Motherhood doesn’t get much encouragement from our society. The media belittles family values, and the culture at large sees children as a burden and motherhood, in particular, as undesirable.
Yet, to children, mothers are perhaps the greatest difference-makers in their lives. As we approach Mother’s Day, I’m always reminded anew of how indebted I am to my own godly mother and her selfless investments in my life. And, of course, I’m profoundly thankful for Terrie and the many ways she nurtured and loved our children and now our grandchildren.
If our culture devalues mothers, however, Scripture shows their incredible worth. What’s more, through snapshots of godly mothers, it gives us a picture of how they make a difference in their children’s lives.
1. Fervent Prayer—Hannah
For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him: Therefore also I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the Lord. And he worshipped the Lord there.—1 Samuel 1:27–28
Samuel’s very life was an answer to Hannah’s prayers. She not only prayed for his existence, but she prayed to dedicate him to the Lord as well. Her prayer life forever shaped one of the most significant spiritual leaders in Israel’s history.
As a parent, there are so many things we can’t do for our children. And there are many ways we fail in what we could do. But one thing every Christian parent can do is pray for your children.
2. Real Faith—Lois and Eunice
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 Timothy 1:5
Children don’t expect their parents to be perfect, but they do expect them to be real. That is why it was the unfeigned faith of Timothy’s grandmother and mother that so powerfully shaped his heart. What he saw at home was the same as what others saw in public.
When a child sees his mother walk by faith, it influences him in ways he may never fully know.
3. Scriptural Instruction—Lois and Eunice
And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.—2 Timothy 3:15
Lois and Eunice not only had Timothy in church (and a church planted by the apostle Paul, at that!), but they taught him personally.
The Word of God is powerful, and it reaches a child’s heart in ways even a mother cannot. Every effort you make, then, to instill God’s Word into the hearts and lives of your children is an eternal investment.
4. Fearless Trust—Jocabed
And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink.—Exodus 2:3
There is a God-placed desire in the heart of a mother to protect her children. But, like Jocabed, you can’t protect them from every devilish onslaught of a godless culture.
What gave Jocabed the courage to put her three-month-old baby in a basket in the river? The only answer is that she trusted God. And Hebrews 11 shows us that Jocabed and Amram’s trust paved the way for Moses’ own choices of faith in years to come.
By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.—Hebrews 11:23
By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; (Hebrews 11:24-25)
So pray for your children, yes! Live a real faith before them, yes! Provide instruction in the ways of God, yes! But ultimately, trust God, for He is the one who truly makes a difference in a child’s life.