“The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world.” Thus goes the well-known proverb. It is a truth that is so powerful that it has become self-evident. The influence of mothers is so important it cannot be overstated. 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 God intended it to be. Very often today, “the hand that rocks the cradle” is a stranger, the paid hireling at the child-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 as parents to bring up our children in the “discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4).
No one is better at this than mothers. 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 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 positive 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 of them. 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 basis attitudes toward God and His word that have led me to this point in my life. She did this despite her own struggles as a Christian. She was not perfect, but she was a child of God, and is now gone to her reward.
It is not enough to give life to a child. Society is overrun with children who have been abandoned by their birth mothers. It is not enough to physically nurture a child. All around us are well-fed children who are morally bankrupt, or well on the way to becoming so. 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 things. Those who act on this concern in accordance with God’s word will receive a great reward in eternity.
It is a challenge to be a godly mother. No one denies this fact. Therefore, to all those mothers who are meeting this challenge, we honor you today, and say, “Thanks Mom!”