The idea of Mother’s Day was first suggested in 1872 by Julia Ward Howe, the author of the stirring song, “The Battle Hymn of The Republic.” Perhaps that was only fitting because good mothers understand that there are battles which must be fought in life and they know how to fight for what is important. As the poem declares: “The bravest battle that ever was fought, shall I tell you where and when? On the maps of the world you will find it not, it was fought by the mothers of men.” That’s right! It is said that by the time a youngster reaches 18 years of age, the mother has handled some 18,000 hours of child-generated housework, dealing with things that would not have been necessary had there been no child. If there is anyone in this life who deserves our honor and respect, surely our mothers do.
This, of course, is a Bible topic and the word of God emphasizes the importance of motherhood to the home. “I will therefore that the younger women marry, “ Paul wrote in 1 Tim. 5:14, “bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” This shows that the home is, indeed, the woman’s domain (her main sphere of activity) and this is where she fulfills her destiny. In fact, bearing children is a unique role of the woman and she has that feminine touch which helps to bring order and a sweetness to the home that would be lacking without her presence. Although some are seeking to obliterate all distinctions between the sexes in our society, God created men and women differently. Instead of looking upon that as a criticism or something to be viewed in a negative way, we need to possess an appreciation for those differences and see how they enrich our lives. The truth is that both the woman’s femininity and the man’s masculinity are important, playing a vital role in balancing things out in the home (for the good of children and everyone involved).
One of the most beautiful tributes ever paid to womanhood is found in the last chapter of the Proverbs, where the section begins by affirming that you cannot put a price tag on a mother’s worth. After declaring, “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies” (Prov. 31:10), we learn in verse 28 that he is referring to both a wife and a mother, whose “children arise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” Dear reader, why should a mother’s worth be something that we value so highly? The answer to that question has to do with all the things a mother is and the different areas that motherhood involves. As I deal with this topic from that standpoint, let’s notice the great value of a godly mother . . .
HER ROLE AS A TEACHER
Mothers need to understand and appreciate that up to a certain point in their child’s life, they are probably the most important and most effective teacher the child will ever have! They teach their children lessons that are vital to their very existence here upon this earth, including things like how to eat properly, potty training, the need for good manners, honesty, integrity, morality, modesty, etc. In many ways the mother is the “hub” on which everything else turns, and due to the multifaceted roles she plays in the home, everyone should see her importance. All the members of a family depend upon mother more than they could ever imagine!
It’s really hard to understand the attitude of some women, sometimes even in the church, when you take all of these facts into account. Instead of being content with their God-given role, some long for something more, perhaps wanting to be preachers (public proclaimers of God’s word) or having a “ministry” that operates outside the woman’s Biblical sphere of activity. Do you know what that demonstrates? It shows that some do not fully appreciate how important women and mothers are to the work of the church. One man said that we need to appreciate what he called the “ministry of motherhood.” In other words, let’s don’t overlook the vital role of mothers in teaching their children and instructing them in the ways of the Lord! However, some do because it is something that is done in a private, individual capacity (See 1 Cor. 14:34-35 & 1 Tim. 2:11-12).
It was Eunice and Lois in the long ago, a mother and grandmother to an evangelist in the early church, who helped their son/grandson to become the great man of faith that he was. Paul wrote to Timothy, “When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also” (2 Tim. 1:5). These dear women were so totally committed to living for the Lord that Timothy knew the joy of residing in a godly home. Furthermore, by verbal instruction and a true example of righteousness, they instilled in Timothy the same kind of faith that they possessed. Likewise, every mother in the church has that same responsibility today! Take the time and initiative to teach your children about spiritual things– Tell them the story of Jesus (and other Bible characters), teach them how to pray, instill within them the godly principles of God’s word, and teach them that the Lord must come first in their lives. One man put it like this: “Mothers write on the hearts of their children what the rough hand of the world cannot erase.” Amen!
HER ROLE AS A NURSE
A nurse is someone who looks after patients with diligent care and is always at the beckoning call of the one in need. Obviously, it takes a dedicated, unselfish person to always be taking care of someone else, even if it means that their own needs must be put on hold for the moment. When you think about it, what an able description of a mother! When a child gets sick, for example, or has been injured in some way, who is the first person they think of and want to run to? Generally speaking, it’s mother. Although there is no medicinal value in a kiss or the touch of a gentle hand, somehow mothers have a way of always making it better and taking the pain away.
When the son of the Shunammite woman fell sick in the field, the father said, “Carry him to his mother” (2 Kings 4:18-20); then the Bible says that “he sat on her knees till noon, and he died.” When we think of all the sacrifices our mothers have made on our behalf (seeing to it that we were safe, secure and happy), this is sufficient reason to honor them as we should. One man said that he finally found a Mother’s Day card that expressed how he felt: “Now that we have a mature, adult relationship, there’s something I’d like to tell you. You’re still the first person I think of when I fall down and get an ouchy.”
Godly mothers teach us about who God is, especially in the area of love. God’s love is deep and rich, plentiful in mercy and forgiveness, and always seeking our good. The closest thing to that kind of love in this life is probably the love of a mother. After all, godly mothers always seek the best for their children, first and foremost in a spiritual sense, and they are long on mercy and slow to anger. No wonder Abraham Lincoln once said: “No one is poor who has a godly mother.”
HER ROLE AS A COUNSELOR
Some of the best advice a young person will ever receive is from a godly mother. While professional counselors are very expensive, her advice is “free” for the asking and, while no parent is infallible in word or deed, she would never knowingly steer you in the wrong direction. Since godly parents are committed to bringing their children up “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4), they will always act in your best interest by pointing you to the Scriptures for guidance. In that sense the words of Solomon are still applicable today: “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother” (Prov. 1:8). What a blessing it is to be raised by parents who love God’s word!
Yes, godly mothers watch out for the souls of their children and will do what they can to provide them with the correction they need in their lives. Napoleon once said: “Let France have great mothers, and France will have great sons.” Likewise, with great, God-fearing mothers in the church, the church will be strong and stand on solid ground!
Article By: Bill D Dickinson