As we celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend, we take a look at motherhood through the lens of God’s Word. What does it mean to be a mother, and is it more than just a job?
Motherhood is an incredible journey, as any mother would tell you. In it, many find their greatest struggles and deepest joys. Often, they also discover an inner strength they never knew they had, to nurture and sustain life at its earliest stages, and to reflect God’s heart.
A mother’s heart comes from God
Throughout the Word, God has identified Himself to us as our Father, but that does not make Him devoid of maternal qualities. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. God has revealed qualities and likened Himself to a mother, whose instincts are to protect, nurture, sustain and preserve.
Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion for the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. – Isaiah 49:14
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not. – Matthew 23:37-39
So, while God is our Father, He encompasses the paternal and maternal instincts that we have in raising our children. He knows the mother’s heart, for He formed it after His own.
How can we be godly mothers? Let’s look at the Word.
The Bible offers us a glimpse into the lives of several mothers, some stories span several chapters, others just a verse. But we cannot look at the word count, for through each life there are lessons to be learned in becoming godly mothers.
>> Jochebed (Exodus 1-2)
Jochebed was Moses’ mother, and through her life, we learn to be innovative and courageous in the face of adversity. As Pharaoh ordered the death of baby boys, Jochebed didn’t just resign Moses to this fate. Instead, she thought out of the box, tried something wild and trusted God to take care of her son.
>> Hannah (1 Samuel 1)
Through Hannah, we learn that God sees us in our sorrow and that as we persist in prayer, we will discover the Lord does not forget and that He indeed answers our prayers. Barren for years, she promised she would give her child to the Lord’s service and honoured her word.
So in the course of time, Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.” – 1 Samuel 1:20
>> Lois and Eunice (2 Timothy 1:5)
In a powerful example of generational alignment, we see how Lois and Eunice’s impact on Timothy reaped a great reward. Their legacy is only reflected in one verse, and yet we see the fruit of their labour.
“I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” – 2 Timothy 1:5
Paul recognised Lois and Eunice’s input and investment in Timothy’s life. It shaped the young man into who he became, a powerful voice and messenger of God’s word. So do not underestimate your impact!
Motherhood is sacred and significant work
Perhaps you’re a young, first-time mum, struggling to get things right, fighting moments of self-doubt and wondering how your children will turn out.
Some of you may have chosen to sacrifice a second income in order to stay home and raise your children, an eyebrow-raising decision to those around you.
Or some of you may be a mum who is sorely lacking sleep because you’re juggling hours at work while returning home and giving your utmost best to your children, yet realising that you don’t have enough time or energy.
Some of you may be single mothers, parenting in a world that presses you on every front — to pay the bills, be a ‘good’ mom and still find time for yourself.
You may be a grieving mom, struggling to cope with the loss of your child. God cares for you.
Or you may be an empty-nester whose children have all grown up, leaving you with happy memories, weekly video calls that remind you of how days seem slow, but years fly by.
Motherhood is a privilege and a gift from God – and as He has given you children to care for and raise, He will also enable you to do it well. The marathon of motherhood is not done yet, keep your eyes on Jesus and run this race with Him. Stay faithful on the course and fuel up so that you are constantly faith-filled to pray into their destiny and to courageously raise your children up to be God’s vessels used mightily for His glory and honour.
“Mothers, you have a calling that can become the long-remembered ground of faith, not just for your children—mark this—but for the untold numbers who will be affected by your children. And that’s in addition to all the other thousands of ripple effects of faith in your life.”John Piper
The Lord is your strength and portion
However your experience is or has been, God intends for motherhood to be a fulfilling experience. He is your strength and portion, giving you what you need for each day whether it’s comfort, joy, wisdom or peace.
This Mother’s Day, may you be refreshed in His presence, sustained by His grace and assured by His Word, that the Lord is with you on your journey of motherhood.