Happy Mother's Day! And if you're not yet a mother like me and you desire to be one in the future just smile awkwardly, say Amen and keep it moving (like I have been doing) :P.
Mother's Day is a great time to reflect and show thanks to anyone who has shown you motherly love whether biological or otherwise. Because being a mother is more than just biology. I thought it would be cool to look at some mothers in the Bible and some lessons I got from them.
Genesis 25:28; Genesis 27:5-10
We all remember who she is right? If not let me refresh your memory; she was the wife of Isaac and mother to Jacob and Esau. Not much is said about how she was as a mother except for the fact that she did show favouritism between her two children. She wasn't the only one however as Isaac was in on it too but my focus will be on Rebekah.
I don't think it is fair to say that she was a bad mother because of her favouritism but I think we can agree that showing favouritism when you have children is certainly not a good thing. Why? It can breed a number of insecurities within children with the less favoured one not feeling adequate and desperately trying to get your attention at all costs- even if it means misbehaving. Favouritism does not have to be vocalised; your actions can show it too. Celebrate the differences amongst your children and get to know them for who they are and now who you want them to be.
You may have come across adults that still lament the fact that their mum preferred their younger or older sibling to them. It really is not a nice thing to do and the only time where favouritism between your children will work is if you have an only child.
We do not hear much about Herodias either but what we do hear of her in the Bible is not good; she tells her daughter to request for the beheading of John. In the passage Salome does not question her mother and it seems as if such a request is nothing out of the ordinary. Now we don't know the ins and outs of their relationship but it could be fair to assume that Herodias has told her daughter to do other bad things before either by speech or by example. She clearly had no respect for those called by God such as John the Baptist and this was passed on to her daughter Salome. Of course it can be argued that after a certain age one should reach the point where you know right from wrong and Salome chose to listen and do as her mother instructed. What we should realise however is that mothers have an immeasurable amount of influence and if it is not used wisely it can lead to destruction. Children enter the world with a blank slate and as a mother you play a part in writing what will form their core values and the like-at least up until 18. Herodias did not use her influence well and also did not respect those that God had called.
How do you use your influence as a mother? What are you showing your children? How do you speak about the things of God around them? Do you even speak to them about it? It starts from when they are babies even all up until they grow up; children learn more by observation than what you tell them so if your words do not match up with your actions in a positive manner then you run the risk of being seen as a hypocrite.
Genesis 16:4; Genesis 21:9
I won't dwell too long on this and for more info check out my post that is all about Hagar. She is sent away in the first place for mocking Sarah because she is yet to have a child. She's not away for too long as she is told to go back and be submissive to Sarah. All seems well for a while until Ishmael grows up and he too follows her footsteps and mocks is half brother Isaac. This is just too much for Sara to bear and she orders that they be sent away- and for good this time round.
The fact that Ishmael also mocks suggests that it is learned behaviour that he most likely learnt from his mum. What are we teaching our children? Most importantly if they have gone to school or elsewhere and have picked up bad habits are we overwriting it by reminding them of the right thing to do?
1 Samuel 1: 6-7
This is similar to that of Hagar in the sense that she would torment Hannah because she was yet to have a child. I wonder what kind of atmosphere this created at home and what her children would have witnessed and learnt from this behaviour. How you speak of others around your children matters. Are we speaking with grace or are our words cutting and not conducive to building anyone up except self?
1 Samuel 1:10-11 ;1 Samuel 1:21-28
Hannah dedicated her son to the Lord both in word and action too. It is not enough to just go to church and have your child be dedicated- our lives should continuously be dedicated to God in all that we do. Whilst it may not mean physically leaving your child in the house of God it does mean leading by example and training your child in the ways of the Lord.
Ruth 1: 8-18; Ruth 3:1-5
If you ever want to follow a blueprint of the type of mother-in-law that one should be look no further than Naomi. She took Ruth and Orpah as her own even after the death of her sons. Orpah decides to leave but it is not due to her being a bad mother in law. She leaves for her own personal 'gains'/ reasons.
God forbid that a spouse should pass away, many would follow the route of Orpah simply because they've had a strained relationship with their mother in law and now that the link is seemingly gone they also decide to distance themselves.
Some of you demand things from your daughters in law that your own child won't do for you. Some of you are negative from the beginning and just see nobody as good enough for your child.
Naomi was not like that and really took Ruth under her wing and watched our for her as if she was her daughter- because she was. It is not recorded in the Bible that Ruth or Orpah even had children and so Naomi was not a grandmother yet. In some cultures or families that may have caused an issue but Naomi was not led by culture- she was led by God.
I'm sure there are countless more mothers that we can go through in the Bible but I hope that you've gained something from those listed above. Are there any things that you learnt from these mothers or others mentioned in the Bible? Let me know :)