More than a job or responsibility, mothering is ministry. Most assuredly it takes work! It means sacrifice. Children do not come off an assembly line, nor are they the by-product of an impersonal biological process; they are to be lovingly nurtured by their mothers. Mothers divide time among their children but multiply their love for all their children. To this they add the care of the home, often subtracting many extras in order to do so.
When Isaiah the prophet searched for an illustration of God’s constant love for his people, the best example he could find was a new baby’s mother. Mothers have enduring love that even the most trying circumstances or rebellious child cannot dim. As a mother lets go of her own life for the sake of her child, she is reminded of the depth and height and breadth of God’s love for her, and in a unique way she experiences the true joy of motherhood. This is a truth that will transform any suffering or sacrifice into reward and joy.
There are caring mothers in the Bible: Hagar, wandering in the wilderness, wept for her child, and God responded to the cry of her heart by revealing a well of water nearby to quench the thirst of her and her child (Ge 21:16,19 [NKJV]). Jochebed defied Pharaoh in order to save the life of her son (Ex 2:1–8 [NKJV]). The mother who appealed to Solomon was willing to let another woman enjoy her child rather than see the child murdered (1 Ki 3:26 [NKJV]). The mother from Shunem loved her child so devotedly that she made the difficult journey to find the prophet and inspired him to come and seek life for her child (2 Ki 4:22–35 [NKJV]). Hannah was devoted to her son, yet willingly offered him to the Lord (1 Sa 1:27–28 [NKJV]).
On the other hand, there are wicked mothers such as Athaliah, the idolatrous mother of King Ahaziah, who guided her son into devotion to evil (2 Ki 8:26–27 [NKJV]).
God has a plan for mothers (Ex 2:1–10 [NKJV]). The high calling is an all-consuming task of directing children to God (Dt 6:6–7 [NKJV]): in the morning, you can read God’s Word to your child; at mealtime you are to give attention to meeting physical needs; as you are outside, you can teach your child about the beauty of creation; at bedtime you can pray for your child and give assurance. The reward is worth the effort.
Godly mothers are the nation’s greatest treasure, the Lord’s best helpers, and the most blessed among women.
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