Q: I have heard different views expressed on I Timothy 2:15, ‘But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.’ What is the correct meaning?”
A: Your question is a good one and not easily answered. The word “saved” in this verse may properly be taken in the sense of “preserved or kept safe.” Obviously the bearing of children is not to be taken here in juxtaposition to eternal salvation by faith alone in Christ’s grace. This passage is upholding the value of childbirth for any society as a God-given blessing through which women are honored in the eyes of God. Hard-core feminists may disdain attempts by the “Bible crowd” to emphasize the importance of motherhood for a society, but the Lord’s way of ordaining the procreation of human life is not to be despised. As this verse shows, it is to be highly esteemed!
The woman has been “preserved” particularly [but not only] for the high and vital task of child-bearing. This is the beautiful and miraculous way God replenishes his earth. Entire womanhood is placed on a high pedestal (in this way, “kept safe”) as a result of God’s having bestowed on women (though not all are able) the gift of bearing the next generation. It is Christian women who bring up their children in the righteousness of Christ for salvation: “…if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.”
Since the Greek of this verse actually says “the childbearing,” some have taught that this is alluding to how the Child, our Lord Jesus, was born of woman in keeping with the promise in Genesis 3:15. Attempts are made to connect “women will be saved” to the fact that it was through this special childbearing that God’s plan of salvation became reality for the salvation of people. It is the advice of this writer to leave open the possibility here of a Christ-child reference.