Motherhood

a compilation for Mother's Day

by Clyde White

It Began at Creation

On the first day of creation there was light divided from darkness.

On the second day of creation there were waters divided into those on the earth and those above the earth.

On the third day of creation the waters were separated from dry land.

On the fourth day of creation the sun, moon, and stars set in the heavens.

On the fifth day of creation there were the creatures of the air and the creatures of the water.

On the sixth day of creation there were land, animals, and man.

Then God made woman, the cap-stone of all creation!

Not only was woman the finishing touch of creation, God gave to woman the highest privilege of all creation: God gave to the woman the privilege of being the channel through which redemption of mankind would also come.

Genesis 3:14 So the LORD God said to the serpent: "Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel." 16 To the woman He said: "I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you."

It was not until after the fall or the sin of Adam that the woman was called Eve. Eve means mother of all living. The Redeemer, Christ Jesus was born into the world without the participation of a man. Christ was to be the seed of the woman, not of the man, hence the Virgin Birth.

The Virtuous Wife

Proverbs 18:22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the LORD

Good wives make good mothers. God’s plan is to have the parents who made the child, raise the child to be able to deal with the world full of confusion, destruction, and sin. But before they attempt to direct that child in the ways of the world and the ways of eternity, husbands and wives should learn to be godly husband and wives. If our fundamental and foremost responsibility is to be a good spouse then parenting will be a natural and spiritual result of that proper union.

This is not as common today as it should be. But God, in His great mercy, can turn our mistakes into a blessing if we are willing to let Him.

Proverbs 31:10 Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.

Virtuous means an inner force that is conformed to a standard of right, integrity, and character. It is wisdom based on a knowledge of good that makes one act in accordance with the good. It is the capacity or power that is adequate to produce a given effect; acting in a just way and in accordance with moral laws, devoid of wickedness.

Then there is the opposite of a virtuous woman, and that is the contentious woman of Proverbs 27:15.

Proverbs 27:15 A continual dripping on a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike; whoever restrains her restrains the wind, and grasps oil with his right hand.

A contentious person is one in a state of violent effort or struggle to obtain, resist, or compete. They are marked by an often perverse and wearisome tendency to quarrels and disputes.

These two women are marked by a vast difference:

  • What I am - production from within, virtuous.
  • What I get - gratification from without, contentious.

In his first letter, Peter told us to not let the quality of your life be seen only by what you do with the outside, but let it be the quality of inner person.

I Peter 3:3 Do not let your beauty be that outward adorning of arranging the hair, of wearing gold, or of putting on fine apparel; 4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.
Proverbs 17:14 The beginning of strife is like releasing water; therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts.

A little strife, a little assertion may get you what you thought you wanted for the time, but God says that the little beginning of strife, is like releasing a little water over an earthen dam. It is small and somewhat controllable at first but just like that little stream over the earthen dam, it will continue to cut away until it is an irreversible destructive flood.

Proverbs 26:20 Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; and where there is no talebearer, strife ceases. 21 As charcoal is to burning coals, and wood to fire, so is a contentious man to kindle strife.

If the relationship is not right between you and your spouse, or your children, make sure that you are not the one adding wood that keep the fire going. It takes two to create strife and keep it going, if you make sure that you aren’t one of those two, the fire will go out. Just realize it may take some time.

Proverbs 21:19 It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and angry woman.

If you see yourself here it may explain why your husband or children would rather do or be almost anywhere but with you. Those are hard words, but for some are very needful. Wives and mothers your home should be the sanctuary, the retreat from the anger and confusion of the world. It should not be the dreaded place of confrontation. If this is your situation and you decide to change for the better, don’t expect immediate response from other. It may take a little while for your husband or children to sense the reality, and see the pattern of difference. But they will see.

Mothers and wives, if you truly want to see your home change for the better, you need to go about it God’s way, even when it seems non-logical in your mind. Our life and time together is so short and what we do with today so important. Today will only be a fleeting memory tomorrow but the attitudes we have built into our family through example will last for eternity.

