A Great Mother
Need Not Be
A Perfect Person
There are many great examples of motherhood in the Bible. Sara, Jochebed and Hannah always come to mind but what made them notable was their great faith.
Not faith in the general sense of the word. It was the faith associated with Motherhood. The faith required to become a mother, i.e., get pregnant, or to be a mother. Some struggled with both kinds of faith but all of them wrestled with the kind of faith it takes to shape the life of a child.
The distinction is important. Faith isn’t the same for every person.
But, here is the question. We can make endless observations about the Motherly skills of these ladies from what we read in the Bible but what would be interesting, is to know what their children might say about them.
Moses might say, “My mother was . . .”
- Courageous – If she had been cowardly when I was born, I might not have lived very long.
- Inventive – She found a way to introduce me into Pharaoh’s household and still be a mother to me as a child.
- Believing – She didn’t give in or acquiesce. Instead of accepting the status quo and let me die the death of all my male born peers, she was determined to save me from certain death.
But all of that is stating the obvious. If Moses were to relate a story he might tell us about sitting on his mother’s lap while she told him how God saved his life and making that point that he was saved for a special purpose. To deliver Israel from Egyptian slavery.
She would have had the opportunity and the faith to teach him these things. If she was anything like today’s Moms, she probably made the point more than once.
I’m sure her words echoed in his mind every time he was afraid or frustrated or angry with the process of leading Israel. Circumstances constantly changed and he was often not sure what to do next but his mother’s teaching probably kept him going in the right direction.
Makes you wonder what impressions we have made on our kids.
Samuel might say, “My mother was . . .”
- Steady – Instead of becoming bitter when my Dad’s second wife gave him children, and then made fun of her barren state, she kept her head up. She never internalized the pain.
- Focused – Instead of blaming my Dad and becoming vengeful to the second wife she prayed.
- Resolute – Instead of wavering, she kept her promise to the Lord. She took me to Temple and left me there to serve continually once I reached an appropriate age.
But once again, that is stating the obvious. What would Samuel say he personally remembered most about his Mom? What character qualities did her influence stimulate in his life?
None of her conversations with Samuel are recorded so we don’t know what she said but she probably didn’t need to say much. Her life had to speak volumes to Samuel. Her ability to remain committed to God when surrounded by shallow people was a testimony to him after she was gone. I doubt Samuel appreciated being dumped at the Temple at a very young age. He might have even griped about it.
But I’m sure he learned from her unwavering insistence on doing the right thing. It kept him steady during the great transitions during which he led Israel.
He transitioned the nation from a theocracy (rule of God) to a monarchy and anointed two kings, Saul and David. He provided consistent leadership throughout his life, even when the nation wobbled spiritually.
Samuel had a very effective prayer life too. No doubt his Mom’s example helped him develop that skill.
Don’t Worry About Being Perfect
If you’re a Mom and you’re worried about being perfect, don’t. None of the mothers in the Bible were perfect.
The story books usually illustrate them with perfect hair, immaculate make up and the picture of peace but that isn’t realistic. They probably exhibited all the traits common to motherhood today. Short tempers, raised voices, frowning faces, etc. I doubt Moses’ mother ever had an shimmering aura about her head.
What we learn from that is Moms don’t need to be perfect people to be perfect Moms.
There is another important lesson we learn from these mothers. Although Jesus saves souls with no help from anyone, He needs Mom’s help to save the life of their children.