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Characteristics of a Good Mother According to the Bible

Our culture has a lot of opinions about what defines a good mother. Thankfully, as Christians, we don’t rely on the ever-changing opinions of the world. We find the true characteristics of a good mother in the Bible

a mother sitting on the ground next to her toddler with the woods in the background

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What Does the Bible Say About Being a Good Mother

If you were to look up the biblical definition of a mother you would find that it, basically, means a person who gives life. The first mother in the Bible was Eve. We read in Genesis that Adam named the woman Eve because she was the mother of all the living.

Now the man named his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all the living. – Genesis 3:20 NASB

At first, this definition may sound fairly generic.  However, I find it amazing that God created us moms to be life-givers! In fact, the life mothers give their children isn’t just the physical type. I believe God designed mothers, and fathers, to play a crucial role in building up spiritual life in our children.

What is the Role of a Mother According to the Bible

The greatest biblical role of a mother is pointing her children to Christ. As moms who love Jesus, our greatest desire is that our kids come to know Jesus as their Lord and savior, and then live their lives for Him. We get to partner with God in the daily discipleship of our children and in leading them towards a saving and sanctifying knowledge of the truth.

Bible Verses About a Mother’s Responsibility

The basic, overarching role of a mother is to disciple her children. There are a few specific ways we can do this.

Bible Verses About a Mother’s Responsibility to Pray for Her Children

We know that prayer is important. While there isn’t a specific verse in the Bible telling moms to pray for their children, the principle is threaded throughout scripture. 

For example, in many of Paul’s letters to the churches, we see that he prays continually for the people in his sphere of ministry and influence.

For this reason, I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. – Ephesians 1:15-18 NASB

 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. – Philippians 1:3-5 NASB

One of the greatest responsibilities we have as moms is to pray for our kids

Bible Verses About a Mother’s Responsibility to Train and Teach her Children

As moms, we need to be training our kids. Not only do they need to be trained in life-skills and education, but more importantly, we need to be training them to walk in godliness.

We do this by teaching them how to pray, how to study and apply God’s Word, and how to lovingly interact with others.

for bodily training is just slightly beneficial, but godliness is beneficial for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come – 1 Timothy 4:8 NASB

6 These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 And you shall repeat them diligently to your sons and speak of them when you sit in your house, when you walk on the road, when you lie down, and when you get up. – Deut 6:6-7 NASB

Bible Verses About a Mother’s Responsibility to Discipline her Children

Mothers should also set healthy boundaries for their children and then, discipline them to obey them. In order for our kids to be successful in life, they need to know how to submit to different kinds of authority. They need to understand how to practice self-control and restraint. We can help our children grow in these qualities through proper and consistent discipline.

He who withholds his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently. – Proverbs 13:24 NASB

Bible Verses About a Mother’s Responsibility to Love to Her Children

Our children need to know they are loved. There are many different ways we can show love to our kids, and each child responds to the various expressions of love differently. Part of our mission as moms should be figuring out how each of our kids feels and receives love. A few different ways we can show our kids that we love them is by enjoying time with them, tending to their needs, and choosing words that build them up.

But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children. – 1 Thessalonians 2:7 NASB

so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children… – Titus 2:4 NASB

5 Characteristics of a Good Mother in the Bible

Many of the qualities of a good mother according to the Bible are simply the characteristics of a godly woman. We lead our children towards Christ as we model godliness in our own lives and conduct.

A Godly Mother is Not Perfect

Letting go of striving for perfection can be hard for moms. We want to give our kids the best, and we want to give them the best of us. However, expecting perfection from ourselves only sets us up for failure. We are still living in a fallen world and have to wrestle with our flesh. We are going to make mistakes. Our kids don’t need a perfect mom. They need a mom who leans on the grace and forgiveness found in a relationship with Jesus.

This leads me to my next point…

A Godly Mother Apologizes Often

Let’s face it. Motherhood is messy. We are going to make mistakes. And that’s OK! One of the best ways we can model humility to our kids is by confessing our sins and apologizing for our bad attitudes and behaviors. This shows them that we rely on Jesus and the forgiveness we have received from Him.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. – James 5:16 NASB

A Godly Mother Doesn’t Always Put Her Children First

I’m sure to get some raised eyebrows with this one. Let me explain. 

The world would have us think that being a good mom means always putting our children first. However, as Christian women, there are a couple of things that we need to, sometimes prioritize before our kids.

  1. Our relationship with the Lord needs to come first. Growing in our relationship with Him is essential to godly motherhood. The way we live and interact in all our relationships should flow out of the relationship we have with God.
  1. If you are married, your marriage needs to take priority. I know many married couples who struggle with this (raising my hand). If your marriage is suffering, it will impact your whole family. 

A Godly Mother Practices Self-Discipline

As mentioned earlier, one of the responsibilities we have as moms is to discipline our kids. This endeavor is worthless if our kids do not see discipline modeled in our own lives. Again, we will not do this perfectly. However, we should be seeking to grow in godly disciplines and in becoming more Christ-like.

Our lives are on display every day. Our kids learn by following our example. I want to be able to confidently speak the same words to my children that Paul spoke to the Corinthians.

Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ. – 1 Corinthians 11:1 NASB

A Godly Mother Stays Dependant on God

The work of drawing our children to a saving and sanctifying relationship with Jesus is not our work. It is God’s work. Our role as moms is to yoke ourselves together with Him. (A yoke is what is placed over a pair of horses or oxen so they can partner together in pulling a load.) Partnering with Him doesn’t mean that the load itself is light. However, the part we carry is easy when we allow Christ to carry the bulk of the weight. 

Related: 16 Encouraging Bible Studies for Moms

As we surrender to Him and rely on His grace and strength, we can rest.

“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:29-30 NASB

Motherhood is a Gift

Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. – Psalm 127:3 NASB

These characteristics of a good mother in the Bible make it clear that motherhood is a high and holy calling. In fact, it is a way that we can participate in the great commission.

Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations… – Matthew 28:19 NASB

As mothers who love Jesus, we are disciple-makers! God has designed this role of motherhood as an opportunity to obey and follow this command. 

Motherhood is a gift from God to us.

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7 thoughts on “Characteristics of a Good Mother According to the Bible”

  1. Love this such a great reminder of what a high calling motherhood truly is. So many moms to be ask “will I be a good mom?” This is a great article for new and experienced moms!

  2. This so so good and very encouraging. So true what you said , “Motherng is a calling for all women.” I also want to check out the book you mentioned “Missional Motherhood.” I truly enjoyed this blog post.

  3. Love, love, LOVE this reminder that we do our best work as a mom and as a nurturer of the community around us by leaning into God. And then, we trust Him for the heavy lifting! I so feel you on wishing there was a How To Be A Good Mom checklist, but in a way once we get to the trusting part, giving our kids over to God is such a freeing experience because checking that GIANT box leaves no room for error. It’s not just freeing for us as moms and community members, but also for those around us. They get to experience one on one faith as they grow and aren’t burdened with all our baggage! Thanks for pouring your heart into this and for sharing so many verses for us to reference when the going gets tough! All my best to you in your journey!

  4. I love this soooo much! It’s right on. Our confidence is in Christ our only goodness is through Him and we can rest in the assurance that when we are surrendered, he will shine and love and minister through us.

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