Mom the Model 5/9/99

II Kings 4:22-26

JESUS CHRIST chose to make His earthly entrance through a family circle. The Biblical record of what happened to Joseph after Christ’s childhood is incomplete. Evidently Joseph died before Jesus reached the age when He set out on His earthly public ministry. There is interplay between mother and Son however. They had an exchange at the wedding of Cana of Galilee. Their ultimate regard for each other was revealed on Calvary. Even in His agony He provided for His mother Mary by instructing His disciple John to look after her. Thus is revealed the high regard with which He held the role of mother. We should also.

One day a year mom is showered with gifts, cards, and flowers. It’s her day. In reality she is entitled to be treated as the queen of the home every day.

Mothers are models whether they know it or not. They are observed by their children and mentor their offsprings by example as well as precept.

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?”

There is a beautiful Biblical example of a good mother. Things are not always good BUT God is always good. This mom’s life was interrupted by a tragedy no mom desires.

Let’s recapitulate the Old Testament story as recorded in II Kings 4. An elderly Shunammite woman asked the man of God, Elisha, to pray for her to have a child. By the grace of God she conceived. The blessing of late-blooming motherhood brought her unusual joy. She and her elderly husband had joined God in the creation of a life that had an eternal destiny.

One day the child was working in the field with his father and was overcome with a headache. He was taken to his loving mother. She like all mothers had to serve as a living hospital. Great grief struck later in the day when the child unexpectedly died. Having waited late in life to have the child made the loss even more grievous.

Seeking consolation the sorrowing mother asked her husband if she could visit the man of God, Elisha. The answer of her husband was in effect, “Why, it isn’t time for church?” She knew one’s religious life not to be confined to special days but rather was a lifestyle.

When Elisha saw her chariot coming, he sent his servant, Gehazi, to greet her with three specific questions: “Is it well with you? Is it well with your husband? Is it well with the child?” She answered, “It is well.”

How is it with you?


“Is it well with you?”

Only when things are right with you can they be right in all areas of your life.

Her only child was dead and this is her answer.

Her initial response was appropriate. When the child died, she was overwhelmed with pungent sorrow. I am glad this is noted in the Scripture. Christians have feelings also. When trials come it is only natural we should feel them. Sorrow comes to all. We need to learn from her how to respond. Her’s was not: DESPONDENT SORROW, REBELLIOUS SORROW, MURMURING SORROW, BUT SUBMISSIVE, AND SANCTIFYING SORROW.

She didn’t brood over her bereavement, nor nurse her grief. She didn’t indulge in the luxury of sorrow.

She turned to the Lord by seeking counsel from the man of God.

Our trials like hers are intended to achieve three ends:

1. To reveal the true character of the person.

2. To demonstrate the true nature of God.

3. To show what purpose the trial is designed to serve.

It is in our adversities we have the greatest opportunity to bear our most effective witness.


“Is it well with your husband?”

The word “partner” implies being a part of the whole. In any partnership it is possible for there to be a breakdown in the fulfilling of the role by one or both partners. What is to be done in a marriage when there is a breakdown in a marriage by your partner? Faithfully fulfill your role regardless of the conduct of your partner. You are not responsible for your partner’s faithfulness — you are responsible for faithfully fulfilling your own role. She was cooperative. She asked her husband.

Assess your role. How are you doing? What changes need to be made? When will you begin making these changes?

Measure yourself by the standard of Proverbs 31: 10, 11 & 25 – 31.


“Is it well with the child?”

The role of parent is one of the most responsible in all of life. The office of mother is of inestimable importance.

One mother belatedly realizing the importance of the role of mother said:
“If I had my child to raise all over again,
I’d finger point less and finger paint more.
I’d do less correcting, and more connecting.
I’d take my eyes off my watch, and watch my eyes more.
I’d care to know less, and know to care more.
I’d do more hugging and less tugging.
I’d teach less about love of power,
And more about the power of love.”

The Father of our country, George Washington, said, “The greatest teacher I ever had was my mother.”

Abraham Lincoln noted, “No man is poor when he has a godly mother.”

Andrew Jackson astutely noted, “The memory of my mother and her teachings were the only capital I had to start life with, and on that capital I have made my way.”

Sir Winston Churchill commented, “If we want to change our nation, begin by enlisting the mothers.”

For more than half a century the Statue of Liberty has enlightened New York Harbor as a symbol of freedom. When the sculptor, Bartholdi, looked for a model, he chose his own mother. Many children are looking for a model and mom is the one chosen.

In Portuguese, Spanish, and Italian the same word “Madre” signifies mother, as well as a mold for casting. German and Danish establish the fact the word for mother is matrix, mold.

Mom can be a much more effective mold than environment or heredity. Harry and Ada Mae Day lived remotely in a four room adobe house. They were far from any school. About the only person they saw all week was the mail man. Ada Mae saved and subscribe to newspapers. Using them she home schooled their daughter Sandra. Soon her capacity outgrew her mother’s teaching capacity. They sent her to boarding school. She excelled academically and later graduated from Stanford. She, Sandra Day O’Conner became the first female Supreme Court Jurist. Her mother modeled excellence for her and helped mold her.

