Solomon was faced with a dilemma when two women came to him to arbitrate in a dispute in which both claimed that the same child belonged to them.
1 King 3:17-27 (NIV) One of them said, “Pardon me, my lord. This woman and I live in the same house, and I had a baby while she was there with me. The third day after my child was born, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one in the house but the two of us. During the night this woman’s son died because she lay on him. So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while I your servant was asleep.
“She put him by her breast and put her dead son by my breast. The next morning, I got up to nurse my son—and he was dead! But when I looked at him closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn’t the son I had borne.”
The other woman said, “No! The living one is my son; the dead one is yours.”
But the first one insisted, “No! The dead one is yours; the living one is mine.”
And so they argued before the king.
Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.”
So they brought a sword for the king. He then gave an order: “Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other.”
The woman whose son was alive was deeply moved out of love for her son and said to the king, “Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!”
But the other said, “Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!”
Then the king gave his ruling: “Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother.”
The wise king, Solomon knew that the true mother would protect her child at all costs.
The sweetest sounds
to mortals given
Are heard in Mother,
Home, and Heaven.
~ William Goldsmith Brown
Gen 3:20 (NIV) Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.
“When Eve was brought unto Adam, he became filled with the Holy Spirit, and gave her the most sanctified, the most glorious of appellations. He called her Eve, that is to say, the Mother of All. He did not style her wife, but simply mother, mother of all living creatures. In this consists the glory and the most precious
ornament of woman.”
~ Martin Luther
“Womanhood is a wonderful
thing. In womankind we find
the mothers of the race. There
is no man so great, nor none
sunk so low, but once he lay
a helpless, innocent babe in a
woman’s arms and was dependent
on her love and care for his existence.
It is woman who rocks the cradle of
the world and holds the first affections
of mankind. She possesses a power
beyond that of a king on his throne.”
~ Mabel Hale, Beautiful Girlhood:
A Timeless Guide for Christian Adolescence
CHERISH YOUR MOTHER
A mother of noble character “is far more precious than jewels.” (Prov 31:10. ESV)
To the world, she is a mother - but to her family, she is the world.
“A mother is she who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take.” ~ Cardinal Mermillod
Lev 19:3 (NIV) Each of you must respect his mother and father…
Ex 20:12 (NIV) Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
Your mother’s voice is the first voice you ever hear – even before you are born. Even as a newborn baby, you know your Mother and prefer her above anyone else. Cherish your mother and be sure she knows you appreciate everything she does for you. The days are short, love your mother before time is gone. If your mother has already gone on before you, take some time to recall memories of her. Share these memories with your family so that she will live on in your hearts.
CHERISH YOUR MOTHER
Ps 139:13 (NIV) For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
John 19:25-27 (NIV) Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
We have the example of Jesus, who in his dying moments shows concern for the wellbeing of his mother, asking his beloved disciple John to care for her.
CHERISH YOUR MOTHER
Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.
Prov 23:22 (NIV) Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.
Gen 24:67 (NIV) Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.
Mothers are missed when they are gone. So appreciate and cherish your mother while she’s still alive.
Prov 31:28-31 (NIV)
Her children arise and
call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who
fears the LORD is to
be praised. Give her
the reward she has
earned, and let her works bring her praise
at the city gate.
Observed in more than 40 countries, Mother's Day is a celebration honouring motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in the family and society.
The modern Mother's Day began in the US, and was first celebrated on 10 May 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother – a Christian social activist - at St Andrew's Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia.
Jarvis arranged 500 white carnations for all who attended the service, describing its symbolism as follows:
Its whiteness is to symbolize
the truth, purity and broad-
charity of mother love; its
fragrance, her memory, and
her prayers. The carnation does
not drop its petals, but hugs
them to its heart as it dies, and
so, too, mothers hug their
children to their hearts, their
mother love never dying. *
* https:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Mother%27s_Day
Although Jarvis was successful in founding Mother's Day, she became resentful of the commercialization of the holiday. By the early 1920s, Hallmark Cards and other companies had started selling Mother's Day cards. Jarvis believed that the companies had misinterpreted and exploited the idea of Mother's Day and that the emphasis of the holiday was on sentiment, not profit. *
OF GODLY MOTHERS
Let’s look at some of the characteristics of a godly mother.
A mother loves.
Mothers are the people who love us for no good reason. And those of us who are mothers know it’s the most exquisite love of all. ~ Maggie Gallagher
Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~ Elizabeth Stone
She loves sacrificially:
A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie. ~ Tenneva Jordan
A mother treasures and cherishes her children.
Luke 2:51 (NIV) Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart.
There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it. ~ Chinese Proverb
A mother always believes in her children.
John 2:3-5 (NIV) When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” “Dear woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
A mother has compassion.
Isa 49:15 (NIV) “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne?”
