By Irven Lee
We should be able to learn something about how precious the role of the mother is in the home by asking those who have been fortunate enough to have truly great mothers. “Her children rise up and call her blessed” (Prov. 31:28). There are very many good things that may be said about a good mother. The excellent mother is the happy woman. One who thinks she knows something better and more fulfilling has been deceived by some false philosophy and vain deceit. To love is to be loved, and to dwell in a house where love is to be as near heaven as one can get on earth.
A Mother’s Contribution To Society
The very traits that make one great as a mother will make her a good Christian, a good wife, and a good neighbor. She is a good citizen for she has the positive characteristics that bless any community. Her husband and others will praise her. Any who do not appreciate her will reflect upon themselves. It takes a strong personality to be a good mother. This does not mean that she is a publicity seeker. Great women are humble but strong.
If motherhood were a position for which women could apply, and if Christ were the Chairman of the committee to select them, I fear that He would find very few who could qualify for the best positions. The fact that so few are well qualified to be good mothers is one of the most serious deficiencies of our times. “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies” (Prov. 3 1: 10). In commercial markets an over supply of some item depresses the price for that item. There could not be too many good mothers. This is an impossibility. If every Woman in the land were a truly great mother that would not be too many.
If the powerful influences in our country suddenly turned toward training and encouraging young women to be worthy mothers, this would do much to stop the crime wave, solve the problem of unemployment, decrease the alarming divorce rate, and control the problem with alcohol and other drugs.
Social pressures in schools, through television, and even in homes is in the direction of careers for women. Children then are in the way of a career. Their children are neglected and lonely. These children take up drugs and follow after the animal or carnal nature. These women in a man’s world are tempted to immorality so divorce is very common. Children are then more in the way and are further neglected or abused. This is the serious malady of our age.
If guiding the house or keeping the home were more popular, men could rind more jobs in industry, for women would be fulfilling their role in the home. The government would not have reason to spend so much on aid to dependent children, or on maintaining criminals in prisons, or in trying to protect the public from drunk drivers. There would not be so many deserted children, criminals, or drunks if there were more good mothers. Politicians and even well trained law officers cannot effectively cope with crime and rebellion. Many more well trained and happy mothers could bring many wonderful changes in the moral standards of the next generation. The right kind of mothers would love their children, teach them the wonderful words of life, and guide them into a better way of life. (See Titus 2:3-5; 1 Tim. 5:14; 2 Tim. 1:5; 3:14,15.)
A Mother’s Spiritual Influence
Various aspects of a virtuous woman are mentioned in Proverbs 31:10-31. One key to her great power for good for her children may be found in verse 26. “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” The children of today suffer much from the lack of wise and kind instruction even from mothers who. are with them very much. If they lose their mothers’ love and time, they lose their sense of security. Without that discipline and affection they become selfish, losing respect for the property rights of others and their reverence for God. Unbelief turns people into “natural brute beasts” (2 Peter 2:12, KJV). If more mothers were devout Christians, there would be more precious faith among the young. Faith comes by hearing the word of God (Rom. 10;17). Mothers, do your children hear the word of God from you? Are they regularly in worship services?
There are good homes in this decade. These best homes have good fathers and mothers and wonderful children. I am convinced that there are women with unfeigned faith like that which Timothy’s mother and grandmother had and there are young men as pure and devout as Timothy. There are just not as many. There are enough to demonstrate that proper teaching, example, and discipline bring the same results as they did in past centuries. There are not many mothers who were Christians in that pagan world in which Timothy lived and worked.
It is not easy for the very best mother to succeed in seeing her children become the young adults such a woman would want to claim as hers. It is not easy, but it is possible. Much of her good work is done while she has her children with her so much in those very precious pre-school years. More and more pressure is exerted to get the state to take the children early. Kindergarten is considered a must. Nursery schools are crowding into more prominent positions. Parents whose children are in the way are very glad to rind ways to get them out of their homes early. There is one thing we can be certain of today. Public schools will not train the children to be Christians. Evolution, immodesty, dancing, and promiscuity may be taught but not righteousness, faith, and purity. Organizations like the American Civil Liberty Union (ACLU) and the National Organization of Women (NOW) are seeing to that. Such groups would like for the schools to be against the religion of Christ. Parents, be awake to the danger!
Ungodly Influences To Overcome
Alcohol is advertised before the eyes of your children about every day that they watch television, if they watch much. Vulgar songs, violence, lust-provoking movies, evolution, and blasphemy are also available on the screen. Modern theaters seem to offer little other than these things. Hollywood has no respect for the marriage law or for other laws given by the Christ. Mothers, are you aware of this? Are you honestly trying to save your children from these evil influences?
Every good mother who is a Christian, and eager for her children to be Christians, knows that she certainly does need a devout husband to help her in her worthy goals. Any young Christian woman should be aware of this need before marriage. A very large per cent of the young women who are members of the church quit the church when they marry non-Christians. Are people blind to this fact? Does it matter? Some of these drop-outs from the church remain fairly good citizens in a negative sort of way, in that they do not become ungodly reprobates. The woman who fulfills her role in the home is more than a nonentity. She is not the worthy woman whose price is far above rubies unless she is a strong character with great faith. If father and mother are irreligious their influence is against Christ. “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” (Matt. 12:30).
