The Pains and Joys of Labor
My wife is in the final stages of pregnancy, and it reminds me of this teaching from Christ:
“When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world.” -John 16:21, NAB
Jesus was actually using this verse in one of His parables or analogies, but the truth behind the verse remains the same. The pains of labor are scary, but the joys make it all worthwhile.
Today, our family, friends, coworkers, and fellow parishioners are gathering to throw my wife a baby shower. All of the women from our life will come together to support her during this important moment.
For any woman, going through labor for the first time can be a scary experience. Movies, television, and popular culture have made it so. Friends and family who have been through this experience themselves can hopefully calm her worries. Nothing can take away the pain, but the expectation of joy can strengthen her.
Undoubtedly, the women who are already mothers will share their experiences with her – telling her about the woes of childbirth and the joy it brings forth. They will tell her stories about the pains and joys of labor.
My wife, along with the other expectant mothers of the world, could use your prayers today – especially first-time mothers who do not know what to expect. Add them to your prayers – asking God to give them the strength, faith, courage, and healing they need in this moment.
As for me, like any husband, it is a difficult time. We generally spend our lives protecting our wives the best we can, but in this situation, there is little we can do. Our job is simply to be there to serve and take care of her in any way that she needs. May God strengthen me for that journey.
Pray for the women about to experience the pains and joys of labor. It is one of life’s most difficult moments, but it brings with it one of life’s greatest joys. May God strengthen these mothers-to-be for this difficult, yet rewarding, journey.