What are some of the most important Bible verses relating to mothers in the Bible? What can they tell us about how to be a godly mother and how we should value our own mother and honor her?
The Stored Treasure in a Mother’s Heart
Luke 2:51 “And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.“
This happened just after Jesus was missing from the traveling party that left Jerusalem after the feast and Jesus’ parents discovered that he was not with them and so returned to find Him and upon finding Him in the temple Jesus was “submissive to them” and returned to Nazareth with His family. Jesus had told them why He was still in the Temple and asked His parents, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?” This is what Mary treasured up in her heart but not this alone, she remembered the whole thing and why it was said that “his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.” Mothers have a way of storing up these treasures and placing them in the strong box of their hearts. Mothers have better memories than scrap books and can treasure or store up these many precious memories of their children for eternity. Are there any places that have more treasure stored in them than in a mother’s heart?
Honoring Your Mother
Ephesians 6:2-3 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”
This is the first commandment with a promise and this promise is that if you honor your father and your mother, you will live long on the earth. Paul is citing Exodus 20:12 where God told Israel, and by extension He tells believers today, that the days of your life can be extended if you honor your parents. This is the first commandment given to mankind as the first four relate to God (mankind’s relationship to God and are vertical) but the very first of the next six commandments (are horizontal, mankind dealing with one another) given to mankind is to honor their parents because by honoring them, you are actually honoring God. A mother should be honored because she has given birth to you; she has nursed you in the selfless, sacrifice of the many early morning feedings and changings. She has nurtured you and fed you and is more responsible for you growing up than the father is. Even though a father may provide for the family, it is the mothers who are the tenderhearted caregivers and do more for their children than anyone else will perhaps ever do in a lifetime. Mother’s never give up on their children even when everyone else does. She loves her children unconditionally, even a son who sits on death row. There are fewer things more precious than a mother’s love and it has been said that children can actually die from a lack of love…not a problem when a mother is around.
A Mother Never Forgets
Isaiah 49:15 “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.”
You might have forgotten that skinned knee that sent you home crying for your mother. It’s interesting that when children get hurt they don’t run crying to their father, they usually turn to their mother. She is there to tenderly wipe away ever tear and kiss ever “boo boo.” How can she ever forget that precious bundle that she carried so safely in her womb? Isaiah asks the rhetorical question: Can a woman forget her nursing child or have no compassion for the son or daughter she carried for nine months? Of course she can’t. Others may forget but a mother never does.
Forever a Mother
Proverbs 23:22 “Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.”
Sadly, mothers are often despised when they get older but a mother is always going to be a mother no matter what age the child is. A mother’s love has no expiration date and to her children, even in their old age, they are still and always will be her babies. How quickly we forget once we are out of the home. As I have visited nursing homes, I have seen the aching loneness and crushing emptiness as mothers talked so lovingly about their children…children who cannot seem to find the time to visit them. The tears that she used to wipe away are left alone to run down her sweet cheeks and sometimes live out a life of quiet desperation because most mothers will outlive their children’s fathers and they are the ones usually left alone. They often feel neglected and despised and unwanted even though the Bible teaches that we should honor or mothers even “when [they are] old.” This is a real heartbreaker and you know God is not pleased because abandoning mothers in their old age breaks the commandment to honor them. The Fourth Commandment also does not expire with time.
Honoring Your Mother is Fearing God
Proverbs 19:26 “He who does violence to his father and chases away his mother is a son who brings shame and reproach.”
I once did a home visit and this young man lived with his mom but she was actually afraid of him. I wanted to remember the verse that said “Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father.” Some translations say, and I like it better, that “you shall ever man fear every man his mother, and his father.” This fear or reverence is often gone when the child gets older but when a child shows his or her mother no respect and they rule the home by fear, they are actually heaping up the anger of God day by day (Prov 19:26) and more so today because this seems to be “a generation [that] curses their father, and does not bless their mother” (Prov 30:11). Someday they will utterly regret this. Here was a setting where the grown son was living in his mother’s house yet he ruled the home and talked despairingly to his mother. How sad for her. This young man’s life is not going to be as long on this earth as it could have been had he honored, respected, and revered his mother but instead he ordered her around, took advantage of her generosity and even cussed at her (Eph 6:2-3; Ex 21:17).
If you have or had a godly mother, you should thank God for her because a godly, Christian mother is the best source for growing up as a godly man or woman. Perhaps Paul didn’t have a godly mother like Timothy did and why he was moved to tears as thought of this in addressing Timothy, “As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well” (2 Tim 1:4-5). The source or root of Timothy’s faith was his mother and his grandmother.
I strongly urge you to always remember your mother, even when she becomes a grandmother for honoring your mother is pleasing to God for God has sovereignly placed her there in your life and nothing or no one can replace the love of a mother because deep is the treasure trove in her heart, she never forgets, and there will not be a day when she is not your mother. You should call her, write or visit her and tell her that you thank God for her.
Another Reading on Patheos to Check Out: What Did Jesus Really Look Like: A Look at the Bible Facts
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Blind Chance or Intelligent Design available on Amazon