“The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world.” So goes the well-known proverb. It is a truth that is so powerful that it has become self-evident. The influence of mothers cannot be overstated, it is so important. Conversely, the neglect of that influence is so powerful that it cannot go unchallenged.
We live in a world where certain basic values have been eroded by the influence of skeptics whose godless ways have made a mockery of motherhood and all it was intended by God to be. Very often today the “hand that rocks the cradle” is a stranger, the paid hireling at the day care center. Many children spend more time with these care givers than they do with their parents. This ought not to be so.
Children are a gift from the Lord. They are a sacred trust. They are precious souls who are entrusted to parents for spiritual as well as physical nurturing. When we bring a child into the world we begin a life that will exist throughout eternity. The eternal destiny of that soul is largely the responsibility of the parents. The wise man said, “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6). It is our God-given duty to bring up our children in the “discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4).
No one is better at this than mothers. Of course this does not excuse fathers from their required participation in this responsibility, but it is the mother who has special power to accomplish God’s purpose in this regard. The scriptures are full of the examples of godly mothers who molded their offspring for God’s use. From Jochebed, the mother of Moses, to Hannah, the mother of Samuel, to Eunice, the mother of Timothy, we see the influence of the hand that rocks the cradle. We see this influence even in those cases in which the father was not as involved in the process as he should have been.
There are many in the family of God who are there in large measure because of the influence of their mothers. I am one. My mother made certain that I learned to love the Lord. She did so even though my father was not a Christian until I was in my teens. She taught me the importance of being in the assembly on the Lord’s Day. She taught me that obedience to the Lord was the most important choice I would ever make. She formed in me the basic attitudes toward God and His word that have sustained me to this point in my life. She did this in spite of her own struggles as a Christian. She was not perfect, but she was, and still is today, a child of God.
It is not enough to give life to a child. Our society is overrun with children who have been abandoned by their mothers. It is not enough to nurture a child physically. All around us are well-fed children who are morally bankrupt, or well on the way to it. We need mothers who will do whatever it takes to nurture the soul as well as the body. We need mothers who have more concern for their children’s souls than for material possessions. Those who act on this concern in obedience to God’s word will receive a great reward.
It is a challenge to be a godly mother. No one would dispute this truth. To all those mothers who have met this challenge, or are now meeting this challenge, we honor you today. God bless you. We love you, and we say to you, in the most heartfelt and sincere way, “Thanks Mom!”