Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Biblical Descriptions of Mothers

[First, a sidenote: Last month, while reading through a book that had been highly recommended to me, I realized something that seems contradictory:

  1. In my own personal study, lists help me to understand what I'm reading. It is a great assistance for my memory and understanding to take information from Scripture as I read and better understand a passage or biblical subject by simplifying the larger whole down into understandable parts. (See this post on biblical descriptions of women or this post on Psalm 119 for examples of what I'm talking about.)
  2. However, I do *not* like to read lists. (The book that had been recommended was one chapter after another of bullet-pointed lists of biblical information... and it hit me as I was reading that it's the very thing that I do in my own study, but that form of "reading" was very off-putting to me and I couldn't get past the first couple of chapters. I kept trying to read further, because of how highly the book had been spoken of, but it is extremely unhelpful for me to take in information in list format, so I finally gave up and replaced it on my shelf.)
So, if you are one who is like me, I apologize in advance for this post. This is one way that I process and glean from God's Word. But perhaps it is helpful for you to see it in this way, in which case, by all means, read on. :) ~Jess]


Here are some of the significant or insightful ways that God, in His Word, describes mothers, and some things we can learn from the stories of mothers in Scripture.

POSITIVE OR NEUTRAL BIBLICAL DESCRIPTIONS OF MOTHERS:
  • From the beginning, the plan and pattern for motherhood is that children "leave and cleave". (Gen 2:24, Mt 19:4-6)
  • She is to be protected by her husband. (Gen 32, Mt 2:13)
  • A mother's heart desires protection for her children. (Exod 2, 1 Ki 3:26)
  • She is to be honored and cared for by her children. (Exod 20:12, Lev 19:3, Deut 5:16, 27:16, Mt 15:3-9, Jn 19:26-27)
  • She should never be struck or cursed by her children. (Exod 21)
  • A mother is to be modest around her children. (Lev 18)
  • She is to instruct and discipline her children. (Deut 21:18)
  • Fathers and mothers teach, advise, help, love, and guide their children together. (Judg 14, 1 Ki 2:19, Prov 1:8, 6:20, Lk 2:33, 48)
  • Her early care, physical affection, availability, and kindness to her children plant seeds that can grow into an ability to trust in and treasure God, and an ability to understand God better. (Ps 22:8-11, Ps 131:2, Isa 66:13)
  • It is a joy when the barren woman becomes a mother! (Ps 113:9)
  • She has great reason to be glad and rejoice when she has raised a godly, righteous son! (Prov 23:24-25)
  • If her children follow Christ, their love for and devotion to Him will rightly exceed their love for and devotion to her. (Mt 10:35-37, Mt 12:46-50, Mt 19:29)
  • She can be like a mother to others who are not her biological children. (Rom 16:13)
  • Her relationship with her children provides a reference point for understanding healthy, biblical Church life and how Christians are to treat one another. (1 Th 2:7, 1 Tim 5:1-2)
  • A mother's faithful instruction multiplies to bless others as her children grow into mature servants of God. (2 Tim 1:5)

NEGATIVE BIBLICAL DESCRIPTIONS OF MOTHERS:
  • She can deceive her children and encourage them in sin (Gen 27)
  • She can forsake her children. (Ps 27:10)
  • A foolish son brings her sorrow, and may despise her. (Prov 10:1, 15:20, 19:26)
  • She will be shamed if she leaves her child to himself. (Prov 29:15)
Insightful bits here, I think, both in what a mother IS, and what what she is NOT. What her role is as her children grow, and what her role is once they leave home. What a wise mother does, and what the ultimate goals are. God's Word is so very faithful.

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