“The Honor of Motherhood”
Older women… are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
Because God created us in his image and because he designed marriage and the family to be the building blocks of ordered civilization, each role within the family unit is sacred. Motherhood is no less or more honorable than fatherhood (Ex. 20:12). Parenting, like marriage (1 Pet. 3:7), is an equal partnership with distinct roles.
The words “sacred” and “honorable” may not be the first adjectives that come to a mother’s mind when dirty dishes are stacked in the sink, piles of laundry are strewn about and messy children with sticky fingers are screaming in the background and drawing on the walls. But we must remember that for a thing to be true does not depend on our perception. Perception is not always reality. Truth is reality and the enemy often blinds us to it. What we must train ourselves, by God’s grace, to do is to see the truth, to perceive the reality. Only the light of Jesus can cure this blindness (2 Cor. 4:3-6) and the truth of his gospel reveals the reality of motherhood.
Sadly, some women see themselves as victims of their chromosomes. They are unable see the beautiful image of God reflected uniquely in themselves. In seeking to find equality with men, a thing which the Bible affirms on page 1, they attempt to obliterate what makes them distinct. Instead of finding freedom, they find only bondage. But the truth is liberating (Jn. 8:32) and it tells us about the reality of motherhood in places like Titus 2:3-5.
The privilege of motherhood — The older, more experienced Christian women are to “train” the younger to live out the practical implications of the gospel in their lives. Their unique duty clearly centers around the home. If this offends our modern sensibilities it only proves how far out of touch we are with our Maker. We could hardly overestimate the value of a loving mother’s influence. It is a mother’s task and privilege to oversee the forging of their child’s personality, the shaping of their heart, the building of their character.
The priorities of motherhood — The phrase “working at home” does not suggest mothers are forbidden to work outside the home (Prov. 31:13, 16-18). But it does teach that her first priority is her family and managing her household. Notice that “love” is something that must be taught. Although there is such a thing as natural affection, we who are younger often need instruction and guidance on what love does and says. If this motherly love is missing in a family, nothing can ever fill that gap. No degree, career or amount of extra income can replace parental love. Being in a position of leadership, purity, self-control and kindness are also vital for mothers. Every area of her life must be informed by these things.
The potential of motherhood — When a mother sees the reality of her exalted status, sees herself as God sees her in Christ, a whole new world opens up to her. Underneath the monotony there is a holy vocation. She understands th immense potential for good that the faithful exercise of God’s will can have, and the disastrous consequences if she should shirk her duty (the very “word of God may… be reviled”). If she should succeed to exhibit love, self-control, purity, respect and kindness (and by God’s grace and power she can), she has the power to shape the future.
Naomi, Ruth, Hannah, Mary the mother of Jesus, Lois and Eunice. They were perhaps overlooked in their day but they receive the highest honors in God’s sight. They are great in God’s kingdom. They are mighty soldiers in God’s army. They are feared by Satan and frustrate all the powers of darkness below. God makes Christian mothers great when they come under his loving, wise rule and serve their families with that same love and wisdom.