A mother comforts:
Isa 66:13 (NIV) “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you…”
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 endeavour by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts. ~ Washington Irving
A mother protects and cares (with gentleness):
1 Thess 2:7 (NIV) but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children.
“A mother’s arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them.” ~ Victor Hugo
A MOTHER PROVIDES
Prov 31:19-27 (NIV) In her
hand she holds the distaff and
grasps the spindle with her
fingers. She opens her arms
to the poor and extends her
hands to the needy. When it
snows, she has no fear for her
household; for all of them are
clothed in scarlet. She makes
coverings for her bed…
She makes linen garments and
sells them, and supplies the
merchants with sashes. She is clothed
with strength and dignity; she can laugh
at the days to come... She watches
over the affairs of her household and
does not eat the bread of idleness.
A mother trains:
Life doesn’t come with a manual. It comes with a mother.
When a mother “speaks her words are wise and she gives instructions with kindness.” — Prov 31:25 (NIV)
Prov 31:26 (NIV) She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue
Prov 1:8-9 (NIV) Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.
King Lemuel was guided by his mother’s training:
Prov 31:31 (NIV) The sayings of King Lemuel—an oracle his mother taught him…
“Our mothers give us so many gifts. They give us the precious gift of life, of course, but they also leave treasured lessons that can guide us along our journeys even when they are no longer with us.” ~ Maria Shriver
“I learned more about Christianity from my mother than from all the theologians in England.” ~ John Wesley
By the time a woman realizes that maybe her mother was right, she usually has a daughter who thinks she’s wrong.
“When your mother asks, ‘Do you want a piece of advice?’ it’s a mere formality. It doesn’t matter if you answer yes or no. You’re going to get it anyway.” ~ Erma Bombeck
Prov 6:20-23 (NIV) My son, keep your father’s commands and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Bind them upon your heart forever; fasten them around your neck. When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you. For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life
Timothy’s faith was a result of the example he saw in his mother and grandmother – he doesn’t appear to have had a believing father. (Acts 16:1)
2 Tim 1:5 (NIV) I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.
Q: How long does it take for a people to forget God?
A: Just one generation
Judges 2:10 (NIV) After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel.
It’s important to give our children a godly heritage:
Prov 14:26 (International Standard Version) Rock-solid security is found in the fear of the LORD, and within it one’s children find refuge.
Deut 4:9 (NIV) Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.
Psalm 78:4-7 (NIV) We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.
Prov 22:6 (ESV) Train up [chanak] a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible: The Hebrew of this clause is curious … “Initiate the child at the opening (the mouth) of his path.” When he comes to the opening of the way of life, being able to walk alone, and to choose; stop at this entrance, and begin a series of instructions, how he is to conduct himself in every step he takes. Show him the duties, the dangers, and the blessings of the path; give him directions how to perform the duties, how to escape the dangers, and how to secure the blessings, which all lie before him.
The NIV renders it, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
Chanak, which we
translate train up or
initiate, signifies also
dedicate; and is often used
for the consecrating any
thing, house, or person, to the
service of God. Dedicate,
therefore, in the first instance, your
child to God; and nurse, teach, and
discipline him as God’s child, whom he has
entrusted to your care. These things observed, and
illustrated by your own conduct, the child (you have God’s
word for it) will never depart from the path of life. *
* Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible
A mother is a role model.
Ezek 16:44 (NIV) Everyone who quotes proverbs will quote this proverb about you: “Like mother, like daughter.”
The best way to teach your children is by providing a good example.
“My mother was my role model before I even knew what that word was.” ~ Lisa Leslie
A mother disciplines:
Prov 29:15 (NIV) The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother.
WANTS THE BEST
A mother wants the
best for her children:
Matt 20:20-21 (NIV) Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favour of him. “What is it you want?” he asked. She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.”
Just as we can be physical mothers
and fathers, so we can be spiritual
mothers and fathers to others.
This is the kind of relationship Paul
held with those in the churches he
1 Cor 4:14-15 (NIV) I am not writing
this to shame you, but to warn you, as
my dear children. Even though you have
ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do
not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus
I became your father through the gospel.
And he speaks of the mother of Rufus,
who he says “has been a mother to me, too.” (Rom 16:13)
GOD IS OUR FATHER
We love and cherish our mothers and fathers on earth, but the Bible teaches us that we have a Father in heaven.
Jesus taught his disciples to pray and call God, “Our Father in heaven” (Matt 6:9).
2 Cor 6:18 (NIV) “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
1 John 3:1 (NIV) How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
God loves us:
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.” (Isa 49:15-16, NIV)
Prov 27:10 (NIV) Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.
