is the most interesting. “Self-control” is translated from the Greek word sophrosune, which means soundness of mind, sanity, or self-control.[xi] It is related to sophronos, which is a compound word made up of sozo, to save, and phren “the mind”. Sophronos means “acting in a responsible manner, sensibly, prudently, being in self-control and in full possession of intellectual and emotional facilities.”[xii] This is also related to sophronismos, “safe-thinking…good judgment, disciplined thought patterns, and the ability to understand and make right decisions.”[xiii]sophronismos This word is used in 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind [].”

So putting it all together, I believe that Paul is saying that a woman will be kept from bondage to fear and spared undue suffering while giving birth if she will:

· Dwell in faith in God’s promises that He has good, not harm planned for us (Jeremiah 29:11).

· Make her decisions based on agape love for her baby.

· Be separated unto God and allow the Holy Spirit to help her live a holy life.

· Guard her mind against any fear, doubt, unbelief that may try to come in. Instead, she should cast “down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5). Before the birth she should renew her mind by Scripture reading so she will know the promises of God for protection and strength.

Grow in Your Faith

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4

Pregnancy and childbirth are more than a physical acts to bring forth a physical child. God uses this time to strengthen us as we lay down our desires and our control to trust in God and the process He designed. During this season, God will pinpoint deep issues He wants to address in both Mom and Dad. This is a time for us to grasp hold and live in the scriptural truths about fear, unbelief, and doubt. Birth is a time where the mother and baby are “hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed…perplexed, but not in despair” (2 Cor. 4:8). This is a physical, emotional, and spiritual experience that can, if we allow it, bring us closer to our Lord.

Peter tells us, “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Pregnancy, labor, and delivery are for a little while. During this process, your faith is being tested. When you come through, it will be found to praise, honor, and glorify our Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, you will become a living “sign and wonder” to those around you!

How can you submit to this process?

· Spend time praying and reading your Bible each day (Acts 17:11, 1 Thess. 5:17).

· Ask God to search your heart for sin and when He shows you, ask forgiveness and for His help to change.

· Listen for any actions the Lord may want you to take. Be obedient to what you believe He is asking you to do.

· Pray for God to bring a mentor into your life (Titus 2:3-5). This may be a physical woman, but it could also be a magazine such as Above Rubies, books, or even “cyber-friends.” A mentor can give you guidance because she’s already been through it all. Many times I have sought guidance about parenting and my marriage from other women. The instruction, correction, and encouragement I received have been essential to my growth as a woman, wife, and mother.

· Keep a record of what God is saying to you. During my pregnancies, I’ve kept a record of encouraging Scriptures that stood out to me during my daily reading, prayers and words spoken over me by other people, notes from sermons or testimonies I heard in church, things I felt the Lord say to me, and even descriptions of dreams or visions I had about the baby. After discovering I was pregnant with Izabelle, my sixth child, I was a wreck. Just months before I had suffered two devastating losses. My baby Joel died at nineteen weeks gestation followed by an early miscarriage two months later. I cried daily and begged God to let me keep this one. A few weeks after the positive pregnancy test, I had a dream in which I delivered a baby girl. I saw my husband, Chris, pick her up and hold her up to the Lord, while I heard a voice say, “Izabelle Grace.” Later that week we had a visiting minister come to speak at our church. Since we had known him for several years, he asked how we were doing. I tried to put on a brave front but was terrified of having another loss. After I told him about the baby, he said to me, “Don’t worry, everything will be okay.” I clung to those words and that dream during my pregnancy. I felt they were God’s way of saying, “Relax, it’s going to turn out fine this time.”

Things the Couple Can Do Together:

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:5-9

God has given us believers everything we need for life and godliness. We don’t have to work our faith up. It’s not dependant on us, but is already a part of us. As we get to know Him, this divine power is released in us, changing us into Jesus’ image.

We do have a part to play though. It is our job to allow the Holy Spirit to change us and renew our minds with the Word so that we become virtuous. To our virtue, we add knowledge about God and His world. In this case, we are adding knowledge about His promises and applying them to childbirth. We are also adding knowledge about the process of childbirth to prepare us for the big event.

To our knowledge of God and the process of birth, we add self-control, controlling our will to do what God wants us to do. We add perseverance to self-control. The Greek word for perseverance“ is associated with hope and refers to the quality that does not surrender to circumstances or succumb under trial.”[xiv We don’t give up or give in to our fears during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. We press on through the discomforts and pain, trusting God through all circumstances and outcomes.

While pregnant, we show godliness by praising God. This action releases God’s Spirit to work in us transforming our affection for our baby into true unconditional agape love. Agape love always chooses the best for the object of our love, in spite of our hurt or discomfort.

Why do I bring this up here? What does this have to do with a couple preparing together for a child’s birth? Everything! Both parents should learn about the physiological processes of pregnancy and childbirth.

Part of an expectant father’s role as his family’s protector is to learn about pregnancy and birth so he can have compassion on his wife, bond with his child, make informed decisions about prenatal care, support and comfort his wife during labor and delivery, and keep fear out of his heart. Taking time to be involved in the pregnancy by attending his wife’s prenatal appointments, helping her research her options, discussing and making decisions about the birth with her, and praying for and with her will show her how much he cares.

