Terry R. Baughman
“I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also” (2 Timothy 1:5).
In 1865, William Ross Wallace wrote a poem praising motherhood, “The Hand That Rocks The Cradle Is The Hand That Rules The World.” He recognized the influence of mothers on the destiny of infants and their potential to shape the future. Every great leader and person of political importance was once a child nurtured by a mother or a nurse. Influence in those early years of development helped to shape men and women into their future potential.
No other story illustrates the influence of mothers in the early years than the story of a child born in the tribe of Levi under the suppression of slavery in Egypt. His name was Moses. The culture decided there were too many Hebrew children and ordered that any male be put to death at birth. The mothers could not do this and the midwives looked for ways to spare the lives of the condemned. The mother of Moses hid her child as long as possible and then placed him in a basket on the river to be found by Pharaoh’s daughter in the hope that she might allow him to live. With Divine providence she embraced the child as her own and allowed the mother to be his nurse. This brave mother used the years she had with Moses to instill something within him: a love for the true God of Israel, the truth of his birth, his secret identity, and the seed faith of his future destiny as the Deliverer from Egyptian bondage.
“By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin” (Hebrews 11:24-25 NIV). Moses had faith, a future, and family. It was Moses who recorded the commandment, “Honor your father and your mother” (Exodus 20:12).
Not every child is born into a safe loving home where the nursery is freshly painted, stocked with supplies with every need anticipated. Some came into motherhood without planning or intention. Responsibility was thrust upon them with an unplanned pregnancy and the birth of a child, and yet they rise to the challenge. Through fear and some frustration they learn to care for the infant, struggle to provide the basic needs, and wonder if they are doing enough to give the child a future.
Mothers and caregivers develop the necessary qualities to care for the most vulnerable. They innately know to nurture, care and provide for their children. Surprisingly, most children survive! It does not require the nursery and the niceties that one might desire, but if one will love, put the needs of the child first, and do their best, they can provide a strong foundation in a new life for a great future. The small and helpless will become strong and resourceful. The dependent infant will become a confident leader with vast potential to become someone great.
This Mothers Day or any day is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on those who have cared for you, sacrificed for your wellbeing, and have contributed to your success at a time when you needed it the most. Today, honor those who have nurtured you, loved you, and believed in you!
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land” (Exodus 20:12).