2 Tim. 1:5
I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.
The hardest thing for me to learn as a new mother was that this job is as valuable as my previous jobs. The lack of accolades, delayed results, and feelings of incompetence, made me feel like I was less, like I was “just a mom,” because I chose this job. Then through my daily quiet time and prayer, God began showing me that I am anything but just a mom.
Consider, what if Lois or Eunice, Timothy’s grandmother and mother, had thought they were “just a mom” and didn’t exercise their influence and pass their faith in God to their children? A powerful preacher would have been lost.
What if Moses’ mother had thought of herself as “just a mom” and not used her ingenuity to save her son? A great leader would have been lost.
What if Naomi had underestimated her influence, thought she was “just a mom,” and not encouraged Ruth to pursue Boaz? David, a godly king would have been lost.
Through these examples and more, I’m slowly learning to not see myself as “just a mom,” but as one of the many women in the business of molding and shaping the world of tomorrow.
This realization did not come easy. Transitioning from the world of education to child rearing was a personal struggle for me. Some days it was an all out identity crisis. In conversations I would fear placing greater importance on my role as a mother verses that as an adjunct professor because I thought I would not be taken as seriously. “I teach writing at a university” seemed to have a better ring to it than, “I’m a stay-at-home mom.”
Slowly, over five years, God pried my hands off my security blanket of identity. Thankfully, he was gentle. Through the examples above, but especially through the examples I found in 1 and 2 Kings, he showed me just how valuable a mother’s influence can be.
We are anything but “just a mother.”
A quick glance through 1 and 2 Kings will show you, when a king turned to the Lord his mother’s name is listed (1 Kings 15:9-11, 22:41-43; 2 Kings 14:1-3). Also interesting is that when a godly king’s son falls away from God, his mother’s name is also listed (1 Kings 14:21-22; 2 Kings 8:25-27). The only exception is Jehoshaphat, King of Judah’s, son, Jehoram, and his wife’s name is listed instead (2 Kings 8:16-18).
The most powerful examples for me were Hezekiah and his son Manasseh (2 Kings 18 – 21:18), as well as Josiah and his son Jehoahaz (2 Kings 22- 23). As you may know, both Hezekiah and Josiah were very godly kings. Of Hezekiah it was even said, “He trusted in the LORD the God of Israel, so that there was none like him among all the kings of Judah after him, nor among those who were before him. For he held fast to the LORD,” 2 Kings 18:5-6, ESV.
In both cases, these godly kings came from evil fathers. However, also in both cases their sons who reigned after them were evil. How could such righteous men come from evil fathers? Or evil men come from righteous fathers? The only explanation given is the names of their mothers.
Did you realize the influence the mothers had over Israel’s and Judah’s history? I had no idea! In Bible class, we hear about the great deeds the Bible heroes did, but we don’t hear about the quiet influence faithful moms had on those heroes.
Mom, your influence matters!
The habits, rituals, and home life you lead quietly where no one sees, has far more impact than you ever dreamed possible. Sure you may never end up as a headliner. Your name may never appear on the “Best of….” list and you many never win an award, but even if your name is a footnote to a larger story, what you do matters. It has lasting impact for generations to come.
Over the last two years these examples have served to impress on me just how very important mothers are. In the Old Testament, those mothers had the power to change a nation’s history. Our children or husbands may never be king, however, they touch many lives every time they leave our homes. Though we may be tempted to think of ourselves as “just a mom,” we are really anything but. We are valuable women of God with the power to change the world.