By Norman Anderson (adapted)
Mothers’ hearts are needed today as much as ever. It was in a time of disorder and disarray when Deborah is brought to our attention. In her song (Jud. 5:1-9) she recalled the glorious and prosperous days when leaders led in Israel, and the people presented themselves willingly to the LORD. Those were happy days of the testimony of God, but then things changed dramatically! Lawlessness became rampant, and traveling was dangerous. There was no fear of God before the eyes of the people. Leaders had ceased (v.7). Idolatry was practiced. These are not just characteristics of days gone by, for even in our day we are exhorted, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 Jn. 5:21 KJV). What is an idol? Anything that takes the place of God in our affections!
Conflict proved their weakness: “Was there a shield or spear seen among forty thousand in Israel?” (Jud. 5:8). Their defenses were down; they were weaponless. “Then sang Deborah … I arose a mother in Israel” (vv.1-7). What a need then, and what a need today: mothers with a heart for the testimony of God, who bless the Lord and who feel with God!
The Specialness Of A Mother
What a blessed place the mother has in the home and with the children (Prov. 31). The father, usually, spends less time with them than the mother, who scripturally is the worker at home. How responsible and yet how privileged she is to have such close links with the family in their tender and formative years. What an opportunity for godly mothers to lay a good, scriptural and Christian foundation in her children.
Our holy and ever gracious Lord, when suspended upon the cruel cross, demonstrated the perfection of His humanity. Seeing His mother standing nearby in the company of that disciple whom He loved, the Lord Jesus put the stamp of His approval upon the blessedness of the natural relationship, saying, “Woman, behold thy son! Then saith He to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home” (Jn. 19:26-27). Blessed consideration of our Lord! Oh, you younger believers with believing mothers, cherish them and listen to their admonishments, for they know what is best for you. “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law [teaching] of thy mother: for they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck” (Prov. 1:8-9).
A Letter To A Mother
This leads us to the consideration of 2 John, which is probably the last household word in the Scriptures. How dignified was the approach of John in this letter to a mother, perhaps a widowed mother for it is evident she was in charge of the house (v.10). “The elder unto the elect [chosen] lady and her children” – they walked in the truth. Notice the emphasis on truth!
“The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (Ps. 119:130). How much such a mother needed divine help in leading her children aright. So John desired for her, first, “grace.” Grace senses the favor of God which had opened out the grand revelation of the present era: “Jesus Christ is come in flesh” (2 Jn. 7) and “the doctrine of the Christ” (v.9). That is, Himself come down and Himself gone up, and the unfolding of the truth of the Father and the Son – even eternal life! There is no reason at all why sisters in the Lord – Christian girls and women of any age – should not be spending time in the light of God’s Word and gaining from the deep things of God. How else will they be able to teach their children the truth?
In John’s letter, following grace comes “mercy” (v.3). In the busyness of life with its daily family cares and household chores, the mother needs mercy. It is that blessed quality of care and consideration which comes down to her in all the intricacies and pressures of the daily family life, to strengthen, bear her up and arm her for the way.
Then John sought “peace” for this mother. Oh, the tranquility and serenity of the mother who knows and enjoys the favor of God and is helped by the mercy of God! Note the source: “from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ” (v.3) – all that He is as Lord and Head.
This is what the beloved John desired for her, and with it the consciousness of all the charm and sweetness embodied in the precious name of Jesus. He sought for her the blessed atmosphere of the divine family – “the Son of the Father, in truth and love” (v.3), the bond of all.
Encouragement For A Mother
Such then is the requested supply for a mother among the Lord’s people in our day, with its erosion of family life and other problems. Here is the bulwark to hold back these issues of the world from intruding into the Christian home: grace, mercy, peace and truth, with love. Let every mother, and father too, “love one another. And this is love, that we walk after His commandments” (vv.5-6). May we remember always that obedience to the truth is the proof of love in truth.