But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety. (1 Tim. 2:15)

“He is an enigma wrapped in a conundrum.” A woman muttered this phrase as she pondered the behavior of a young man for whom she dearly cared. His actions, lifestyle, and decisions were perplexing.

That same phrase describes today’s verse. It is one of the more difficult passages to understand. The entire teaching of the New Testament supports the fact that one is not saved by bearing a child, but by believing in the forgiveness Christ provided when he died for our sins. This verse, then, is an enigma.

In Genesis 3:16, God promised women would experience pain in childbearing. Some think Paul was saying Eve and all women might be saved through the birth of the Child, the Messiah. Childbirth was difficult and could be dangerous. So perhaps Paul was saying, “Women will get safely through childbirth” (Moffatt).

Regardless of the interpretation of the first part of this verse, we know we are to mature in three things: faith, love, and holiness. As we experience Christ’s abundant grace in our lives, we mature in our faith, treating others tenderly and kindly with deep affection and respect. We are to live holy, God-pleasing lives. And, we are to live in faith, love, and holiness appropriately and with respectability.

God’s Word has enigmas that cause us to question, but they don’t have to keep us from maturing in faith, love, and holiness.

Choose an action to mature your faith, love, and holiness.

Gena Duncan lives with her husband in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in the summer and Naples, Florida, in the winter. She authored They Walked with God (WestBow Press).

© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.