A Model Mother

I Samuel 1:27, 28

JESUS CHRIST honored His earthly mother and appealed by example and exhortation for you to do the same. The need abides for mothers to be honored as well as for them to be honorable.

Former President Theodore Roosevelt framed the role with this beautiful depiction.

“When all is said, it is the mother, and the mother only, who is a better citizen than the soldier who fights for his country. The successful mother, the mother who does her part in rearing and training aright the boys and girls who are to be the men and women of the next generation, is of greater use to her community, and occupies, if she only would realize it, a more honorable as well as a more important position than any man in it. The mother is the one supreme asset of national life; she is more important far than the successful statesman, or business man, or artist, or scientist.”

Mothering is an all-consuming, exhausting process that requires energy, concentration, perseverance, patience, time, and a lot of other elusive attributes. Moms deserve praise and accolades. Additionally, I would like to throw in some helpful hints on being a mom.

1. Keep your marriage a priority. Don’t use your child as an escape from the reality of your marriage and what it needs.

2. Don’t neglect your personal spiritual life even for your child. There will be times you will need divine wisdom and supernatural strength to be an effective mom. Hannah, the mother we are going to consider momentarily could never have survived her emotional stress and disgrace if she had not had a viable personal faith.

3. Be glad, right now, that your children want to be with you. Those moments will fade fast and there is no way to return to the thrill of being needed that those early years afford. Enjoy the fact you are your child’s best music and art critic. The music often comes from clanging pots and pans serving as symbols. Kazoos, toy xylophones, drums, and wind-up record players often provide the music in the early years. All too soon they give way to boom-boxes.

Moms are often called upon to appraise artwork scrawled on bedroom walls, the best table cloth, and sidewalks.

Young moms are expected to be authorities on the care and feeding of snails, butterflies, worms, dogs, parakeets, grasshoppers, guppies, and gerbils.

4. Buy stock in companies that manufacture diapers and bandages. You will feel personally responsible for our nation’s sound economy while providing for your future.

5. For girls, this is important, never buy a dress without considering the “twirl” factor.

6. For boys, don’t worry if the only word he knows by age six is “vroom.”

7. Keep your sense of humor. What may tend to upset you today will be cause for laughter in the future.

8. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You will make mistakes. Forgive yourself and move on.

Moms and dads as well, here is a part of childhood I didn’t know until I learned it by experience. One day the door will open, and in will walk a young adult, your child, your best friend. It happens all too rapidly and is worth any effort to achieve it.

Children here is a verse to memorize: “Let your father and your mother be glad, And let her who bore you rejoice” (Proverbs 23:25).

We can learn much from Bible moms. Can you imagine comments coming from these little Bible sons:

“Abraham, stop wandering around the countryside and get home in time for dinner.”

“Cain, get up off your brother. You are going to kill him if you keep that up.”

“David, I told you not to play with that sling in the house. Now put it down and practice your harp. We pay good money for those lessons.”

“Samson, get your hand out of that lion’s mouth. You don’t know where it has been.”

“Noah, no you can’t keep them. I told you I don’t want you to bring home any more stray animals.”

“James and John, stop that burping contest at the table. If you keep that up people will call you the sons of thunder.”

“Judas, have you been in my purse again?”

The Old Testament contains the story of a young wife and her ambition to serve the Lord as a mother. She is the model of a good mother. Women, let me ask you a vital question. If you had lived in the Bible era, would you have been a good example for inclusion in Scripture of a good and Godly mother? If not, I appeal that you start molding your life today after such an example — Hannah.

The story develops in a time of great national trouble for Israel. They were in need of a Godly leader. At that same time a young woman entered the story. Her name was Hannah.


Before she was a wife, she was a true believer and an ardent worshiper. Before she was a mother, she was a Godly woman. She regularly engaged in worship and prayer (1:10). She sought God’s will: “If thou will” (1:11). To show the sincerity of her prayer, she linked herself to God by a difficult vow. Hannah called herself “the handmade of the Lord.” When a child sees its mother’s commitment to the Lord and observes her consistency in Christ the child is drawn to her and Christ. When the parent is seen to be willing to be under the authority of the Lord the child is more willing to be under the authority of the parent.

Even when the Priest, Levi, misunderstood her, she remained calm and gracious. He saw her praying and thought she was drunk (1:14). The old priest’s ill-founded conclusion added gall to the sorrow of her heart. She was courteous but persistent. Seeing her sincerity, Levi said, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition” (1:17). She went home content because she believed.

From Hannah we can all learn how to calmly and graciously defend our rights.


