THE INFLUENCE OF A GODLY MOTHER
…when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.
A quick background to this verse –
Timothy was a disciple of Paul whom he met at Lystra during one of his missionary journeys and Paul became close to him and his family because his mother and grandmother, though Jews, were already fervent Christian converts. His father was said to be a Greek and it is not clear if his father had died or he was a merchant who used to be away from home a lot. Consequently, it was his mother and grandmother who were a great influence on Timothy’s life and faith. Timothy was very useful to Paul in ministry and travelled with him on his missionary journeys occasionally and he eventually became the first ever Bishop of Ephesus, a largely idolatrous city where the goddess Diana was the ruling deity.
Among other lessons we shall learn from this study, this passage shows us that no matter under what circumstances a mother needs to raise a child, she can still influence him such that he will yet fulfill his divine destiny, so long as the mother is connected to God and succeeds in connecting the child to God as well.
Let’s start our study of this topic from the Book of Beginnings and study the process by which a mother is made –
Every human being was created on the last day of creation some 6000 years ago, it is just that we existed in the spirit realm with God till we were born one by one on different dates which we call our birthdays.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them….31 …And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
God is a Spirit so it was our spirit man that was created that day in His image and likeness. God created our spirit man to be pure like Him and also created us to be like Him in many ways especially in His creativity. The Bible then records how the first man and the first woman were clothed with their earthly bodies –
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being….21 ¶ And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. (Underline added)
We can see that the woman was created last on that last day of creation, when everything she would need in life had been created – her home, her husband and her children as well. Since ALL human beings were created on that sixth day, our children were created then too. And it is recorded that she was created from the rib of her husband. Though we have only the account of how Eve, the first woman, was created, we have no reason to believe that the rest of womankind was created any other way. And we have no other Biblical account of how other women were created. Besides the Bible tells us in 1Cor.11:12a that the woman originates from the man (AMP version)
Observe from the account we read in that Genesis chapter 2 verse 7 above that it is recorded that the man was formed, moulded by God’s loving Hands; but the woman was made, by His Hands too; but built, fashioned with care to meet the special taste of the man she was made from – 1Cor.11:9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. She was also made from a material which was already breathed into by God and this is why a woman is more sensitive to God than a man is. There was no time she ever existed without the Spirit of God perfusing her very essence! Glory!
God also fitted a special equipment into the body of the woman for the specific divine assignment He has for her – A WOMB. A woman thus becomes a special incubator inside whom God would plant each human being in His time and proceed to clothe him/her with his/her physical body over a period of about nine months. By this singular divine process, a woman becomes A MOTHER with the inter-play of her husband. And every pregnancy is closely monitored and supervised by the Creator God…
For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. 15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
Perfect Embryology lesson which they teach in Medical Schools till date but mostly never knew where it originally came from!
In this wonderful mysterious way, a mother becomes a very important end-part of the creation work of God which He started 6000 years ago. This is a very great responsibility because God creates only because He has a PURPOSE for that creation. That purpose is called the Divine Destiny or the Earthly Assignment of that child; and it is the singular reason for his/her creation. To fulfill that destiny on earth, the child needs a human body and God uses the womb of that person’s mother as the place He would form that body as He formed that of Adam and Eve with His Hands. This is where mothering begins.
Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come— In the volume of the book it is written of Me— To do Your will, O God.’
This was how the Lord Jesus, God’s Firstborn Son and The Model Son, received His earthly body – so that He could be slain and shed His blood as the ultimate sacrifice for sin. And we have no reason to believe there was any other reason for which we too received our bodies. We were clothed with an earthly body singularly for the purpose of fulfilling our earthly divine assignment. We can then see how important a woman is in the scheme of God’s plan and that is the key reason why the devil always seeks to lure a woman to defile her body – it houses God’s workshop, the Womb, the divine incubator in which He clothes every human being with the body he/she needs to fulfil his/her divine assignment on earth! Once the devil succeeds in getting the woman to defile her body, he has succeeded in defiling her seeds and only the Blood of Jesus can redeem them from the devil’s trap.
The Adoptive Mother
Naturally this does not mean that a woman who adopts a child and lovingly raises that child is any less a Mother than the one who carried the child in her womb. No! This is because, even though children are carried in the womb below our hearts for nine months, they find their way into our tender hearts as well and are carried there all along! And after birth, our children remain and are then carried in our hearts and remain there till we die! That is why a sensitive mother can always tell when something is wrong with her child even after he/she has left home and lives miles away from her! Our hearts would literarily squeeze painfully and our bellies/wombs would churn fearfully if we hear any disturbing news about our children! Now, the mother who adopts a child receives that child into the womb of her spirit body and into her heart as well, and she is thus able to nourish that child like the biological mother would do from that moment on till she dies! Awesome!
