As we approach Mother’s Day, it becomes clear that people will have very different reactions to the day depending on their life circumstances. Some will be saddened from the recent loss of a mother or may not have positive memories of their home life or relationship with their mother. Others will bear witness of a godly mother that brought great joy to the home.
Regardless of our past, we can find wonderful encouragement from the godly examples of so many women and mothers in the Bible. These examples can serve as an encouraging reminder of a godly mother or as a challenge to begin a legacy in your own home.
The Bible is full of helpful examples from the Old Testament stories, such as the care of Moses’ mother in Exodus 2 or Hannah’s dedication to honor God in 1 Samuel, to the New Testament description of Elizabeth as one who was righteous and walked in all of God’s commandments in Luke 1 or the amazing picture of faith and determination of the Syro-Phoenician mother described in Mathew 15.
In a day when mothers bear much responsibility, there is one example that seems particularly relevant: Lois and Eunice. When the Apostle Paul reflected on his companion Timothy’s faith, he did so with the understanding that it was connected to the young man’s grandmother and mother.
“When I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also” (2 Timothy 1:5 NIV1984).
This young man had been raised in a home where a genuine faith in God had been lived out. The word “genuine” literally means without hypocrisy. His mother and grandmother had lived out their faith in a consistent manner. It was not simply words or paying lip-service to God, but a faith that “dwelt” in the lives of these 2 women. It is interesting to note that when Timothy’s family is described in the book of Acts, his mother is described as a Christian, but his father is simply referred to as a Greek, indicating he was most likely not a Christian.
Each day I pass by the home of a wonderful young family that I have known for many years. They love the Lord and are raising their children actively in the church. The young mother in this home was greatly impacted by her own mother’s faith. I have watched as this young woman’s mother lived out a Christian faith without hypocrisy before her 4 children without the assistance of a Christian husband.
My wife and I have prayed for almost 20 years for her husband to experience the love of God unto salvation. During this time we watched a mother, in whom a deep faith dwelt, impact her kids without the spiritual support of her husband. All 4 of her children are Christians, and 2 serve in ministry.
In our day it is crucial to live out our faith in the marketplace, seeking to be salt and light among the lost. However, it is just as important to be a strong Christian witness within our home. Time and time again the dedicated witness and faithful Christian walk of the mother is the key factor in the children following after God. Do not forget that the biggest investment you may make in eternity and the most valuable legacy you may leave is that of a faithful witness in your family.
Norman Blackaby teaches in the PhD program for the Graduate School of Leadership at Dallas Baptist University. He also teaches Old Testament courses for the university’s Biblical Studies program. Previously, he served as senior pastor at 2 churches, and with his father, Henry, for 6 years as vice-president of Blackaby Ministries International. He is coauthor of Character:The Pulse of a Disciple’s Heart, Called and Accountable: Discovering Your Place in God’s Eternal Purpose and Called and Accountable 52-Week Devotional.
Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.