3 Characteristics of a Godly Mother
In spite of the fact that I myself am still learning and working my way through this crazy maze called motherhood, I have been blessed with a Godly role model in the form of my own mother. I want to share with you some characteristics of a Godly mother that I have observed in her life over the years.
1. She was the real deal.
One of the things that I couldn't help but notice even as a child, was that my mom was the same person in public as she was at home. If there is any faster way to turn a child off to the things of the Lord it is to live a hypocritical lifestyle. My mom did not do that, and although she wasn't perfect (no one is), she taught us how to love the Lord by backing up what she said with what she did both at home and in public. A godly mother knows who she is in Christ, and everything she does flows from that. She isn't trying to present a certain image of what she thinks a godly person should look like; she just lives out who she is – a masterpiece created in Christ Jesus for good works! (Ephesians 2:10)
2. She admitted when she had failed.
Every mother fails at motherhood, many times on a daily basis. My mom had her moments of failure too. But a moment of failure does not mean you should give up entirely. “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again…” (Prov. 24:16). Instead of giving up when she fell short, or worse yet, pretending it didn't happen, she admitted her failure both to the Lord and to her children. We knew that she desperately wanted us to love and obey God, and God was able to use her because of her humility.
God doesn't bless a perfect parent (because there is no such thing!), but he does bless a humble parent.
The humility of a godly mother takes place on two fronts:
- Humility before God
- Humility towards her children
A mother's humility before God recognizes her own weakness and her need to depend on the spirit of God each moment of the day. A humble mother keeps her focus on God, knowing that she cannot be a godly mother through her own strength and wisdom. She digs into scripture, nurturing her own spirit, knowing that she cannot pour from an empty vessel.
When a mother is humble toward God, there is also a willingness to confess to him when she has messed up and acted out of the flesh rather than the spirit. Mothering from the flesh could show up in different ways. It might look like yelling at our kids in a moment of frustration, or it might look like pridefully patting ourselves on the back after what felt like a successful day. Yet the most successful day in which a mother has operated without dependence on the holy spirit, is a failure to fulfill God's purpose. A godly mother will recognize these failures and confess to God the times when her life has not reflected the new, Christlike nature. She will turn from reflecting the flesh and renew her mind to reflect the spirit.
A mother's humility toward her children might look like apologizing when she has said hurtful words to them.
It might look like being honest with them about her weaknesses and being an example of how to depend on God. (“Mommy is feeling overwhelmed today. Can we pray together that God will help mommy to stay calm and speak kind words?”
3. She prayed – a LOT.
We children all knew mom spent time with the Lord daily. We saw her spiritual journals and notes lying around and watched her read and study her Bible. And we knew she prayed. Along with her journals and notes were her prayer lists.
My mother knew that the best place to wage the battle for her children's hearts was on her knees.
She knew that ultimately her children's lives were not within her control. She knew that each of her children was free to make their own choices. She knew that she was not in charge of the events that her children would encounter each day.
But she knew she had an audience with the One who is in control.
She brought her requests for her children to God, and left our lives in his hands.
She prayed for our safety and health.
She prayed that we would make wise, God-honoring decisions.
She prayed that God would bring godly spouses into our lives.
And while she fulfilled her responsibility to teach the scriptures to her children, she did not attempt to control the outcome of our lives. She allowed the Holy Spirit to do his own work in drawing our hearts to him, and let our choices be our own.
When she was tempted to worry and fear over our safety or our futures, she brought those fears to God and left them there.
So you see, mamas, the characteristics of a Godly mother aren't a standard of perfection. You don't have to be perfect to be a good mother.
It's much better to be a mother who:
- knows who she is in Christ and allows everything she does to flow from that
- humbly depends on God
- brings her fears for her child's welfare and future to the Lord and leaves them with Him
If you desire to see your children grow to love and obey the Lord; if you are the real deal, humble, and 100% dependent on the Lord to work in your children's hearts rather than trying to do the work yourself, you are on the right track.
Be encouraged. When it seems your children aren't learning anything, just you wait. They are watching. And God is working.