On Mother's day it is good to be reminded of some of the basic teachings in the Bible concerning motherhood. It was God, who in the beginning, ordained the family, creating the woman as a helper and companion for man (Genesis 2:20-24), and it was He who commanded the man and the woman to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth - or to become fathers and mothers (Genesis 1:28).
THE BIBLE TEACHES THAT
We know it is not popular today to say this. In some places in our country today it is not popular to be a wife and mother. It is my personal conviction that much of the meanness and delinquency that exists in our country exists because women have left this high calling to become something else.
A woman may be highly successful in business; she may be a leader of a country; she may have made her mark in the military; but in all of this, she has stepped down from the most rewarding and most important position that she could hold - that of being a mother.
There is nothing that should bring more joy to a woman than to be a faithful wife and mother. In John 16:21-22, Jesus compares this joy with the joy the disciples would experience when they saw Him after His resurrection.
What greater joy could the disciples have experienced than to see Jesus after His resurrection - to have their hope again renewed after they had felt defeat because Jesus had been crucified. Jesus teaches that their joy at seeing Him would be like that of a woman who goes through painful labor, but who, after giving birth is so overjoyed that she forgets the pain that she suffered. This gives us some insight into the proper attitude of the woman at becoming a mother.
THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF MOTHERHOOD
In saying that motherhood is a high calling for women though, we need to understand that not every woman should be a mother. This is true because with the joy of becoming a mother comes great responsibilities. If a woman is not willing to fulfill these responsibilities, she does not need to become a mother.What are some of these responsibilities?
It goes without saying that the mother has the responsibility (along with her husband) of providing for the physical needs of her children. The mother (again along with her husband) has the responsibility to protect her children from that which would harm them. Unfortunately, many do not take these responsibilities seriously. Many mothers are leaving the raising of their children to baby sitters (who may or may not have the best interest of their children at heart). Many mothers abuse their children in different ways. Many are so selfish and self-centered that they will not even see to the very basic needs of their children.
There are women who become mothers who use abortion as a form of birth control - who allow doctors to murder their unborn children, and those same mothers may be back at the abortionist office several times in their lifetime. God condemns the murder of innocent human beings, and we need to understand that. Proverbs speaks of the shedding of innocent blood as one of those things that God hates (Proverbs 6:16-17). There is no person who is more innocent than that baby who is in the womb of his/her mother.
Some mothers-to-be will not take care of themselves when they are expecting a child. They use tobacco, drink alcohol, take illegal drugs and such like, all the while knowing that it will harm the child they are carrying. God certainly is not pleased with the mother who will not take care of herself during pregnancy.
There is a principle set forth in Ezekiel 16:44 which shows one of the great responsibilities a mother has, it says, "Indeed everyone who quotes proverbs will use this proverb against you: 'Like mother, like daughter!' There is a lesson in this for both parents. We parents must realize that our children will more than likely follow in our steps. You mothers and would-be mothers today should realize that your children will follow in your steps. You need to remember that next time you use tobacco. I don't think we talk about this enough. I don't know of any one who uses tobacco who wants their children to use it. They realize that it is a nasty addiction. They realize the many ways it harms your health. But do they realize that if they use tobacco, more than likely their children will use it? In fact, if you smoke around your children they are already using it because they breathe in the second hand smoke, which scientists and doctors now know is harmful or even more harmful than that which you draw into your own lungs. It always makes me cringe when I see a mother who is smoking drive by in a car with the windows rolled up and see a baby or small child in a car seat behind her. Doesnít she know that her baby is smoking as much as she is? We condemn the mother who takes crack cocaine when she is expecting and that child becomes addicted to it before it is born. But how many of us realize the addiction that may be taking place when that father or mother smokes in the presence of their children? So, remember the next time you use tobacco, you may not only be harming yourself, but those precious children God has blessed you with. What better incentive could there be to quit (aside from the spiritual considerations) than to realize that your use of tobacco may be harming your children?
