It’s so easy to get bogged down with the grind of daily activities in the home, isn’t it? There can be times when you feel you are stuck in the mire with no hope of accomplishing anything. Yes, the practical and physical labour of mothering can be wearying, but it is usually the emotional stress that really weighs us down. It is our attitude toward homemaking and mothering that imprisons or frees us. It is how we value our tasks as a mother that determines whether we will be depressed or joyful.
I believe it is important for us to get a long term vision of our divine calling of motherhood. It is often hard to feel that your are accomplishing very much staying at home – changing ‘nappies’ of ‘diapers’, wiping noses, cooking meals and daily training little children. Dear mother, I want you to see beyond the frustrations of your every day tasks and look ahead. You are not only training children for today, but for the future. Your influence is powerful and far-reaching. As you diligently teach god’s ways to your children, you are shaping the destiny of your nation. You are establishing principles and guidelines for future generations.
God’s ultimate plan is for godly generations. He has commanded each generation to pass on His ways and His laws to the next generation. God does not want us to think of parenting this generation only. He wants us to live our lives in the light of past and future generations. When God spoke to His people, the children of Israel, he reminded them of their roots and their past heritage. He said, “I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” But as He reminded them of their roots in revealing His name, He also gave them a vision for the future! He continually stated, “It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.”
God’s words are for all generations. They are never out of date. Psalm 105:8 says, “He has remembered His covenant forever, the word which He commanded to a thousand generations.” Let’s read Psalm 78:1-8, “Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth … showing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and His strength and His wonderful works that He has done. For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: that the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born, who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments…”
We must teach our children the ways of God so diligently that they will never forget them. We must imprint them so strongly in their hearts that they will faithfully pass them on to the following generations.
It is not enough that my children walk in the ways of the Lord. The true test is whether my grandchildren and great-grandchildren continue to walk in God’s ways.
God is so concerned about this that in many instances he gave the children of Israel specific things to do annually, so they would never forget and the following generations would remember forever. Exodus 12:14 says, “And this day shall be unto you for a memorial: and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever.”
My husband, Colin, is one of nine children. They all love the Lord and several are in full-time service for God. The family believes that their great-grandmother played a great part in touching their lives. This great-grandmother was a praying woman. In her later years, she went blind, but this did not hinder her ministry of prayer. She would pray out loud, oblivious to who was around her. Many times those listening would be the subject of her prayers! But one of the greatest things about her prayer life was that she prayed for the coming generations. The power of her prayers is being fulfilled today!
Colin’s father also came to Christ because of this woman’s prayers. Coming home from the city in the early hours of the morning, he would hear his grandmother praying. One night he had a dream that he was going to be hung. He was allowed one request before the hanging and so he requested his grandmother to come and pray. As she pray in the adjacent room, her prayers were so strong that every time they pulled the rope, he just floated down. In his dream he realized the power of prayer and it was influential in his decision to turn his life over to God.
I was very challenged the other day as I read the first verse in Zephaniah. “The word of the Lord which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the Son of Hezekiah…” Now how could I get challenged from such an uninteresting scripture? Let’s think, about it. God doesn’t waste words. Although it is our custom today to introduce someone by their name only, in God’s Word people were introduced by their lineage. I like that idea. I would be very happy to be introduced as “Nancy, wife of Colin Campbell and daughter of Ivan and Joice Bowen. Ivan is the son of Walter Eugene Bowen.” It would certainly help us to give respect and honour to our forefathers, wouldn’t it?
The Bible reveals Zephaniah’s parentage back to the fifth generation! Hezekiah was Zephaniah’s great great-grandfather! This king of Judah “did that which was right in the sight of the Lord … he trusted in the Lord … he cleaved to the Lord, and departed not form following him, but kept his commandments…” and now five generations later, his great great-grandchild is a prophet to the nation! (2 Kings 18:1-6; 2 Chronicles 29:1,2; 31:20,21) This is such a challenge to me. Will my great great-grandchildren still be walking in the ways of the Lord? Will I be remembered by them as a godly woman?
