A mother is a key facilitator and keeper of our identity formation in Christ. Here's how four women are learning to embrace and appreciate their role as mothers in the nitty-gritty of everyday life based on figures set apart in the Bible.
Learning from Mothers of the Bible
Despite the passage of time, despite the cultural differences, mothers of the Bible still speak profoundly to us today. All mothers need the timeless wisdom of moms who made a difference and can teach us to do the same.
The Bible is replete with narratives of mothers who grappled with many of the same issues we face today. Their stories help us navigate our own, creating a rich tapestry of faith that continues through each successive generation.
Eve, the mother of all, probably is best remembered as being duped by Satan. From Eve we can learn the importance of being aware of the enemy's schemes, his desire to ruin families.
When we have important decisions to make, are overwhelmed, or are facing a trial of some sort, that's when the enemy moves in as he did with Eve and says, "Did God really say …?" When we are most vulnerable, Satan wants us to doubt God's character and his words to us. Don't ever question what God says in his Word. If you begin to doubt, doubt your doubt. Sounds confusing, but it works. Be discerning and stick close to God.
Satan approached Eve when she was alone and vulnerable; from this we can learn the importance of staying in community. Join a women's group at church or invite some Christian moms into your home for fellowship.
The widow of Zarephath struggled, as many mothers do today, with putting food on the table. Whether a single mom or in a family facing economic hardship, many moms are worried about having enough food. The woman of Zarephath was asked by God to give what little she had to someone else, something we probably don't consider, believing that we need to conserve and ration what little we have. Give our food to someone else? Ludicrous! But not in God's eyes. It's in the giving that we receive, in the trusting that provision transpires.
Trust God as your Provider. If all you can spare is a single can of corn, give it. Take it to the local food bank or homeless shelter as a step of faith, believing that God will provide for your every need. Even a single can of corn is a beautiful sacrifice in the eyes of God. If we could easily do without it, it wouldn't really be a sacrifice. May we be willing to say with David, "I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God that which cost me nothing" (2 Samuel 24:24, author paraphrase).
Hannah reminds us that our children really belong to the Lord; they are with us for just a brief time. I'm sure Hannah cherished every minute she had with Samuel, yet she knew from the very beginning whose he really was.
As moms we have the wonderful privilege of raising our children for however long they are with us. Yes, they are loud, they sap our energy, and at times they get on our nerves. But they are also beautiful, unique, and a wonder to behold. Enjoy every step of the parenting journey, for these children grow up way too fast.
The Canaanite woman reminds me of myself: stubborn, persistent, dogged. Like a mother bear protecting her cub, this mom wasn't about to give an inch as she pleaded with Jesus on behalf of her child. I like that. Jesus did too, and said to her, "Dear woman, your faith is great. Your request is granted (Matthew 15:28).
No matter what you are going through, never give up. No matter how much your child rebels, never give up. If you are waiting for your prodigal to come home, keep waiting and never give up. God loves a persevering woman.
Mary watched her beloved son die on the cross, a pain so intense I'm sure she felt as though the nails were piercing her heart as surely as they were piercing her son's hands. Mary grieved, but she kept on living. She became a "mom" to the disciple John.
Parenting can be painful, but it's worth it. Perhaps you've loved and lost a child; I've lost three children myself through miscarriage. Maybe your prodigal has left home and you haven't heard from him since. Or maybe years of infertility have left you barren. Become a mom to the motherless. My husband and I are in the process of adopting a child. Or be a much-needed spiritual mom to a kid who could use some godly guidance. Whatever you do, love with all you have.
While these are just some of the mothers of the Bible we can glean from, perhaps the greatest cumulative lesson to be learned is that the responsibilities of motherhood are great, but the rewards are even greater.
Tammy Darling has approximately 975 published articles. Looking to increase her family through adoption, Tammy appreciates all she learns from the women of the Bible.