You as the mother-to-be need to know what is happening inside you. Knowing the process of labor and delivery, as well as the risks and benefits of all the options, are important in keeping fear at bay. Fear causes labor to be more difficult, longer, and more painful.

Take time to educate yourselves about routine tests and procedures, then discuss and pray about them. Write a birth plan together. Now is a good time to examine where your ideas about birth and breastfeeding come from. For most people it is the dramatized births they see on television or the horror stories they hear from other mothers. Don’t listen to the lies of the enemy; educate yourself by studying the Scriptures and reading books about birth, breastfeeding, and motherhood. Replace what you’ve heard in the past with the truth you learn in your studies (Rom. 12:2).

You must both deal with fear. Fear is probably the number one enemy of a laboring woman. Second Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” Fear is not from God. It is from the devil, who comes to steal our joy and our faith in God, kill our hopes and dreams, and destroy the life that God wants us to live (John 10:10). Fear keeps us from acting in faith. We cannot allow fear to dictate our decisions. We are to live in faith, asking God for His wisdom. He promises us that if we ask, He will give us the wisdom we need (James 1:5).

It was not long after I had my first child that I realized most of my decisions and even my love for God was motivated by fear. I was fearful of birth, so I was so strung out on labor medication; the memory of Ariella’s birth is hazy and full of blanks. I was so fearful of diseases, I vaccinated her without educating myself[xv] and I insisted on a prescription for antibiotics for her every sniffle (at that time my children’s pediatrician was not as discriminating about antibiotics as doctors are today). I was so fearful that something would happen to Ariella or my husband, I was constantly praying for protection. I feared that other people would think I was a bad mother or that I was crazy or not hearing from God or whatever else my imagination could cook up. In fact, I feared that if I didn’t stay close to the Lord something terrible would happen. I didn’t go to God because I loved Him, but because I feared what would happen if I didn’t. That isn’t the kind of relationship He wants with me.

Finally the Lord, in His gracious mercy, revealed that I was in bondage to fear. I asked some friends to pray with me and asked the Lord to forgive my life motivated by fear. I asked Him to break that oppression through the power of the Cross. I rejected fear out of my life and told it I would no longer live my life based on its lies. Before I was completely free, I had to work at changing the way my mind worked. I had to stay in prayer as I made decisions. But eventually I walked away from a life motivated by fear. Sometimes I still struggle with fear, but I am no longer in bondage or making my decisions in fear.

My pastor used to say that fear stood for “False Evidence Appearing Real.” That’s exactly what it is. We fear something because we don’t understand it or do not have God’s perspective on the situation. If one or both of you is bound by fear, it is going to interfere with labor by slowing it down, making it more difficult, and painful. It will interfere with your parenting, your relationship with each other, and your relationship with the Lord.

You may not have a problem with fear, but you may be in bondage to anger, pornography, or any other thing that causes you to repeatedly sin. This is not God’s will for you. Jesus came to set us free from the harsh taskmaster of sin and death. You can break free by the power of the Cross! In my suggested resources section, you will find books on breaking free from bondage. Please take time to do this.

After you have prayed to break free, your “old friend” may try to rear its ugly head again. Recite Scripture to yourself, pray, or call someone else to pray with you. Do not allow it to get a foothold in your heart and mind again.

Do you have past hurts that need healing? Was your family abusive? Were you sexually abused?[xvi] Do you need to forgive someone? These are all issues that need to be dealt with. Seek counseling and prayer.

Spiritual influences from willful sin, by sins against us, or generational curses may oppress us. Praise God! They can be broken through the power of the Cross. You want to bring your child into a clean home without any spiritual residue (Isa. 61:1-3).

Ask God to reveal your weak areas individually and as a couple. Pray for each other and ask Him to strengthen you. Pray to find out where Satan is attacking you so you can deflect these attacks (Ps. 139:23, 24).

These things all boil down to a heart that is seeking the Lord. He will reveal the hidden things in your heart that He wants to purge. He does this not only to make you a better parent but also to make you a better person. I am grateful He loves us too much to leave us the way we are!

“Marriage was an easy adjustment for my husband and I. Both of us agree that if we did not have the children we do, our marriage would probably not be as good as it is now. We have learned to be much more unselfish, more outwardly focused. We’ve learned to trust God through being told we would lose the baby (we did not), having to move “on” our due date (God kept the little one inside until the next day!), different pregnancy complaints … We’ve learned to look beyond what it looks like in the natural and press on to see what God is seeing…”-Stephanie




[i] Nikki Bradford, The Miraculous World of Your Unborn Baby, (United Kingdom: Contemporary Book, 1998), 60.

[ii] See Recommended Resources section for more information about inner healing, deliverance and spiritual warfare.

[iii] If you are single or not married to a believer, “Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame…For your Maker is your husband, The Lord of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.”(Isaiah 54:4, 5). See Chapter 14 for help when “Going it Alone” whether you are single, married to an unbeliever, or just feel alone.

