My mother has always had a listening ear. She encouraged me, prayed for me and with me, and reminded me of what God’s Word had to say when I did not know which way to go. Her ability to make little money stretch to great lengths etched early into my mind the worth of a dollar and God’s daily provision. The individual uniqueness of her personality and example molded much of my empathy and understanding of others. While she would be quick to assure any who asked that she was not a perfect mother, she was the mother that God chose for me. Her sacrifices and calling may never be noted or recognized here on earth as significant, but God keeps perfect record. Because of God’s goodness in all of His ways, thankfulness for the parents He has given me is the foundation of gratitude for everything else in my life.
The value of children in this modern economy seems to decrease with each passing year. Career, power, and success continually make their case to lure young women away from the purpose and calling of motherhood. God never intended children to be an afterthought to a family’s life. His Word is full of the beauty of family, of the blessing of children, and the need for training them in His ways. The world may look on children as inconveniences and irritations, but God sees the potential for which each one has been created. He sees their precious value and the need the world has for every one of them. The calling to motherhood is a sacred calling, and every woman saved by God’s grace is called to mother, (see Titus 2). Not every woman will have the opportunity to bear children from her own body, but God has many motherless children in need of the tender care of a mother’s heart. No matter what season we find ourselves in, there is someone in need of the instruction, prayer, and care that we have to pour into them. In God’s economy it is not the value of what we earn that pleases Him, but the value of what we give away.
A Hebrew translation of Proverbs 31 hangs on the wall of my home. It is a sweet reminder to me of the memory a king had of his mother. While the mother is unnamed, the teaching and example of her life left a dramatic imprint on his heart. Proverbs 31 exemplifies the highlights of a lifetime, not of a single season, so do not lose heart if you feel that your example does not seem to measure up to hers. Very few could claim that it did, and in our quest to become the perfect woman, our pride and inflexibility for failure would detract from what we were trying to gain anyway. What we can take away from King Lemuel’s reflections though, is the value of a life given away. This mother gave herself to the task of exhorting and enlightening her son with God’s Truth, entreating the Lord on his behalf, expending her time and energy for the good of her family and the needy, and enduring to the end with excellence. Hers was a life well-lived. Filled with His Spirit, this is the life that God will lead us to; the life that we will live out as we surrender it to Him.
Take some time to reflect on the mother or spiritual mothers that God has given you today. If you have the opportunity, tell them how they have impacted your life, and thank them for their role. God is so good to show us His sacrificial love through the lives of those around us. I am so thankful for my own mother and the many spiritual mothers He has used in my life throughout the years. Have a blessed day, my friends.
The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him. What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows? Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings. It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted. Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more. Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction. Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates. Proverbs 31