By Irven Lee
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 XXVII: 2, p. 38
January 20, 1983