Being a mother in today’s world is certainly not easy. There are some circumstances when a mother and a grandmother have a mutually important role of raising the children in the family. The old saying, “It takes a village to raise a child” comes to mind. Unfortunately, today we have parents who are often confronted by their children or who may even be abused by their children. There may be a complete absence of control or discipline in the household where the children have little or no regard for their parents. This is contrary to what Scripture declares, for motherhood is part of God’s plan and purpose. Many of us can attribute our successes and triumphs we experience in the strength and encouragement of our mothers. A mother has to rely upon knowledge, wisdom and the proper motivation to teach and instruct their children. All of this requires time, which is often precious and while there needs to be prioritization, the mother recognizes the importance in making time for the benefit of their children.
God sees motherhood as an important role in the family that benefits the children, and God honors the mother in the fulfillment of her role. There is a similar honor for all of us, as well, in how well we treat our father and mother. “Honor your father and your mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12). It is not a choice for the child of a mother to honor and respect her–it is God’s command. When you disrespect your mother or curse her, you’re not honoring her.
Historically, the father was outside of the home to fulfill the responsibilities of the country and also the household, including fighting in battles, searching for food, and, in more modern times, working to earn money to care for the entire family. The mother had the more traditional role in the home shaping and molding the children with wisdom and instruction. “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction, and don’t reject your mother’s teaching” (Proverbs 1:8). Young ladies, especially, need a mother’s instruction to know how to grow up to be successful young women. When a child comes to a place where they are not listening to their mother’s instruction, they enter into a very dangerous area and can bring destruction upon themselves, for they are not operating within God’s will, plan and purpose by their actions. “A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish one despises his mother” (Proverbs 15:20).
What is the extent of the love that a mother can have for her children? Consider the example of Rizpah in the book of 2 Samuel 21, where, even in her sons’ tragic death, she was so devoted to her children that she literally protected their bodies from the birds and animals from April (harvest time) until October. This was the only reference in Scripture about Rizpah and her children, but if this is how she cared for and nurtured her children after their death, just imagine how she treated them and cared for them during their lifetime! Her love and devotion is admirable, and shows that mothers have a special God-given ability to care for and nurture their children.
Mothers need to know that they really do matter to their children. Mothers should never think that they are too old to give their children advice on life. While it is to be given in respect of the child who has grown into adulthood, the role remains the same in that the mother still has a positive influence and effect on their children.
Loving mothers should represent good things when it comes to their children. God wants them to give good gifts of instruction and wisdom to their children, which builds up their faith and good character. It is not just words, but also the example of living a godly life before your children (Matthew 7:9-11). Timothy most likely witnessed, and therefore, experienced the living faith of his mother and grandmother as he was being raised by them (2 Timothy 1:5-7). This faith was passed down from generation to generation–first from the grandmother, and then to his mother, and then to Timothy. When you find a woman who knows the Lord Jesus Christ, you have found a woman who will invest in the life, health, and well-being of their children.
A mother has great ambitions for their children. Their desire is for their children to see that same desire that they have and to take hold of it. What is the gift or ambition that you have given to your children? Do you instill confidence and encouragement to give the child the desire to do well and look beyond the obvious? You know what they are capable of; therefore, dream big dreams for your children. While others may say it can’t be done, your words can help them achieve and succeed beyond their expectations. Mothers have to instruct, push, correct, and guide their children in order to see to it that they realize success, especially in your demonstration of a life of faith and love in Jesus Christ (Proverbs 22:6, 23:13).
Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers and grandmothers! We love you and appreciate all that you have done for us!