We live in an evil world where every value that is decent or Godly is being steadily undermined. Nowhere is this more evident than in the vitally important role of motherhood. A leading “feminist” said, “Every individual, woman as well as man, should work outside and have the possibility, either by communal living, collectives, or another way of  organising the family, of solving the problem of child care. As long as the myth of maternity and the maternal instinct are not destroyed, women will still be oppressed”. Our sisters and young women are being constantly bombarded with such evil words and we therefore turn to God’s Word to see how beautiful are the true Godly principles involved in motherhood and the great blessings they can bring us now and in the future if we heed them.

Among some treasures “new and old” this simple poem came to mind:

 “A Mother’s Love”

 A mother’s love – how sweet the name!

 What is a mother’s love?

 Enkindled from above

 To bless a heart of earthly mould,

 The warmest heart that can grow cold.

 This is a Mother’s Love.

 To bring a helpless babe to light,

 To gaze upon that dearest sight

 And feel herself newborn;

 In its existence lost her own

 And live and breathe for it alone,

 This is a Mother’s Love.

  This was found in a homework exercise book, copied out from the teacher’s blackboard, in the year 1888, by my grandfather when he was a 10-year-old student in the Penang school near Moonta. James Luke was a very strong, determined, industrious lad; but in perfect copperplate style, the above poem of tender feelings about mother was copied, learned and no doubt, believed! Oh that our children could learn such beautiful things in our present State schools. This concept of Mother was inherent in Paul’s teaching when he exhorted the aged women to “love their children”, or Isaiah when he questioned rhetorically, “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb?” (Titus 2:4; Isa 49:15). It was the powerful passion of a mother’s love that drove the Shunammite to the feet of the prophet Elisha and that would not depart from him until he presented himself at her home. “And the mother of the child said, As Yahweh liveth and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee”! Faith and love had wrought together and we can only but imagine the intensity of her care for this only child as he grew into adult life (2 Kings 4:18-37).

It is unthinkable to imagine a world where this tender devotion, this deep love for children, this instinctive service for their well-being, were not dominant features of womankind. All the remembrance of our little years is of mothers that were wonderfully kind, limitless in compassion, sympathy and forgiveness, whilst firmly committed to the principles of God and determined that they would take root in our developing minds. Behind these mothers were their mothers, our grandmothers, stalwarts of purity and kindness, of principles and warm heartedness in faith and love. For generations these wonderful people have stood from crib to grave by the lives of their children and it is unthinkable, we say it again, that a world of mankind can imagine anything more fundamental to the well-being of society than the exalted role of motherhood.

It is certain and sure that the ecclesia of the living God will not deprecate the importance of the mother’s role in the preservation of our Body in the latter days. If we have ever needed mothers of loving sacrifice and thoughtful diligence, it is surely now! No greater role could a young sister be blessed with than to take her little family through the present tribulation and find for them succour and salvation at the feet of Christ the King – who loves children! (Mark 9:36)

Her Children Arise up and call her Blessed

 Among the blessings of the virtuous woman was that when the job of raising her children was completed they would, with increasing maturity and increasing conviction, speak the praises of their mother (Prov 31:28). How true this is. It cannot be expected that young children would be able to perceive the greatness of their mother’s labour and love for them. Much of her work they never see. Growing maturity brings increased appreciation from the children and this accelerates even more when the children become married and have their own children. These are helpful perspectives for young mothers surrounded with the constant difficulties of caring for young children. There is an intensity of concentration for young mothers when several little ones are calling upon them, the tea is cooking, ironing is waiting and husband is due home in a short time! The pressure is certainly on when Sunday morning the young mother is faced with the preparing of her little ones for the meeting, cleaned and fed and tidy. There are not too many mothers of young families who ever finish a day without feeling the pressure of many responsibilities and long for refreshing sleep. Housework and motherhood is consistent work, coming much the same each day (as most daily work) and there is a sense of no escape because the children are so dependent upon their mother in those years. It is these facts which need to be perceived by others in the family, by the husband and older children so that welcome and deeply appreciated relief can be given to the young mother.

The Delight of Dependence

 As in so many things, we reap what we sow. The joys and satisfaction of motherhood are commensurate with the work involved. How does one measure the value of little eyes that look to their mother with such dependence and trust. Where in this cold and hard world is there something more precious than this? Remember the yearnings of the woman who cannot have children. What was it that Hannah so greatly desired? The intense desire to be a mother is almost universal to womankind. God has put it there for the preservation and proper development of mankind. Yet for the sister in Christ the potential blessings are even greater and truly wonderful.