God’s Profile of a Proper Role Model

If there were ever a day when the nation and the world needed proper mothers, it is today! It is almost impossible to compile statistics on the crumbling conditions of our society. By the time you get a list of stats, the statisticians have already come out with a new list. It is getting worse exponentially. The standard of measure has even been changed from a moral standard, to acceptability by society. That is a real sliding-scale! When questioning people for one of the latest polls, most of those being interviewed when answering the question of, “What went wrong?” Now say, “We need stronger homes, more parental love and proper role models.” But the proper role model is hard to find today.

Titus 2:3 The older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things-- 4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.
Hebrews 12:9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.

Parents seem to be afraid to correct their children, for fear the child will not like them, rebel, or something like that. Yet, in survey after survey of young people, they say that they want parents to set limits and give direction. We need mothers who are proper models, and will teach and train their children to be the same.

The following is a list of things a list of things parents should teach their children, making sure each of these items is clearly evident in their own lives.

Have respect of others

We have such a need for models and teachers of this lost art called respect. We need to teach our children to respect the property of others, time of others, age of others, reputation of others, person of others and the list goes on without number. This matter of respect finds it negative aspect in the Biblical subject of busybodies.

I Peter 4:15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people's matters.

Busybody in this verse looks a little out of place, doesn’t it? It is always amazing to me, how and why the Holy Spirit groups certain things together. I’m sure the Holy Spirit was not thinking clearly the day He inspired this passage, or possibly it was early in the morning, and He had not had His heavenly cup of coffee, yet…

A thousand times no! There is a definite reason the Holy Spirit grouped these sins together. If you find yourself in the category of the last, you are in some very infamous company. If you are a busybody in other people’s matters, refer to the above verse as a reminder of the company you keep..

Have a proper regard for themselves and others

We should not think more highly of ourselves than we ought.

Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.

When we have a proper image of God, we will have a proper image of ourselves. As we grow in God’s image and God’s image grows in us, our self-image will be improved greatly.

We should prefer others over our own whims.

Romans 12:9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
1 Timothy 5:19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses. 20 Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear. 21 I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality. 22 Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people's sins; keep yourself pure.

Whether it is demonstrating the love of God, or giving church discipline, both must be done with proper and equal respect for all. A matter is not to be pre-judged without all the facts just because of who the person is. It makes no difference if it is the President or your child. Boy! Could we use a little of that today in both the church and the nation! These two Greek words translated preference in Romans 12 and prejudice in 1 Tim 5 are not the same word, but they are built on one of the same roots.

Take responsibility

Galatians 6:3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For each one shall bear his own load.
I Thessalonians 4:11 That you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, 12 that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.
II Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. 11 For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. 12 Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread.

Have love not bitterness

Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you.
Hebrews 12:14 Pursue peace with all men, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking diligently lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; 16 lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright.

Outside of the old sin nature, itself, there is nothing that brings more harm and destroys the lives of more Believers than does bitterness. You cannot afford the momentary satisfaction of a little bitterness. Its cost is enormous beyond description.

Make hard choices

The ability to forsake comfort in order to accomplish the purpose is one of the most important marks of leadership. Yes, that is the teaching of the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation. We can’t have it all, in spite of what some advertisements imply! We must clearly choose between the bad and the good. Many times we must choose between the good and the better.

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Have defined purpose, standards and goals

One of the greatest enemies of Christ and Paul during their lifetimes was the rigid non-Biblical structure of that day. Don’t confuse lack of discipline as not having a rigid non-biblical structure.

Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant, and coming in the likeness of men.
Philippians 4:5 Let your moderation (appropriateness) be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

Don’t just live and let live

Mothers, don’t try to raise a perfect child! Do not project to your child or yourself the idea that you or they have reached near perfection, or even that you and yours are of more value than others. But do raise godly children by example and word.

Do not teach blind acceptance of societal ideals so they think that the actions and attitudes of others are always good and beneficial, unless it is clear from the Word of God that those actions and attitudes are Biblical.

We need a little intolerance of those ideas that are not supported by Scripture.

