1999 James A. Fowler
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I. Representative Biblical references to "motherhood"
Exod. 20:12 - "honor your father
Lev. 19:3 - "everyone of you shall
reverence his mother and his father"
Deut. 27:16 - "cursed is he who
dishonors his father or mother"
Ps. 113:9 - "He makes the barren
woman...as a joyful mother of children"
Prov. 6:20 - "do not forsake the
teaching of your mother"
Prov. 10:1 - "a foolish son is a
grief to his mother"
Prov. 23:25 - "let your mother be
glad; let her rejoice who gave birth to you"
Prov. 29:15 - "a child who gets
his own way brings shame to his mother"
Prov. 31:28 - "her children rise
up and bless her"
Ezek. 16:44 - "like mother, like
I Tim. 2:15 - "women shall be preserved
through the bearing of children..."
I Tim. 5:2 - "treat older women
II. Three particular examples of motherhood in the Bible.
A. Jochebed - Exod. 2:1-10
her son from evil
him to God.
B. Hannah - I Sam 1:1-18
her son to God.
of projected parental expectations?
C. Eunice - II Tim. 1:3-5; 3:14,15
son in knowledge of Scriptures.
III. Changing cultural expectations of mothers
A. Biblical times
role to bear and nurture children
was a curse
B. Contemporary times
feminism - repudiation of motherhood
of motherhood - lesser calling; quest for greater meaning, identity,
opportunities - careers
necessities - working moms, second income
expectations - work, homemaking, marriage, etc.
IV. Stages of "motherhood"
to bear children - barrenness, fertility procedures
127:3 - "children are a gift of the Lord; the fruit of the
womb is a reward"
113:9 - "God makes the barren woman abide in the house as
a joyful mother"
of bearing children
Tim. 2:15 - "women shall be saved through bearing of children"
"made safe" from selfish dysfunction
available to love, nurture, give, protect, be patient, etc.
to meet needs of children; servant-heart, caretaker
love - Titus 2:4
instruct - Prov. 1:8; 6:20. Not just talk, but walk.
more than just feed, clothe, transport
emotional support and relationship; talk, confide
"Hi Mom!" (athletes); Mother's Day
not "smother," overprotect
rejection, neglect, abandonment, abuse - Ps. 27:10
of parenting is to prepare child for independent adulthood
"The mother-child relationship is paradoxical and, in a
sense, tragic. it requires the most
intense love on the mother's side, yet this very love must help
the child grow away from
the mother, and to become fully independent." Erich Fromm
Child prepared to leave - Gen. 2:24; Eph. 5:31 (physically, geographically,
Not dependent - "mommy's boy," "tied to apron
go can be difficult
"Empty nest syndrome"
Finding new identity other than "mommy"
Sometimes exacerbated by menopausal symptoms. (Conway) - "Menno
D. Mothering adult and married children
their choices, mate, privacy, independence
advise when requested
opportunity for spiritual instruction - II Tim. 1:5
to instill values, invest in lives of children and grandchildren
by building traditions
V. Attitudes and actions toward mothers.
A. Proper attitudes and actions
and reverence - Exod. 20:12; Lev. 19:3; Deut. 5:16
- Prov. 31:28
B. Improper attitudes
- Deut. 27:16
grief - Prov. 10:1
- Prov. 15:20; 23:22
- Prov. 19:26
from - Prov. 28:24
- Prov. 29:15
- Prov. 30:17
up against - Micah 7:6; Matt. 10:35
- I Tim. 1:9
VI. A mother as God intends...
A. Requires the presence of God by
His Spirit in the mother
B. Can only be accomplished by the Grace
C. Requires faithful receptivity of His
D. Involves instruction and modeling
of the character of God