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Mothers and the Bible
Trinity Lutheran Church
Wednesday, May 5, 2010 • Posted May 4, 2010

The Holy Bible has much to say about mothers, because without mothers the world would be more crazy and confused than it is. Mothers are God’s gift to a broken world in desperate need of real, true love. Each of us has different feelings about our mothers, yet we all have many of the same feelings and thoughts about our mother.

Mothers’ greatest gift is their capacity to sacrifice over and over without any recognition or thanks. Yes, that is it…they sacrifice and toil in the vineyard over and over without expecting any praise or recognition. In fact, mothers’ unselfish sacrifices become expectations in the eyes of those around her.

Work that should be viewed as labors of love becomes what everyone around her now expects. Well, some would say, “That goes with the territory.” Well, yes it does, but that doesn’t make it good or right. Isn’t it so sad that we usually don’t appreciate our parents until we become parents or at least mature enough to appreciate them?

Let us take a short journey through the Bible to look at some of those mothers. We will find many similarities between the Biblical mothers and mothers throughout history. Now, when we are talking about mothers we must include two kinds of mothers we often forget. First are the grandmothers. One my great regrets in life is that both of my grandmothers died before I was born. Oftentimes grandmothers are the true mothers of the grandchildren. Second are those aunts, older sisters, and even friends who become mothers to us. They also know the joy of sacrifices for those children they love.

Two of my favorite mothers of the Bible are Eunice and Lois. Paul writes in Second Timothy 1:5, “I have been 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.” The influence of mothers on our faith is unparalleled on planet earth. Lois and Eunice jump off the pages of the Bible to remind us that nothing is more important for a mother or grandmother than the early training of children. They passed their faith on to Timothy and he became a great disciple of Jesus. Lois and Eunice would have known the Bible verse in Proverbs 22:6 which reads, “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Timothy was a teenager when he left to go with Paul and Silas to do missionary work. As mothers must say “goodbye” to their children at some point in time I can imagine the joy and sadness of Eunice and Lois as they bid “adios” to Timothy.

Mary, the mother of Jesus, would have been called “Miriam in the Hebrew. She is the world’s most revered mother, because of her willingness to suffer the ridicule of the people in Nazareth to do God’s will and become pregnant by the Holy Spirit of God to give birth to Jesus the Messiah. No mother in history had a more “roller coaster” motherly love than Mary. In Mark 3:20-21 Jesus is teaching in a house in Capernaum, “Then Jesus entered a house and again a crowd gathered so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him of they said, ‘He is out of his mind.’” Mary’s love for her Son even went so far as to try and save him from the crowds. She did not understand that was his calling. Think about the Mother of God, Mary, at the foot of the Cross. She must have constantly heard stories about her Son’s ministry and worried about his safety. Then, imagine her joy on the third day when Jesus was raised from the dead. Yes, Mary is history’s most revered mother.

Next we have Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist. Again a mother suffered greatly for her son to see him abused by the religious community and finally beheaded by Herod.

Surely we must mention Hannah in the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel. Hannah left her son, Samuel, in the House of the Lord at Shiloh. She dedicated him to the work of God and he became the first prophet. Once each year the family went to Shiloh for the annual sacrifices and each time she took Samuel a robe of blue fabric for Samuel to wear. No doubt, Hannah also suffered the loss of having Samuel with her all the time, but her love of God and Samuel was a sacrifice only a mother could understand.

There are so many other mothers of the Bible we could mention like: Rachel; Rebekah; Jochebed; Sarah; Salome; etc. But let us turn to what the Bible says about mothers. Titus 2:4-5 says, "Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God."

Mothers are described as loving; faithful; weeping; joyful; comforting; virtuous; a blessing; and kind. All mothers have a “secret mother knowledge” that no one else has. Only they have insight into certain things about their children a father or brother or sister does not have. We don’t know what that “secret mommy knowledge” is, but ask a mother and she will affirm that mystery only she understands.

We cannot close without recognizing the failure of numerous mothers in our culture. It is a sad commentary that, according to the Census Bureau, 2.4 million of the nation’s families are raising grandchildren with one or more children in their household and that does not include aunts and uncles who are raising relative’s children. That means many mothers have abandoned their children. Over 50% of these grandparents are over age 55. Our secular, hedonistic culture is responsible for this. So, on Mother’s Day, let us give thanks to God for everyone who loves children and will protect them.

Let us close with “Somebody Said:”

Somebody said it takes about 6 weeks to get back to normal after you've had a baby ... ~Somebody doesn't know that once you're a mother, "Normal" is history.

Somebody said you learn how to be a mother by instinct ... ~Somebody never took a 3-year-old shopping.

Somebody said being a mother is boring ... ~Somebody never rode in a car driven by a teenager with a driver's permit.

Somebody said good mothers never raise their voices ... ~Somebody never came out the back door just in time to see her child hit a golf ball through the neighbor's kitchen window.

Somebody said you don't need an education to be a mother ... ~Somebody never helped a 4th grader with his math

Somebody said you can't love the 5th child as much as you love the first ... ~Somebody doesn't have 5 children

Somebody said a mother can find all the answers to her child-rearing questions in the books ... ~Somebody never had a child stuff beans up his nose or in his ears.

Somebody said the hardest part of being a mother is labor and delivery ... ~Somebody never watched her "baby" get on the bus for the 1st day of kindergarten, or on a plane headed for military boot camp.

Somebody said a mother can stop worrying after her child gets married ... ~Somebody doesn't know that marriage adds a new son-or daughter-in-law to a mother's heartstrings.

Somebody said a mother's job is done when her last child leaves home ... ~Somebody never had grandchildren.

Somebody said your mother knows you love her, so you don't need to tell her ... ~Somebody isn't a mother.

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