Praise thy living Jesus! We want us to open our Bibles to the book of 2Tim 1:4-6 that is our text for today: the influence of a godly mother.
4. Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy;
5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
That was the letter of Paul to Timothy recognizing the kind of mother and grandmothers that Timothy had. Whatever God is speaking to mothers today, I want to say, that is speaking the same to fathers. Whatever He’s telling mothers this morning is speaking the same to fathers so, I don’t want fathers to switch of and say oh it’s Mother’s Day, God will minister to all of us this morning in Jesus name.
The importance and the influence of mothers on the lives of their children cannot be over emphasized, we can’t talk too much about it. But the challenge we have today is the challenge of positive influence of the mother on the children. Motherhood is actually a privileged; I want to get married, I want to be called Mrs. whatever, I want to have children is a privileged. If God grants you such a privilege, you should know that there are also attached responsibilities. As a matter of fact, there is no single privileged that doesn’t have responsibilities. Every privileged, think of any privilege whatsoever, it also has its own attached responsibility. So it is not enough to say I want to become mummy, I want to have children, I want to be called Mrs. whoever, it is not enough. There are attached responsibilities to that privileged as it is to any other privilege. When you think of different privileges, when you say I want to live in a big house, like this house is very big, you will think of the cost of maintenance, because the cost of maintenance of a small house will not be as much of a big house. So, any privileged anybody has, it has its own attached responsibilities. And generally speaking, it is easy for human beings to generally accept privileges, to enjoy privileges, but it is difficult to accept and own up to responsibilities that are attached to such privileges. Hallelujah!
We are talking about godly mothers this morning; godly mothers are those who will not only accept the privileges of being mothers but will also accept and own up to the required responsibilities of being a mother. Godly mothers are those who will not only accept the privilege, who will not only be called mummies just for the sake that they have children, they will accept and own up to the responsibilities that are attached to such privilege. That means godly mothers are responsible mothers and the best legacy any mother can leave for the children is to be a godly mother. We can send children to school, they could be the best of any profession, the best of anything in life, that is not the highest legacy that a man and a woman can leave for his/her children. The best legacy we could leave for the children is to make them godly children through our godly life.
I want us to focus in three areas this morning, those three areas are the priorities of a mother, as a matter of fact, its a priority of everyone, man and woman. But those priorities, those focus are the areas of that affect our children most.
- The first focus of a mother is her personal relationship with God. That’s talking of a mother has Christian.
- Her personal relationship with her husband. That’s talking of her life as a wife
- Thirdly, her personal relationship with her children. That’s talking of the woman as a mother.
1.The life of a woman as a CHRISTIAN
her life as a wife, and her life as a mother all together affects her children. They go a long way to influence the lives of the children. The Bible passage we read is talking about Lois and Eunice. You will find out that Lois was a godly mother (she brought up Eunice in a godly way) before she passed it to Eunice and Eunice did not fail to pass it Timothy and bring up Timothy in a godly way. So, everything about a mother, a sister as a child of God, a woman as a wife, and then as a mother will affect her children. It goes also to affect the men, that the life of a man as a Christian, his life as a husband and his life as a father will go a long way to influence the children.
So, when we talk about a mother as a Christian, that is the first area of priority of any godly mother is her relationship with God…that’s her first priority. 1 Peter 3:3-4 talks about how a woman should adorn herself, talking about the inner man that our adorning should be that of a hidden man of the ornament of meek and quite spirit. Talking about how a woman should conduct herself but what we have in the world today is that many people are alert to social trends in the world. Generally speaking, women are alert to social trends and they are indifferent to God and when you listen to some people in the church, you will find out that it has come in to the church, it has kind of crept in to the church. The kind of life that people lived in the world…. they come to church yes, they are there, they could even be workers, they could be anything in the church, they could even hold positions in the church. But by the time you listen to discussions, by the time you dialogue and relate with some of our people, you will know that some of these people had sacrificed their personal relation with God at the altar of religion. Let them pray in church, let me say amen, let me go and let me come back that is what we have in the world today. Though they are in the church, you can hardly differentiate some mothers from some unbelieving mothers. The way they live their lives both in appearance and character. They speak the way they speak in the world, they reason the way they reason in the world, they do things in the way they do things in the world. I have heard about mothers that will register their children in special centers…Christian mothers. I had cause to speak with a woman, she said she’s a deaconess and I heard that in her school they do special whatever and I want to register a ward in that school because we’ve moved to a new area and I need to change the school of that girl. So, I went there by recommendation from someone and somebody also told me that in that school they do special center. So I went straight to her and told her i want to register a girl in this school but I had that you do special center here and is it possible for you to do the same with this girl, teach her the way you should and let her do the exam by herself. She said heh…yes, I used to do it but do you know I am a deaconess in my church and all along I’ve been having guilty conscience that I should not continue but mothers request for it, fathers request for it and if you don’t do it, well, how will you have people to do the exam? One of our sister in Akowonjo church area had a school, there was a year, only two students registered for her school for wassce exam. Only two sat for the exam, because parents wanted her to do the things she cannot do and this parent are also from the church. So, the lives of some mothers in a way influencing….. what are you teaching the children? You are teaching them you don’t need to struggle, read, you can always have it anyhow, you can always bribe your way through, that is the life of some mothers. But that is not what God is expecting from us, a godly mother is not so. We have mothers, we have mothers but godly mothers are very rare. They could be anything in life but the godly mothers are very rare.