God loves sacrificially (John 3:16)
God has compassion on us (Psalm 103:13, Matt 18:14)
God also encourages and comforts us:
Isa 66:13 (NIV) “As a mother comforts her child, so
will I comfort you…”
He also disciplines his children (Prov 3:12, Heb 12:7-8)
As we are commanded to cherish and honour our earthly fathers and mothers, so we must honour our Father in heaven:
Matt 6:9 (NIV) “This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name...’”
Like a parent, our Father God:
provides for us (Matt 6:25-30)
trains us (Matt 16:17, John 14:26, 16:13)
is our role model:
Eph 5:1 (NIV) Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children...
wants the best for his children:
John 10:10 (NIV) … I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
THE FOREST FIRE
The forest fire had been brought under control, and the group of firefighters were working back through the devastation making sure all the hot spots had been extinguished. As they marched across the blackened landscape between the wisps of smoke still rising from the smouldering remains, a large lump on the trail caught a firefighter’s eye.
As he got closer he noticed it was the charred
remains of a large bird, that had burned nearly
half way through. Since birds can so easily fly
away from the approaching flames, the firefighter wondered what must have been wrong with this bird that it could not escape. Had it been sick or injured?
Arriving at the carcass, he decided to kick it off the trail with his boot. As soon as he did, however, he was startled half to death by a flurry of activity around his feet.
Four little birds flailed in the dust and ash then scurried away down the hillside.
The bulk of the mother’s body had covered them from the searing flames. Though the heat was enough to consume her, it allowed her babies to find safety underneath. In the face of the rising flames, she had stayed with her young. Her dead carcass and her fleeing chicks told the story well enough–she gave the ultimate sacrifice to save her young.
The hen in the story was the only chance those chicks had for safety; she, being willing to spare her own life, had gathered them up under her wings to herself. At the point of terrible pain and death, when she might still have saved herself, she chose to stay through the ordeal. *
* https:// deeprootsathome.com/ henrietta-and-her-chicks-a-love-story/
AS A HEN GATHERS HER CHICKS
It is appropriate that Jesus uses the analogy of a mother hen to show how he desires to love and protect us:
Matt 23:37 (NIV) “Jerusalem, Jerusalem … how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings…”
A mother forgives as related in an anecdote related by D.L. Moody.
The saddest memory of his childhood days related to the running away from home of his eldest brother. He described the incident pathetically in the sermon on the Prodigal Son.
“I well remember the long winter nights when we all sat around the fire, how mother would go on telling us about father and his goodness - she was never tired of talking about him. But if any of us mentioned our eldest brother, all would be hushed in a moment. She never could speak of him without tears. She said it would have eased her heart even to know he was dead.”
“‘I don’t know,’ she would say, ‘but he is lying sick in some foreign land, with nobody to watch over him.’ I do believe she would have gone all round the world to find him.
“Some nights I used to hear that mother’s voice praying for that boy. Ah! how she used to pour out her heart in prayer to God for her wandering son; and when on winter nights a great gale would come sweeping and howling along, she would turn pale, and in a voice choked with sobs would say, ‘Perhaps my boy is at sea with the gale blowing, and in danger of going down!’
Well, on one particular day there was always a family gathering to thank God for the harvest, and on this occasion she always put a chair for him, but the chair was always empty.
“Many and many a time have I gone to the window in the hope that I should see him coming up the garden-walk to cheer our mother’s heart, but all was in vain - he didn’t come.
“And so time rolled on. The step that once was so firm became feeble, and the hair that was black as night became silvery grey. How she loved that boy! But amid all this disappointment she held fast to the hope that she would yet see him come back before she died.
“One day, as she sat in her cottage, her twin children with her (for the rest of us had gone away into the world, one in one direction and another in another, to fight the battle of life), she saw a stranger coming through the gate.
“At first she did not recognize that boy, with his long beard and altered face. But when she saw the tears straggling down his cheeks, the truth flashed on her in an instant, and she sprang to him with the words, ‘Come in! come in!’
‘No, mother,’ he said, ‘I will not until you forgive - never!’
Do you believe she forgave him?
“Forgave him! She threw her arms round him and kissed him - the dead was alive, the lost
was found! I cannot
tell you the joy that welled up in my heart when I heard the
news that my poor,
long-lost brother had come home again. But this I know. The tears were wiped away from that mother’s eyes, and the sunshine of happiness was in her heart again.” *
* www.wholesomewords.org/ biography/ biomoody.html
In the parable of the Prodigal
Son, we see the compassion
and forgiveness of our
heavenly Father, who was
waiting for his son to return.
Luke 15:20 (NIV) “So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”
In the same way, God wants to be
your Father and to forgive you.
Luke 15:21-24 (NIV) “The son said to
him, ‘Father, I have sinned against
heaven and against you. I am no longer
worthy to be called your son.’ But the father
said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe
and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and
sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’
So they began to celebrate.”
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Scripture quotations are taken from the ESV:
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Chanac: gha - nagh