Ada Mae knew the principle of the proverb: “Through wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established” (Proverb 24:3)

In our complex society we have a great diversity of mothers.

There are “potential mothers.” I use this term to refer to every unmarried female. Your regard for the dignity of your own sexuality is to be commended. You honor your God by obeying His word and maintaining your virginity until marriage. In spite of the popular misnomer, it can be done. After giving a lecture on sexual abstinence until marriage in a public school, one lovely teen emotionally, privately said to the speaker, “I didn’t know it was OK not to have sex. I thought if you were normal, you had to. I am so relieved to know you don’t have to.” That is how misinformed our youth are as a result of the entertainment media painting on a canvas intended for the brush of God’s Word.

There are those dear “would be mothers” who have not been involved in giving physical birth to a child. This may be true for any one of a variety of reasons. For whatever the reason, many of these have found fulfillment in modeling the virtues of godly womanhood. They too are to be praised.

There are “birth mothers.” These are young women who have become pregnant out of wedlock. They have come to the realization that they are not socially, emotionally, physically, or financially able to provide properly for their child. In love they elect to let their baby be adopted by loving parents who can better care for the infant. This is an act of great love on behalf of the birth mother.

By electing not to abort her child and to give it birth these young women have let a blessing grow out of a burden.

There are “traditional mothers.” A traditional mom is one who in marriage has joined with her husband in creating a life that has an eternal destiny.

Being a mother is one of life’s greatest blessings and biggest challenges. She is a living encyclopedia who is expected to know Hank Aaron’s batting average, how to tie a square knot, and where last Sunday’s comics are. She is expected to know where the sun goes at night, how jet propulsion works, the chief export of Zimbabwe, and where baby kittens come from.

She is a master mechanic who knows how to get a pants leg out of a bicycle chain and make an electric train back up without blowing a fuse. She can repair anything with Scotch tape and a paper clip.

She is a walking clinic in which splinters and loose teeth can be removed painlessly, an earache can be stopped in the middle of the night. AND she can cure chicken pox in time for the fourth grade picnic.

It is as a detective she fulfills her role best. She can find the missing mate to every pair of socks. When the flashlight, scissors, or comb disappears, she can find them before anyone confesses to the crime.

Mother’s are the wealthiest people in town. She is rich in pride when her teenager offers to mow the neighbor’s yard free when he is sick. She is rich with pride when her Little Leaguer insists on playing even with a sprained finger rather than let the team down. She is rich with pride as she watches her daughter tenderly tuck her doll into bed; she hopes her child will know the happiness of being a mother that she knows.

At birth a mother has placed in her hands a miniature human being who is a candidate for a personality. She, perhaps more than any other person, will imprint that young life with a system of values.

Mom’s even have their own glossary of terms in which they define from their perspective certain terms:

EAT: What children do between meals but rarely at meals.

EAR: Where children store dirt.

ENERGY: What children have too much of when there is nothing to do and none of when there is something to be done.

EXCUSE ME: A mother’s favorite expression allegedly used by children of previous generations.

CHINA: A mystical land allegedly populated by children who like left over vegetables.

CAR POOL: A system of transporting children usually assigned to a mom when the greatest distance is to be traveled with the most children who have had the most sugar.

One sign of national prosperity mentioned in scripture is, “Boys and girls playing in the streets”, Zechariah 8:5. We lack that. Threats of molesters and drug pushers make our streets unsafe. Make your home a place of play.

The process of training up a child in the way it should go must begin at birth. There is a tendency for the old sin nature to assert itself. “As soon as they are born,” says Psalm 58:3, “they “go astray, speaking lies.”

Teach your child “to choose the good and refuse the evil.” (Isaiah 7:l6). Train your child to look on both sides of a statement or issue by asking, “Where did this come from?” and “Where is this leading?” Does it have a Bible base and will it lead to results pleasing God?

Remove obstacles that might hinder your child. The first time one of our grandchildren came for a visit was memorable. I came home to find an antiseptic house. All decorative appointments were packed and anything not nailed down or weighing over l00 pounds was stored. Cabinet doors were secured with clever catches that would challenge a NASA scientist.

Remove improper TV, books, speech and habits.

Comfort your child. God wants you to set an example even He can follow. He said, “As one whom His mother comforteth, I will comfort you.” (Isaiah 66:13).

Every woman still engaged in mothering should rejoice to stop and ask of herself, “How is it with my child?”

For it to be right with the child, she must be able to give the right answer to the question, “How is it with you?”

She and her husband both need to ask, “How is it with my partner?”

How is it with your God? The answer to this question colors the responses to the others. Does your household know by profession and practice it is well between you and the Lord?

Not only do mothers need to answer this last question, husbands and children need to also.

As a child, you need to give your mother the assurance it is well with you and your Heavenly Father by making public your faith in Jesus Christ.

As a husband, you need to give your wife the confidence it is well between you two by making it right with your Heavenly Father.