Most mothers want to be the best mom they can possibly be for their kids. But what does that look like from a Christian perspective? I mean of course, there are the standard things, right? Be supportive, love them, be present, comfort them, etc.
But as followers of Christ, there is another element. Our motherhood journey should include God. So, it will look a little bit differently.
I’ve said it in other posts, and I’ll say it again here. Christian mothers of this next generation have some challenging work ahead. The Truth is being attacked in new ways. And unfortunately, our kids seem to be the main targets.
Being intentional about incorporating Godly principles and values into our children’s daily lives is so important. And demonstrating a life led by Christ is crucial.
It’s not enough to just do the surface level tasks of parenthood. But we should start seeing ourselves as kingdom parents. We should be prioritizing the Kingdom over the world in our daily choices as mothers.
This is one of the reasons I wanted to be a stay at home mom. I figured I could best serve my children and truly focus on their spiritual needs if I was more present in their lives.
Looking around at the state of the world, I just knew that I had to do something drastic. If I wanted to be my best self as a mother, splitting my time and focus between full-time work and raising my kids would just be too difficult for me.
This isn’t to judge anyone who chooses to work full time as a mom. In fact, I write on this topic in “What Does the Bible Say About Being a Stay at Home Mom”, if you’re interested.
My point, however, is that sometimes as Christian mothers, our choices will and should look a little different than the world would expect.
Characteristics of a Good Mother in the Bible
The Bible has a lot of examples of both good and bad mothers. But one scripture speaks volumes to what the biblical principles of motherhood should be. And that is Proverbs 31. A lot of women turn to this chapter in Proverbs for guidance on how to conduct themselves as daughters of Christ and how to fulfil the role of mother in the family. And there is definitely a lot to unpack from a motherhood perspective. Let’s take a look.
First, the chapter starts off with King Lemeul sharing an oracle that his mom taught him. And in it, we can see just what kind of mother she was.
This mother valued wisdom and gave wise advice to her son.
Do not give your strength to women, your ways to those who destroy kings. It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to take strong drink, lest they drink and forget what has been decreed and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.Proverbs 31:3-5
This mother encouraged righteousness and good works. She taught her son kindness and to care for those less fortunate.
Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress; let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more. Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.Proverbs 31:6-9
It’s good stuff! And then, let’s continue on down to Proverbs 31:10-31. The ESV Bible titles this section as “The Woman who Fears the Lord”. And this Proverbs 31 mother is:
- Hard working with WILLING hands. She is ready to do hard work. (13)
- Sacrificial. She rises early and stays up late to do what she has to do. Her lamp does not go out at night. (15 & 18)
- Smart and financially disciplined. She CONSIDERS a field before buying it; she perceives her merchandise is profitable before selling it. (16 & 18)
- Physically strong to take on the many duties of her home and family. (17)
- Giving, giving to the poor and needy.
- Prepared. She doesn’t fear disaster because she carefully and wisely prepares for the things to come. (21 &27)
- God-fearing. The most important attribute of all. (30)
These are all amazing characteristics to strive for. But I want to also point out another attribute that seriously matters in motherhood. Look at this.
When you read 2 Timothy 1, Paul writes to Peter:
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.
It was the strong, sincere, evidential faith of these mothers in Timothy’s life that helped to shape his faith, which Paul recognized in Peter. These spiritual mothers in the Bible, Lois and Eunice, not only had sincere faith, they practiced and demonstrated this faith to Peter, so that it now lived in him also.
So what does this tell us? Let our kids see us practice in good faith all the amazing duties God has called us to do. Let them see what that obedience looks like and what good fruit it will produce.
Christian Motherhood Should Look a Little Different from Secular Motherhood
Now, if you look at the list above of characteristics of a good Christian mother, you might be thinking, what really sets us apart from any other mother? These are all the typical attributes that most moms, Christian or not, try to aspire to, right?
You would think so.
I think most moms desire to be these things, but unfortunately aren’t actively pursuing these characteristics. We as moms can be habitually lazy, habitually ungiving, habitually non sacrificial. Everyone wants to be a good mom, but are we really pursuing it? Are we in active pursuit of this call that God has put on our lives?
Instead of hard-working, we can do the bare minimum for our kids. Maybe instead of cooking healthy dinners, we just order take-out everyday. Cooking healthy, home cooked meals all the time is hard work. But the alternative is unhealthy, overweight children who won’t know how to make healthy food choices when they are older.
Maybe instead of being willing to get our hands dirty, we grumble and complain through our work. We drag our feet and fuss because we don’t feel like doing the house cleaning. Or maybe we complain about our full-time jobs all the time. Our children can witness these moments and potentially pick up the same habits. Instead of valuing hard work, they look at it as something to hate and avoid as they grow up.
