By Billy Graham | Published: May 30, 2013
In this uncertain hour when the very foundations of the Christian home, as we have known it, seem to be yielding to the battering rams of unbelief, selfishness and immorality, there is a great need to consider the subject of motherhood.
There can be no great men and women without great mothers. Abraham Lincoln said, “All that I am or hope to be I owe to my angel mother.”
We honor the dignity and sanctity of womanhood. Whether women realize it or not, they owe everything they have to Jesus Christ. Only in Christianity have women been lifted to a true equality with men. In many parts of the world, a woman is still considered almost a beast of burden. It was Christ who elevated womanhood.
The Bible is full of stories of women of God who contributed to making this world a better place in which to live, and who helped to advance the Kingdom of God.
After the passing of Israel through the Red Sea, it was Miriam who led the women in their rejoicing, saying, “Sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted” (Exodus 15:21).
Ruth put God first, and as a result became an ancestress of King David (Ruth 1:16; 4:17).
Deborah was one of the judges of Israel (Judges 4:4-5).
The royal Esther took her life in her hands to plead for her doomed people (Esther 4:10-16).
In Luke 7:38, a woman’s thankfulness caused her to wash the Master’s feet with her tears and wipe His feet with her hair.
Mary Magdalene, bringing spice to anoint Him, first greeted the risen Lord and received the first commission—”Go, tell” (John 20:17-18; Mark 16:9).
We could mention scores of others who have been followers of God and whose names are recorded in Holy Scripture.
The Bible teaches that the mother is crucial in the family. The family, in the historic sense, is a distinctively Christian institution based on the love of one man for one woman, symbolizing Christ’s love for His bride, the church. Today, due to so many different situations, the definition of family has been stretched and sometimes distorted.
Living for Christ in the home is the acid test for any Christian. It is far easier to live an excellent life among your friends—when you are putting your best foot forward and are conscious of public opinion—than it is to live for Christ in your home. Your own family circle knows whether Christ lives in you and through you.
If you are a true Christian, you will not give way at home to bad temper, impatience, faultfinding, sarcasm, unkindness, suspicion, selfishness or laziness. Instead, you will reveal through your daily life the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, longsuffering and all the other Christian virtues that round out a Christlike personality.
Not only your family but also your grocer, your mail carrier, your newsperson, will know that you are a devout Christian and that you regard your Christian stewardship as something that applies to every hour of the day. You will remember that the Golden Rule applies to laborers and to business associates as much as it does to your own family and social friends.
Our nation is in desperate need of consecrated Christian mothers. If we had more Christian mothers, we would have less delinquency, less immorality, less ungodliness and fewer broken homes. Every mother owes it to her children to accept Christ as her personal Savior, so that she may be the influence for good in the lives of those whom Christ has graciously given to her.
The influence of a mother upon the lives of her children in her home cannot be measured. They know and absorb her example and attitudes when it comes to questions of honesty, life habits, kindness and hard work.
One of the most difficult jobs in the world is to bring up a family in the nurture and admonition of the Lord during these terrible days. And it is even more difficult for single mothers or fathers. With the magazines full of filthy stories, with immoral conditions in schools and with a thousand temptations that previous generations never knew, it is only by the grace of God that a child can grow up in the fear of the Lord. Mothers cannot do it alone. They must spend time on their knees in prayer.
The Scripture says, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6). Your first and foremost job as a mother is to train your children to know Christ, and when they know Him everything else will fall in line. The Bible promises that even though they resent the discipline and training now, they will rise up someday to call you blessed (Proverbs 31:28).
My father and mother made me go to Sunday school, and on Sunday afternoons my mother would read Bible stories to us. I sometimes rebelled, thinking she was too rigid and that she was trying to cram religion down my throat. But later—and always on Mother’s Day—I called her and told her again of my love and appreciation for those early years in which she and my father trained me in the things of God.
Are your children Christians? Have you done all in your power to win them? If they have not come to know Christ as Lord and Savior, and are not living the kind of life you think they should live, keep on praying for them.
You may have had a Christian mother who has prayed for you many times, but you have never surrendered your heart and life to Christ. Perhaps your mother has gone to Heaven. She is there waiting for you. The door is still open—the Savior is still inviting, appealing, entreating, wooing and welcoming.
You ask, “What do I have to do?” Receive Christ as your Savior today. Let Him forgive all of your sins and change your life.
He is waiting for you to come to Him. “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me” (Revelation 3:20).
©1953 (renewed 1981), revised 1992, 1998 BGEA?
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version.