For close to three decades, I had the opportunity of watching that beautiful relationship between a cute little girl and her adoptive Mother who was my cousin’s wife whose husband sadly died not long after the adoption. That adopted child is now a mother of three herself, and after her mother passed on to glory a few years ago, she promptly crawled into my heart and I would just divinely know when she is going through challenges all the way in the US and I would pray for her and contact her!
It is in that womb of the spirit man that a great Woman of God nourished and gave birth to the Foursquare Gospel Church centuries ago and her anointed influence is still felt till today all over the world! I am talking of Evangelist Aimee Semple Macpherson. It is in the womb of her spirit that the great Mother Teresa and thousands of other loving MOMS = Mothers-of-Many the world over, known and unknown; carried and nourished so many non-biological children for God through the ages.
Back to divine destiny
The Lord Jesus knew and proclaimed His destiny in right at the beginning of His earthly ministry –
‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord .” And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
Now, we have already learnt in that Hebrews chapter 10 passage quoted earlier above what the Lord Himself said about being furnished with a body for that singular reason of fulfilling His destiny as an offering for sin. That Book of Hebrews passage was a quotation from Psalm 40, a Messianic prophecy by His royal ancestor, King David…
Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; My ears You have opened. Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require. Then I said, “Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart.”
This tells us that motherhood is for the purposes of God and for His glory; and not just so that we too can be numbered among mothers. That purpose is written in our scrolls in God’s library in heaven and God can show us, as Mothers, parts of the scrolls of our children, usually in dreams and visions. A good example – One day, the Holy Spirit revealed to Hannah a secret from her scroll in heaven after many years of waiting and agonizing in prayer to receive her own children; and the focus of her prayers instantly changed and shifted from her personal need for a child to God’s need for a Prophet, and she immediately became pregnant!
And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.
This may well be why the LORD had shut up her womb! 1Sam.1:5. God Himself needed a prophet because Eli the High Priest and his sons were useless to Him in the Temple Ministry He called them to, and there were no prophets in the land as well! 1Sam.3:1 puts it this way And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation. God then needed to train a mother to be sensitive to Him so that she can in turn train a prophetic child for Him. Neat, isn’t it! But Hannah did not see it that way at first in her agonizing years of childlessness; because she did not see the full picture which God saw as He always does!
And so, the child Samuel was conceived and born strictly by his Godly mother’s revelation of God’s need and her yearning to be a part of meeting that need.
Now, in those days in Israel it would take like four years to nurse a child before weaning him; so, she had only four years to train Samuel to fulfill his destiny before relinquishing him to the Lord under Eli’s care. The result was that even though Samuel grew up in the home of Eli from then on, he was not corrupted by their evil ways. He became that special prophet God needed and his word never fell to the ground without being fulfilled. He was that sensitive to God’s Voice, just as his mother had been trained by God to be sensitive to Him before she ever gave birth that prophetic son.
Samuel’s story also teaches us what Science later found out – that the home-training that a child receives in the first four years of life is crucial to their character formation. It was discovered that this is when a child learns responsibility and accountability! In other words, he learns that he will always reap what he sows – a good reward for doing good and punishment for doing bad!
A Mother and the Destiny of her Child
This tells us that parents must begin to ask God to tell them the destinies of their children even before they start having children! This is very important because for a mother to be able to influence her child to fulfil his/her destiny, she needs to know in what direction to guide him/her. She too needs to receive training from God in that direction because she cannot give what she does not have!
Let’s look at a good example of a pair of parents who caught that revelation – the parents of Samson. God sent an Angel who first met with Samson’s mother alone and told her that their long-time prayers for a child have been answered and that God would give them a special child with a special divine earthly assignment; and then the Angel left. When she told Manoah her husband, he was the one who prayed further, a targeted prayer in this case, asking for the Angel to come back and give them instructions so that they will be able to properly train the special child they have been promised of God –
Then Manoah intreated the LORD, and said, O my Lord, let the man of God which thou didst send come again unto us, and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born.
And when the Angel came back, he asked him specific questions –
Manoah said, “Now let Your words come to pass! What will be the boy’s rule of life, and his work?”
Therefore, we can see that the basic keys to being a Godly mother who would have the correct influence on her child’s destiny are three –
1/ She must commit her life to God through His Son Jesus and get to know God through His Word and through communication by prayer
2/ She must ask God to tell her the destiny of each of her children
3/ And she must submit to God to be trained by His Holy Spirit so the she can influence/train the child to fulfill his/her destiny in God.