A godly mother can be defined as a mother who loves the Lord with the whole of her heart, the whole of her mind, with everything, with all of her strength and who make consistent effort pass the love of God, to pass the knowledge of God into her children without relenting effort. She’s not tired of doing it, she does it continuously. She loves God she wants to her children to love God. She serves God, she wants her children to serve God. She keeps to God and she wants her children by all means to even when it is not convenient to keep to God.
So, a Christian mother cannot afford to live anyhow because the way she lives will affect her children, it will influence her children because by the time they grow up also, they will do the same thing that the mother is doing, just like Timothy was doing the same thing Eunice and Lois had done. I read about a woman, Susanna, Wesley that had time for her children, she lived the life of a Christian and by the grace of God helped her to pass the kind of life she was living into her children. I read about a particular point that really touched me, what I read about her was that she was having one hour weekly for each child. Not the general family altar, NO. But for every child, every week she has one hour to teach the Bible and at a point a time, she told them while she was praying that if any of these children will miss heaven, it won’t be because they don’t understand and my hands her clear of their blood…. that was what John Wesley said that thing touched him. And we all know; John and Charles Wesley served the Lord.
So, the kind of mothers we are talking about is a kind of mother that is ready to live what she claimed to believe such that the children will see in her what she claim to believe. Because these children they learn by what they see. It is not a matter of do what I say, go to church, go to church, you will be late and you seat down at home and say i will come and join you, you know I’m busy. No, they will learn that church is not important and I come late to church and the only place I cannot go late to is school. So the kind of mothers we are talking about is the mother that loves the Lord, that is serving Lord and that is teaching her children also to serve the Lord. The daily Christian life of a mother, the total sorrundedness to God, the evangelism life of a mother, commitment of a mother as a worker in the church, the prayer life of a mother and all the likes will affect her children. If you are not prayerful as a mother, you children are not likely to be prayerful because you can’t give what you don’t have. If you are not committed as a worker in the church, if your own is to bring up excuses, if you are so complacent in the church, you will bring up children
after your likeness because they will also have different excuses to give — that’s the way mummy gives excuse. You are telling them it is not important because many mothers will not go late to work but they will come late to church. If we have a slight headache on Monday morning, many of us will struggle to go to work even with the headache but have a little headache on Sunday, you will have excuses to tell the pastor and your Sunday school teacher — that when I woke up I have this headache at the side of my head but with that headache, you will go to work but with that headache, you won’t come to church. So when a child has his/her little excuses also, he/she will tender the excuse because that is the way mummy does it. They learn by what they see us doing and God is calling us unto a better life. If we have been doing it in a good way, we will do it better. A godly mother will influence her children in a godly way. A mother that is lazy, a complacent mother will also influence her children in that way.
I know of one of our members, she’s late now bit when she was alive, she happens to be a widow and she camouflage on that status as if it is a crime to be a widow. She camouflage on that and keeps men friends. She did not remarry; the Bible says you can remarry if you want to and she kept men friends such that she used to send her daughter to collect money from such people. That is a mother in one of our church, that is the mixed multitudes we have in churched today. When God brings a man and a woman together, that is the bringing of a godly family and God desire kingdom children to be raised in such family. How much are we living the kind of life that will pass things, virtues into the lives of our children? I know of a father (don’t know if he’s born-again) but he goes to church. In my childrens former school, he pays his children school fee and when he was going to submit the teller in the school, he added one zero to it. He didn’t have enough money to pay the school fees is understandable and instead to go to the school and explain that he made a part-payment, can my child be allowed in the school. He added one zero to it and submitted the teller…at least the child enters school. Before the school detected it was going to the end of the term. What is he teaching his son? He was teaching his son that you can be fraudulent.