Maybe we don’t sacrifice enough for our family or others. Maybe your husband never gets to see you, or your kids have been begging you to take them to the park, but you keep putting it off because you’re too busy doing whatever. If this is a regular issue, that’s the opposite of sacrificial.
The list can go on and on. And this isn’t to make anyone feel like a bad mom. We all have lazy days, moments, or even lazy seasons. We are not perfect.
But the difference between a Christian mom and a non-Christian mom is that we should be actively and diligently pursuing these attributes. We should be asking God to shine a light on those areas that need to be more in alignment with his purpose for us as moms.
The secular world applauds the working mom with a suitcase taking the world on by storm. The mom who does not let her family hold her back from her dreams. But is that worldly vision holding you back from God’s plan for motherhood in your life?
We can pursue our passions and interests, we can find meaningful work outside of home if we feel called to. However, if our children don’t walk away knowing what these attributes look like in you, we are missing the mark.
And obviously, the most important one of all is God-fearing. A woman who does not believe in God cannot be God-fearing. Seeking God is the key to being able to pursue the characteristics that He calls us to strive for in the Bible.
The Impact of a Godly Mother
Amidst the many respectable mothers in the Bible, there are some not-so-respectable ones as well. Let’s take a quick look at King Ahaziah’s mom in 2 Chronicles 22:2-4.
Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem one year. His mother’s name was Athalia, a grandaughter of Omri. He too followed the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother encouraged him to act wickedly. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord…
As we see, we can have such a strong influence on our children. In a lot of cases, our kids end up spending more day-to-day time with us than their fathers. They pick up our habits and attitudes. They watch us and soak up how we act and how we treat others.
What a blessing it is to be able to have such a strong influence on our children. So it’s our job to make sure our influence is Christ-like. No, there’s no way we can be perfect. Our kids will see us fail. They will see us angry. They will see us frustrated. But how we handle those imperfect moments can make a huge impact. Are we making those imperfect moments habitual? Are they constantly seeing us angry, yelling, gossiping, etc? Or, are they processing those moments as mistakes that we are trying to work on as Christians.
How to Be a Godly Mother in an Ungodly World
With all that being said, what are some practical ways we can apply some of these characteristics that should accompany Christian mothers? It’s easy to simply say we need to be strong, giving, sacrificial, and prepared. But how do we actually put this in practice?
Let’s look at 8 different ways we can practice Godly motherhood so that we can not only be good Christian mothers, but mothers who are serious about our kid’s spiritual future.
Related: “How to Train up a Child in a Godly Way”
- Pray like crazy. Become an intense prayer warrior for your kids. Pray often. Pray over their spiritual growth, their faith, their trust in God, their future spouse, etc. Just pray over every aspect of their life.
- Teach Truth. Opinions and perspectives are now being taught as “my truth”. But we need to be teaching our children what the Truth is, and what the difference is between truth and emotions.
- Teach them to love themselves as God created them. The enemy is after the God-given identity of our kids. It breaks my heart to see parents who should be protecting their kids instead allow them to believe they were mistakenly created to be the opposite sex, for example. As parents, we are supposed to tell them the truth and help them love who God made them, not affirm their lie.
- Guard their ear and eye gates. Another practical thing we can do is be careful what we allow them to watch and listen to. I’m not necessarily one to think that evil spirits jump from the TV screen into our souls. However, certain visuals and messages can definitely influence children, leading to opportunities for the enemy to deceive them and lead them astray.
- Show them unconditional love while speaking truth and not affirming sin. Too many parents are confusing love with affirmation these days. If our kids do wrong, we should love them fiercely, but we cannot pat them on the back and tell them their sin is okay. Tell them the truth about their sin while loving them. When my toddler hits or throws something he isn’t supposed to, I don’t praise him with, “Good job! I support you anytime you want to do that.” That’s ludicrous.
- Get prepared, stay in God’s word and study diligently. Another thing we can do is stay studied up and in the Word (this is the Bible I’m using). We can’t teach God’s ways if we don’t know them. Be a mom who is serious about your own spiritual growth. And then you’ll have more than “milk” to feed your children as they grow up. I encourage you to download my free Mommy Apologist Bundle to learn more about how you can start preparing now.
- Have tough conversations about faith. My son is too young for this one. But as he grows, I plan to have the tough talks with him about culture, sin, and hell. If we don’t do this, others will. And others may fill their heads with lies from the enemy.
- Demonstrate a godly walk. Let’s make sure our children actually see us walk the talk. Don’t just talk about God but then live habitually sinful lives. If they see us walk it out, this will solidify just how important it is.
I hope that you were able to take something away from this post. And my guess is, if you’re reading this post, you are as determined as I am to not allow today’s progressive culture to take hold of your kids.
I am determined to do everything I can to make sure they know their Creator. I am committed to doing all I can and more as a mom to ensure my children’s fear of the Lord surpasses the fear of the world.
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