Being a mom is very rewarding and often very challenging. Our roles and responsibilities seem to change every year as our children get older. Sometimes we know what to do and what to say; other times we read books, do all kinds of Google searches and ask family, friends, and physicians. Sometimes we get it right, sometimes, we get it wrong, and sometimes we improvise. Thankfully, we have God on our side, and we need to trust Him that “He works all things together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
There are plenty of mothers mentioned in the Bible. They all had their struggles, flaws, and shortcomings. Yet, I believe that their life stories are recorded for us so that we can learn valuable lessons. So, over the next few months, let’s look at a few mothers, starting with Eve.
She is the first mother mentioned in the Bible, and she had a close and personal relationship with God. Her life started off perfectly, as we know, and yet she was vulnerable to being deceived, and she fell for a lie which turned her world upside down. She was the first mother to experience the tragic loss of a child, her son Abel, whom her older son Cain murdered. Despite the tragic outcome of her unwise choices, God sustained her, and she became the mother of many (Genesis 2 -4).
Then we have Sarah, who couldn’t have children, but God had promised her a son through whom many would be blessed. Although Sarah trusted God, she had doubts and became impatient when things didn’t happen in her expected time frame, and her impatience led to a lot of trouble. Yet, despite her lapse of good judgment, God blessed her with the birth of Isaac in her old age, (Genesis 16 -21).
And there is Rebekah, the wife of Isaac. She was a kind, generous, and hardworking woman. And yet, when she became a mother, she favored her son Jacob over her firstborn son Esau, and she acted deceitfully when she helped Jacob receive the firstborn son’s blessing from his father. This divided the family, and her sons hated each other. They left home and went their own ways. But God blessed both of her sons greatly, and they reunited and reconciled later, (Genesis 24 to 27 and Chapter 33).
These are just quick summaries of the lives of these three prominent mothers. But here is the takeaway: Learn from their mistakes. The wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, a mother of six children, said a long time ago,
“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”
So, here we go.
Eve was vulnerable to believing lies, and her desire for more knowledge led her to take her eyes off God. Lesson learned:
Whenever we only focus on ourselves and what we want and desire, something often breaks, and usually, it’s a close relationship.
Sarah desperately wanted to be a mom, and she became impatient and took matters into her own hands. She knew God’s will for her life, but rather than waiting, she tried to control her own destiny and made a mess of things. Lesson learned:
Wait on the Lord, trust His timing, and believe in His promises. Don’t try to control all of your circumstances but surrender your life to Him. He will guide you and see you through.
Rebekah knew the will of God for her sons, yet she favored Jacob over Esau. She wanted Jacob to have Esau’s firstborn birthright. She ended up manipulating Jacob and encouraged him to deceive his father. Lesson learned:
Favoritism leads to major hurt and resentment and divides the family.
We need a lot of discernment to make wise decisions in life, and we need a lot of wisdom to raise our children well. Worldly wisdom can take us so far as it is only based on human experience, but the Bible says that “The fear of the LORD is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment” (Proverbs 9:10).
Fearing the LORD means to have a healthy sense of reverence and awe for the Creator of everything, who knows everything, and we need to seek Him and His wisdom first through prayer and through reading the Bible.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you,” (James 1:5). I pray that you “seek Him first and His kingdom and His righteousness,” (Matthew 6:33), and He promised that He will give us wisdom and everything else we need to live an abundant life despite our circumstances.