[iv] This does not mean that the wife has no responsibility before God. She is responsible to Him for her behavior and attitude. But she is not the leader of the family, the one with the responsibility to make final decisions.

[v] © Copyright 2000-2004 Jennifer VanderLaan and Birthing Naturally. Used by Permission. All rights reserved.

[vi] This doesn’t mean you should not ask for prayer for your discomforts. It is important to check your attitude. Am I telling them this because I want prayer or because I want sympathy?

[vii] Jack Hayford, The New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Bibles, 2002), 1401.

[viii] Jack Hayford, The New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Bibles, 2002), 1372.

[ix] Jack Hayford, The New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Bibles, 2002), 1556.

[x] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study New Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1992), 879

[xi] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study NewTestament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1992), 70 of Greek Dictionary.

[xii] Jack Hayford, The New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Bibles, 2002), 1721.

[xiii] Jack Hayford, The New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Bibles, 2002), 1711.

[xiv] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study New Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1992), 964.

[xv] Please don’t misunderstand. I don’t think that vaccinations are a bad thing. I do believe that we must educate ourselves on both sides of the issue, pray and make a Spirit-led decision about any form of health-care we receive.

[xvi] I am going to add a sidebar or a whole section discussing the effects of rape and sexual abuse on pregnancy and motherhood. This is such an important and common issue, it needs to be addressed in more detail.

Copyright Dawn King 2007 All Rights Reserved

Chapter 2 What Does the Bible Really Say?

The Biblical Symbolism of Pregnancy and Birth

“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” Romans 1:20

Paul tells us that much of what we see or experience in life is symbolic of a deeper unseen truth. In Scripture and in the life of a believer, birth symbolizes some extraordinary truths about God and our spiritual life.

Like many other elements of God’s world, childbirth can be divided into three parts symbolizing our triune God: conception, pregnancy, and delivery. Labor is divided into three stages: First stage (labor), second stage (delivery), and third stage (delivery of the placenta). The first stage of labor is also divided into three phases: early or latent labor, active labor and transition. Birth also involves three people: Dad, Mom, and baby.

In both physical and “spiritual” births, three elements are always present: blood, water, and human effort. Jesus told us that to become a believer, we must be “born again” (John 3:3-8). The seeds that someone sows into you before your salvation are like conception. The pregnancy is the time those seeds gestate inside you, nourished by the prayers of someone, growing until finally you are “birthed” into the kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit, which draws you to Him, is the water of your spiritual birth. The Blood of Jesus covers your sin and reconciles you to God. Your response of faith to accept Jesus’ sacrifice is the human effort. Just like natural birth, for some, entering into this new birth is easy; for other it may take a long time and be difficult. This birth is supernatural because we are born again “not of corruptible seed but incorruptible through the word of God which lives and abides forever” (1 Peter 1:22).

Jesus likened the day of the Lord to labor pains of a pregnant woman (1 Thess. 5:1-3). No woman knows the day or hour labor will begin, but she should know the signs (nearing due date, increasing contractions, bloody show, and other symptoms) and be ready. Once true labor starts she cannot stop it. In the same way, no one, except the Father, knows the day or hour when Jesus will return. But we should be aware of the signs listed in Scripture. Once the end times are upon us, nothing can stop it.

The disciples experienced the emotions a laboring woman experiences during her travail after Jesus’ death and before His resurrection (John 16:21, 22). But just as a woman forgets the pain when she sees her beautiful baby’s face, the disciples forgot about their anguish when they saw the risen Lord.

Jesus “birthed” the church, His bride, with His crucifixion. He went to the cross of His own free will (human effort) “for that joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame…” (Heb. 12:2). Blood and water poured from His side. At His resurrection, His bride was born.

In the Bible, sin is compared to pregnancy and childbirth. Trouble is a seed planted in the wicked (Ps. 7:14; Job 15:35). It eventually births falsehood, futility, and deceit. James tells us the process, “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is full grown, brings forth death” (James 1:14, 15).

Temptation, if allowed to plant itself, causes the desire to sin. Eventually, if allowed to gestate long enough, it will give birth to the deed. The person pregnant with a sinful desire will eventually fulfill it. When the sin is fully mature and taken over, it leads to death.

What was God saying in Genesis 3?

“To the woman He said: ‘I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children; your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.’ Then to Adam He said, ‘Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, “You shall not eat of it”: Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return’” (Genesis 3:16-17).

I used to believe that God cursed Eve with pain in labor because of her role in the Fall of man. As I grew closer to the Lord, this “curse” did not seem consistent with the nature of the God I was learning about. He would not tie the blessing of children with a curse. Besides, if God pronounced a judgment of pain in childbirth on women, then why do some women have no pain? And wouldn’t it be sin for women to seek pain relief? What about Adam? Would it be sin for men to use machinery and fertilizer to make growing crops easier?

