I love being a mum! I have two children by birth Michael (10) and Mia (3), and I also have a wonderful step daughter Sharayah who is now 23!
Throughout the Bible I am encouraged that God expresses his love for us using sometimes feminine metaphors and analogies .
As a mother comforts her child,
so will I comfort you;
and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.”
Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast. From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
For a long time I have kept silent,I have been quiet and held myself back.
But now, like a woman in childbirth, I cry out, I gasp and pant.
Did you catch that!! God can totally relate to our pain in childbirth!
And finally in Zephaniah 3:17 God paints the wonderful picture of Him singing lullabies!
“The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
1. Know You’re Loved
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.
In English, we use the word LOVE to describe both our fondness of ice-cream and the love we have for our spouse or our children! The richness of the Hebrew language however, describes many variations of this over used word, LOVE. For example, one Hebrew word for “love” is Rakham which means, “womb, tender love, compassion, pity, and mercy”.
“Rakham” basically means “Womb love!”. And Isaiah 49, describes this maternal love in a most beautiful way. God is describing the love of a mother for her unborn baby or newborn who has no ability to respond back in love other than to show dependence upon the mother for affection and food. Her love is unconditional. That baby is a part of her…..
This concept Womb-love is the heart of God…..you and I are a part of Him, tattooed on the palm of my hands!
I truly believe in order for us to be caring mothers…we need to get back to deeply accepting the love of God…Focusing on his deep love for us needs to be our foundation.
“We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)
When we know we are loved we will have the peace of a baby!
“My heart is not proud, Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content. Israel, put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore.”
2. A Mother’s Concern
Isaiah 40:11 NCV
He takes care of his people like a shepherd. He gathers them like lambs in his arms and carries them close to him. He gently leads the mothers of the lambs.
God is indeed our Good Shepherd, which if you think about the job of a Shepherd, it’s to care and nurture sheep! Isn’t this the heart of a mother?
Not all of us had great mother’s growing up….
I grew up in a dysfunctional family….My mother, who is Vietnamese had a hard time expressing her love. It was difficult for her to say she loved me and to offer me comfort and concern.
When my husband Michael was trying to get to know my mum (who has always lived in another country from us), he was on the phone with her and he ended the conversation with “I love you”. There was an uncomfortable silence…..and then in her loveable Vietnamese accent, responded “I LIKE you too!”.
Regardless of how we were raised, what’s amazing is that we can become great caring mother’s when we are born-again because we have the Holy Spirit (God in us).
Also God designed us to be a part of His family (the Believers) and gives us spiritual mums in the faith!
The Jews have a sweet saying to the effect that “God could not be everywhere, so He made mothers.”
And this is so true in the kingdom of God!
I am eternally indebted to Elena, my mother in the faith who I have been blessed to be in a mentoring relationship since 2003.
God knew exactly what I needed…..and I wouldn’t be here today without her concern, prayers, love and counsel!
Truly sisters where would we be without the spiritual mothers God has put in our lives!
Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too.
Paul was arguably the most successful missionary of our time! But he too had a mother in the faith!
Do you see yourself as a mum in the faith? Are you birthing new spiritual babies? Who are you raising up to be leaders in God’s kingdom?
Paul needed a spiritual mum, and in turn had great concern for his spiritual children:
1 Thessalonians 2:7-8
Instead, we were like young children among you. Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.
I was recently told of a beautiful Story, that illustrates the heart we must have for each other.
One of the women in a sister-church just had a baby, but due to an infection was not able to nurse her child. Amazingly her sister-in-law who herself was close to having her own baby, offered to nurse the baby until this woman was restored to health!!
Wow! This true WOMB-LOVE. Selfless caring concern, that is willing to suffer for another.
3. A Mother’s Influence
Very often a child’s first teacher is her mother.
Proverbs 6:20 agrees:
My son, keep your father’s command and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
As mums it is often our role to teach and train our children everything from basic manners, to words, toileting and certainly guide them to love God’s Holy Word!
The influence of a mum and a grandmother should never be underestimated! In fact it can change the world!
Consider 2 Timothy 1:5,
I am 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.
We do not see Eunice’s husband named in the scriptural account (he was a Greek), but we see that Eunice must have trained and influenced Timothy spiritually. Eunice was a godly mum who was influenced by her Godly mum Lois. Certainly a mother’s influence has generational impact!
Let us strive to be the best physical and spiritual mums we can. It’s certainly not an easy task, but the reward and joy far outweigh the cost.
A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.