When God gave the child, Hannah dedicated herself to raising him. She would be devoted to that task for several years, knowing her time with him was short. That's so different from what you see today, isn't it? Women have babies, and a couple of months later they slam the baby in some day care center and take off for the job.

Not Hannah. She was totally committed to stay in the home until that little life was trained. She had important work to do-nursing, loving cherishing, instructing. Hannah understood how vital those early years are, when 90 percent of personality is formed. She prepared him in those formative years for a lifetime of service to God-such a high calling.

Don't mistake her devotion to raising Samuel for the modern tendency to make the child the center of the universe. Hannah discharged her responsibility as a steward-one day she had to give Samuel back. It wasn't about fulfilling her deepest needs through her child. It was about fulfilling her oath to God. It was about being faithful to her calling to be a godly mother.

For those of you who are mothers, think about Hannah this Mother's Day. Be devoted to your husband; be devoted to your God; and be devoted to your home in the fear of the Lord. That's your high calling and your greatest joy.

For those of you whose mothers are still living, recognize your mother this Mother's Day for the things she did well. Look in love beyond any of her shortcomings and honor the one who introduced you to life.

Adapted from “Hannah: A Godly Mother”, © 1987. All rights reserved.