Let’s look at two more examples of Godly mothers, grandmothers, a great grandmother and a great great grandmother and see how they influenced their offsprings such that each one had a prominent place in God’s global agenda –
- Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist 1:5-60
When the Angel was sent to announce to Zechariah the Priest, the father of John the Baptist, that they would have a child who would be the fore-runner of the Messiah, he did not believe the Angelic message and he began to give excuses, citing their great age; so he was made dumb so that he will not talk unbelief to Elizabeth his wife and thus make her womb non-receptive! She was a woman of great faith and so prophetic that, six months later, she even knew that her cousin, Mary, was already bearing the Messiah in her womb when Mary visited her to share the news of her own Angelic message of being chosen as the Mother of the long-awaited Messiah. From his mother’s womb, John heard the voice of Mary at the door, and he leapt with joy and Elizabeth was immediately baptized in the Holy Ghost! This revealed how sensitive she was to the Presence of God carried by the Messiah who was yet in His mother’s womb. Because of his mother’s sensitivity, we have no record that John needed to be anointed into the office of the Prophet as he too must have been baptized in the Holy Ghost in his mother’s womb by the Divine Baptizer Himself! The Messiah later testified of him that he was the greatest of all the prophets! Matt.11:11. This tells us that a mother’s influence on her child starts from the womb because the baby can hear from the age about five months when his ears would have been fully formed! What you say to that child in your womb begins to form and shape thoughts in his little mind from then on.
2. Naomi and Ruth –
Here we have an adopted great great grandmother Naomi, and great grandmother, Ruth, who are two wonderful examples of ancestral mothers trained by God to train a special offspring for God – King David, the Man after God’s heart. Ruth became the mother of Obed who was the father of Jesse who was the father of King David who was actually the special child God was targeting to fulfill a special destiny in His earthly agenda. So, Ruth was actually the great-grandmother of King David, the only earthly man by whom The Saviour is called. When the Lord heard blind Bartimaeus call out, ‘’Thou son of David, have mercy on me!’’, the Bible says Jesus stood still! He knew that the person who called Him had a deep knowledge of Him, including His earthy kingly heritage!
Naomi suffered terrible loss of her husband and two sons, but she did not become bitter against God. Ruth was not even a Jew but she was loving, compassionate and faithful and she followed Naomi and embraced the ways of her God, Jehovah. Ru.1:16,17. Note that the name of the mother and grandmother of David were not even given in Scripture, so we can safely believe that they too must have embraced the life of faith of Naomi and Ruth and their love for God and these Godly women combined to inspire him and made him a man who loved God so passionately that he was inspired to write many Psalms – deep poetic and prophetic songs – in praise of God.
It is as well good to look at two examples of mothers who did contrary to the above examples and note how that affected their target children of destiny and learn from their mistakes –
Sarah and Rebecca –
These two are examples of a grandmother and mother who did not allow God to train them to know Him well and the target-children suffered for it!
One child of destiny in question here is Jacob who would be the Progenitor and Father of The Twelve Tribes of Israel. This assignment was so important to God that He began to train his grand-parents, Abraham and Sarah, to learn to know Him and put their trust in Him. Abraham learnt fast and God testified of him in Gen.18:19 –
For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord , to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
But Sarah did not learn to trust God and was instrumental in urging her husband to produce Ishmael, a child who ended up becoming a thorn in the flesh of her own Child of Promise, Isaac, and his descendants till date! Even when God personally went to visit them after 24 years of training and told them they will have that child He promised in the next year, Sarah laughed in disbelief! Gen.18:12.
And in Genesis chapter 24 we have the elaborate account of how the mother of Jacob, Rebecca, was divinely and prophetically chosen and sought out to come and bear that special child, Jacob. Even though God has promised her that Jacob will surely be greater than Esau the older twin, Rebecca rather influenced Jacob to carnally help God to fulfill that promise by acquiring Esau’s firstborn birthright by deception! This sparked off a conflict between the twins and Jacob became a fugitive for decades. God then had to put Jacob through some rigorous training at Laban’s house and even wrestled with him at Peniel before Jacob became that Prince of God, Israel, whom God needed Him to be.
This means if we do not submit to God’s training so that we can influence the child to fulfill his destiny, he will have a harder time on his own in God’s training school which we must all pass through to fulfill destiny!
Motherhood is a great responsibility and we must yield ourselves and allow God to use us to produce and influence many offsprings, both biological and adopted, that will be useful to God in His great design on earth. This influence will start when they are yet in the womb as in the case of Elizabeth, because a foetus can hear from the age of about five months in the womb, when the ears and hearing apparatus would have been fully formed. A Professor of Music used that principle to begin to teach her daughter music from the womb; and by the age of two years, she could play Mozart! We can achieve much more in the lives of our children, with the Holy Spirit our divine Helper.
(A message preached at a Foursquare Gospel Church in Abeokuta on Foursquare Women International Mothers’ Day on 13May2018)