I decided to take deeper look at this Scripture. The words “sorrow” for Eve and “toil” for Adam are translated from the Hebrew word istsavon meaning worrisomeness, labor, toil, hard work, birth pangs, or being in labor.[i] The word “pain,” estev, means gain, trouble, grievance.[ii] These words are rooted in another Hebrew word, astav, which has two ideas connected with it: that of forming or shaping something, to worry, grieve, mental or physical discomfort.[iii]

God did not directly curse the woman and the man. He cursed the serpent and the ground. When the Fall occurred, sin, death, and sickness entered the world. God said to Eve that He would “greatly multiply” her sorrow. This suggests that there must have been some degree of discomfort before the Fall. Pain in childbirth is not a result of sin, but the increase of pain is. God was telling Adam and Eve that these things were going to be much more difficult now that sin and sickness are around.

Working the ground and giving birth are both going to be very hard work—

“painful toil” that includes physical and mental discomfort. God was also telling them that the outcome was no longer certain. Before the Fall, Adam knew that plants would always grow and they would always have food. Life was free of effort. Now there is an element of uncertainty. A farmer knows that there are many factors affecting his crop: the weather, disease, and the nutrient content of the land. He doesn’t always get to reap the harvest of his effort. In pregnancy, although the labor process usually works fine, there is uncertainty involved. You can’t know with assurance what is going to happen. We can only trust that God will see us through, no matter the result.




[i] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Old Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1994), 2351.

[ii] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Old Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1994), 2351.

[iii] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Old Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1994), 2351.

Copyright Dawn King 2007 All Rights Reserved

Introduction

I learned I was pregnant with my first child in 1993 while in the emergency room for a dislocated shoulder. When the doctor asked about doing an x-ray, I told them I might be pregnant, even though my obstetrician had told me I would have difficulty conceiving. When the pregnancy test came back positive, my husband, Chris turned white and started to wobble a bit. I call my first pregnancy the “what to expect” pregnancy because the only book I read was a popular one called What to Expect When You’re Expecting. It basically prepared me to go along with whatever my doctor wanted and not question the standard procedures. The childbirth class at the hospital was not much help either. It prepared my husband and me to be good patients and not question the doctor. I realize now that I had more trust in doctors than I did in God. I was unprepared for labor and delivery spiritually, physically and emotionally. My fear of labor was so intense, I asked my doctor to just schedule a cesarean. Thankfully she didn’t. Today an obstetrician might!

I was so full of drugs, I don’t recall most of my labor and was totally out of control. I had an epidural at some point, fell asleep, and woke up pushing. Ariella arrived face up, looking at me with her dark eyes as she slid from my body. I felt cheated. I was barely conscious when she was born. Where was the joy? I was so relieved the ordeal was over I had no room left for joy.

I was more educated for Shane’s birth. This time we had a doula, a woman trained to assist the couple during labor. She had several tricks and techniques to help me get through labor. I did great until the very end when I asked for a small dose of pain medication. Within fifteen minutes of taking that medication, I was pushing. I really could have done without it. Unfortunately, during the delivery, the doctor refused to honor the birth plan we agreed upon and gave me medication I did not consent to. In fact, I yelled at her not to give it to me, that it was unnecessary, but she ignored me and did it anyway. That experience caused me to distrust obstetricians.

We attempted to do an at-home unassisted birth for my third child. After three long days of painful labor my husband finally brought me to the hospital. Cedrick came into the world ruddy and squalling. I was more prepared physically and spiritually for this birth, but I still hadn’t learned how to reach out to the Lord to get through labor.

When I became pregnant with my fourth child, I found a wonderful certified nurse-midwife (CNM) after much searching. Over the next few years, we built a relationship of trust and even friendship. We call Nate and Esther’s births “home births at the hospital” because we closed the door to our room and told the nurses we would call them if we needed them. I was triumphant after Nate’s natural birth. On a “birth high,” I felt ready to climb a mountain. I had finally done it without drugs! And in the process I had learned to focus on Jesus during those tough contractions. Esther’s birth was just as exhilarating, and the Lord came through for me again.

With my youngest child, Izabelle, my midwife merged her practice with another CNM who had a birth center at her office. This was the best one yet! I finally learned how to reach out to the Lord and focus on Him during my labor. Amazingly labor wasn’t painful until the last half hour.

I tell you my birthing journey not because I want to demonize pain medication in labor (I believe there are times when it is beneficial) or obstetricians (there are great ones out there), but to show you where I’ve come from and the experience I’m writing out of. This book contains some of the wisdom I’ve gained through bearing six children. It’s the kind of book I wish I had available to read during my first pregnancy. If this is your first child, I hope you’ll begin labor much more prepared than I was. If this is not your first child, I believe this book is still a valuable tool you can use in decision-making and preparing yourself for another child. Whatever your situation, you can grow closer to God and trust Him during every stage of pregnancy and delivery.

For me, bringing God into my pregnancy has meant moving towards a more natural model of birth, one that trusts the process He created. Your experience may not be the same. The most important thing I want you to get out of this book is that you can trust God with your pregnancy, labor, delivery, and child no matter the outcome—whether you have the ideal birth; a delivery full of complications; or the worst case and a rare scenario, the loss of a baby. I can tell you from experience that He will be with you every step of the way and that you can trust Him.

