Vol. 4, No. 10
~ Page 18 ~
The need for godly mothers and grandmothers is evident when one observes that the faith of many youth and those forming new homes is not what God wants it to be. An examination of the Scriptures makes clear that the roles of godly mothers and grandmothers play an important part in molding the life and faith of youth.
God's last act on creation was the making of woman (Genesis 2:20-25). She was created as her husband's "help-meet" (Genesis 2:18), to resolve man's loneliness (Genesis 2:22) and with her husband to have oneness and purpose in their marriage and home (Genesis 2:24). Though she is to be subject to her husband (Ephesians 5:24), she was created to be the glory of man (1 Corinthians 11:7).
Mothers have an influence on their children by their lives. Sometimes the influence of mothers is good on their children. Hannah could not but have influenced Samuel for good in service to the Lord. Samuel, though given to the Lord as Hannah had promised (1 Samuel 1:11), certainly would had to have been influenced by his mother, who was devout and a praying woman, in his service and godliness in the temple at Shiloh. Hannah, troubled because she had borne no children, knew where to take her troubles (1 Samuel 1:9-18). She was certain that God was able to help her with her petition. She came to God in prayer, with sincerity, reverence and faith (1 Samuel 1:10) and left as "her countenance was no more sad" (1 Samuel 1:18).
In the devout life of Timothy, how do we account for Timothy's strong faith and dedication in the Lord? Paul gives the answer by saying that the "unfeigned faith" of Timothy was personal, as well as inherited from his grandmother, Lois, and his mother, Eunice (2 Timothy 1:5). It was from this faith which dwelt in his mother and grandmother that Paul later could say, of Timothy, that from a child he had learned the Holy Scriptures which led him to salvation (2 Timothy 3:14-17). What a wonderful legacy, for a mother and grandmother (for parents), to leave their children trained in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Paul wants this faith and influence to continue in Timothy. Mothers and grandmothers must realize the power of influence in their living and teaching of God's Word will continue in their offspring.
No other force of influence for good in a child's life is as strong as that of his mother and grandmother. Is it any wonder we hear the adage, "the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world?" Theodore Roosevelt stated, "The mother is the one supreme asset to national life. She is more important, by far, than the successful businessman, statesman, artist, or scientist." A nationwide survey was conducted at the University of Michigan among eleven- to eighteen-year-old girls asking, "what would you like to be when you grow up?" Eighty percent replied "to be like mother."
While mothers and grandmothers have a good influence on their children, they also leave bad influences. Lord Byron's life was so influenced by his mother. She had a temper that bordered on insanity. Though handsome and wonderfully gifted in the area of poetry, Byron was hindered and not helped by his mother and father. They were unrestrained and unfaithful in marriage and apparently devoid of spiritual values. Byron indulged in his parent's sins. While leaving the world unforgettable poetry, he also left the world an unforgettable example of what happens to the child of careless, sinful parents.
Let our women consider "motherhood" as a gift of God. God, at creation, instructed man and woman to "multiply, and replenish the earth" (Genesis 1:28). The Psalmist sings, "the fruit of the womb is his reward" (Psalm 127:3). Childbearing is a joy. Eve exclaimed, at the birth of Cain, "I have gotten a man with the help of Jehovah" (Genesis 4:1), and "our Lord speaks of the joy of childbirth" (John 16:21).
Some of the finest hours of the labor of love will be spent as a mother. God designed woman to not only physically conceive and give birth, but to also nurture, love and rear her children. Hannah's joy as a mother is seen in her promise to the Lord if he would give her a son (1 Samuel 1:11). After she weaned Samuel (1 Samuel 1:24-28), she brought him to Shiloh to "lend to the Lord" (1 Samuel 1:38) and to be reared by Eli. Her joy is seen in her yearly trip to Shiloh with her husband to make their yearly sacrifice and to bring Samuel a robe (1 Samuel 2:18-19). Until Samuel was weaned, which was around three years of age (Keil-Delitzsch, 1 Samuel, p. 26), Hannah faithfully enjoyed the role of motherhood. Certainly, by the time of three years of age, Hannah, and for that matter any mother, could affect her child's character and destiny more than the years to follow. Instead of weeping over her child and the thought of parting from him, though he be but three years of age, Hannah broke out into a song of thanksgiving to Jehovah (1 Samuel 2:1-10). Too, would not Hannah have treasured those precious moments with her son in her yearly trek to Shiloh? She would have been filled with joy seeing her son serve as a child in the temple at Shiloh (1 Samuel 2:18).
The irony of our time is that some women, even within Scriptural marriage, consider children when conceived as a disruption of their careers and turn to abortion. The joy of motherhood is sacrificed! But worse yet, abortion or murder is committed!
Hannah was a mother "who kept her promise" to God. She prayed fervently for a "man child" with the promise "then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life" (1 Samuel 1:11). When she had weaned Samuel, Elkanah and Hannah journeyed to Shiloh, killed a bullock, and "lent him to the Lord; as long as he liveth" (1 Samuel 1:24-28).
Behind the unfeigned faith of Timothy was the unfeigned faith of his grandmother, Lois, and his mother, Eunice. They were Jewish (Acts 16:1). Their faith taught them the importance of God's Word in child rearing and in life, which they kept by teaching Timothy the way of God -- "these words, ... shall he in thy heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children" (Deuteronomy 6:6-7); "Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words ... that they may teach their children" (Deuteronomy 4:10); "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge" (Proverbs 1:7); "forsake not the law of thy mother" (Proverbs 1:8); "blessed are they that keep his commandments and that seek him with a whole heart" (Psalm 119:2); "wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to they word" (Psalm 119:9); and "from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation" (2 Timothy 3:15).
We need mothers like Hannah and Eunice and grandmothers like Lois who (1) have a strong and unfeigned faith in God, Jesus Christ, and the Bible and who realize the influence for both good and bad they have on their children and their grandchildren; (2) consider motherhood sacred, a gift from God, and a joy to experience and who like Hannah are filled with joy, and not drudgery, in training, giving, and watching their children serve Jehovah; and (3) keep their promises to God to rear their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. The need is great for mothers to both believe the Bible and teach the Bible to their children and grandchildren so that they may grow up and mature into adults of like precious faith and action!