But this principle is also true of the drinking of alcohol and the use of illegal drugs or any thing like that. We have to realize that we are setting an example before our children no matter what we do. I'm reminded of a public announcement spot on television where a father is confronting his teenage son about finding some drugs in his room, and he asks, "where did you learn this?" And his son finally says, "from you, O.K.?!" Thatís a sobering statement. but many times that is where children learn these kinds of things. If we use alcohol or illegal drugs or watch/read pornography, or things like that, we may very possibly influence our children to do so too, to their own destruction.
But this is also true when we decide to forsake the assembly of the church. We are showing our children what is really the most important thing to us. We are showing them that spiritual things take a back seat to material things. We are giving them an example that most likely they will follow when they grow up.
The same thing is true in our attitude toward other members of the church. If we are always criticizing the preacher or the elders or the Bible class teachers, we can be assured that our children will develop a similar attitude.
We need to realize that our children will follow in our footsteps. We need to realize how much influence we have on them. Parents, our responsibility to our children is to live the kind of life before them that would lead them to love and respect us and to love, respect, honor others and to love, respect, honor and obey God.
Mothers, you need to realize that (after your responsibility to God) the responsibility of being a wife and mother comes first in your life. That secular job you have is not to be the most important thing in your life. The most important thing is to see to the needs of your husband and children. I know that's not popular to say today, but the Bible teaches it.
Have we forgotten the admonition that Paul gave to the older women?
The older ladies have an obligation to teach the younger women to love their husbands and their children. Someone might ask, "isn't it just natural for a woman to love her husband and children?" Ordinarily that's true, but the young women need to be taught by the older women what true love is. Many people don't know what true love is - what Bible love is - and that's what Paul enjoins here. Young women must be taught that true love is sacrificial love - that true love puts the good of the husband and children first - that true love is not selfish. Of course, young men need to be taught this too.
Paul said that women are to be homemakers. Strong says this means "domestically inclined." Wuest says it means caring for the home. Mothers, what is most important to you? What do you love the most? What do you consider your top priority? I do not believe that this teaches that woman cannot work outside the home. If that were so, then why would the Holy Spirit inspire the writing of Proverbs 31:24? In this passage a faithful mother and wife is commended for making linen garments and selling them and supplying merchants with sashes. She was evidently a business woman. Yet, she was highly commended. To be a homemaker is to give priority to your home. To be "domestically inclined" as Strong said. To put your husband and children above any job or career you may have.
Paul points out the reason that young women are to be taught this, "that the word of God may not be blasphemed." You cause the word of God to be blasphemed (spoken against) when you fail to obey this injunction of the Holy Spirit to love your husband, to love your children, and to be homemakers.
Young ladies, those women who are telling you that to be a wife and mother is old-fashioned; that it is out-of-date; that you are not meeting your full potential; that you are living a life as a slave; are telling you a lie of Satan. There is nothing (apart from being a Christian) that should bring more joy and satisfaction, than to be a faithful mother and wife. I never cease to be amazed, when these things are taught from the Bible, how many women and some men will shake their heads and laugh and mock God's word. These things were not just written to be obeyed by those who lived in the first century. They apply to us today.
Another responsibility you mothers have is to teach your children the Bible. I know the husband shares in this responsibility (Ephesians 6:5), but the wife also must take part. Unfortunately many husbands seem to think this is exclusively the mothers responsibility, but that is not so.
Paul wrote to Timothy, "...and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 3:15). How did Timothy come to a knowledge of the scriptures from childhood? The answer is found in 2 Timothy 1:5: "when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also." No doubt Timothyís mother and grandmother had much to do with him learning the scriptures from childhood.
How much do you study the Bible with your children? I'm not talking about bringing them to Bible classes, Vacation Bible School and such like. I'm talking about you teaching the Bible to your children at home. This question is one for both mothers and fathers to answer.
