There are many mothers mentioned in scriptures, from Eve, the mother of all living to Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots. Many of these were great women and proved to be notable examples of faith and service. Others, however, were quite the opposite. What a wonderful blessing a good mother is to a child, a home and a nation.
A good mother is first of all a good example to her child. Mary, who was chosen to be the vessel by which the saviour was to come into the world, was just such an example. Mary was a virgin, keeping herself pure against the day she would marry (Luke 1:27). She was also described by the angel of the Lord as highly favored and blessed among women (Luke 1:28). If such an example was important in the mother of our Lord, surely it must be to us, as well. The older women are to be in behaviour as becometh holiness that they may have the influence necessary to teach the younger women (Tit. 2:3,4).
A good mother comforts her children. The Bible speaks of the role of the mother as comforter (Is. 66:13). Women are made by God to be gentle, caring and feminine and it is these qualities that give her an ability to comfort a hurting child. In the days of Elisha, when a child fell deathly ill, the charge was to “Carry him to his mother” (II Kings 4:19). Thye knew his mother could comfort him best.
A good mother dedicates her child to the Lord (I Sam. 1:11). Hannah promised the Lord that if He would give her, who had been barren, a child, she would dedicate that child to the Lord. But every mother ought to desire their child be a servant of God. Under the law of Moses, all Levites were to serve the Lord when they reached the age of twenty-five until they were fifty (Num. 8:24,25). But Hannah dedicated her son to the Lord when he was just a few years old for the rest of his life. Think of what a better world this would be if all mothers dedicated their children to the Lord.
In line with the previous point, a good mother instills faith in God in her children. Think of the impact of Lois and Eunice on the world, all because they influenced Timothy (II Tim. 2:15). It is the scriptures that produce faith (Rom. 10:17). One of the things that Eunice must have done is to teach Timothy the scriptures, for Paul said Timothy knew the Holy Scriptures from a child (II Tim. 3:15). One of the songs which Hank Williams, Sr. sang had these beautiful lines: “I’ve just been to heaven with someone so true, I dreamed about mamma last night. She read me the Bible like she used to do, I dreamed about mamma last night.” What inestimable good has been done for the world because some faithful mother sought to guide her child toward faith in Christ.
A good mother also trains up a child in the way he should go (Prov. 22:6). The word train means to “narrow” or “initiate” or “disciple.” Training involves more than just telling someone something. It involves complete dedication to the cause. Moses described the work as beginning first in the parents’ heart. The parent must first be dedicated (Deut. 6:6). After the parent is dedicated, then the training can begin in earnest. That training is to be done at all times and in every place (Deut. 6:7-9). No parent who says one thing and then does another can be the kind of influence on a child they ought to be.
Discipline is another very important element in rearing a child. “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame (Prov. 29:15). Too many in our day seek first to be friends with their children and not their parents and so they never discipline lest the child be upset with them. A mother who loves her children will properly discipline them to give them life (Prov. 22:15).
It is often said that a child does not come with a manual. In many ways that is true because every child is different. However, in general terms God has given us a manual, His word, and if we learn it and study and apply it, then, with prayer and dedication, the future of a child is greatly enhanced, perhaps for eternity.
Eric L. Padgett