Throughout the Bible, mothers are held in high honor and play important roles in God’s unfolding plan. They were regular women with flaws and struggles whose lives were forever changed when God stepped into their stories. I’ve chosen seven biblical mothers whose lives can be an example to us - not because they were perfect, but because God spoke and they listened. As you read, I hope you can identify some of these qualities in yourself and realize what a great impact your life can have when placed into God’s hands.
Sarah’s Laughter - the wife of Abraham, Sarah believed God’s promise to give her a son when she was well past childbearing age. As unbelievable as it was, the child was born to a 90 year old woman who is called the ‘mother of nations’ in Genesis. She is one of the few women mentioned by name in Hebrews 11, known as the “Hall of Faith”. I love that Sarah is also known for her laughter. God’s promise was so ridiculous that she couldn’t help but laugh, even after it was fulfilled. I imagine her heart being filled with a giggle for the rest of her life, every time she reflected on the incredible thing God had done through her! What impossible dream has God placed in your heart? If God could give Sarah a baby, He can certainly come through for you!
Jochebed’s Surrender - though we don’t know much about her, the mother of Moses deserves recognition. She did what was best for her child even though it meant allowing someone else to raise him. Imagine how much faith it took to send her three-month-old baby out on the river in a basket, giving God full control of the outcome. Jochebed’s selfless decision to trust His plan paved a way for Moses to fulfill God’s calling on his life and deliver His people from slavery in Egypt. When things don’t go the way we would ideally have planned, how do we react? When we believe God is in control, we can trust Him to do the things we can’t and bring about the outcome He desires. Give honor to mothers who have made difficult sacrificial decisions for their children, as well as women who open their hearts to children God brings into their care.
Hannah’s Prayer - for years, Hannah desperately longed for a child and wept bitterly as she poured out her request to God in prayer. When God heard her prayers and granted her request, her deepest pain became the source of her greatest joy. She kept her promise to dedicate her son to the Lord, and Samuel grew up at the temple to become a great prophet and leader in Israel’s history. Hannah is an example for us to earnestly pray over the desires God places in our hearts and acknowledge that He is the giver of every good gift.
Naomi’s Restoration - imagine being so grief-stricken that you change your name to ‘Bitter’. This is how we are introduced to Naomi in the book of Ruth, alone in a foreign land after the deaths of her husband and two sons. With no hope of a happy future, she urges her sons’ widows to return home to their families and leave her alone. But through God’s kindness to her, a deep maternal bond is established with Ruth, the daughter-in-law who refuses to leave her side. Naomi’s joy is restored as she observes God’s redemptive power unfolding in Ruth’s life. She gains a daughter whose love is ‘better than seven sons’ and a grandson to continue the family line that would include King David and ultimately, Jesus. Remember it is never too late for God to move and redeem brokenness in your life, even through seasons of deep sorrow.
King Lemuel’s Mother’s Wisdom - you probably know Proverbs 31 as the chapter of the Bible that describes a woman of noble character. But did you ever notice that verse 1 credits King Lemuel’s mother for teaching him these sayings? She understood the great power a mother’s influence can have over her children, so she instructed him with wise principles to rule in integrity and promote justice. We as women of virtue should strive to speak wisdom into the lives of the little ones under our care. The world needs more children who will grow into adults that value kindness, honesty, integrity, and humility.
Mary’s Treasure - chosen by God to bear His son, Mary marveled at the miracle that unexpectedly changed the course of her life. As soon as the angel appeared to her with the news, her soul rejoiced at the thought of what was to happen! The Bible mentions on separate occasions that Mary treasured up these holy moments and pondered them in her heart as she watched her baby grow into a man filled with God’s spirit. She accompanied Jesus throughout his ministry and was present at his crucifixion, where Jesus lovingly entrusted her into the care of his disciple John. Like Mary, we can submit a willing heart to God’s plans for us, treasuring the everyday moments and miracles He works in our lives.
Lois and Eunice’s Legacy - these two women are briefly mentioned by Paul in his second letter to Timothy, a young apostle under his mentorship. Paul credits Timothy’s mother and grandmother for the legacy of sincere faith they passed down to him from a young age. In Acts we learn that his mother Eunice was a Jewish believer but Timothy’s father was a Greek. These women’s dedication to lay a spiritual foundation in Timothy’s life contributed to him becoming a key leader in the early church who spread the gospel to the Gentile world. We may never realize the full impact of sowing seeds of faith into our children, but it is our God-given responsibility. We are called to raise up the next generation, telling them of God’s love and the powerful things He has done! (Psalm 71:18-19)