I believe the devil has surrounded childbearing with deception and negativity. Think about it. How many positive birth stories do you hear? Do you hear many women saying how they love being pregnant? I haven’t. It breaks my heart to see so many Christian women are in bondage to fear of pregnancy and childbirth or dwelling on the discomforts instead of the blessings. Although the birthing environment is better today than it was even five years ago, having a baby seems like such a complicated and technical process. We’ve come so far from the way the Lord created it to be. Birth is supposed to be a time of hard work and joy. The “normal” way to birth is still full of technology, fear, sterile hospitals, and doctors that show up at the last minute to catch the baby. I’d like to show you that, in most cases, your baby’s birth could be a calm, peaceful event. No matter what, it can be an event which deepens your walk with the Lord.

Satan has a special hatred of women going all the way back to Eden (Gen. 3:15). His attacks against women take many forms: physical and sexual abuse, abortion, and bad birth experiences. It is well known that physical abuse, sexual abuse, and abortion have all sorts of negative emotional side effects. What you may not know is that unpleasant birth experiences also have a profound effect on a woman’s emotions after birth.[i]

That’s the bad news. The good news is that it was through the seed of a woman, Mary, a virgin, that Jesus was born. Satan and his army were defeated when Jesus rose from the dead (Col. 2:15). We too share in this victory over the enemy (2 Cor. 2:15). We can walk in this victory when we know our identity in Christ and how to apply this truth to our circumstances.

Praise God that our Lord is Truth. He says, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32)[ii]. Knowing the truth about what the Bible says about children; childbirth; and the roles of husbands, wives, mothers, and fathers will build our faith and give us peace to walk in our position as heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ. Knowing the truths about common medical tests and interventions discovered through medical studies can help us make informed decisions. Knowing the truth about the process of labor and delivery gives us an idea of what is “normal,” helps us cope with labor, and eliminates the fear of the unknown.

The Bible tells us that God’s people “are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hos. 4:6). This book will give you knowledge so that you can discern what is right for you and your family. Many women have no options because they don’t know that they have options.

It is my prayer that this book will help you:

  • Grow closer to God and Jesus. Pregnancy can be a time of intense spiritual growth for expectant parents. The Lord often uses the nine months before a baby’s birth to clean out their spiritual houses and make them more like Him.
  • Learn to seek God regarding the many decisions you will need to make in the next few months. Many times we just “go with the flow” doing what our society expects without inviting God into the process. God is interested in how you birth, where you birth, and what type of experience you have. He wants to be invited in on the decision-making process. He wants to help the expectant mom cope with labor. Who better to have as a guide through this maze than the God who made you and your baby, knows the future, and sees the big picture?
  • Encourage you to have a godly vision for this pregnancy and birth: Dare to have a vision for your birth—not just for a healthy mother and baby (although this certainly is a priority!)—But also have a vision for what God wants to accomplish in your lives as a result of this pregnancy and birth. Proverbs 29:18 tells us “where there is no vision, the people perish …” The word “perish,” translated from para, means letting something slip through your fingers by missing an opportunity.[iii] Pregnancy, birth, and parenting are opportunities to learn more about God, grow in faith, and get closer to Him. Don’t let this opportunity slip through your fingers.
  • Understand the birth process and learn to trust it as a God-created natural function. God has specially designed a woman’s body to give birth. Since birth was instituted before the Fall, it was created perfect. Because of sin, we do have the risk of complications just like we have the risk of falling ill, but these complications should be few and far between. The natural process of childbirth, when allowed to proceed without intervention, will usually work fine.
  • Know the latest research about the most common interventions so you can make informed decisions. Educated people make educated decisions. Unfortunately the term “informed consent” in many hospitals means providing enough information needed for the patient to permit the procedure. Many care providers practice according to tradition, not according to what studies say really works.
  • Value breastfeeding as God’s design for feeding the new baby. Breast milk is wonderfully created by God to provide all nutrients a baby needs for its first six months of life. Breastfeeding also has numerous benefits for both mother and child. Formula companies would have you believe that their artificial milk is equal in quality to breast milk. This is not true.
  • Grasp that women of God can have births that give God glory: Today there is rarely clear distinction of how the women of God birth and how the women of the world birth. We are supposed to be “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Pet. 2:9). We can give birth in such a way that we bring glory to God, no matter the outcome.

I hope you think of me as an older friend, a mentor, someone who has gone before, coming alongside you to guide you in your journey to parenthood. Consider this book a Christian childbirth education series to help you prepare for this exciting time in your life.

Father God, I lift up my readers to You. I pray that they would hear only Your words in this book. Where there is only my opinion and bias, please let them be deaf to it. I pray that through this book they would fall more in love with You each day and that You use pregnancy, labor, delivery, and parenting to make my readers more like You. In Jesus’ mighty Name. Amen.


Chapter 1 Does God Care that I am Pregnant?

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed, and in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. Psalm 139:13-16

Sometimes I am amazed when I look at my children. They are such unique individuals. Although they all came from the same “recipe” and some even look alike, they all have completely different personalities. I am in wonder at God’s creation and that He used my body to bring these eternal beings into the world. I am amazed that God would give me these precious gifts, that He trusts me to teach them His ways, and believes I will keep them safe in this sinful world. What a responsibility He has given me!

