Summary: God gives wisdom to those who need and seek.
We owe much to our mothers, including life itself. But for all they give and give, perhaps their greatest contribution is the things moms teach us:
• They teach us about receiving: “You are going to get it when we get home!”
• About logic, “Because I said so, that’s why.”
• Medical facts: “Stop crossing your eyes; they will freeze that way.”
• Religious devotion: “You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”
• Obstetrics: “Were born in a barn?”
• Time travel: “If you don’t straighten up, I’m going to knock you into the middle of next week!”
• Preparation: “Always wear clean underwear in case you’re in an accident.”
• Contortionism: “Will you look at dirt on back of your neck!”
• The reality of the Resurrection: “If you fall out of that tree and break your neck, don’t come crying to me.”
Those are fun and silly and hopefully give you a bit of a chuckle as we hear the true story of two mothers who made a mess of their lives and needed a gift of God’s grace and mercy.
[Read 1Kings 3.16-28. Pray.]
Both the Bible and church history witness to the significance of mothers in the lives of faithful believers. For example, in 2Timothy 1.5, Paul tells his young apprentice: “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.”
The fifth commandment requires that we honor our mothers as well as our fathers, a surprise demand delivered into a patriarchal society. The Proverbs, likewise, remind us that children are to please their mothers and give them joy as they labor to teach and raise them to love the Lord. And the New Testament makes clear that parents are to be obeyed and honored, not simply fathers.
God shows us how important mothers are in the kingdom as Hannah devotes her son, Samuel, to the Lord’s service. And Elizabeth not only gave birth to John the Baptist, but also was a New Testament prophet. And though we condemn the Catholic dogmas concerning worship of Mary and her sinless life as both unbiblical and offensive to God, we nevertheless recognize her as a paradigm of a godly woman and faithful mother.
Maybe the greatest honor paid women, however, is the way in which God compares his own ministry to that of a mother. Isaiah 66.13: “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.”
Augustine was probably the greatest Bible scholar the church has ever known. Apparently his mother, Monica, prayed for her son to become a Christian for years. When he was determined to travel to Rome she prayed earnestly that God would keep him by her side, and under her influence. She went down to a little chapel on the seashore to spend the night in prayer close by where the ship lay at anchor. But, when morning came, she found that the ship had sailed even while she prayed! But though the answer to that prayer was no, her true desire was granted. For it was in Rome that Augustine met the sainted Ambrose, who led him to Christ. God’s wisdom displayed in the devotion of a mother.