Our life as a Christian, the life of a mother as a Christian goes a long way to speak volumes to affect the lives of our children. So the first area of focus for every woman that wants live a godly life, that wants to be like the example Lois and Eunice is her relationship with God because we cannot give out what we don’t have.
2. The second area of focus of a godly woman is her life as a WIFE.
We can read more about that in 1st Peter 2:1&2. So as a mother, our life affects our children. The relationship a woman has with her husband is speaking volumes, it passing messages to the children. It goes a long way to determine the kind of environment the children are brought up.
When I was serving, I served at Bauchi State, I had a colleague that we served together and at that time in Bauchi Christian Corper Fellowship, there are sisters who are engaged to be marry and there are those who are believing God, she didn’t fall into any of the two categories. Because she won’t pray with us on any of those two, she was not praying. Someone asked her sister what is happening? She said I don’t want to get married! Ah ah, you don’t want to get married? She said yes. Why? She said I want to be a missionary, why do you want to be a missionary, is God calling you to be a missionary? She said no, that she just feels to be a missionary because the kind of relationship her parents have, if that is all about marriage, she doesn’t want to get married. And she didn’t get married. When we are in Ajebo camp in year 2013 about 27 years after we served (NYSC), she called me, I don’t know how she got my number. I was so happy, we greeted and I said how’s your family? And I suddenly remembered she said she will not get married and I said oh I’m sorry, I remembered you told us then that you will not get married, she replied and said that was then! But let me ask, who will marry her now? Now that she has changed her mind, who will marry her? Then maybe she was fifty or close to fifty I don’t know. That was the influenced from the relationship between her father and mother in her life. She resolved not to get married because daddy and mummy were not living well, if that’s all about marriage, I don’t want to go into it.
So the life of a woman as a wife goes a long way to affect her children. It determines whether you are bringing up your children in a spiritually healthy environment, in a loving environment or you are bringing up the children in a hostile environment. If a woman loves and submit to her husband, the children will learn love and respect. If you live as a wife that is submissive, that is loving to your husband, your children will learn to love and they will learn to respect. But when you have a woman that does not honor her husband, that is talking badly about her husband when the man is not there, that is doing high service, the children will watch and they also will learn how to do high service. You don’t need to tell them what to do, they see it, when they see, they do. They may not ask question and they may ask question but they do when they see it….that is how mummy does it. One young primary school girl was talking to her neighbor; “my daddy calls my mummy love”. And that neighbor was interested and asked why is your daddy calling your mummy love? She said because my daddy loves my mummy! That is the environment. That’s the environment in which she’s been brought up, in an environment of love, so she’s also learning love. But in some other families, the children are learning to be hostile, they are learning to gossip…that your wicked father, he’s coming ooo, you better go inside! He will beat you now when he sees you doing what you are doing. You mother you cannot scold for what he/she is doing, you are saying your father would beat you. Presenting the father has a wicked man. If a mother lives like that as a wife you’re trying to bring up children to do high service, to disrespect and to do whatever they like because they will watch. A godly mother portraits love, she portraits integrity and self-sacrifice, she portraits understanding and forgiveness. Some of us cannot forgive. He has offended me and I will retaliate. Some of us her not sacrificial in marriage.
I had of a woman that told her husband, if your money remain maggi money to this soup, I will not add it, you will eat it like that! What was she trying to say? I cannot sacrifice a kobo of my money to maintained this family, that’s what she was trying to say! And when she does that and her children her hearing her and she says it boldly to her husband, the children also will learn that when I get married, maybe the daughter, I can’t sacrifice, the husband must carry everything. And the boys would say I must work hard ooo because there is no woman that do it for me. When a woman stands to speak of how men are, I keep telling the woman you only know your father and your husband, so those are the ones you are talking about. When a man speaks about women and say “woman are like this”. You only know your mother and your wife, those are the ones you are talking about.
In a loving environment, you find that the children are brought up to love the Lord and to love themselves. Even when the husband does not know God (because that’s the excuse of some women), it is not an excuse to misbehave. The Bible says with our good conduct, we can get those who don’t know God. 1st Peter 3:1&2. You don’t have to misbehave because the husband doesn’t go to church, he doesn’t do this, he doesn’t understand…you don’t have to misbehave because of that because your misbehavior will affect the children in a negative way.