Mothers, teach your children to marry properly. Teach them that they must keep themselves pure for marriage. That means you must teach them that sex outside of marriage is wrong. They don't need to be taught safe sex - they need to be taught NO SEX UNTIL MARRIAGE. I don't go along with the idea that is expressed by so many of our government officials that young people cannot be taught to control themselves. If they are taught to exercise self-control, they can exercise self-control. We need to have more faith in our young people and realize that they really want to do what is right and they really want restraints placed upon them.
Paul taught, "Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body" (1 Corinthians 6:18). This is what we must be teaching our children. They are to flee fornication - run from sex outside of marriage, homosexuality, etc... When sex takes place outside of marriage you sin against your own body. Living together without being married is a sin in God's sight. The Hebrew writer wrote, "Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13:4).
Teach your children to chose a marriage partner who is eligible to be married. Not everyone is eligible to marry. Jesus said, "But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery" (Matthew 5:32). If one marries a woman who has been divorced for a cause other than her spouse was guilty of committing adultery, he commits sin. The only safe decision to make when it comes to who to marry, is to marry someone who has never been married before or marry someone whose marriage partner has died.
Teach your children to wait until they are mature enough to get married. Immaturity is one of the main reasons for divorce. Young people need to be taught to wait until they have their schooling behind them and have a good job so that they can support a family before they marry. Young people, you do not realize, if you have not been through it, what pressures exist when the husband does not have a job so that he can support his family. You will be a lot happier in the beginning and throughout your life, if you make sure you are ready for marriage before you enter into that marriage relationship - spiritually, emotionally, physically and financially.
Mothers, you need to teach your children that the ability to have children is not what makes a good parent. What makes a good parent is a study of, love of, and application of the word of God.
Mothers realize the great influence you have on your children. Truly:
Mothers, realize that you, possibly more than anyone else, will be responsible for leading your children in the right way or the wrong way. What you do and how you live, what you teach may determine where your child will be in eternity.
THE AMAZING LOVE AND SELF-SACRIFICE OF MOTHERS
Mary, Jesus' mother, is a great example of the amazing love and self-sacrifice of faithful mothers. Mary stood by Jesus all His life.
Mary did not run away when Jesus was arrested like His disciples did. She stood by Him. And now, while He hangs on the cross, undergoing terrible anguish and pain, she stands by Him, helpless, yet no doubt giving strength to her Son as He dies for the sins of the world.
Jesus loved His mother so much, and even in the face of hanging on the cross, He made sure that His mother would be taken care of by telling John to take her into his home (John 19:26-27).
Mothers all over the world have been known to make great sacrifices for their children. That's true love. That's the attitude God desires for you to have toward your children.
HOW FAITHFUL MOTHERS DESERVE OUR HONOR AND RESPECT! Not just on mother's day, but every day! Paul wrote, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise" (Ephesians 6:1-2). This verse not only tells us to honor our fathers and mothers, but it tells us how to do it. We do it by obeying them. Isn't that simple?
Proverbs 10:1 says, "A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is the grief of his mother." Again in Proverbs 15:20 it says, "A wise son makes a father glad, but a foolish man despises (to abhor, detest, hate, loath, disdain, scorn) his mother." Proverbs 17:25 says, "A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness (harsh, painful, biting, severe, sharp, cutting, sarcastic) to her who bore him." The wise son is the son who obeys his father and mother. We should desire more than anything to honor, respect, love and cherish our mothers rather than causing grief to them. Rather than despising them and causing them to become bitter by our conduct.
We can honor our mothers by living the kind of life that God is pleased with - in the words of the poet:
"Don't aim to be an
How many times do we do things that would make our mother ashamed of us? When you are tempted to do wrong, think about what it would do to your mother if she knew.
What kind of mother are you? Are you a faithful Christian? Are you the kind of mother that God approves? Are you the kind of mother that your children call blessed?
And this is to the children of those mothers we honor - Have you shown proper honor for your mother and father by the life that you have lived? Are you a Christian?