“Your Children are Holy”

 This is the assertion of the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:14. It doesn’t mean that our children are already entrants to the Kingdom of God but it does mean they can be on the track to that Kingdom. Unlike children of the world, the offspring of the saints are “related” to the Father because their parents have been especially known and loved of Him and because these parents are instructing their children in the way of life. These children are not any children. They are “an heritage”, a “reward” of Yahweh (Psa 127:3). The daughters of Israel, says David, are as “pillars cut for the structure of a palace” (Psa 144:12 RSV); there can be a royal future ahead for our own children. What privileged parents are they who bring up royal children! This is the reality of motherhood in the Truth. It is not a drudgery but an honour of the highest order. The scene may be the kitchen and bedrooms of ordinary homes and ordinary suburbs but the potential of what we are dealing with is enormous.

But one may say, “I’m only influencing my children in their infant years and later on the greater effects will come from school and adult life”. There is a little saying that says, “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world”. This, in measure, is a true saying, not because it means that the father’s influence is less than the mother’s, but because the mother’s influence, in harmony with her husband, is with the child in his most critical and impressionable stage of life. To put it Scripturally, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Prov 22:6). Without question, it is the mother who is with the infant in all of its first impressions. To a very large degree she is creating all his convictions and beliefs. “Right” and “wrong” will be what his mother has taught him. His human nature will resist it but the “law of his mind”, the direction of his conscience, is being formed by his mother. The first three years are the most important in the future behaviour and well-being of the child. All the early exercises, done with love and care and discipline, the matters taught over a whole range of areas, are of very great value. That sometimes monotonous, unexciting, consistent work of motherhood, that may seem so similar day by day, is in fact, of critical importance to our children, to our families and to the Truth of God in the latter days. We cannot survive without it. There is nothing more important, more essential, than the work our young mothers are performing with their little ones. We do not suggest that the husbands should leave them to it, but we do salute the critical work that our young mothers are doing with their little ones!

Saved In Child-Bearing

 In the second chapter of Paul’s letter to Timothy, he speaks of different roles of men and women in the ecclesia and the reasons for those different roles. He would not have the sister to speak in the ecclesia nor to usurp authority over the man but to be “in silence with all subjection” (1 Tim 2:11–14). At the conclusion of this interesting instruction the apostle writes a note of uplifting encouragement: Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety” (1 Tim 2:15). These are beautiful words and obviously have a general application to the sisters of our ecclesias for the reward is “if they continue in faith and love and holiness with sobriety”. The words fit so perfectly the real practical situation of family life. “Childbearing” is the Greek word “teknogonia” which is, in fact, a broader work implying all the duties of motherhood. Paul is not preaching that a woman will be saved if she bears children. However, the role of bearing and rearing children was given to her in the beginning—“in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children” (Gen 3:16). Generally speaking, it is an inescapable role. Does it lessen the likelihood of the sister’s entrance into life because she is bound to an inescapable role? Has her brother-husband, more involved in the ministration of the Word, a better chance to enter into life than she? By no means. Her role is indispensable and if pursued with the same qualities of “faith and love and holiness” (2:15; 1:2) then she would enter into life on equal terms even though her role is of a different, less public kind from that of the brethren.

“For These Children We Pray”

 How delightful are the ways of our Heavenly Father. In all matters His wisdom is best. One disgruntled feminist recently bemoaned, “What women are tackling in theological circles is no less than a male God”! Terrible words again, but they express the misguided resentment being taught our young girls today. Dear sisters, young mothers, take the wider, more beautiful and positive picture. “Every wise woman buildeth her house.” Set your mind and purposes to the building of our children in the House of God. Let them know of your faith and love and holiness, in sobriety. Put aside modern arrogance that awaits the Father’s wrath. Take up with cheerfulness your Divinely appointed role and fight for the saving of our children. Look what Jochabed did for Moses (Ex 2:8-10) or Ahinoam did for her royal son Jonathan (1 Sam 14:50; 20:30), or Lois and Eunice for Timothy (2 Tim 1:5) and all in adverse circumstances.

We pray with the fervency of Hannah for our children today. May the Father of all wisdom be with our young mothers in this holy calling.

May the rest of us be ready to share the responsibility of this great work.