Mothers of our world
In ancient times, mothers in the East were looked upon with great respect, especially the mothers of kings. Proverbs 1:8–9 (NLT) says: “My child, listen when your father corrects you. Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. What you learn from them will crown you with grace and be a chain of honor around your neck.”
“Mothers are like the glue in society,” comment one Mom to me recently. I asked a group of mostly single mother recently what a mother does. These woman pointed out to me that mothers were role models in the community, they are the heart of the home and they protected their families. Mothers have valuable instruction to impart to their children. There are countless stories of mothers who have sacrificed for their children, who have paved the way for their sons and daughters.
Learning from mothers of our past
In Antioch many years ago, there lived a mother by the name of Anthusa (circa 347–407). The city’s population were about half Christian and her husband, Secundus, died while their son, John, was an infant. She decided not to remarry, but she raised him as a single mother in this corrupt society. Anthusa educated him at home and raised him as a believer in Christ. Character formation was important to her and after his was formed, she sent him to be trained by an experienced orator, who sharpened John’s gifts of communication. We still benefit from her wisdom and strength because, John, became one of the early church’s most renowned preachers.
In an excerpt from my book, Parenting with Courage, I explore one of the Scriptures most well-known mothers: Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Lessons from Mary
The angel Gabriel appeared to Mary at around 13 or 14 years of age with the news that she would give birth to the Savior of the world. Sometimes a single encounter can change our lives for all eternity.
Mary, a “highly favored” woman, lived in very interesting times. She is mentioned in the Gospels a number of times. She was present at the cross and we see her praying with the apostles. Mary was fully involved as Jesus’ mother, but she released Him as He grew older. She was there as He became a man, however, nowhere in Scripture do we see her elevated or worshiped.
As I studied the Scriptures written about Mary, I learned a few lessons from her life:
- Mary listened to and loved God, and submitted to His will (Luke 1:26–32, 38)
- The angel spoke to Mary about her child’s destiny (Luke 1:32)
- She believed the Lord would do what He had promised (Luke 1:45).
- Mary stored up the words, promises and signs in her heart and thought about them often (Luke 2:19).
- Mary allowed others to bless her child (Luke 2:25–39).
- Jesus grew up at home among brothers and sisters. He learned the family trade and became strong and healthy. Mary was a good mother by caring for Him physically and in other ways (Luke 2:40, Mark 6:3).
- She released her son and loved Him greatly, so
- much so that Jesus took a moment on the cross to care for her by giving her to John (John 19:25–26)
Which aspect of Mary’s life can you identify with? How can you learn from her example as you raise your children?
When you celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend, take time to honour the mother’s in your community, not only the physical mothers but the spiritual and adopted ones too. They are the glue that holds many families together.