Chubby little hands held my swollen face, deep hazel eyes looked earnestly into mine, “Mommy, I don’t care how fat or skinny you are, I still love you and think you’re pretty!” The words of my firstborn son melted my heart. Our third child was on the way and it seemed as though nothing could relieve the angst or discomfort, until those words were spoken. In his eyes, mother would always be perfect.
Mother, so much sentiment wrapped up in one word. Often we think of the gentleness, tenderness, the nurture only a mother can give. Mothers always know. They know what is needed, when. Mothers can look at the faces of their children and know. They read the hurt, decipher the thoughts, sense the deep and intimate, translate the unspoken. The lady that brought each of us into the world has perhaps the biggest heart, for she loves each gift placed in her life with the most profound emotion and love. From the time she had only thought of the child she would hold, to the first time the little rhythmic heartbeat was heard, she held the flicker of hope close. No feeling could compare to the movement of life within, so for nine months she dreamed and planned, attachment growing deeper with each passing day.
As the weeks and months crawl by, children, like little plants, soak up the love and attention of the mother. Only God could have known what a child needed in a mother, for as a child grows, so does a mother. In the first fledgling days of life, nourishing milk is all that is needed. In time the appetite grows for more, and in what seems like a blink of the eye, a mother must step back and allow her young offspring to try their wings. She is to create and train independent adults, who will love the Lord with all their heart.
My mind is drawn to Jochebed, the mother of Moses. How did she muster the courage to push her newborn out into the reeds, floating in a miniature boat she had crafted. The questions must have swirled in her mind, will I ever see him again, what if my boat leaks, what if Pharoah’s army finds him? She was a wise woman; she indeed had a heart after God and followed His leading, raising an Old Testament hero.
Another astounding example of a courageous mother is Hannah. For years she yearned for a child, pleading with God, promising to give her child back to God. How did she take him and leave him at the temple, seeing him just a few short times in a year. She too was a wise and godly woman who raised a man of God, the prophet Samuel.
William Ross Wallace wrote, “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.” No truer words were spoken. A mother’s influence is one of the greatest in the life of a child, for in a child’s eyes mother can do no wrong. What a fearful yet extraordinary job description a mother has. It is with the Fear of God and armed with the Bible, the greatest handbook for child rearing, a mother can bravely step to the challenge of raising another generation of God-fearing people.
As believers we too are given an incredible commission—the Church, or body of believers, is likened to the “Mother of us all.” God has provided a natural mother as a tangible example of what the Lord is calling us to be. With strength and grace, we are called to open our arms to nurture and train those newborn babes. As brothers and sisters in Christ exemplifying the Mother, we are to know what is needed in the infancy of new believers. We are called to love and accept without reservation—for we are raising the next generation of believers.