I am going to hell.
I’m pretty sure there are several people who already are well aware of this fact, but I figure I need to go ahead and make it clear to everyone lest there be any confusion.
For a myriad of reasons my husband (Bryan) and I made the deliberate decision not to have children. As far as he is concerned, this choice has little impact on his eternal home. For me, however, I’m afraid the consequences are much more ominous.
As you know, 1 Timothy 2.15 informs us that women will be saved through child-bearing, provided such women continue in faith and love and holiness and with modesty. If my eternal salvation was determined solely by my modesty I would, according to my older sister, have no difficulty because I dress, apparently, like an old woman. She told me this at Christmas this past year when I wore black pants, a black turtleneck, and a blue wool blazer. True enough: I’ve had these clothes for probably ten years and could use some fashion updating, I’m sure. Still, since apparel modesty is all I have going in terms of whether or not I’ll be in or out on judgment day, I should probably ignore following her fashion sense and instead wear my thread-bare but definitely full body-covering clothes.
Faith, love, and holiness are attributes I could most likely work to develop. Faith is pretty difficult for me to manage because I live in my head. Still, I can name a few people who’ve suggested in various places that faith is a two-sided perspective, the other being thoughtful doubt. Often, I find, faith means believing in something that is really hard to believe in. For me, I just don’t get the lack of curiosity such a position seems to suggest. Trusting, though, in the midst of serious doubt, well, that feels about right.
On the other hand, love and holiness are things I’ll just never possess no matter how hard I try. Still, as I pour over this Timothy proclamation, I realize it doesn’t really matter if I’m loving or holy because at the end of the day I do not have children, the one thing I must have in order to enter the pearly gates.
You may think this post does not sound like me and you are right. But yesterday I started reading Mark and Grace Driscoll’s new book Real Marriage: The Truth about Sex, Marriage, and Friendship Together.
Mark, being a manly man, helped me to see the errors—grave errors—of my way. For too long Bryan has been my partner and we have made decisions about our life together by communicating and reaching agreements.
But Mark (and Grace when she writes in the book, which is very little, actually) say that Bryan needs to man up and make our decisions, including where we go to church and how to spend our—Bryan’s really—money. And, since I am a woman, in the line of the deceitful Eve who tempted Adam, I am made to follow Bryan. In fact, since Eve came from Adam’s rib, I probably enjoy snuggling up to Bryan’s side because his rib is my home.
I have to tell you what a relief it is to know Bryan is solely responsible for me, especially my spiritual well-being. As Mark says, “men are like trucks—they drive smoother and straighter with a load.” (48) So, my trucker husband Bryan can carry not only his load but also mine, and I, for one, am now unburdened.
As I continue to make my way through this insightful and inspiring book about real marriage where men are masculine and in control and where women are protected and submissive to men who love as Jesus did, I’ll continue to share my thoughts as a newly transformed Christian lady.