Teach that God loves the person. Teach that God hates sinful actions and attitudes. Teach that God has provided forgiveness of such sinful actions and attitudes. Teach that God had provided a means by which such sinful actions and attitudes can be abandoned, and replaced with holiness. Teach that actions, when performed often enough, become part of the person.

Develop a balanced life

Don’t try to give your child everything you missed or try to protect your child from everything you had to go through.

Mothers, if we had no other evidence than simple observation, we could see that:

A child is produced through love not legislation, and was brought into this world through birth, not an act of Congress.

Your child is yours, not the government’s, not the school’s, not the church’s.

Your child is also your responsibility, not the government’s, not the school’s, not the church’s.

God made a baby helpless, and totally dependent on the parents. We are to teach and control that child and when the times comes, we need to know when to turn loose trusting we have instilled the values they need to make proper choices. We are to teach our children our ideals making sure that our ideals are based on the principle of the Word of God. That is the teaching of the Bible. We are not to allow our children to discover their own values. If we have any understanding of the nature of man, we know that leads down a dark path indeed.

God made the child playful, and their first playmates are to be the parents, not the day care, the coach, the government, etc. The child will learn facts through structure, but the child will learn about life and love through proper parental play.

A child will not remember a great deal about childhood, but their lives should be shaped properly by their childhood.

Mothers, the future of your home, the future of your child and the future of the world is in your control. Outside of God, Himself, you hold within your control the power to make the greatest change of all. Raise your children wisely.

Biblical Examples – the not so good

The Bible gives us examples of many types of mothers and also shows us the results of different styles of mothering. By looking at the some of the Biblical examples, we not only see the right and wrong method, we can also see the end result of the method hopefully learn some of what is needed and what is not needed in proper mothering.

Rebekah

The first example I would like to look at is Rebecca, the mother of Esau and Jacob. I wish we had time to go back to the beginning of this story and see how Rebekah was chosen to be the Bride of Isaac; to see the willingness and the dedication of faith on the part of those involved in this process. This relationship started on such a good note and ended on such a sour one.

Let’s move quickly to the example of motherhood Rebekah gives us.

Genesis 27:1 Now it came to pass, when Isaac was old and his eyes were so dim that he could not see, that he called Esau his older son and said to him, "My son." And he answered him, "Here I am." 2 And he said, "Behold now, I am old. I do not know the day of my death. 3 "Now therefore, please take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me. 4 "And make me savory food, such as I love, and bring it to me that I may eat, that my soul may bless you before I die."

I am going to assume you are familiar with this story, but I will hit a few highlights in review. You remember that before these twins, Esau & Jacob, were born God told their mother, Rebekah, that the elder would serve the younger? The serving was not in the sense of a servant but as far as the ruling position was concerned. For in that day and age the first born was the ruler of the family or clan. In the case of this family it should have been Esau, he was born before his twin brother Jacob.

However, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of soup. So the right of birth was legally transferred to Jacob, the younger. Now as we get to the setting of this passage. Isaac, the father, is getting old and thinks he is about to die. This was the time to transfer the right of family rule. To make a longer story short, Isaac asks Esau to prepare a feast for the two of them, so at the end of the feast Isaac could ceremonially pass the rule to Esau. The scripture does not tell us if Isaac knew of the prediction of God, or if he knew of the sale of birthright to Jacob. Whatever the situation may be, the plan is set in motion for the transfer of rule to go from father Isaac to his eldest son, Esau.

Genesis 27:5 Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt game and to bring it. 6 So Rebekah spoke to Jacob her son, saying, "Indeed I heard your father speak to Esau your brother, saying, 7 'Bring me game and make savory food for me, that I may eat it and bless you in the presence of the LORD before my death.' 8 "Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to what I command you. 9 "Go now to the flock and bring me from there two choice kids of the goats, and I will make savory food from them for your father, such as he loves. 10 "Then you shall take it to your father, that he may eat it, and that he may bless you before his death." 11 And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, "Look, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth-skinned man. 12"Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be a deceiver to him; and I shall bring a curse on myself and not a blessing." 13 But his mother said to him, "Let your curse be on me, my son; only obey my voice, and go, get them for me."