Hannah made the right choice of a husband. That for some persons is their biggest mistake. “David Frost’s Book of World’s Worst Decisions” lists some major mistakes. One big one is thought to be Coca- Cola changing its formula. For ninety-five years after Dr. John Pemberton cooked up the first batch in his back yard in 1886, the formula was good enough. Then in 1985 it changed. That, however, wasn’t Coke’s biggest mistake. Earlier in this century Coke passed up the opportunity to buy out a young, twice-bankrupted competitor called Pepsi-Cola.

All of us, like Coke, make mistakes; but Hannah made few.

She had the right husband. Being unable to have children made her the object of derision by Peninnah. Hannah’s husband Elkanah offered her encouragement at every opportunity. The Scripture says he was better to her than ten sons.

What we are not told is Hannah was beautiful. Her sweet spirit must have shown itself on a sensitive face in which her moods were reflected like sunshine and shadows on a quiet lake.

Before she was a mother, she was a loving and loyal wife. She lived in a day when it wasn’t uncommon to have more than one wife.

For a man not to have children was considered a disgrace. To insure against this men often had more than one wife. Though this principle was common in the Old Testament era, God never sanctioned it. It has never had God’s approval. It should be remembered this happened at a time when “every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”

Elkanah had another wife, Peninnah. She was Hannah’s “thorn in the flesh.” Difficulty arose in that her husband’s other wife had children and she didn’t. This was a time in history when childbearing was thought of as a blessing of God. Not to have children implied sin in the life resulting in the punishment of God. (1:2).

Her husband’s other wife criticized and teased her to the point she became very sad. Hannah is a beautiful example of how the most unpleasant of circumstances can produce a character that is a blessing to all. The other wife, Peninnah, tantalized her for not having children. Jealousy, the green-eyed monster that mocks the meat it feeds on, had taken possession of Peninnah. Peninnah is spoken of as “her adversary who provoked her severely, to make her miserable” (1:6).

She refused to cause trouble even when her husband asked why she was sad. She did not tell of the derision caused by her competitor, her husband’s other wife. (1:8). Instead she devoted herself to unselfish love for her husband and a forgiving spirit toward the other wife. When her child was born she devoted herself to his welfare. Every child wants and needs parents who want him or her. A child has a built in radar that can detect whether or not it is wanted. Every child needs a mother whose commitment level is far above her comfort level.

I have been serving on the Georgia Child Protective Services Task Force. Hours of study have been devoted to the welfare of children in our state. One grief that has become increasingly apparent to me is that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of children a year are born unwanted. Hannah loved her child, Samuel. She not only told him of her love for him but professed it to others. Parents say it and show it. Let your children know they are wanted and loved.

Instead of pouring out her bitterness on others, she poured out her grief before God. That is always best. Her serenity of spirit was a veritable lily among thorns.


Hannah, though barren, yet believed. She was childless but not prayer less. In her pain she found consolation in prayer. Her faith was a ripe flower in an almost sterile field. Her first child was born in answer to prayer.

He came late in life. Because of this she might well have been expected to cling to him. She promised him to God before his birth. She was resolute in keeping that commitment.

Samuel, meaning “offering of God,” was the name given him. Samuel was the first of the prophets after Moses and the last of the judges in Israel.

By his very name she acknowledged she had asked the Lord for him.

The Japanese have developed a centuries old art of growing dwarfed trees. They take a small seedling that might well grow into a ninety foot tree and sever the taproot with scissors. The tree is forced to live off the shallow surface roots. Thus, it grows only a few inches tall. Without the taproot to go deep into the earth, the tree, even though fifty years of age, remains a dwarf. Some parents have mastered the art of growing spiritually dwarfed children by cutting off their spiritual taproot.

Hannah resolved to train Samuel until formal weaning. In their culture this was until about the age of seven. Weaning was not just physical but emotional.

She made a special, spiritual sacrifice by bringing him to the house of the Lord while he was very young (1:24).

Joyfully she relinquished him to the Lord and sang a beautiful prayer of praise expressive of her faith (2: 1 – 10). Her prayer/song was very similar to that of Mary when she rejoiced over the miraculous conception of Jesus.

God honored and blessed her with five more children.

Though she gave Samuel to the Lord and left him in the temple to be trained by the priest, she continued to keep in touch and love him. Each year she carried him a new garment as assurance of her love and commitment.

In addition to this physical show of love, she prayed regularly for him.

Samuel grew to become a great prayer intercessor for Israel. Thus, he mirrored his Godly mother.