Having 6 children is a blessing beyond belief. Having watched women go through pregnancy and give birth is an enormous experience and brings with it tales of the magnitude of fish stories, they get funnier and better each new year!
Take for example the night my middle daughter's mother broke her water when we lived far off in Woodstock, Ga which was then considered country (1982). It was raining heavily (no pun intended) and the bridge along the road on 140 into Roswell was in danger of flooding. I looked at her and said "I'll go get the car and we better get going.” To my surprise she said "no" for a reason I can't remember but must have certainly made sense to her at the time. But it sprung my instant message of wisdom into action as I said, "You better get ready or I'm leaving without you".
They both love to relive that story, and it gets more hilarious when told again, but the greater part of that is that 3 months prior, my wife had dislocated her hip in a car accident and we not only had to pry her out of the car, but the doctor needed my assistance at the hospital to help put it back into place. She vowed to me, being an absolute woman of courage, to walk into that hospital to deliver without a cane or wheelchair, and despite our brief delay on that night, she did.
From that event and the other births, I truly believe women who are about to deliver are the most beautiful women in the world. They glow with an aura that is beyond natural beauty and when you are privileged to see that look, you see a woman at her finest moment.
Maybe that's why Jesus put such a value on women when those around him considered them second class. And maybe we as men don't look deep enough inside a woman's soul to see what a great gift God has given us. I have definitely been guilty of overlooking the depth of a woman's soul for her more visual compelling assets, but being around pregnant women the past few months has brought me back into that realm of greater understanding. What beauty exists at those moments of completing the beginning cycle of conception to birth.
It is then that we men can appreciate what a woman has to go through to have our children. On that night, Valaree gave birth to Natalee without drugs in a most amazing natural childbirth while I held the camera in one hand and an oxygen mask in the other. On that table, between shouts of words I can't repeat, she became the most beautiful girl in the world to me.
I can't say I have put into practice all the appreciation I had that night into all my relationships with women, but I can say that I have learned why God created Eve, and why Jesus said to his mother Mary as he was about to die on the cross, "Dear woman, here is your son." and to John, "Here is your mother." For not only is there no greater honor than to be a mother, but there is no more beautiful woman than one about to become a mother.
And no greater treasure for a man than to behold that beauty firsthand!
PS. Let's hear your comment about your "birth" story on www.acrossthebridge.weebly.com
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.