An old saying goes, “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world” (W R Wallace, 1865). A godly mother called Susanna Wesley (1669 – 1742) had 19 children. Nine of her children died as infants. A maid accidentally smothered one child. At her death, only eight of her children were still alive. She never preached a sermon or published a book, yet she is known as the Mother of Methodism, It was because of her upbringing of two of her sons, John and Charles Wesley. The Wesleys started the Methodist denomination. Charles Wesley wrote many Christian hymns which are still sung today. Three examples are: “And Can It Be That I Should Gain,” “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today,” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.”
The Bible says Eve was the mother of all the living (Gen 3:20). As the first woman, God made her from Adam’s rib. Henceforth, God continues to make all babies in the depths of mothers’ wombs. Today we can still say, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth” (Psa 139:14-15 cf Isa 44:24).
All of us have spent about 40 weeks in our mothers’ wombs. No human father has that privilege. A mother has a special bond to her own child because of the baby’s gestation period in her womb. Even after birth, the new mother feeds her newly born baby with her own pure unadulterated milk. Many articles extol the wonder of mother’s milk for babies: protects from a long list of illnesses, protects from developing allergies, boosts the baby’s intelligence, protects from obesity, and so on. There are also other mutual benefits for the mother.
Likewise, a newly born spiritual child of God needs a spiritual care-giver or a spiritual “mother” or “father.” The bible says of new believers, “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation” (1Pet 2:2).
All who believe God ought to learn to trust and rest in God. You can observe how quiet an infant or a young child is when he or she is in the mother’s arms: “But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me” (Psalm 131:2)
A new baby is very dependent his or her mother. After the difficult period of infancy, the child is weaned and solid food can be given. According to Jewish rabbinical traditions, a child is weaned from between 18 months to 5 years of age.
Many mothers have raised great men. A child learns about God from the mother (2 Tim 1:5; 2 Tim 3:15). Paul urges women to carry out motherly duties by bearing children and rearing them in the fear of God. For childless women, they can have spiritual children. Mothers, grandmothers, and women have great roles in raising godly children. They can facilitate godliness among children in the homes and in the local church family. They can grow in faith and Christlikeness by learning, praying, doing good works and living godly lives.
Finally, for all, including mothers:
A woman called out to Jesus and said: “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!” But He said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Luk 11:27-28)
Blessed Mothers’ Day!
Elder Yoong Yuen Soo