Where do children come from? This seems like such a simple question. We are taught the biology of how conception occurs in school. A man and woman come together; the sperm combines with the woman’s egg and PRESTO! We have a new human. This is what science tells us, but is it really that simple?

Some would say that conception is by chance, a mere biological function; God set the process in motion but is no longer involved. The Bible says that conception occurs by the direct hand of God. No child is an “accident” to God. He alone is the giver and taker of life (Gen. 20:17, 18; 30:1, 2; Ruth 4:13; Isa. 8:18).

David knew this when he penned Psalm 139. Each child is God’s own special creation, a unique work of art. Yes, we know how the biology works, but that is only half of it. Only God can create a living, eternal soul. Having a child is a partnership between God and man. God uses seeds from both a man and a woman to conceive the baby; He uses a woman’s body to grow the seeds into a person, then the parents partner with God to train this child “in the way he should go” (Prov. 22:6). How amazing!

The Lord told Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations” (Jer. 1:5). God knew Jeremiah and planned out his destiny even before he was born! God didn’t just do that for Jeremiah, He also has an awesome plan for your child too. You can trust God to fulfill His vision for your child.


How does God feel about children?

“Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.’ And He laid His hands on them and departed from there.” Matthew 19:13-15

One day, while complaining to God, I said, “Lord I’ll never be able to fulfill my dreams if I don’t stop having children! Can I stop now?”

I’ll never forget the answer I heard from the Lord. “What if your dreams never happen? What if My will is for you to have children for Me? What if I want you to spend your life bringing eternal souls into the world and raising them to follow Me? Will you accept that plan for your life? Will you lay down your aspirations for Me?”

Weeping I said, “Yes, Lord. I will do anything for you.” I realized that day that God places a higher value on our children than He does on our dreams.

God loves children. He talked about them in His first commandment to Adam and Eve. “Be fruitful and multiply …” (Gen. 1:28). This command is repeated over and over in the Old Testament.

Jesus welcomed children even though the disciples thought He was too busy for them. He even rebuked His disciples when they tried to stop parents from bringing their children to Him. Showing the high value God places on children, Jesus took time out of His short three-year ministry to lay hands on and pray for those brought to Him (Matt. 19:13-15).

God considers children a blessing. In the Bible, when the Lord discusses how He will bless those who obey Him, He frequently mentions the fruit of the womb (Deut. 28:4; Gen. 24:17).

Jesus said, “Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.” (Matt. 18:5). The Greek word for receive in this passage is dechomai which means to “accept a gift deliberately and readily; to receive heartily; reaching out eagerly to receive something; looking for; waiting with earnest expectation.”[iv] We are to receive the gift of a child joyfully, thanking and praising God for the gift He is giving us.

Why Does God Give Us Children?

To fill the earth

Genesis 1:28

To produce godly seed

Malachi 2:14,15

To give us joy and gladness

Luke 1:13, 14; Proverbs 23:24, 25

To exalt and honor us

1 Chronicles 25:5

For the service of God

1 Chronicles 25:6; Amos 2:11; Galatians 1:15, 16

As a gift to the nations

Jeremiah 1:5

To defend us, help us, and protect us

1 Chronicles 25:5, 6; Psalm 127:4, 5

To take care of us as we age

1 Timothy 5: 4; John 19:26, 27

As examples

Matthew 18:3, 4

To teach us about ourselves and our relationship with God

Matthew 6:9

In answer to prayer

1 Samuel 1; Luke 1

To keep His promises

Deuteronomy 7:12-14; Psalm 128:1, 3, 4

For God Himself

Ezekiel 16:20


What Does God Call Our Children?

Blessings

Genesis 49:25

A heritage of the Lord

Psalm 127:3

The fruit of the womb

Deuteronomy 7:13

Rewards

Psalm 127:3

Arrows

Psalm 127:4

Olive plants

Psalm 128:3, 4

Plants grown up

Psalm 144:12

Pillars

Psalm 144:12

Signs and wonders

Isaiah 8:18

The work of His hands

Isaiah 29:23

A nation’s glory

Hosea 9:11

Crowns

Proverbs 17:6


Promises for Children of the Righteous

They are blessed

Proverbs 20:7

God will pour His Spirit on them

Isaiah 44:3,4

They will possess the gates of their enemies

Genesis 22:17

They will be taught by the Lord

Isaiah 54:13

They will have peace

Isaiah 54:13

They will not labor in vain

Isaiah 65:23

They will not have to beg

Psalm 37:25

God will take care of them

Psalm 27:10

They have the benefits of our covenant relationship with the Lord

Genesis 17:7

They are set apart for God

I Corinthians 7:14

They will have salvation and the baptism of the Holy Spirit

Acts 2:38, 39

The Role and Responsibility of Parents

“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.” Mark 9:42

Our most important responsibility as parents is to lead our children to Jesus. If I raise Harvard valedictorians, highly successful business owners, or groundbreaking scientists, but my children do not know Christ, I will have failed.