An unbelieving father with the typical bad habits of the faithless exerts a very bad influence. Wives of such men may neglect their children in trying to cope with husbands with the drinking habit. They should try by their reverence, chastity, and humility to reach the unworthy husbands. By all means they should devote much time and effort to train their innocent children and save them at all costs. Their task may appear to be impossible when they consider the forces that would destroy faith in the schools and community, Hollywood’s unholy productions, and the unholy influence of their worldly husbands. It is very hard to guide the house, but not impossible, if a wife begins early and is always consistent in her determined effort to make Christians of her children. It is very difficult to succeed under such circumstances, but the soul of every child is worth more than the world itself. It will be a horrible experience if her children join the ranks of the criminals. Irreligious mothers bring up irreligious children, who, in turn, then bring up more criminals. Something needs to be done to change this trend for there are tens of thousands of mothers who are putting forth little effort to guide their children to the more abundant life.
Beer-drinking fathers who are blasphemers will not bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Women who marry such men will likely be no better. They may be even more ungodly in many cases. There are so many homes with ungodly parents that the home is seriously threatened as an institution. Children in such cases are to be pitied. Is there anything else for us to do but pity them? Some few young men and women become Christians in spite of their parents. A woman or a man who neglects the children and even set evil examples before them will find that it is no small thing to cause them to lose their souls. Some ungodly reprobates do not have children. This is better since we have enough criminals that come out of such homes.
Earnest appeals should go out to men to fulfill their mission as worthy fathers. If we fail to reach them, it may be possible to reach some mothers early enough for them to love, teach, and guide their children. If we fail to reach either, what hope is there for the children? Neighbors may try, but there is very, very little chance of their succeeding in efforts to see children from such homes become Christians. All young people, both good and bad, come from one home or another. This home background sends them on their way with a powerful force. If we reach the children we will likely have to reach them through the parents, or at least through one parent. Mother, are you filling your heaven assigned role?
Godly Mothers And The Church
If a good woman is trying to succeed in fulfilling her role as a mother, she needs to know the truth of God so she can teach and so she can see the value of the church for which Christ died. The word is a powerful influence for good, if it is taught effectively. The printed word collecting dust on a shelf is no blessing. The blood-bought church which is here by the eternal purpose of God stands as a light in the world. Mother, if you would be worthy you must be a devout member of the church. There you can find help in guiding your children. Sermons and classes can help. Worthy friends, both young and old, for your children can be found at the assemblies. Mother, one sure way for you to be a failure in your role as a mother is for you to ignore worship and happy association with Christians.
It is sad but true that many members of the church are careless parents. They allow schools, television, and worldly peers of their children to exert the more powerful influences. The love of money, pleasure, and praise of men cause them to be very poor parents. The worthy mother must overcome the unholy influence of the children of some church members if they would save their own children. This is an unfortunate situation.
Many of the denominational preachers in this generation were trained in modernistic seminaries. Such preachers were taught evolution, to deny the inspiration of the Scriptures, and even to deny the deity of Jesus. The devil is now able to use prominent preachers in large Protestant and Catholic churches in his effort to spread infidelity. Many parents are not awake to this fact. These infidels in the pulpits of the land often keep their unbelief from some who sit in the pews when they conduct services. These preachers busy themselves in the fellowship halls, family life buildings (gymnasiums), and on ball parks. Parents in such social gospel churches may not even notice the total lack of spirituality. Religious groups are wearing themselves out in efforts to provide entertainment in a world that has already gone insane over games and entertainment.
It is no marvel that so many marriages end in divorce. Unbelief prevails and the love of money and of worldly pleasures have become idols to consume the time of the public. We are painting a very dark picture. What other realistic picture is there to paint? Many churches bickering, and many church members are worldly. Parents who would do their work well as home makers for their children are going to fight a hard and lonely battle.
Let us open our eyes and ears and discover that here and there homes may be found that are excellent. These fathers and mothers in this wicked world are doing their duty as parents. Each such home is like a pleasant mountain peak in rugged country.
Moses’ mother lived in a wicked world, but it seems that she planted some good seed in the mind of her little ones. (See the first few chapters of Exodus.) If you read the book of Judges you see that sin was common among the Israelites. Read the book of Ruth and learn of Naomi and Ruth and their good home in that period of the Judges. Paul was stoned in Timothy’s home area until they thought that he was dead. It was a land filled with pagans and some unbelieving Jews. Eunice and Lois taught Timothy. It can be done. There is a crying need for more mothers who realize the importance and the difficulty of their work.
The cares, riches, and pleasures of this world destroy mothers and others in our day as they have in ages past (Luke 8:14). Selfishness, pride, lust, and other harmful traits prevent parents from fulfilling their mission. The pleasures of sin are deceitful, but many do not see this (see Heb. 3:12, 13). These pleasures are only for a season, but the mad search for them goes on endlessly. Awake parents, you have work to do! Some mothers and fathers wake up after the children are grown when they can then see the horrors of their failures. It is too late then to save the children.
Gospel preachers and other devout Christians should realize the urgent need to try to get the message across to young people and to the young parents that the home responsibilities are great. As we go out to teach we should do more than try to get people to be baptized. We need to try to see those who are baptized walking in newness of life, being steadfast in worship, and being diligent as parents. Let us cry aloud and shout from the house tops that children are an heritage of the Lord, and that they deserve love, training, and worthy examples and not just things that money can buy.
Of course, America needs skilled persons in engineering and science, but more importantly America needs virtuous women for mothers and godly men for fathers. Houses are larger and more comfortable than they were a few decades ago. We have luxuries now that even the wealthy did not have then. People know how to earn a living, but they do not know how to live. Schools train in athletics and skills for careers for men and women, but they do not teach honesty, obedience to law, purity of morals, or the religion of Christ. The social gospel has taken the place of the gospel of Christ for millions. Let those who are still awake sound an alarm to mothers and fathers that they may realize their duties in their homes.
Guardian of Truth XXVII: 19, pp. 577, 589-590
October 6, 1983