Hannah first ached for a son and then had to deal with living without him, teaching us a difficult lesson about motherhood indeed: that parenting is not about personal pay-off, but about serving our Heavenly Father.

Jochebed Exodus 2)

Jochebed gave birth to a son at a time when doing so was illegal. She kept him a secret as long as she could, but eventually she made the difficult choice to place her baby in a basket and hope for the best. That baby was rescued by the Pharaoh’s daughter and became the great leader of the people of Israel long after his adopted mother named him, “Moses.” Jochebed mothered in times that were hostile toward motherhood. She valued motherhood above her own safety, security, or reputation. And God honored Jochebed’s mother-heart, for when Pharaoh’s daughter needed a wet nurse for Moses, Jochebed got the job. She got to look at that tiny profile while nursing and whisper to him about the God of Israel after all.

King Lemuel’s Mother (Proverbs 31)

Proverbs 31 is a well-known passage about biblical womanhood, but there’s a little snippet of the passage that most of us miss.

Verse 1 simply says, “The words of King Lemuel. An oracle his mother taught him.”

Proverbs 31 is really an inside look into a conversation or a series of conversations between a mother and her son. We don’t know her name, but we do know that King Lemuel’s mother taught him wisdom that would carry him for the rest of his life. The Proverbs 31 mom shows us what our own legacy can be. I’m sure she changed diapers and made sacrifices and wrestled with unmet expectations. But ultimately, she made it into the pages of the Bible because she taught her son about God and righteous living.

A Common Theme

What’s the theme we find in the lives of these mommas? Their children were their legacy. The same is true for us.

Psalm Psalms 127:3 reminds us, “Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him.”

Raising children is Kingdom work. You cannot do it perfectly, but neither did the moms of the Bible, and we are still feeling the impact of their efforts. In unison, they remind us that there is much more at stake than what we can see clearly in the daily grind of our role. There is strength and encouragement to be found in their stories as they whisper to all moms, “Press on!” 

Erin Davis is the founder of Graffiti Ministries, an organization dedicated to addressing the issues of identity, worth, and true beauty in the lives of young women. A popular speaker, author and blogger, Erin has addressed women of all ages nationwide and is passionately committed to sharing God's Truth with others. She is the author of several books including Graffiti, True Princess, The Bare Facts coauthored with Josh McDowell, and her latest release Beyond Bath Time: Re-imagining Motherhood as a Sacred Role (Moody Publishers, April 2012). Erin and her husband, Jason, work with youth and families at their church in Southwest Missouri. They are the parents of two adorable boys, Eli and Noble. 

Publication date: June 21, 2012