Over the years I’ve learned that I cannot lead my children to the Lord if I am not making an effort to learn more about Jesus and His ways for myself. If I am not spending regular time reading the Bible, praying, and listening for His voice, I cannot pass on my faith to my children. My children need to see me passionate about Jesus, and then they will want to follow in that example. They also need to see me turning to Him when I don’t know what to do, when I suffer disappointment, and when things don’t go right. That modeling is more important than all the words I speak.

In fact, I need to be very careful what I model. My children pick up on the bad more often than the good. If I yell and swear when I am angry, guess what? So will my children. In fact, that makes me guilty of causing my child to stumble. I need to ask forgiveness from God and from my child. If I want to teach them God’s ways, I must walk in them myself.

Our Children Do Not Belong to Us

The one thing I do know is that my children are not really my children. They belong to God. He loves them more than we can and He knows the plans He has for them. After Mary’s purification was over, she and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple to dedicate His life to God (Matt. 2:22), acknowledging that he really belonged to God. When my children were babies, my husband and I publicly acknowledged this by going in front of our church and publicly giving our children back to God, dedicating their lives his service, and asking our church family to support us in raising our children to follow Jesus. Our pastors and their wives prayed over our family.

Several years ago, during the dedication of my friend’s daughter, one of the pastors spoke over the baby saying that she would go where the parents didn’t want her to go and do what the parents did not want her to do, but it would be God leading her. They decided then and there not to hold their daughter back, but allow her to follow the plans God had for her. Decide now that you will not stand in your child’s way of following God’s plan, even if you do not like it, understand it, or agree with it.

The verse, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” is oft repeated (Prov. 22:6). This not only means that we train our children in the way of the Lord, but we identify their inherent gifts and talents. We encourage them to pursue their gifts, using them to the fullest potential. We have to recognize that their personalities, learning styles, and aspirations may be completely different than ours. That’s O.K. God makes each person an individual. Sometimes I struggle with trying to fit my children into my mold; I’m slowly learning to let them follow the paths that God has made for them.

Teaching God’s Word to Your Children

Deuteronomy 6:5-7 tells us to teach God’s words diligently to our children, and talk about His Word during all aspects of life. We cannot depend on our church to teach our children about God and His word, we have that responsibility. I endeavor to use my family’s daily life to teach my children about God.

Second Timothy 3:16, 17 tells us that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” God instructs us to teach our children to walk in His ways in all areas of their lives: physically, mentally, and morally. To do this we use a variety of methods including encouragement, reproof, commands and correction from the Word of God. When my children lie, I tell them about the Ten Commandments. Using the Bible in the midst of life is the most effective way to lead your children to the Lord. In order for me to use the Word of God to train my children, I need to know and memorize it so I will have it ready.

The Importance of Fathers

“And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4

Studies have shown that children who do not have a strong positive influence from a father are more likely to drink, smoke, do drugs, have emotional or behavioral problems, and end up in prison. [v]

A father has four main roles: family provider, leader of the clan, protector, and spiritual leader. As the family provider, he works to provide food, clothing, shelter, and other financial needs. As the leader of the clan, he makes the decisions out of his deep love for God and his family. He doesn’t make decisions based on selfish whims. A father as protector makes sure his wife and children are protected spiritually, physically and emotionally. As the spiritual leader, he leads by example. He attends church with his family and teaches his children about his God.


A Word From My Husband:

“Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God.” (1 John 3:1).

What kind of love will you bestow on your children? The kind that would make them proud to say, “That’s my dad!” Because we have the Father’s love as an example, the love we pour out on our children should be unknown to the world because it is inspired not merely by natural love, but by God’s love. We can use God the Father’s dealings with us as a model on how to deal with our children. After all, we represent Him to our children. He is never harsh, but always gentle. But He does discipline us. Hebrews 12:11 says, “Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.“ We learn to correct our children so they will be righteous.

Proverbs tells us to “train up a child in the way he should go,”[vi] not raise them. If you want to raise something, get chickens. Training requires time and repetition so that the principle becomes an automatic behavior. It’s the same way the military trains its troops by practicing maneuvers over and over so they become automatic. In the middle of a battle, a soldier can have a clear head and know what to do because he’s practiced it repeatedly. We train our children how to respond to life situations in a godly manner so that when they are out in the world, their under pressure response is automatic. We do this by example and using the Word of God as a tool to correct, train, and encourage.

It is well known that children watch our behavior and pick up our characteristics, good or bad. There is nothing worse than having your child act inappropriately and when you begin to correct him, he tells you, “I learned it from you!” Especially when you know he is right.

As a father, I should set aside my childish behaviors (1 Cor. 13:11) and act like a man. This means my wife and children come first. I have to set aside what my flesh wants to take care of my family. They get first dibs on food, clothing and even shelter. Many times my children have nicer clothes than I do. If your children’s needs are not met, this is a reflection of you as a father because you are the head of the household.

So can you correct all your behavior before your children are born? No. All you can do is pray and stay close to the Lord. Stay in the Word because it has wonderful guidelines for being a father. Chris King

The Importance of Mothers

“When I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.” 1 Timothy 1:5

Today motherhood is often put down. It’s not enough to “only be a mother.” You need to have a career, too. God has a different idea about motherhood. God honors motherhood as an exalted position and a privilege.