What a deplorable bit of mothering!

How often we see this, even among those who claim the name of Christ? In the so-called effort to do that which is right, we use wrong methods to achieve a proper end. By the way Jacob, learned well this method of deception, and he practiced this style of living for most of his life and he passed that lifestyle on to his children.

Some would object to criticizing Rebekah. After all, she had to do it if God’s prediction of the older serving the younger was to come to pass. No!

God certainly wants and allows us to be used in His service and to carry out His work, but God does not want us to revert to satanic tactics to carry out His work.

Revelation 12:9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Many mothers today live this deceptive lifestyle before their children and the children learn that it is the normal way of doing business. They, too, pass the same message on to their children. It is time to break this chain of deceptive lifestyle. By living and teaching the truth Mothers (and fathers) you stand in the best position to turn the tide toward truth once again. Even in my life time, telling the truth was the rule of the day, and those who did not live in truth were looked on as the scum of the community. But today living a lie is okay if you don’t get caught or it doesn’t hurt anyone. But that is not a new thing. Satan said the same thing to Eve in the Garden. As society stands today, it will cost you to live the truth.

Romans 2:8 but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness.

Ephesians 5:9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth),

Ephesians 6:11, 14 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

I John 1:6, 8 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. .2:4 He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

III John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

Mothers and fathers, how we need those who will stand for the truth, stand in the truth, and live the truth before their children and the world!

Mother of Zebedee’s Sons

Another example of poor mothering is recorded in Matthew.

Matthew 20:20 Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came to Him with her sons, kneeling down and asking something from Him. 21 And He said to her, "What do you wish?" She said to Him, "Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom." 22 But Jesus answered and said, "You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" They said to Him, "We are able." 23 So He said to them, "You will indeed drink My cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father."24 And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brothers.

Maybe at a casual reading, this would seem to be a fine thing that this mother was doing. After all, she just wanted the best for her children, and certainly that is not wrong for a mother to want, is it?

No, it’s not wrong for a mother to want the best for her children but what this mother did showed that she didn’t understand her children, God’s program, or even what was best.

The mother of James and John didn’t know or trust her sons and she didn’t trust Jesus Christ either. She showed her lack of trust in Christ by this request. In effect she said, “Christ, I don’t think you are a very good judge of character, so therefore you won’t really see the good in my sons, so let me help you out by pushing my sons just a little.” She demonstrated her lack of trust in her sons by thinking that they could not make it on their own. She thought she had to do it for them. Now, if they had been toddlers, there might have been room for some of this intervention! But these were grown men!

On that note only some intervention is justified even for toddlers. Sometimes when we want the best for our children we push them beyond where they have grown spiritually, beyond God’s best for them and right into the hands of Satan. It is too bad that this mother didn’t have the confidence in her sons that Jesus did. After all, they were two of the three that made up the inner circle of Christ’s disciples. Christ ask,” Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” You can trust your child to Christ, He knows them and understands them.

Mothers, your job is love them, train them, and let them go. The last task is the hardest. This mother also found it so. Her sons must have been between 20 and 30 years of age, so she should have been praying for them not running interference for them.

The major problem here is the same one that we face. This mother thought that position or status was the high point of life. What she didn’t realize was that character is far more important that position or status. By the way, this is a truth that not many people know today – or at least they don’t live by it.

After all, it is far more important to have fine clothes, fancy car, nice house, money to throw around, and names to drop than it is to have integrity, honesty, proper home life, holiness, and purity.

How are these things taught? They are caught more than they are taught. Mothers (and fathers), what kind of character traits do you show?

Do you storm and bang around when things are not to your liking? Do you pout and moan when things are a little tough? Do you manipulate or cause a commotion just to get your way? Do you return evil for evil?

None of the above are a demonstration of the Fruit of the Spirit. But if this is what you are demonstrating to those under your charge you can certainly expect that they will follow your example of teaching. Parents often manifest this type of behavior that demonstrates a lack of trust in Christ and in their children. It also demonstrates their belief that things and status are more important than proper character, or the Fruit of the Spirit. We see this manifestation often in the various programs of the church. A parent will, as this mother of James and John, want some special favor or treatment.

