John 3:30

“He must increase, but I must decrease.”

The natural birth culture tends to elevate women and what we can do. I think this comes from the opposition to women from part of the medical field over the last few decades; some practicioners believed that birth was so dangerous that woman needed them and their interventions in order to birth.

I think there was, and sometimes still is, this idea that birth was so dangerous, and women are so weak, that we require a doctor in order to do what God created our bodies to do.

It was so easy to fear and forget that the complexity God created within us, He also created in us. Our bodies were created to birth the baby He has created in us.

Please hear me, I think doctors and midwives can be a wonderful part of the birth team, but they are just that: part of the birth team.

When I first understood this idea with my second baby, it seemed to create a pride in me. My first baby I felt like I wasn’t calling the shots, and I gave into things I didn’t quite understand, which led to a c-section.

So as soon as I became pregnant with my second child, I was NOT going to let that happen again. I planned for a home birth so no one could control my birth, because I believed I knew what was best and I felt this need to prove myself.

Looking back, I do believe having a home birth was a great choice, but my heart was the issue. My heart continued to grow in pride and what I could do, and what I could prove my body could do.

I read hundreds of birth stories as I prepared for my home birth. I read and read and grew eager to be able to tell my birth story. I wanted to “make right” what I felt my body had failed. I desired to be seen as strong.

I had set out to prove myself, my body, and my ability. With this, my pride grew and grew.

My birth plans had then become what I could do, what I could accomplish, not what God could do.

We have to be so careful that we are allowing the Lord to search our hearts and our motivations for our birth choices.

It is so easy to fall on either side of the extreme. We can fear birth, be unwilling to take part in planning and preparing for birth, and leave the entire process in the hands of a doctor or midwife, or we can take complete control, seeking to prove something and to exult our ability. And truly, few people would probably even know your heart’s motives but God.

We must be willing to lay our birth plans before Him and ask Him where, who, why, how, when, and what He wants for our births. We must be willing to surrender our births for His glory. 

Where should I plan my birth that would bring Him most glory? Who should be present at my births? Why am I planning for the birth I am planning for? How does He want to use this birth to sanctify me and make me more like Him? When does He want labor to start and end? What does He want to teach me?

The motivation of our hearts towards birth is simple: For God’s glory to increase and our glory and praise to decrease. 

“He must increase, but I must decrease.”

Just before this verse, in verse 27, John says, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given to him from heaven.”

The precious baby growing in your belly, that is a gift from above. This blessing is given to us to take part in the creation of life, to show God’s glory, not our ability to birth our baby a certain way.

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