Three Lessons Learned from Bible Verses about Mothers
Mothers hold an important place in the Bible, from Eve, the first mother, to Mary, the mother of Jesus. While in many instances the Bible focuses on the actions of men, the mothers are not forgotten. Even as genealogies trace the line from father to son, it is still clear how important mothers are, starting with the mention of the first mother in the Old Testament, “male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27).
Throughout the Old and the New Testaments, as we read Bible verses about mothers, we see that mothers in the Bible are honored, they are blessed with children even after they have lost hope, they are clearly shown that these children are in God’s care, and they are given the chance to express their joy in songs of thanksgiving and praise. By reading Bible verses about mothers, we can learn many valuable lessons about motherhood. Three lessons particularly stand out among the stories of mothers in the Bible:
Children are a gift from God
There are many examples of women in the Bible who are blessed with motherhood later in life, after they have spent years longing for a child. One such mother is Elizabeth, the mother of John. Elizabeth and Zachariah, her husband, were old when Elizabeth became pregnant. In fact, when an angel told Zachariah that he would have a son, he questioned the very possibility of such an occurrence. At that time, having a son to carry on the family legacy was very important for men, and for women being able to provide a son for a husband was a matter of identity. When John was born, Elizabeth clearly recognized her son as a gift from God. “‘The Lord has done this for me,’ she said. ‘In these days He has shown His favor and taken away my disgrace among the people’” (Luke 1:25). And as she celebrated, her community gathered to celebrate with her, “Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy” (Luke 1:58). These passages show beautifully how a mother and a whole community with her celebrate the gift that God has given her in the birth of a son, a son who would prepare the way for Jesus: John the Baptist.
Mothers in the Bible respond with thanksgiving and praise
One of the most beautiful stories of motherhood in the Bible is the story of Hannah. Hannah was loved by her husband, but suffered because she was not able to have a child. In great distress she prayed to God and asked him for a child, and not too long after that she had a son. Hannah’s response is a beautiful prayer of praise to the Lord. “My heart rejoices in the Lord,” she said. “There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God” (1 Samuel 2: 1-2). Hannah did not just praise God with her words. She dedicated her son to God from birth, and he became Samuel the Prophet. Hannah became the mother of a man who spoke God’s truth to the kings of Israel. From the beginning she recognized the gift that God had given her, and her response was to thank and worship God.
It is God who protects children
The gift of motherhood comes with a strong desire to protect each child that God has given. Throughout scripture there are Bible verses about mothers who try to protect their children. One such mother is Sarah, the mother of the nation of Israel, who upon the birth of her child said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me” (Genesis 21:6). Sarah’s protective nature particularly stands out because so many aspects of her life were out of her control, including the fate of her child. When God called Abraham to sacrifice Isaac to him, he packed up the donkeys, took the boy, and went. One can only imagine Sarah watching anxiously as her husband left with her greatest treasure, and waiting restlessly for their return. It is clear from the story that Abraham had complete faith in God’s promise to build a nation through Isaac, but it is not clear what Sarah thought or felt. Ultimately, Isaac was restored to her because God cared for her son. In a fallen world there are many factors that are outside a mother’s control, especially where their children are concerned. It is important to remember that God cares for children, and takes care of them with more diligence than any parent can have.
The Bible is full of stories about mothers: mothers who are gifted with children beyond their expectations; mothers who show thankfulness to God; mothers who come to God with their fears for their children; mothers who have to let God care for their children when they are not able to control a difficult situations; and mothers who demonstrate joy through hardships. Bible verses about mothers have provided encouragement to mothers throughout history, and they continue to touch the lives of mothers today.
There are so many lessons to be learned from Bible verses about mothers. Do you have additional lessons that have had an impact on your faith and role as a parent? Please share your insights in the comment section below.