George T. Eldridge
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Mothers do not realize the power they have in their hands, or the influence they exercise over children. All students of the Word of God know as they study the women of the Bible that nations and even the church (1) cannot have any more spirituality, (2) cannot be any more godly or (3) be any more righteous, good, and kind than the quality and character of mothers. All these qualities start in the home. We must have women who fear the Lord.
When we find women fearing God, we find homes, as the home ought to be. Unless that quality is in mothers and wives, the church (1) cannot rise to her militant battle cry, (2) cannot grow spiritually, and (3) cannot baptize people. As you study the Bible and read history, you recognize truly the hand that rocks the cradle ultimately influences the world. Her influence can be for good or it can be for bad.
Every individual that was involved in an assassination in my lifetime came from a bad home. Examine the assassin of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King. Every murderer came from a broken home. Every one had a mother who did not fear God. Look what happened and what was brought upon our nation. In each home, we could not find mothers who feared the Lord. Because of that home, the teachings from those mothers, and the examples those mothers imprinted upon their children of the church not being important and righteousness being secondary, each child grew into manhood and became an assassin. Godliness was unknown. The Bible was not read by those mothers nor was it encouraged.
Unless the mothers in the church fear God, the church will not be what she ought to be. Women have always been and will always be an integral part of humanity because she came from the side of man. If humanity is to be purified, if humanity is to be brought to greater heights of godliness and righteousness and if men and women, boys and girls are going to be brought to the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world, it is imperative that we have mothers in the church who are enlightened spiritually. Women who fear God shall be praised.
With godly mothers, this sin-sick world of ours and this sin-sick community of ours can be brought closer to God. The answer is up to women seated in the pews of churches today. Why? It is in mothers' hands where we have so much influence; so much teaching, which is important to the children, and so much needed encouragement needed by husbands. Because of "higher education" and because of every evil mentionable flowing freely in our land, which are not condemned wholeheartedly by churches today, chaos is in the world.
Genesis 2 records where woman came from and why she is here. That scripture teaches a lesson needed today. Unless we get back to its depth, its purity, and its holiness, man will never be brought closer to God and the church will never be, as she ought to be spiritually. When you read of man being the head of the woman, you have to realize the woman is the crown. As Solomon said: "A woman is a good crown to her husband," in everything which is holy and godly (Prov. 12:4). Man came from the dust, but the woman was doubly made.
The woman is of the dust, too, but she came also from man's rib!! Look where the rib is on the man's body. The rib is not in man's head so that man might be ruled by the woman or be bossed. The woman was made out of man's rib. The rib is not from man's foot so that he might trample upon her and for him to mistreat her.
There is no lower specimen of human life than a man who would abuse a woman. I knew an individual, and thanks be to God that I was not there when such occurred, who defended wife "beating." He was in the church. There were some sisters who condoned it. That low specimen of a man placed black and blue marks on his wife. He "spanked" her. He "beat" her. The woman was not made from man's rib for him to beat her or for him to use her as a punching bag. Regardless of what a woman might be, man has no justification to beat her as he would "beat" an animal. Woman came from man's side, his rib. Woman is equal with man.
She is equal in standing beside him in times of trouble, in times of fear and in providing a home. That home is one of comfort, of godliness, and a home where God is first and this old sin-sick world cannot penetrate. Woman came from man's rib. The rib is under man's arm. A woman is to be protected, even to the man giving his life for her. The woman is to be cared for and honored. The rib is close to man's heart so that woman might be loved. We men need to awaken to that truth and show our love more everyday.
Regardless of how much favor and social grace your daughter might possess and regardless of her beauty, your daughter is lost in sin unless she serves God according to the Bible (Prov. 31:30).
Life is empty without God. Morals become laxed. Society generates into all types of filth and perversion. The woman, therefore, is not respected when she does not demand godliness first in what she thinks, says, and practices. Nothing is more heart tearing and tear bringing than to see a mother permitting her children to grow up without spiritual values being first. Mothers: unless the church and all that God stands for is your first requirement (your first desire), everything, even life, is without any value!
When your child reaches the step in life where he starts exercising freedom, the power of decision making, and the power to stand on his or her own feet, will your child be interested first of all in godliness and in God's church?
Concerning her child's behavior, mothers come to preachers with the request that he speak to her child about godly living. They do not see where they have failed. An elder
provided the answer once, when a sister got mad at me due to her children's living. This godly elder said, "We know what Sister did wrong. She permitted her daughter to go to the dance. She permitted her daughter to go to mixed swimming. She permitted her daughter to parade around in what God condemned Eve for wearing. That is what is wrong with Sisters children. She did not emphasize Bible things like she did worldly living."
Raise a child in God 's way and the odds are with you that when he is old he will not depart from godliness. Many mothers in Churches of Christ today do not recognize that. Mothers in Roman Catholicism willingly permit their children to be trained in early, early life in Roman Catholicism. Because of pre-teen and teenage training, we know the difficulty of converting them out of Roman Catholicism. You have many children supposedly raised in homes of parents who are members of the Church of Christ, yet too many of the children grow cold in the faith or become lukewarm. Why? In the formative years, which are the pre- teen years, the mother did not instill into those children the fear of God, letting the church be first, letting the Bible ride their lives and guiding the relationship.
Mothers: Awaken. Rise to the teaching of God. Continue in Biblical living. Your influence must not be underestimated. Rise to the level and plane, which God requires of all fine mothers. Through your influence, man passes to either useful service now in the church and to humanity or indifference to God and to little benefit to mankind. Which will it be? You must make the decision.
TRUTH MAGAZINE XVII: 21, pp. 7-8