Abigail is an example of a good wife. We are talking about a godly woman as a wife and the way it will affect her children. Abigail was a good example, she had a bad husband, Nabal in today’s world we would say he was not a Christian, he was not a believer and he was bad. That was not enough excuse for Abigail to misbehaved. The Bible talks about Abigail in 1st Sam 25:3 that she was an intelligent woman and a beautiful woman. She may not necessarily be physically beautiful but inward she was beautiful…she might be beautiful physically, it doesn’t matter but inward she was beautiful, she was intelligent and she know what to do. If you read the whole text of that account of what happened, you will know that Abigail was a wife that knew what to do, when to do it and how to do it and she did it, in spite of the fact that her husband was bad. If were to be some women today, they will sit down and be complaining about the husband, how bad he is, how terrible he is, how ungodly he is, you don’t need that. There is a woman God can give every woman, every daughter of His to cope with an unbelieving husband and that was the kind of life Abigail lived, we can learn from such women. Yes, you may say that is in the Bible but you can learn from other woman like Susanna Charles also, you can learn from all those women even in our mist, there are women we can learn good things from. When I newly get married my husband told me; (when we are in Oshodi church) “have been waiting for us to get married, this is one woman in the church I want you to get close with. And I got close to that woman, I never regretted it. W e later became prayer partners even she was older than me then. So there are women in the church we can also learn from, show me your friend and I will tell you who you her. Many of us don’t have friends in the church…mothers. The friends we have are the ones that throw parties every weekend and then we keep buying aso-ebi.
One boy was offloading beer in our area Agege then and my friend went to him; “you are in the school with so and so person, he said yes, you are not writing waec, you are offloading beer! He said he didn’t pay for waec. Why didn’t you pay, he said my mother quickly borrow the money and she hasn’t pay back until waec started. What a mother! So we should learn from those God has helped to do it, the same God that help them can also help us. We are talking about a godly woman as a Christian, as a wife and lastly as a mother.
3. A godly woman as a MOTHER
Because your life as a Christian, your life as a wife and your life as a mother will affect your children. In addition to nourishing the faith of our children through the ways of life we live as Christian, mothers and as wives, we must also influence them through practical training and bringing them up in the way of the Lord. Don’t leave the training of your children to church…no. Don’t leave the training of your children to schools…no. Bring them up by yourself, as a matter of fact, I expect that every parent would lead their children to Christ. Don’t wait for Sunday school teacher to do that for you. Don’t wait for Pastors to do that for you. If you know who you are serving, you should be able to lead your child to Christ. Many people don’t have time for children. I read about the mother of Thomas Edison that there was a time that Thomas Edison was given a note from the school and that note says that your child is so dull, we can’t cope with him, it is better for him to withdraw. The mother replied that note that you don’t understand my son, I’m going to take him up by myself and she took him up by herself, the rest is story. She actually took the matter up herself. How many mothers have that time to train the children God has given to us? How many of us understand the fact that our area of stewardship is motherhood? We are stewards, the children are not ours, God gave them to us to take care of and He’s going to ask us, we are going to give account to Him how we did it. So from the very early age of the lives of this children, we must bring them up…the very early age. Somebody was asking when should you start bringing children to family altar? I said from pregnancy…you start to bring them for family altar from pregnancy. When they now physically come, even when they are sleeping, carry them with you, it is there they will know to grow that you are praying. But for you now to say, he’s sleeping, leave him let him sleep and you are praying, you are not practically showing the child what it means to pray. Every mother, every father should be able to do that from a very tender age. Because you know the formative age of a child is the tender age and by the time everything have been inculcated into the child from a very tender age, to bring it out it’s going to be a lot difficult. The heart of a child is like molding clay, you know when you mold a clay and you leave it for some time it gets dried. If you want to change the shape, you have to break that clay because it would have been hardened. So changing an hardened person is like breaking a fish that is dried. So from a very tender age, we should inculcate the word of God. When a child is neglected at home, other things are outside that will influence the child. Every child will definitely be influenced, if the parents neglect at home, there are other things in the world that would influence the children. So, lets not neglect the children, let us practically teach them the word of God.
Godly mothers in training their children have values for their children, they have value. Some mothers don’t have values for their children like that mother that borrowed the waec money of her son, definitely doesn’t have value for her son, she doesn’t mind whatever the boy becomes in life as long as she can wear owambe, go to parties with her friends; “she is the one doing party I need to buy with her incase when it comes to my turn”. As a godly woman, you don’t owe anybody that obligation because when you are doing your own, you are not calling them to come and buy eso-ebi with you. So if you don’t buy from anybody, you are not owing any obligation to buy. So why should somebody neglect the value she placed on her child and transfer it to such thing…social trends.
