“Behold Your Mother!”
“Her children rise up and bless her…”

By Jon W. Quinn
They were among the final words of Jesus, spoken to a disciple that Jesus loved very much, and trusted very deeply. The disciple, John, was given a very special mission, conveyed by the words of Jesus. From the cross, Jesus spoke to John and said, "Behold, your mother!" The Scripture further states that “from that hour the disciple took her into his own household.” (John 19:27).

The Scriptures teach that the father is the "head" of the family. It also shows us that the mother is the "heart." A family needs both. It can be successful without one or the other, but with much more difficulty. A godly, successful family has a godly head and heart to guide it.

Successful, godly motherhood is no accident. The qualities it calls for must be developed in a woman's character. No one rises to any higher plane of moral accomplishment than does a godly mother.

Successful motherhood also involves obligation. Few, if any other tasks on earth require more dedication, commitment, more highly refined skills tempered by compassion and patience. It is difficult if not impossible to imagine what can take the place of a godly mother in the life of a child. What could we use as a substitute for this? I cannot imagine what it would be!
This world is sick, and a large part of the sickness is from a loss of appreciation and respect for the role of mothers in the family. Our society has become so godless that many have lost the natural affection that comes with family relationships. Militant feminists and selfish, materialistic hedonists look at motherhood as demeaning or a waste. Too many have swallowed that lie. Our society and culture suffer for it! For a good description of a godly mother, consider her description in Proverbs: (Proverbs 31:10-31)

Mothers are to be Managers of the Home

(Proverbs 31:27 1 Timothy 5:14-15)

Note God's order in 1 Tim. 5:14 - women are to marry, bear children, and guide the home (“keep house” not limited to dusting the furniture; but to guiding and managing). Keeping the home is the primary responsibility of the mother; no professional career/ hobby outside the home ought to be allowed to interfere with that!

Satisfaction and fulfillment can be found by a mother in her motherhood; and if not, then she ought not to be a mother to begin with. After years of society's experimentation with trying to appease selfish ambition, and the “my career first” attitude, our society is (hopefully) slowly beginning to experience a dawning of a recognition that “surrogate motherhood" does not really work well. For example, daycare: Is it good or bad? It can be good; but not when used as a substitute for mothering. There just are not any good substitutes for that!

The "worthy woman" of our text (Proverbs 31) is a wonderful example of a domestic manager.

1. She is efficient manager of the home - v. 21.

2. She has her priorities in order. Even though she had pursuits outside of the home (v. 16, 24), her family comes first (v. 15, 18 - comes before outside interests). By the way, this is also true with the father; he ought not to allow what he does outside the home to take away from his responsibilities within the home.

3. She compliments her husband (v.23) and contributes to a bright future for her family. (v.25)

Mothers Should be Models of Obedience

(Titus 2:5; 1 Peter 3:1,5)

Mothers should be examples of submissive obedience. Again, this is not any different than the father. First and foremost, the children should see in their mother a great dedication unto God as she seeks to obey Him in everything. They should be able to read Proverbs 31 and recognize their mother! They should see Jesus living in their mother (James 4:7; Galatians 2:20).
This also means that she should recognize her husband's role as head of the home (Ephesians 5:22-33) and the older women ought to be teaching the younger to do likewise (Titus 2:3-5) Through her, both sons and daughters will learn the necessity of a humble spirit before God in the example of their godly mother.

This humble attitude toward God is seen in Mary's words "Let it be to me according to your word." (Luke 1:38) Mary accepted the Lord's word and trusted in Him, and was blessed. She will make a good mother for Jesus! What a contrast there is between Mary's devotion and loyalty to God with the refusal of many to obey God in the realm of motherhood today!

Mothers are to be Teachers of Good Things
(Proverbs 1:8; 6:20-23; 2 Timothy 1:5, 3:15)
The mother as teacher reflects God's original plan for the operation of the human family. The book of Proverbs is full of admonitions that clearly show that mother's are to be teachers. King Lemuel's mother taught him about things he needed to avoid, such as the lifestyle many today would call “partying” (Proverbs 31:1-9) and also to develop characteristics that were honorable and righteous, compassionate and fair. She wanted him to live morally and then taught him what to look for in a godly wife (31:10-31).

Much teaching is done by example. When our actions and words don't harmonize we do our children a great disservice. The effectiveness of our teaching is destroyed! Moses is another example of a boy well taught by his mother: (Hebrews 11:24-26; Exodus 2:6-10). It seems as if it was chiefly through the early training he got from his mother that he was able to make the righteous, but difficult choices later on in his life.

Mothers are to be Respected

(Proverbs 31:28)

Respect and honor for mothers is rooted in the Old Testament and manifested in the New Testament (Leviticus 19:3; Ephesians 6:2). Children are urged to hold fast to their father's and mother's godly teachings throughout their lives (Proverbs 23:22-23). The Lord is severely critical of those who would refuse to render unto their parents such honor. (Proverbs 19:26, 20:20). In fact, the Scriptures teach us that failure to esteem mothers (and fathers) is a manifestation of a worsening society - (2 Timothy 3:2; Romans 1:28-32).

You've heard the old saying; “Like father like son”? Another truism would be: “Like mother like daughter”. Yes, the Bible puts it just that way (Ezekiel. 16:44). Its a tragedy when societies experiment with other ways than God's ways.
But God's way is best. The position of “mother” in the family is neither demeaning, nor worthy of the disrespect society many times places upon it. Its a shame and a discredit to any people to turn their backs on God's family, and the people that do so will suffer the consequences. Godly mothers are indispensable to a healthy society.
From The Bradley Banner 5/13/2007
Published by the Bradley Church of Christ
1505 E. Broadway
Bradley, IL 60915


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