Galatians 4:19–my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you!
In general, though there are many exceptions, parents naturally strive in anguish to raise their children according to what they think is right. Even through their rebellion and dishonor, parents still grieve with a heart that desires what they believe is best for their children…
The apostle Paul with the heart of a parent, describes his desire for the Galatian believers to come back to Christ and the truth of the gospel. He describes his love for them like a mother being in the anguish of childbirth to see them have a sincere devotion to Christ, and come back from their deception from false teachers…(Galatians 5:1-12)
The challenge for us as Christians is to test whether we love others in Christ to this degree, or those we love that are unbelievers? Like Paul, this Christ-like love pulls us out of a distorted view of Christianity, that centers on us “being blessed”. To wanting to share in the joy of others experiencing Christ (ie. what’s best for them like a parent does for a child). (2 Corinthians 2:3, Philippians 4:1)
Today, for a man to describe his pain as “the anguish of childbirth” would probably be met with vitriol. But Paul being sincere about his toil and suffering for the gospel, has the right to describe his efforts as extremely painful and heart wrenching, because he sincerely cares that much! (2 Corinthians 11:23-29)
Paul would probably defend himself by saying, that if we don’t care to see people experience our Lord and His goodness, then our apathy could never fathom his pain to love like he does! Paul knows it was the anguish of Christ’s sufferings that saved him, so his life was devoted to getting the “heart of Christ” to love others as God loved him. (John 13:34, Galatians 6:17)
As much as it hurts to love deeply, the love of Christ has hope in it, while apathy avoids such hope that people can change or grow. Keep seeking Christ to love, even though it hurts. (Romans 5:3-5)-In His Love, Ld