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A Mother’s Love
Biblical perspectives

By Jeffry Boatright

Although it has been claimed that more collect calls are placed on Father’s Day, it is Mother’s Day that consistently garners more telephone calls than any other day of the year. The standing tradition of honoring mom has been passed down from generation to generation since its humble induction in 1914.

Of course, there have been observances and traditions honoring mothers around the world, which trace back to ancient times, and it is no surprise that humanity has embraced honoring our mothers. Rich in character and instinctively protective, mothers have been a driving force of mankind throughout the ages. Varied in personality, strengths and weaknesses, a mother is unique. She is the first to sacrifice herself for her children and she is often the last to criticize. A mother’s love is unsurpassed, and even the threat of death will not prevent her from safeguarding her own.

Several years ago, it was reported that a turkey hen was discovered on a farm after an annual controlled burn. The hen, which had perished in the blaze, never left her nest and ultimately protected the unhatched eggs. Perhaps that is one of the best examples that nature has shown us of a mother’s love.

Certainly there are other examples of a mother’s love, with many examples being found in the Holy Bible. One such example is located in the third chapter of 1st Kings. It is a familiar story in which two harlots approached the wise king, Solomon. The two women each claimed to be the mother of an infant and sought King Solomon’s judgement in settling the dispute.

Both women had recently given birth to newborn sons, but one of the babies had perished. Consequently, the mother of the deceased child laid claim to the living one. When petitioned to determine the rightful mother of the living child, the wise king instinctively called for the living child to be divided in two, and that half of the child be given to each woman. It was the child’s mother, however, that objected to the king’s decision, pleading for Solomon to give the living child to the other woman. Because of the mother’s action and her willingness to sacrifice the care of her child to the other woman in order to keep it alive, King Solomon knew that she was the rightful mother and granted her custody of the infant.

In all of Solomon’s wisdom, he could recognize the real mother’s love, and that love is just as recognizable today. There are examples of a mother’s love throughout the scriptures. Even after the death of a child, a mother’s love remains. In the book of Ruth, we are taught of Naomi, a woman who fled her country with her family due to famine. During that time, her husband and her married sons passed away, leaving Naomi and her daughters-in-law. While Naomi urged her sons’ wives to seek a new life, she continued to show love and compassion for them. Even more, she set an example for the younger women through her unwavering faith.

Of course, Naomi wasn’t the only faithful mother in the scriptures. In the book of Acts, we learn about Mary, the mother of John Mark. Mary, a Jewish Christian had a large home in which many gathered to pray. We can only imagine how much encouragement Mary offered her son, John Mark, during the Apostolic age.

Biblical mothers, just like mothers today, only wanted what was best for their children, and there is no better example than Mary, the mother of Jesus. Certainly, the mother of Christ found countless joys in raising the Son of God. We must remember, however, the sacrifice that she experienced as she witnessed the suffering that He endured as He was mocked, tortured and died such a cruel death by crucifixion.

It is truly difficult to genuinely consider the heartaches and sacrifices that mothers have withstood over the course of time. In some cases, it has been losing children to death through wars, illness, accidents and criminal acts. In other cases, it has been witnessing a child suffer because of poor choices. Perhaps the greatest pain a mother can face is the pain of rejection by a child. Regardless, a mother suffers agony when her child suffers, but she finds delight in her child’s achievements and joy.

Perhaps the greatest gift that we can offer our mothers this Mother’s Day is to acknowledge the sacrifices they have made and share our time with them. The best gift that we can give to ourselves is to always remember that our mothers, like the biblical mothers, will always have our best interest at heart.