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Mothers In The Church

Mothers In The Church

     Today is the day set aside by our nation to remember and commemorate our mothers. There is much that is misunderstood about this “holiday” among those who observe it.   It is not a day set aside by God.

     Mother’s Day is a celebration honoring the mother of the family, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in our society. This is understandable as it has long been said” The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.” But this does not mean that the mother rules the world; but it means that the mother has a great deal of influence over the ones being rocked.

   mThe idea of “Mother’s Day” is not specific to America alone as it is observed in many parts of the world.   Like most “holidays” the idea of it may have come about due to pagan celebrations or denominational practices. The Greeks had a cult that honored Cybele; the Romans had a festival of Hilaria; and the church of England and the Catholics had “Mothering Sunday” which commemorated the “mother church” rather than motherhood.

   The modern “holiday” of Mother’s Day was first celebrated in the U.S. in 1908 when Anna Jarvis held a celebration for her mother in St. Andrews Methodist church in Grafton West Virginia.   She began lobbying to make Mother’s Day an official “holiday” in 1905, shortly after the death of her mother, who had cared for wounded from both sides during the American Civil War.

   It was also in 1908 that the U.S. Congress rejected a proposal to make Mother’s Day an official holiday, joking they would also have to proclaim a “Mother-In-Law’s Day”. But, in 1914 Woodrow Wilson signed a declaration that the second Sunday in May as a national holiday to honor mothers.   That day has been the observance from that time until the present. (info from Wikipedia)

   Now that we have established the fact that “Mother’s Day” is not a celebration of the church, nor authorized by God, let us point out some of the things God has said about mothers in His Word.  

   We know from Genesis 3:20 that Eve was the “mother of all living” as all who came to be after the creation of Adam and Eve were born, and all who give birth are called mothers.   Then as we move to the New Testament, after the establishment of the church, we have a fine example of the type of mother that is to be in the church and one that is to be truly honored. That example is found in 2Timothy 2:1-5 where Timothy’s mother Eunice is commended for instilling in Timothy a love for the truth and a desire to faithfully follow God in accordance to God’s Word. When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. These are the kinds of godly mothers that God would have in the church.  

   In Titus 2:4-5 we see that the aged women were to teach the young women to conduct themselves in such a way to deserve the honor of their children and their husbands. That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.  You may say: “What mother does not love her children?” No doubt most mothers love their children, but what better way is there to show that love than teaching them the way of truth so that their soul need not spend eternity in Hell?   The “hand that rocks the cradle” has the most influence on the child in its most formative years, but it is not the mother alone that is to bring up the child properly in accordance to God’s Word.

   The passage above in Titus 2:4-5 goes hand in hand with Ephesians 6:4, which while speaking directly to the fathers, has the mother in mind as well as the young women are to be “keepers at home” and let the fathers provide for the family. A godly mother (and fathers too) are to guide the child in God’s Word as the father provides for the family. (I know this may be a bit unpopular – but I didn’t write it, God did.) And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

   The virtuous woman of Proverbs 31:10 whose price is far above rubies is explained in the verses that come afterward. From Proverbs 31:26-28 we can read of her virtue relative to being the mother God would have her be. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. 27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. 28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.  It is not wrong to remember our mothers.   Let’s honor every Christian mother on every day.   But, on the Lord’s Day, let us focus on honoring and serving the God of heaven as He would have it.  

                                                                                Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ


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