The word “mother” is mentioned over 300 times in the Bible. Mothers were very important. Let’s look at a few of them and see what timeless lessons they have for us.
Eve, Mother of the Human Race
With such an important responsibility, we might think Eve would have been the perfect mother. However, she got off to a rocky start.
Eve sinned. There were consequences. She and Adam had to leave the Garden of Eden. She would have pain in childbirth.
Sin often has consequences that cannot be changed. However, God’s Grace covers all sins for which we ask and receive God’s Forgiveness. God has a Plan for our lives. No matter how many bumpy spots we have, He will work out that Plan.
God had a Plan for Eve. He did not turn her back into one of Adam’s ribs and start over. He allowed Eve to be the first mother, just as He had planned.
However, satan was not left behind in the garden. He was not walking or dancing anymore … but he slithered into the world outside the garden and he stayed active.
After a new beginning, Eve had children. However, satan was still active in the first family. Her first two sons got into conflict. Cain slew Abel.
We don’t know the full picture of how Eve raised her sons … or what she thought when one murdered the other. However, we can do a little psychological post mortem and see how satan might have crept into this family.
Cain’s sacrifice was not pleasing to God. His brother’s was. Instead of examining himself to see what he should do to offer an acceptable sacrifice, Cain immediately went to the feeling of:
- God has not given me all He could have. He has not fully accepted me.
- I’ll take matters into my own hands and resolve this now.
Is it possible Cain had absorbed the feelings of Eve, his mother? Those appeared to have been her thoughts in the Garden.
With all the Gifts of God in the garden, Eve may have thought
- I’m not as smart as I could be. God has not given me all He could have. He has not fully accepted me.
- I’ll take matters into my own hands now.
While we may not actively encourage our children to sin, they may pick up attitudes from us. When there are problems, do we encourage our children to seek God and to wait on His Answer, or do we imply they should be handling things now?
What can we learn from Eve?
We can ask God to show us any areas in our life that are not healed, so the pain does not get passed on to our children.
We can stop listening to any holdovers from our mother’s past and embrace the Plans God has for us and our children now and in our future.
We can communicate God’s Message to our children: God has a wonderful Plan for your Life, it’s a Good Plan and He will work it out in His Time. Don’t run ahead and try to take matters into your own hands.
Rebecca, Mother of Jacob and Esau
Let’s look at another Bible mother. Sometimes sin is not just a subtle seed that grows up into a sin. Sometimes mothers and fathers act out the sins that their children see first hand. And sometimes parents actively encourage their children to sin.
Poor Isaac had enough of a traumatic experience in his youth to last him a lifetime. After Abraham’s almost sacrificing Isaac to his death, Isaac went on to have what he felt was a true blessing in God providing Rebekah as his wife.
After their children were born, Isaac must have felt fulfilled and prepared to be part of the line of father to many nations that his father had been promised.
However, in his old age, something horrible happened. His wife, Rebekah, deceived him. And it gets worse … she did it, using his own son.
Isaac loved Esau. Rebekah loved Jacob. Esau, as the first born, was due to get the favored blessing of the first son. Rebekah intervened and gave her favored son, Jacob, specific instructions on how to cheat his way into getting the nod from his father.
Rebekah’s sin had disastrous results for her and her family. All of them were caught in a web of deceit she orchestrated. And her beloved son ended up on the run, far from her.
Satan got a slam dunk. A husband who could not trust his wife. One son completely rejected by his mother. One son led into a treacherous lie followed by the terror that his brother would kill him.
Rebekah carried forth the lie of:
- You’re not good enough. You need more.
- Take things into your own hands. Don’t wait for God.
Sort of sounds like satan uses the same tactics all the time, doesn’t it. Those lies were the same ones that tripped up Eve, the first mother.
Parents have an awesome responsibility. Their influence during the formative years of childhood can last a lifetime, even into generations to come.
Hear the chilling Words of Jesus in relation to that influence.
If anyone causes one of these little ones —
those who believe in Me — to stumble,
it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck
and be drowned in the depths of the sea!
Bathsheba, Mother of David’s Child
Let’s look at a beautiful mother of the Bible. This mother was so beautiful that she turned the head of the king. And while her husband was off fighting for the king, she went to bed with the king.
Bathsheba was the wife of Uriah. One day King David was walking around on the roof and he saw her bathing. He wanted her. He took steps to have her brought to him. There is no evidence that he wanted her as his wife. It appears he just wanted to relieve his lust.
As a result of their sexual act, Bathsheba became pregnant. David had a problem. You can read more about how he tried to solve things (another example of taking matters into his own hands), but not successfully.
Bathsheba’s husband ended up dead, David did marry Bathsheba, but there were consequences. The son born to David and Bathsheba became ill and died. David was told by the prophet, Nathan, to expect this, as it was God’s Judgement against him.
So what do you make of this mother’s plight? I believe we may safely assume that the child was mercifully returned to God. However, God taught His Lesson in part by the removal of the child. Important Note: We cannot stretch this into thinking any child who dies is removed as a result of the parents’ sin. This is not true! Each life and death is individual.
The only thing we know for sure is that nothing can separate us or our children from the Love of God. We can come to Him in our grief and He will meet us there. And we have the blessed hope of seeing our children again in heaven.
David said, “I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”
(2nd Samuel 12:23) David grieved the earthly loss, but looked forward to the heavenly reunion!
Innocent Children of Innocent Mothers
What about the mothers of the innocent children who were killed by Herod’s men in his frantic search for Jesus? It is said the mothers of those children felt such grief, they refused to be comforted.
How can we explain what seems to us to be senseless deaths of children? I cannot explain it.
God, our Father and Creator, has the unquestionable Right to do as He wills, and that includes moving the eternal lives of His Creation into whatever setting in heaven or earth.
Whether God designed the circumstances or permitted them, He is God Almighty and every circumstance is within His Power.
He comforts when we trust Him enough to allow Him to comfort us.
Mothers Who Do Not Want to be Mothers
Bathsheba and the mothers of the babies slain by Herod’s men wanted to be mothers. But what about mothers who do not want to be mothers? Is a mother a mother if she chooses not to be? There are many mothers and fathers who chose not to receive God’s Gift of Life. They chose abortion. Many regretted their choice.
Many of these parents have suffered for years, silenced by guilt and satan’s accusations that they are not really parents. Especially on Mother’s Day, let’s take a moment of mercy to remember those who realized too late they had given up a precious Gift of God.
And let’s pray for mothers (and fathers) who are even now, contemplating returning God’s Gift.
Not every moral choice is right. Not every circumstance is convenient. Not every pregnancy is planned by humans. But there are no unplanned pregnancies in God’s World. God alone creates Life.
Pray that every mother and father recognize the wonder of the Life God has created and protect it from all harm. Pray that other spiritual mothers and fathers will reach out in the Love, Mercy and Grace of Jesus to help raise children in the nurture of the Lord.
Stay tuned for the next post in which we will look at what we can learn from Elizabeth, the Mother of John the Baptist. What do you do when your child doesn’t turn out quite the way you envisioned? John sounded like a real wild child!
And we will conclude by looking at Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Mary was a young teenager, who risked public shame to bring the Son of God into the world. Mary bore many hardships to bring Jesus up in the nurture of the Lord. Mary loved God enough to surrender her Son to His Will. Mary walked with her Son to the cross and lovingly relinquished Him to reveal the full Light of God’s Glory!