A God-Fearing Mother Rejoices in Her Children
Listen to your father who begot you, And do not despise your mother when she is old. Buy the truth, and do not sell it, Also wisdom and instruction and understanding. The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, And he who begets a wise child will delight in him. Let your father and your mother be glad, And let her who bore you rejoice. Proverbs 23:22-25NKJ
This past week we witnessed the sacrament of baptism. Baptism and motherhood are closely related. Both are intimately involved in a child's life. And mothers will be the most intimately involved person in the life of a child. This proverb reminds me of the important calling of mothers, and the great privilege and responsibility entrusted to the mothers in our midst. A mother's love is special; her heart overflows with love for her child. Her heart is tender, compassionate, and caring. She has so much to offer her children. She has a free love, a sacrificial love, and an unwavering love. In infancy she nurses her child. As he grows she cleans his wounds, kisses his hurts, and picks him up off the ground when he falls. His tears fall upon her chest and permeate into her heart. A child is a mother's most precious treasure. Her children are an extension of herself. As Robert Murray McCheyenne said, "you must break to pieces a mother's heart before you can change her love to her child". And this intimate relationship between a mother and her child is under attack from the outside world and oftentimes disparaged within the gates of the Church. Our Evangelical culture has succumbed to the world's wisdom about motherhood and we allow our mothers to be ridiculed, intimidated, and even looked down upon within the Church. We have called that which God declares to be a blessing and a sign of His favor a curse. So how do we combat this trend? What wisdom can we glean from God's Word?
Beloved, if the Church demeans motherhood, and if older women in the Church are antagonistic towards God's blessing and the calling of motherhood, then we will raise a generation of young people who will treat their mothers in a demeaning way. Let me put it this way: if mothers treat motherhood in a demeaning way, children will treat mothers in a demeaning way; they will look down upon this great calling and the ones who are fulfilling that calling. We find ourselves in a cultural context where most mothers despise their children or mothers consider their children a burden and inconvenience. Children aren't seen as a blessing and demonstration of God's goodness and favor, but rather a burden, and a drain of time, energy, and resources. Think about mothers that despise their children, or consider them a burden; how will these children think about mom when she is old? Will mom be seen as a burden, waste of time, or an inconvenience? This proverb warns us: "Despise not your mother when she is old". Well, despise not your children when they are young. Motherhood is a glorious calling. The calling of mothers is to train their little ones, love them, and raise them in the fear and admonition of the Lord. This is more important than the size of your house, extent of your portfolio, or rate of your career progression. This is the most important thing you do moms; despise NOT your children! We need to pray for the mothers among us. The calling is hard enough, but with the constant barrage of worldly propaganda and derogatory comments they now need our encouragement and prayers more than ever. Washington Irvin once said, "A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts." Mothers: train your Covenant children; catechize them; nurture them; and pour out your hearts, tears, and prayers to Almighty God for them. Motherhood is the grand adventure in this life; a most worthy endeavor with eternal results. But the warning remains: don't be bitter towards your children; do not despise them. Reckon them your blessing and heritage from Almighty God Himself for they truly are!