Saturday, February 26, 2011

Pride: The Childbirth Method

"Do nothing from rivalry or conceit,
but in humility
count others more significant than yourselves."

Philippians 2:3

God has been showing me areas in my life where pride has so easily and cunningly crept in to set up camp. The more I am sensitive to pride in my own the life the more I see it in everyone else as well (which can be both good- and- bad). Pride takes so many shapes and forms it is simply unbelievable.

A few weeks ago I was at Katie's baby shower and came home ranting to Joel about how pride and childbirth, when combined, can be so infuriating! First, though, a picture:

She is so CUTE pregnant!


Whenever you have a group of mothers together you will probably hear something about their children and chances are that sooner or later the topic of childbirth will surface. I am sure it has been this way for at least a couple thousand years. Now that I have been through the whole process of pregnancy, labor, delivery and five whole months of motherhood I can understand why it becomes the center of many conversations. It is an amazing and life-changing experience.

Yet, in everything, pride finds a way to wiggle itself into hearts and eventually out into conversation. We all have had our own experience and we want so desperately for others to understand why we did what we did in our childbirth.

Epidural vs. Natural. C-Section vs. Vaginal. Long labor vs. Short labor. Bradley vs. Lamaze. Doctor vs. Mid-wife. Formula vs. Breastfed. Hospital vs. Home Birth. And the list could go on and on.... and on.

It does not matter which side you fall on in any of the list above- you have pride about it! Those that did go all natural have pride that they did. People who did not go natural call those that went all natural the prideful ones and in that statement itself is a truckload of pride. I will spare you more of the types of comments I have heard from both sides! They are sometimes brutal!

I am not sure how to say what I am thinking without sounding incredibly harsh.

What if we, as women, learned to hold our tongue? What if we, when we feel slighted by another woman's childbirth story, would just listen? What if we applauded those who went all natural and listened to why some decided to have a c-section? What if we did not call people who get epidurals wimps and those who went without medication stuck up?

What if we prayed about all our decisions? What if we obeyed the Lord's will for our lives and then would confidently abide in His love? What if we were humble enough to just keep quiet?

When I think about my childbirth story I smile. I have so many precious memories in my heart and mind about that night. I am excited that God answered my prayers. I am incredibly thankful for my husband who cheered me on in the wee hours of the morning. And, I am SO grateful for a healthy baby boy.

There are some situations, like baby showers, where I wish I could tell my story without fear of being interrupted by those who have a different experience than me. I wish I could share my life without wondering what people would think. I wish I could give women advice without being seen as a childbirth nazi.

There are so many topics for women that we could discuss when it comes to pride. It may not be childbirth for you. It may be homemaking. Cooking. Time-management. Money. Appearance.

Take your pick.

Above all, I wish to see pride rooted out of my life because as a woman of God it has no place and is not welcome in my heart.

"Do nothing from rivalry or conceit,
but in humility
count others more significant than yourselves."

Philippians 2:3


Nikki said...

Great post, Jaclyn! And an issue God has been working on in me for a few years. I had two natural births and definitely held that with pride until I was induced and had an epidural with the third! I know God used that experience to humble me about things--I only wish I would have learned it sooner!

My pastor likes to say, "Grace extended, grace received" and I think the phrase applies to many, many things!

Katie B said...

Oh man, I have been there. And stool stubble from time to time but God really humbled me E was a baby and at first I had an ugly, inflated opinion that breastfeeding was the only way a mother should feed her child amd I found myself looking down on people giving their babies a bottle of formula. And then my own milk supply dried up when she was just 4 months old and I had to give her formula. From that point on I decided to hive up all judgments of other moms and instead be a supporter! I don't know why it's so easy for us mamas to form such strong opinions about mothering and parenting and thinking we have the only answer but I've changed my focus to things that impact the kingdom for God. If it doesn't effect a persons salvation or hinder their relationship with Him then whatever works for them is fine! And I love to listen to each persons story or ideas and even try to learn from them. :)

Sophia Totra said...

Jaclyn, this is such a great post. I'm challenged by your growth in this area. And yes, I've been that mom who has judged others decisions and lifestyles when it comes to children. We would be so different and so far-gone without God's grace and mercy. Thanks for that reminder! Love :)

Dawn said...

I pray I've never come across as prideful or judgmental. It is definitely easy to let the "me monster" come up when women start yapping about birth stories. My pride was crushed when the Lord showed me He had planned all c-sections for me -- when all along I assumed I'd pop babies out easy-peasy. He's written a DIFFERENT story for each of us. There is no place for pride. Just thankfulness for the adventure each of us gets to have. As you so wonderfully stated! :-)