The Mother of Proverbs

The book of Proverbs uses the term “mother” 14 times; 13 of these occasions deal with the principles of the mother’s relationship with her child and vice versa. There are a number of different emphases in these passages, therefore, let us seek to bring out a few of them.

A mother is a lawgiver. This is one of the first two principles every child learns (the other, of course, being that mommy loves you!). Solomon wrote: “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother” (Pro. 1:8); and again, “My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother” (Pro. 6:20).

Mothers are responsible (though not solely so) for pointing their children in the right direction. If they fail, it is unlikely there will be anyone to step up and take their place as a positive influence. Solomon emphasized it in this manner, “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame” (Pro. 29:15). They, along with fathers, are the moral compasses which must guide their children to the safety provided in Christ. How beautiful it is when such is accomplished in the heart of a child. Solomon emphasizes this when he writes, “Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding. The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him. Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice” (Pro. 23:23-25). Therefore, it is important for mothers to lay forth righteous laws which will guide and strengthen their children in Christ.

A mother is to be loved. This should be a statement which does not need much explanation. However, there are some who seemingly feel that the mother is simply the slave of the house with no feeling or care for her. Such an individual is truly lacking in wisdom. Solomon wrote: “A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother” (Pro. 15:20), and “Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old” (Pro. 23:22). Children are to love their mothers, not despise them.

A mother is to be respected. It is impossible for a child to truly love his/her mother without a healthy respect for her. Solomon described the necessity of respect in this manner: “The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it” (Pro. 30:17). There is no mincing of words in such a description; rather, Solomon is showing how despicable such an attitude is. He would also state: “He that wasteth his father, and chaseth away his mother, is a son that causeth shame, and bringeth reproach” (Pro. 19:26). It is impossible to show the proper respect when one is causing such shame to his/her family. We must be ones who are concerned with the reputation we carry and the way we treat our families. For if we are not willing to show them the respect due, how can we think we will be able to lay before God the respect he deserves? Truly, godly mothers are to be respected: both for their role and work within the home and for their work in the kingdom of God as well.

All of these things and more are given in Scripture as instruction concerning mothers. Let us be truly thankful for godly mothers; for the work they do and the love they show for their children. May it ever be our prayer that God will continue to bless us with mothers who seek after his will and will train their children to seek after it.

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