A mother is she who can take the place of all others, but whose place no one else can take. ~ Cardinal Mermillod
Are you even relevant to their success in a society that devalues Godly parenthood? Well, in God’s Eyes you certainly are!
There are moments I wish I could go “back in time” and change what I did or didn’t do. There are things I should have done with my son, or times I should have taken ownership of a volatile situation or conversation. I remember opportunities missed and instances where I just should have stood firm and said, “No!”
We are not perfect Moms, though we strive to be. We often wish our kids came with Owners Manuals. I would have enjoyed a “free online Chat support” when I had a question, or perhaps a “pro-rated warranty” as they got older. But wait - we have something even better – God’s Word and prayer! How many Moms have worn out knees and prayer journals full of petitions on behalf of their kids? How many of us have purchased books like The New Strong Willed Child by James Dobson, or The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartin? Let’s face it – we all need help; one way or another! So - how do our parenting skills compare to those in the Bible?
Here are two examples of motherhood in Scripture to contemplate:
Eve and Jochebed
They are both mothers of significance. They had children that shaped the future of mankind. Both women faced loss and eventual blessing. Here are their stories…
First - Genesis chapters 3 and 4 introduce us to Eve, the first mother. Adam called her name Eve, because she was the mother of all living humans. She conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have gotten a man from the Lord.” Cain worked in the fields and tilled the earth which yielded crops, of which he presented his sacrifice to the Lord. She then bore Abel, the son who was loving and responsible, tending the flocks in the meadows. Able and Cain each offered sacrifices to the Lord God. However, Able’s sacrifice was accepted, and Cain’s was not. Cain killed Abel in a jealous rage over what appeared to be God’s favoritism. Cain was subsequently banished by God for shedding his brother’s blood.
What loss and devastation Eve must have suffered! Do you think she blamed herself for the tragedy they were now facing? How could she go on after losing both sons? We can only imagine how Eve must have felt when she heard God’s words ringing in her ears, “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children.” She and Adam had been cursed by God after their disobedience. Now that sorrow and pain were evidenced in the heartbreak Eve experienced. The first mother on earth mourned one son who was now dead and the other who was never to be seen again.
Eventually Adam and Eve conceived Seth, whose lineage began to “call on the name of the Lord” (Gen. 5). Do you think Eve did things a bit differently in regards to child rearing the second time around? I imagine she spent more time pouring herself into his little life – teaching him about God’s Goodness and about Godly character. She and Adam most likely recanted how his two older siblings had lived, and what happened when God’s laws weren’t adhered to. In God’s great mercy, their third son, Seth, would provide the pathway to mankind’s salvation over many generations, which eventually culminated in the Lord Jesus Christ Himself (Luke 3).
Second - In Exodus 2 we are introduced to Jochebed, the daughter of Levi, born to him in Egypt. She was the wife of Amram and was the mother of Aaron, Miriam and Moses. Her courage and ingenuity saved her son Moses from the wicked mandate of Pharaoh to kill every male Israelite child. She cleverly hid him for three months, before placing him among the reeds in a water-tight basket along the Nile River.
As she watched Miriam approach Pharaoh’s daughter, she must have been relieved to hear that she would be nursing and weaning the child herself before handing him over permanently. Those few early years were no doubt full of Godly teaching and a loving example to that little Hebrew child. Can you imagine the pain and sacrifice she endured as she watched her young son disappear into Pharaoh’s exotic palace to be raised as an Egyptian?
I believe Jochebed was an important part of Moses’ life as a young child and into the reaches of adulthood. She no doubt had an influence on his character, integrity and love for the Lord God of Israel. She also raised Miriam (the eldest) and their brother Aaron, who appeared with Moses in front of the great Pharaoh of Egypt prior to releasing the children of Israel. Were her children perfect? No way. They all displayed major character flaws. All were reprimanded and punished by God for their disobedience. However, all three witnessed God’s Sovereign power, deliverance and blessing in their lives and in their future destinies.
The whole of the matter is this: Mothers have
great influence over their children.
God’s Word is very clear on what we can do. The book of Proverbs is rich in advice and practical wisdom. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” We must teach by example and pray for their spiritual growth. We are to “watch over the ways of our household, and not remain idle” – but stay balanced as we lead our children into adulthood one step at a time. May we look to our Heavenly Father for His guidance and strength.
Deborah is the author of a Christian non-fiction book titled “Mission Possible”. It was written for women who love the Lord Jesus, but their spouse doesn’t share their passion. It will encourage and challenge the reader to embrace God’s promises for their spouse and future together. Visit http://www.spirituallyunevenmarriage.com
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