|Volume 22 Number 5 May 2020||
A Mother’s Worth
A study reported that if the typical stay-at-home mom in the US were paid for her work, she would earn $138,095 a year. The study listed 10 jobs as comprising a mother’s main work, which were housekeeper, cook, day care center teacher, laundry machine operator, van driver, facilities manager, janitor, computer operator, chief executive officer and psychologist. A mother who holds a full-time job outside the home would earn an additional $85,939 for the work she does at home, in addition to the salary she receives for her job.
In reality, what mothers are worth, whether she stays at home or also has an outside the home job as well, is beyond estimate. Hopefully mothers view the work they do in the home as more than just a “job” but as the greatest labor of love. The bond between a mother and her children is special indeed, in which she is willing to place their needs above her own, to provide for them not only when they are not able to provide for themselves, but to love and care for them throughout the number of her days. It is the highest calling, then, when Paul asks Titus to remind mothers to love their children and be workers at home (Titus 2:4-5).
In addition to the physical and emotional care they provide in the home, there is the spiritual influence mothers offer their children. Who can put a price tag on one’s soul? Scripture reminds us of how important a mother’s instruction is to her children. The writer of Proverbs spoke of the consequences that come from the child who refuses to obey his mother (Proverbs 30:17). Paul exhorted children to “obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1), and he reminded Timothy of the faith that was instilled in him by his mother and grandmother (2 Timothy 1:5). Jesus was submissive to both Joseph and Mary (Luke 2:51), and He showed His love and appreciation for His mother in providing for her welfare while He was on the cross (John 19:26-27). A godly mother, like the virtuous woman of Proverbs, is “far more precious than jewels” (Proverbs 31:10).
There are many demands placed upon mothers in our culture, which have to do with the needs of her family, as well as her own needs. It is not easy providing for other’s needs, much less considering one’s own needs. Thank God for mothers who love and care enough to see their children have what they need, especially for life in Christ. Salvation is a gift beyond measure, a gift that gives forever. May we, whether in memory or in their presence, accord our mothers the love and respect they are due. Through time, may we offer them the care they need and which we can offer. May we offer the greatest gift possible, which creates the greatest joy in a mother’s heart, by loving God and being a faithful Christian, sharing in a mother’s hope. “Let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God” (1 Timothy 5:4).
Gary C. Hampton
Hannah grieved because she had no children. Her deep sorrow made her husband miserable (1 Samuel 1:2, 7-8). She took her grief to God in prayer (1 Samuel 1:10-11). Her request for a son was an acknowledgement that children are a blessing from God (Genesis 33:5; Psalm 127:3). Recognizing children as a blessing from the Father should cause us to realize the importance of bringing them up in the way He desires.
Hannah named the son God gave her, Samuel, meaning “heard of God.” She gave him to God, committing herself to maintaining that gift for life (1 Samuel 1:20, 28). Dedicating children to the Lord involves intentionally choosing throughout a child’s life to put God first in every part of his or her life. God blessed Hannah for making such choices in the rearing of Samuel (1 Samuel 2:10-21). Like Jesus, Samuel “grew in stature, and in favor with the Lord and men” (1 Samuel 2:26; Luke 2:52). Timothy’s mother and grandmother taught him Scripture starting from infancy, just as we should (2 Timothy 3:14-15).
Eli’s sons were to be cut off because they did not honor God. The Almighty said He would raise up for Himself a faithful priest who would do according to what was in God’s heart (1 Samuel 2:27-35). Eli served Israel as both a priest and judge, and Samuel assumed that role after Eli died. His efforts resulted in Israel serving only the Lord (1 Samuel 7:3-4). Clearly, Hannah’s dedication of her son to the Lord was used by the Almighty to bring forth good fruit among His people.
We should follow Hannah’s example in taking our deepest concerns to God in prayer. We should realize children are a blessing from the Lord. Our children’s lives ought to be dedicated to Him. Our commitment can result in our children being favored by God. Hannah teaches us to dedicate our children to God’s glory.