So every godly woman should have value for her children. Godly women don’t see their children as burdens on them, no. The children are not burdens on them. The children are gift from God. And when they see them as gift, they want to invest all they could — spiritually, financially, physically in the lives of those children. And example of such a woman that have value for her children is Jochebeb mother of Moses. The Bible says in Exoudus 2:2 that the woman looked at the son and she saw that the son was beautiful, this is a gift from God, I valued the son so much and I don’t want him to die. So because she had values for her son, she cleverly defied the instruction of the King. So, she arranged a creative plan how her son would be saved so that they won’t kill her son. So, somehow, unknown to Pharaoh’s daughter saw the boy, she returned the son to the mother to take care of the boy and she will pay her the wages. And in training that biy Moses from the tender age, the mother inculcates into him a true sense of identity. She made him to know who he was…. you don’t belong to the Egyptian’s oo… even I’m going to return you to the palace, you don’t belong there, you are part of us here, you are a Jew, you don’t belong there, she inculcated that into Moses. And that was why the Bible says in Hebrews 11:24-25 that instead of Moses associating with the palace, you know the kind of pleasant things, comfort to have as a grandson of Pharaoh…but instead of that the Bible recorded that by faith Moses made up his mind that I don’t belong there, I am not Pharaoh’s grandson, I know where I belong. So he choose to suffer afflictions with the children of God where he belonged.
So, how much are you inculcating into your children to let them know that they don’t belong to the world, they belong to God? And this God they must serve. We had a quarterly membership meeting in one of our churches and we discussed the trend of “mini” into the church especially by our teenagers. And we concluded that mothers should please help, the church can help also but mothers should do it more. And we all agreed, I thought we’ve agreed. After the meeting, somebody came to me that two mothers were discussing and what were they saying? They said it is there time to allow them to enjoy themselves, we should allow them to live their lives, when they grow up, they will live modesty. Train up a child in a way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. The way you are training them to wear mini, have you not seen mothers wearing mini? So, they won’t depart from it, that is what you are training them. No amount of anything the Pastors can say, no amount of anything the Sunday school teacher can say, no matter how you teach them in the Bible study, their mothers would always tell them at home it is there time to live life. So they don’t have values for their children, they are not thinking of the future of their children. But Jochebeb had value for her children.
A godly mother has value for her children and a godly mother doesn’t pick favorite among her children. They have values for their children, they treat them equally, they loved they equally, even they have a special reason for liking one of them, they don’t show it. Because they are godly, they don’t want to pass across to them ungodly way of living. Because when you start to choose favorite among your children, it will cause envy at home, it will cause deception at home, it will cause manipulation at home, it will cause hatred at home. Mummy loves her, omo mummy ni, let her be and other will now stay put and say mummy does not love us. Rebecca was a bad example of such a mother. She had only two, Jacob and Esau and she decided to love Jacob more than Esau. God does not need Rebecca to fulfill what God has for Jacob. Rebecca does not need to scheme, she didn’t need to connive and she did not have to dupe to fulfill God’s purpose. But she was a bad example of mother, she shows favoritism and in showing it, manipulated everything and deceived their father so that the things she wanted will go to the one she loved.
So, the life of a woman as a wife, as a mother and as a Christian will go a long way to affect her children. When we look at those three areas of her life, and we found out that every other area you want to bring in will fall into those areas and it will affect her children in so many ways.
In conclusion, I want to say that godly mothers are not perfect, they are not perfect but they are responsible mothers. The husband of such women praises them and their children call them blessed. Look at your life as a person as a mother, does your husband praise you? And can you children call you blessed woman? The reason they called her blessed and praise her is because she is able to balance between her relationships and her responsibilities. Her relationship with God, her relationship with her husband, her relationship with her children, her relationship with the society…she’s able to balance her relationships with responsibilities. And she was able to do that through the fear of God and the Bible says in Proverbs 31:30 that favors is deceitful and beauty is vain but a woman that fears the Lord, she shall be praised. So they secret of her been able to balance her responsibilities and relationship is the fear of God and it is the beginning of wisdom. Everyone needs such like the choir sang, we need the Holy Spirit, only the Holy Spirit can help us, the responsibilities are enormous and they are overwhelming but we can do it. People have done it in the past so we can do it. We will do it in Jesus name.
I pray that the Lord will help us in thy mighty name of Jesus that every woman here as a wife, as a mother and as a child of God will influence her children positively in Jesus name.