Of The Mother In The Home
The mother has a special place of responsibility in the home. Aged women are to teach “the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discrete, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed” (Tit. 2:4, 5). This one passage does a wonderful job of outlining the role of the mother in the home.
Let us think of that mature woman who still has a responsibility to her daughters even though they may also be homemakers. The training should have started early while the daughters were young, but the teaching may continue because there are many important lessons that need to be deeply implanted in these young women. One way the older women may teach the young is by their own example of chastity, modesty, and good judgment in clothing, and in behavior. If there were more mothers with strong convictions, there would be more daughters with strong characters.
Who will turn our immoral and unchaste generation back to purity and sobriety? It is very evident that comparatively few older women have been training the young women in the way they should go. Divorce, unfaithfulness to the marriage partner, drunkenness, and a complete lack of spirituality have come to many young women in America. Such people are in no position to be the mothers of the next generation. Many do not want children because they are so in love with money and with worldliness. Are there those who can get to these young women with the Bible to instill the principles their mothers should have taught them? It will not be easy. Most of the ungodly will continue to sow to the flesh and to reap of the same (Gal. 6:7, 8).
To “guide the house” as a “keeper at home” is a special assignment to young women (1 Tim. 5:14). Eunice and Lois must have done their work well at home because Timothy was given the “unfeigned faith” and knowledge of the Holy Scriptures that helped make him the great servant of the Lord that he was (2 Tim. 1:5; 3:14, 15; Phil. 2:19-23). Is there a more important and satisfying work than guiding and training such excellent people to be the salt of the earth? The work of a good mother is so important that nothing should hinder or turn her aside from this glorious task.
It may seem to some that young mothers will naturally love their children, but very many young children are at home by themselves in summer. Some mothers forsake their husbands and children to live with companions to whom they have no legal right. The Lord knows that young women need to be taught to love their children, and to have a proper discretion and soberness of mind to be guides for these children. Mothers and fathers are accountable to God for what they make of their homes. It would be impossible to over emphasize the importance of the role of the father and of the mother in the home. The failures that are made in this realm could hardly be more evident. Worthy and successful parents are blessed, and they deserve our congratulations.
Many children are now growing up in the homes where there is only one parent. In some cases they are with one parent a while and then with the other. It is next to impossible for a good man alone to give his children all they need in the way of guidance and training. If the mother still sleeps at home but is hardly with the child this is only one degree better than her being gone into another state. She who bears children should guide the house. Money cannot replace a mother’s love, example, and companionship. Are there not many women in the labor market in the very period of life when they are so much needed at home?
The word mother was once considered to be a word with very great significance. As more women began using vulgar and blasphemous language, drinking alcohol, forsaking the home in search of money and notoriety, and becoming immodest and immoral, the special respect for women in general was lost. There are still some of the very best mothers, and their children love and honor them. We should all thank God for these virtuous women because it is the influence of His word that causes them to be so worthy of respect. – Guardian of Truth, January 20, 1983.
Mother’s Day and Human Traditions
By Larry Ray Hafley
Mother’s Day is a warm and wonderful civil and social day. All who have been blessed by a godly mother are moved by sweet memories and loving feelings on this day. As we should be thankful every day and not just on Thanksgiving Day, so we should honor “father and mother,” not on their day only, but every day (Eph. 6:1-3).
Many churches will celebrate Mother’s Day, giving more attention to it than to “the Lord’s day” (Rev. 1:10). With carnations and corsages, amid applause, they will recognize “the eldest mother in our congregation,” along with the one who has had “the most children.” These same churches sponsor Halloween parties, conduct Easter egg hunts, and pass out candy canes at Christmas, and interrupt worship services to give gifts to the preacher and/or the elders. Everyone smiles and beams with joy and pride.
But it was not always so. When these things first occurred, they were met with wondering bewilderment by a generation which was unaccustomed to such spectacles. However, their initial doubts and fears were eased when they saw their loving mother’s tears. So, they buried their questions and clapped for those who were being honored. Hesitance and reluctance gave way to acceptance. Yes, they took a pinch of bread and a sip of juice, but it was not the Lord’s day. It was Mother’s Day that they observed. “Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition” (Mk. 7:9).
These churches no longer advertise in their bulletins and on their radio program that “we speak where the Bible speaks and are silent where the Bible is silent” (1 Pet. 4:11). They no longer say that “we do Bible things in Bible ways, and call Bible things by Bible names” (1 Cor. 4:6; 2 John 9). No, those are the echoes of an age long forgotten. Instead, they speak of “This special day here in the life of our church family when we pause to honor” our mothers, our fathers, our graduates, or whatever the occasion may be. “Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain” (Gal. 4:10, 11). “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, ac-cording to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, and not after Christ” (Col. 2:8).
Also, these churches no longer issue strong, scriptural protests against the human traditions of Easter and Christmas. Oh, they may mildly disclaim them, but their works give credence to these human traditions which make worship void and vain (Matt. 15:8, 9). Soon, churches which now honor human holy days will begin to dispute and question heavenly ones. Their observances of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day will become more and more elaborate. Meanwhile, their “questions” about “some of our Restoration traditions” (weekly Lord’s supper, music in worship, etc.) will be publicly aired. It is the way error works. It is how denominations are born.
So, today, while we individually observe Mother’s Day, let us re-solve to worship our Lord “in spirit and in truth” (Jn. 4:24). As my own dear mother reminds me, it is His day and not hers. – Guardian of Truth, May 2, 1996.
“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” (1 Tim. 1:5).