Certainly we want a level playing field, but it does your child no good if the playing field is slanted in their favor. Especially if you were the cause of that field being slanted. The mother of John and James in our passage did real damage to her sons and the cause of Christ by her actions in trying to get special favors for her sons.

Matthew 20:24 And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brothers.

Biblical Examples – the good

The Word of God not only gives us bad examples of mothering, it also give us good examples

Psalms 131:1 LORD, my heart is not haughty, Nor my eyes lofty. Neither do I concern myself with great matters, Nor with things too profound for me. 2 Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, Like a weaned child with his mother; Like a weaned child is my soul within me.

For the soul of the child to be calmed and quieted, indicates that this was the condition of the mother also.

I Peter 3:4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

Usually when things are right, they are not noticed near as much as when they are wrong. Like when you come back from your vacation and your front door is closed. Not too many people would say, “Wow! Look at that the front door is closed.” But come home from the vacation and your front door is open. Well, needless to say it will capture your attention!

Likewise, in the Scriptures. Some of the greatest truths are missed because they are so normal that they don’t stand out. Consider the following:

Proverbs 31:1 The words of King Lemuel, the utterance which his mother taught him:

Many believe that King Lemuel was another name for King Solomon. Whether that be true or not, here is a king and the wisdom that he is passing is the utterance which his mother taught him. Now I’m not a mother, but I know I stand or sit with pride when I hear from one of my children, whether physical or spiritual, truth being repeated that I have taught them. Mothers you will never know who will hear those things that you teach your children. They may turn out to be the utterances of a King.

Mary, Mother of Jesus

One of the classic examples of proper mothering was Mary the mother of Jesus. Can you even imagine the responsibility of caring for and training the Lord of all, who was now a babe in your arms?

Luke 2:15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, "Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us." 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.

You speak about a gentle and quiet spirit! With all that excitement I would have simply come unglued, and I would have been jumping around and saying, “Look at me, angels and shepherds came to see.” Not Mary. She kept and pondered.

These words are very similar in the Greek.

Ponder = (Greek) "to put one thing with another in considering circumstances,"

Mary had both a proper and personal relationship with God.

Luke 2:1 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Mary, the mother of Jesus, had the qualities of a Biblical mother. We could spend the next several weeks defining those qualities and seeing how they were demonstrated in her life, instead, please allow me to point out three Biblical qualities that were in Mary’s life, and the lives of some other Biblical mothers. These should and can be true in your life.

Luke 1:26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!" 29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.

Mary’s twofold relationship evidenced itself in her unimpaired relationship with God. She believed what God said and acted accordingly. Mary did not do or act in order to con God into thinking she was good. She believed God and therefore, her actions were pleasing to God.

Romans 8:5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, [set their minds on] the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Mary enjoyed the presence of God not so that she could be a better mother, but she was a better mother because God was the basis of her enjoyment.

Luke 1:46 And Mary said: "My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.”

Mary was deeply committed to the unity of the Body of Christ because this was Christ deepest desire for His Church.

Acts 1:14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

John 17:20 "I [Christ] do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 "that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 "And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 "I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

She had appropriate relationship with her family

Not only did Mary have a proper and personal relationship with God, she had appropriate relationship with her family.

She supported her husband’s leadership.

Matthew 2:13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him." 14 When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt,

Matthew 2:19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child's life are dead." 21 Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee. 23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, "He shall be called a Nazarene."

Mary taught and disciplined her children through proper honor to God.

Luke 2:51 Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.

If you do not train your children to be under proper subjection to you, whom they can see, how do you expect them to be in subjection to God Whom they cannot see? To a great extent, your children will respond to God in like manner as you have taught them to respond to your leadership. Mary supported her husband’s leadership.

She was willing to serve God

The third aspect of a proper mother, seen in the illustration of Mary, is the willingness to serve God in whatever capacity He may ask.

Luke 1:38 Then Mary said, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.

Many are willing to serve God in whatever way they personally like, however, there are far less that are willing to serve God according to His word.