When Saul is introduced to us in 1 Samuel 9:1,2 God takes us back six generations! “There was a man of Bemjamin whose name was Kish, the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bechorath, the son of Aphia, a Benjamite a mighty man of power. And he had a son, whose name was Saul…” Did you a count?
I am sure you remember the story of Achan who disobeyed Joshua and took for himself silver and gold, thus causing the defeat of the Israeli army in their battle against Ai. When God revealed Achan as the culprit, his whole family was implicated! He was exposed as “Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah…” (Joshua 7:17,18,24; 20:20-22). Even his great-grandfather had to bear the shame of his disobedience!
Here’s one more example of the many you will read in the Bible. “Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly…” (2 Ch 20:14). Once again six generations are mentioned! We are tied, not only to the present, but to the past and future. In this story, Jahaziel is used mightily as a prophet of God to bring a word to King Jehoshaphat ant the peope of Jaday that gave them a strategy to win the battle against the Ammonites and Moabites. This prophetic word through Jahaziel saved the nation! Not only was Jahaziel remembered and recorded in scripture because of this, but even his great-great-great-grandfather! Wow!
Let look at some more recent examples. I am sure you have heard of William and Chatherine Booth who were the founders of the Salvation Army. I have always been inspired by their word for God. Catherine Booth, although used of God to win thousands into the kingdom of God through her preaching, was first and foremost a mother. As a young person she stated, “I intend to make myself fit to be a mother and being that in every sense, I shall be ready for any destiny that God may put upon me. As she was dying, she cried these words, “Try to raise up mothers, mothers are the want of the world.”
William and Catherine had eight children and they were faithful to train them for God. Everyone of those eight children served God in a mighty way. We named one of our daughters, Evangeline, after Evangeline Booth, one of their daughters, was a great evangelist. Not only did they train their children, but the intensity of their training continued into the following generations. They had 45 grandchildren and every one of them also served God with all their hearts, many on the mission field. Even their great-grandchildren continued as missionaries.
Let take a peek at the family of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards. You may remember Jonathan Edwards for his famous sermon,“Sinners in the hands of an angry God.” Jonathan and Sarah had 11 children and were ardent in training their children for God. In 1900 A. Winship tracked down 1400 descendants of this family. By 1900 this godly marriage had produced 13 college presidents, 65 professors, 100 lawyers and a dean of an outstanding law school, 30 judges, 60 doctors and a dean of a medical school, 80 holders of public office including 3 United State Senators, 3 Mayors of large cities, 3 state governors, Vice president of the United States, and Controller of the United States Treasury. Members of the family wrote 135 books and edited 18 journal and periodicals. The entered the ministry in platoons, and sent 100 missionaries overseas as well as stocking many mission boards with lay trustees. They directed banks, insurance companies, owned coal mines, iron plants and vast oil interests. Winship states, “There is scarcely any great American industry that has nog had one of this family among its chief promoters.
Because of the responsibilities of Jonathan Edwards ministry, Winship goes on to say, “Much of the capacity and talent, intensity and character of the Edwards family is due to Mrs. Sarah Edward.” The influence of one godly mother has continued down through the generations to affect the destiny of a nation! Oh how far reach is the power of mothering!
Mothers, lift up your head from the tediousness of your day-to-day tasks and look down the years to come. Your influence will go on in the lives of your children, your grandchildren and your great-grandchildren. What will be your influence upon the world? What mighty men and women will come forth from the godly training and atmosphere of your home? Don’t take your great calling lightly.
Satan knows the power of godly mothers. That’s why he has sought to lure mothers out of the home. When he can get mothers out of the way and get his hand upon the children, he grips the nation in his power. However, when godly mothers get a revelation of their high calling from God and give their livers to bring forth and train a godly seed, they are the biggest threat to Satan.
Mothering is too important to be accomplished part-time. Mothering is more than feeding and clothing our children. We have the responsibility to imprint God’s Word so indelibly on the hearts and minds of our children that they will automatically impart it to their children and their children’s children.
Your mothering today will not only affect your children, but it will touch lives that have not yet been born!
ABOVE RUBIES November 1995, No. 44