If you ask who the most influential person in their life was, a good portion of people will answer without hesitation, “My mother!” Because she is usually the person who spends the most time with her children, she is the primary influence in her children’s lives. As she’s with them day in and day out, she passes on her wisdom, faith, and her bad habits. Yes, her bad habits. I constantly see my bad habits mirrored in my children and cringe. God uses the influence I have on my children to change me for the better.

Abraham Lincoln said, “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother.” George Washington said this about his mother: “All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her.”[vii]

A mother’s influence can change the course of nations. Jochobed passed on the ways of God to her three children: Moses, Aaron and Miriam (Mic. 6:4). And just think, she only had Moses until he weaned, probably around the age of five! God used Moses to deliver the Israelites from bondage in Egypt and give them the Law. Mrs. Washington, Mrs. Lincoln and Jochobed all changed the course of their nation!

Lois and Eunice, Timothy’s mother and grandmother passed on their faith in spite of the fact that Timothy had an unbelieving father (2 Tim 1:5).

A simple God-fearing woman, Susanna Wesley (1669-1742) bore 19 children in 21 years (9 died before two years of age) while living in extreme poverty much of the time. She homeschooled her large family for six hours each day along with her regular household tasks. Although Susanna gave them a rigorous education, she was more concerned about her children’s spiritual education. Her efforts paid off. John Wesley initiated a nationwide revival in England that changed the course of that country. Charles Wesley wrote over 9,000 hymns, some still sung today.

All of these mothers were faithful to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, thus impacting generations to come.

As mothers, we are to diligently teach and train our children in God’s law so they will be able to avoid temptation (Prov. 6:20-24). This is more than just taking care of their basic needs. We need to be involved in their lives. The Bible warns, “A child left to himself brings shame to his mother.” (Prov. 29:15).

Paul, in Titus 2:5 tells women “to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.” The word “homemakers” is the Greek word oikouros and means the watcher or keeper of the home[viii]. Mothers watch out for their family by persistently praying and God rewards them (Matt. 15:22-28).

Another way mothers watch out for their home is by using their gift of discernment. The world calls this “mother’s intuition,” but it is really a gift from God. As you mother your children, you will find that you will discern various dangers and spiritual forces that many come against your family. As the watcher of the home, it is your job to notify your husband of these things and pray.

A mother is a wise woman who builds her house using God’s wisdom (Prov. 14:1; 24:3). The only way to get supernatural wisdom in how to raise your children is to ask God. He promises us that He will give it “liberally and without reproach” (James 1:5).

I know that I fail all too often in my mothering. In fact, if I look too much at my failures and myself, I will end up overwhelmed, discouraged, and in despair. Instead, I do my best to keep my focus on Jesus. When I keep an attitude of prayer and praise, I do a much better job than if I’m grumbling, whining, or thinking about my many faults.

Some days when my husband walks in the door after work, I look at him and say, “I’m leaving,” and walk out. After spending a few hours driving around and praying, I’ve gotten my perspective back. But when I get home, I notice my husband is yelling at the kids and in a rotten mood, the same one I had earlier.

I’ve noticed that my attitude determines the atmosphere in my home. It’s infectious. If I am grumpy and discouraged, everyone else will be too. When I am in a good mood, the whole family seems to get along better and the day runs smoother. Because my children and husband pick up my bad attitude, I find it important for me to choose to have a good attitude.

The Christian family

“Here I am and the children whom the LORD has given me! We are for signs and wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, who dwells in Mount Zion.” Isaiah 8:18

The Hebrew word for “signs” is oth, a distinguishing mark given to help people believe what the Lord has prophesied or promised.[ix] Mopheth is the Hebrew word for “wonders.” It means a spectacular demonstration or object lesson or a special display of God’s power.[x]

Christian families are to be signs and wonders to the world today. Our children are a distinguishing mark given to us to help the unsaved believe in Jesus. Did you know that according to Scripture, the family unit is an object lesson pointing to Jesus? The husband and wife’s relationship reflects the relationship between Christ and His church and the parent/child relationship reflects the relationship between Father God and His children by adoption. Through our family’s “spectacular demonstration” we can show that God’s Word is true and lead others to Jesus.



[ii] All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright Ó 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Use by permission. All rights reserved.

[iii] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Old Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1994), 2356.

[iv] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study New Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1992), 901.

[v] From “Stay Close to Your Child: Fathers and their Child’s Behavior,” http://www.focusonyourchild.com/develop/art1/A0000672.html.

[vi] Proverbs 22:6

[ix] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Old Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1994), 2299.

[x] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Old Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1994), 2330.

For several years I have been working on a birth book entitled The Christian’s Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth. When I became pregnant with the Titus, I pretty much stopped working on it. I had no creativity left. Two years later, I still have not come back to the project, mostly because of time issues. I have decided to post the first five chapters that I have completed on this blog in hopes that it will help someone. I don’t know when or if I will ever be able to return to this project.

The next post will be the intro and chapter 1.