Ideal mothers reflect the nature and character of God to their circle of love. They embody and reflect His ability to create life, His intimate care, sacrificial love, generosity of spirit, and enduring faithfulness.
But there are all kinds of mothers. Some good, some not so good. Some nurturing, some neglectful. Some sacrificial, some self-centered. Some mature, some immature. Some wise, others unwise.
The godly mother, one who reflects God, will reflect certain traits. The godly mother:
- Always loves. She lays down her life for those in her love circle. She knows their love-languages and seeks to speak theirs, not hers. She cares for and nurtures her household. This love is not based upon emotion. The love she has for her children is the deep agape-love that God has for us. That love knows no barriers to sacrifice for the beloved. If you have a bible, read the First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter 13. It’s known as the love chapter. In the verses that describe love, one can substitute various proper nouns for “Love” as an exercise that enhances our understanding and insight into love. For instance, where it says “Love is kind” or “Love keeps no record of wrongs” As an exercise, we do well to substitute “God” (for we know that God is Love). So that the verse would read “God” is kind. “God” keeps no record of wrongs, etc. A godly mother is also His child, so we could as easily substitute her name for “love.” And read the verse. Mothers don’t shine perfectly, but we see a definite reflection. Even the best ungodly mothers manifest His love for their children; they simply don’t acknowledge the source.
- Spends quiet, unhurried time with Father like the recently breast-fed child laying on her mother’s chest (Ps. 131). She gets that picture. That’s the source of her wisdom. Unhurried, quiet time with her Father. She knows that she needs His nourishment, His Spirit in order to calm and settle the anxieties of mothering. She is wise enough to know that He is not only her source, but the source for her family. And her life subsists of those islands of sitting still and KNOWING that God is there for her and hers.
- Knows that wisdom (the knowledge to choose the right path among two or more) is not something she possesses.Wisdom is in a person–Jesus, who indwells those who submit to God. She has discovered that His ways are infinitely better than hers. The ungodly woman believes that she is the source of her own wisdom. What a bankrupt place that must be. Only the strongest delusion could make a man or woman conceited enough to think that they have the wisdom to navigate life successfully. The godly woman is wise because she is not the fountain of wisdom and knows it. But she knows the One who is wise. And He speaks to her both in His written, revealed will (the Bible) and in his quiet inner voice.
- Walks by faith (Heb. 12.1, 35; Matt. 15.28) She KNOWS what God is saying about those in her love circle. And she trusts God for the outcome. Not only does she walk by faith, her walk is an example to her children and grandchildren. Faith can be inherited (2 Ti. 1.5). She imparts that faith to her family.
- Knows when to “Let go” She trusts God fully for her own. She lets go of the reins at the right time. Especially with her boys. Men must learn to stand, to be responsible without fear in the world. Fathers get this; moms don’t always. Moms nurture and protect. Relating in a less directive manner is often difficult for them. Yet once the boys reach adolescence, if she continues to parent them in a directive manner, she will lose them (at least through their early manhood). Unless . . . she is wise. If she allows them to become men and gives counsel instead of directive mothering, her boys will not resent what they perceive as “nagging” and a lack of respect. Strings MUST be cut. How she does this will determine their future relationship.
- Trains others. The godly, wise mother passes what she knows on to other women. In Titus, the second chapter, the older women are directed to train up the younger women in the way they love their husbands and conduct their households. That relieved many women of undue stress. They had successful mentors–spiritual women whom they could respect. They could see before their eyes the fruit of a godly woman’s life.
These are at least a few values and actions that, in my opinion, will be found in a wise, godly mother.
QUESTION: What are some you might add? I’m sure I’ve missed some.
©2011, David C Alves
Late last night, I got a call from a frantic mom. Her young daughter had been at the local hospital for several days. The 19-year old was at the hospital, up watching TV and antsy to get released and go home. Then they found out that she had Tuberculosis in one of her lungs. School, job, friends all waiting for her return. Suddenly, her world turned upside down.
Then to compound the problem, the mom told me that her daughter had just had a major setback. A blood clot migrated to her other lung. Now her daughter was on life-support, unconscious, and had less that a 50/50 chance of making it. Would we please pray with her, that she might live through the night. I called a fellow elder. We decided to meet together at the ER to go to ICU. I dressed, kissed my wife good night, and drove to the hospital. When I arrived my friend was waiting outside for me. We went together to ICU, dawned face-masks and entered the room. After consoling the mom, we prayed for the unconscious young woman. I whispered in her ear that the Lord was with her.
I could sense our Father’s presence. I was reminded that He is Yahweh Shammah (God who is here). Emmanuel–God with us. Certainly, his love encircled the patient and her mom. We were an extension and witness to that abiding presence of Abba (Papa or Daddy) if you prefer. He has not and will not depart from his daughters and sons.
It’s too early to tell how this will turn out for this young daughter, but we have asked Father to make things here as they are in the heavens–healed and whole. We are displacing the enemy’s plans to make room for Abba’s. Because we’re a little flock, my wife had no problem communicating the situation to everyone. I counted 11 friends & several New Life family members in the waiting room (since only 2 at a time could go in her room) when I left at 1:15AM. Our Father would not leave our sister to go through this alone. We are witnesses of his watchcare and loving presence. As we prayed together, we knew that He was with us.
The mom? She said that she has been through many deep valleys (she is an African refugee). She lost family members to genocide. She was separated from her husband and children, with the exception of this daughter. Yet she was not complaining. She told us: “I know He (Father) is with me. Though I cannot tell how, I know He will carry us through and my daughter will be whole.”
We are in a faith walk. But we are not alone. If you are a praying person, would you please pray for this young girl. I can’t share her name because of confidentiality and because I don’t have permission yet from her mom. Just pray for the girl mentioned at “David’s Place.” Father knows her.
What about you? Is your faith being stretched in this season of your life? Can you testify to our Father’s presence with you? I invite you to leave a comment. I’d love to see a string of faith-filled comments or anecdotes to encourage us.