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.
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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.
- 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.
- 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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