Deuteronomy 10:12 And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good?

Timothy’s Mother and Grandmother

2 Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus, 2 To Timothy, my beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3 I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day, 4 greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy, 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.

Acts 16:1 Then he came to Derbe and Lystra. And behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a certain Jewish woman who believed, but his father was Greek. 2 He was well spoken of by the brethren who were at Lystra and Iconium.

Here is the genuine faith that has been passed down through three generations! This is a true family heirloom!

Timothy was a product of a mixed home: it is possible that he came from a religiously split home. It is very possible that his father did not approve of the Biblical faith of Timothy, his mother, and grandmother. The phrase, “but his father was Greek”, tells us a whole lot when compared with the religious culture of that day.

There was no love lost between the Jew and the Greek when it came to area of religion, as seen in the following passages and many more

Acts 21:28 crying out, "Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against the people, the law, and this place; and furthermore he also brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place."

John 7:33 Then Jesus said to them, "I shall be with you a little while longer, and then I go to Him who sent Me. 34 "You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come." 35 Then the Jews said among themselves, "Where does He intend to go that we shall not find Him? Does He intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks?

The Bible teaches that, when we believe on Christ as our Savior, there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek. However, when it came to native religious beliefs and practices, there was a world of difference between the two groups.

Acts 19:10 And this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.

Romans 10:11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

By Paul’s attitude toward Timothy recorded in 2 Timothy 1, we see the sterling quality of Timothy’s Christian walk. Paul thanked God for him, prayed for him on every occasion, and had a great desire to see him.

2 Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus, 2 To Timothy, my beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3 I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day, 4 greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy, 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.

Then in verse 5, Paul gives one of the greatest compliments to Biblical motherhood that can possibly be given.

2 Timothy 1:5 …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 greater compliment could be given to any Christian mother than to point out that her faith was so real that it passed from mother to daughter and then to grandson.

Paul addressed Timothy and complimented him on his faith. Then in a few short phrases shows us the power of a mother’s Biblical faith in her children.

Look at a few words that give us a world of insight that all mothers and everyone else would do well to heed. Notice it was “genuine” faith, a rare commodity in this day and age. This was a faith that was not dressed-up for others to admire. This faith was the same when they were cleaning the house or when the guest were in the house. This faith was the same faith when watching TV as when they went to church.

As Timothy grew up, he saw in his mother and grandmother a faith that never changed no matter where they were or who they were with. That is unusual! Don’t forget that! Especially if you are interested in seeing your children have real faith.

Mothers (and dads), if your children see that you have a different faith when playing volley ball than you have when walk through the door at church you can expect your children to struggle with their faith, or no faith at all.

Now here is Timothy, the Apostle Paul’s right hand man”. Paul said of all those working with him, there was no one like Timothy.

Look where it started – from childhood.

2 Timothy 3:13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.

Paul tells Timothy that times will get worse, and there will be more and more impostors trying to rip away the faith and confidence of Timothy and every other Believer. Most of you parents fear these exact things that surround your children as they grow into maturity and beyond.

With the world and society in general becoming worse and worse and even the religious society decaying at its foundation, Paul uses a little word of at the beginning of verse 14 that should be encouragement to the soul of a mother: “But.”

2 Timothy 3:13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 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.

All Timothy has to do is continue just the way he was taught by his mother and grandmother, and he can overcome the world and be more than a conquer. To have those kind of qualities in their children even as they enter adulthood should be the dream and goal of any mother. If you have genuine faith, others will see it and seek you out to know the reason for the hope that lies within your life.

1 Timothy 1:18 This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck,

Philippians 2:19 But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state. 20 For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state. 21 For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus. 22 But you know his proven character, that as a son with his father he served with me in the gospel. 23 Therefore I hope to send him at once, as soon as I see how it goes with me.

What a godly man! This godly man was the product of two godly women who had “genuine faith” and proper teaching techniques.

1 Peter 1:6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,

Mothers. The future of your home, the future of your child and the future of the world is in your control. Outside of God, Himself, you hold within your control the power to make the greatest change of all.

Raise your children wisely.

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