Mothers have a tremendous influence in the lives of their children. What kind of adults their children become is not entirely dependent upon their mom, but she plays a huge role in how they turn out. Motherhood is no picnic. It is probably the greatest challenge women face, being a 24/7 commitment. Even when the kids are grown and out of the nest, a mother continues to think about them.
I applaud single mothers who work hard all day, only to come home to the never-ending tasks of meal preparation, grocery shopping, doing laundry, and helping with homework. I don’t think anyone other than a single mom can relate to how exhausting it is.
In addition to single moms, my heart goes out to the women who want to be mothers, but either they aren’t married or they can’t get pregnant. They want to celebrate with their friends who are having children, but, at the same time, it is a disappointing reminder that they won’t be holding their own baby in the near future. For them, Mother’s Day can be a hard day. In fact, some will avoid church that particular Sunday to avoid the reminder that they aren’t mothers.
Dads are important too, but today we are focusing on mothers. Let’s look at a few moms mentioned in the pages of the Bible. Some of them are worth emulating; others are not.
Ahaziah’s mom – Ahaziah was one of Judah’s kings. Jehoram was his father. Athaliah was his mom. She was not a good mom. Here is the final word on Ahaziah’s life: “He too walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother encouraged him in doing wrong.” (2 Chronicles 22:3) She was not a nurturing mom. When she should have been disciplining her son and teaching him to be kind and to do good, she was teaching him to do evil and get his way, no matter what.
Jacob’s mom – Jacob was one of the fraternal twin boys born to Isaac and Rebekah. He and his brother, Esau, were as different as night and day. “The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was a quiet man, staying among the tents.” (Genesis 25:27) Esau loved the outdoors and Jacob enjoyed staying around the house. Often kids are different in their personalities and interests. It’s a mother’s task to recognize each child’s uniqueness and encourage them to be all that God has designed them to be. But Rebekah’s downfall was her favoritism, “Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.” (Genesis 25:28) Sometime later, her favoritism led her to encourage Jacob to deceive her husband, which led to many more years of misery.
Timothy’s mom – Hear what the Apostle Paul said about her. “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also...and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 1:5; 3:15) Timothy’s mom, Eunice, passed onto him a strong faith and a deep respect for God’s Word, which resulted in Timothy having a personal love-relationship with God through faith in Jesus.
Lemuel’s mom – “The sayings of King Lemuel—an oracle his mother taught him: ‘O my son, O son of my womb, O son of my vows, do not spend your strength on women, your vigor on those who ruin kings. It is not for kings, O Lemuel— not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer, lest they drink and forget what the law decrees, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights… Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.’” (Proverbs 31:1–5, 8-9) Even as an adult Lemuel was receiving wise advice from his mother.
The rest of this chapter of Proverbs 31 may be the reflections of King Lemuel as he observed his mom. It concludes with this commendation of a godly mother: “She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” (Proverbs 31:27–28)