The Nobility of Motherhood

Bible Book: Proverbs  31 : 10-31
Subject: Mother's Day; Children, Rearing; Family

“A pastor and his wife were walking in a park one morning when they spotted a mother squirrel scurrying along a power line with her baby in her mouth. She delivered the little squirrel to a new nest she had built in a tree. Then she ran back across the wire to fetch another baby from the old nest and transport it to its new home. Back and forth she scampered until she had deposited all six of her babies in their new home. The wife said, ‘Being a mother is hard work!’ This pastor’s wife understood that it is indeed hard work being a mother. The labor to bring a child into the world is only the beginning. How essential it is that she takes care of herself spiritually, so she can take care of her children! Of all concerns, the care for her soul is the greatest—to grow in wisdom and in the knowledge of God.

Susanna Wesley was a busy mother with 19 children, yet she set aside time each day to meet with God. Some days she spent that time in a chair with her apron over her head, praying. Woe be to the child who disturbed her! Maybe that is the reason that two of her children turned their world upside down for the Lord. John and Charles Wesley were the founders of the Methodist church.” (Our Daily Bread 5-14-06)

One of the Ten Commandments tells us to honor our father and mother. Mothers deserve special honor. James Dobson commented, “Countless times each day a mother does what no one else can do quite as well. She wipes away a tear, whispers a word of hope, eases a child’s fear. She teaches, ministers, loves, and nurtures the next generation of citizens. Yet, no editorials praise these accomplishments.” Today I want to honor our mothers by sharing some characteristics of good mothers found in Proverbs 31:10-31. What characterizes a good mother?


“When she speaks, it is wisdom pressing itself from her heart outward. A godly mother speaks words of wisdom not gossip or slander, or idle talk but words filled with prudence and common sense.” A new national survey by Cheerios of more than 3,000 boys and girls ages 6 to 14 suggests that kids value their mothers' advice and realize they need to say "thanks" more often. Seventy-six percent of the kids said their mom gives them the best advice. Similar findings were also reported by the Children, Youth and Family Consortium at the University of Minnesota.

Proverbs 10:11 tells us “the mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life.” Children, you may think your mother is dumb, but you better listen to her. Her advice will save you from many heartaches. Your mother speaks words of wisdom. Listen to her!


Two key words describe a godly mother in verses 10-12, “heart” and “trust”, or “love” and “faith”. A godly mother is first and foremost a wife. Marriage does not just happen. It is the result of hard work, prayer, and real love.

What kind of love should a man show to his wife? The same kind of love that Christ shows to the church (Eph. 5:18 ff): sacrificial, patient, suffering, tender, and constant. Husbands need to take care that their jobs and hobbies do not take them away from their wives and children. Mothers need to be careful that they do not invest all of their time in raising the children. Marriage vows are promises that must be taken seriously. To break these vows is to sin against God and each other.

In this frantic world we live in, it is hard finding time to do everything. Being a mother is a tough job. There was a commercial out several years ago. I think they were advertising a cold remedy. Mom goes to bed for the day.

When she comes down stairs, she finds the house totally demolished. It looks like a tornado came through. Proverbs tells us that a good mother looks to the ways of her household. She has full confidence in her ability and resources to meet the challenges of the future. Her aim is to make her husband and her children look better. This sometimes involves working outside the home along with her husband to meet financial needs. Mothers should not feel guilty that they have to work to provide basic necessities. Looking to the needs of the household usually involves going to bed late and/or getting up early. My mother was working when I went to bed and was already working in the morning when I got up.


A woman’s first commitment, like that of a man’s, is to the Lord. “A woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” This is the secret of her life: she fears God and seeks to obey His Word. The woman described in this passage made spending time with God a priority. She meditated on the Word and prayed. God should always come first, then her husband, her children, and her own parents. A woman is only truly fulfilled when she lives her life in devotion to God.

Many women talk about their outward beauty instead of their living Lord. Verse 30 says, “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain.” These are deceitful in the sense that they do not reveal the real person. Vain is a word which means a breath or a puff of smoke. A godly woman’s beauty is within; though the years might change her body, her beauty in the Lord only grows greater.

Jesus came to the house of Mary and Martha one day. Martha scurried about trying to be the perfect hostess. Mary was sitting at the feet of Christ listening to His words (Luke 10:40-42). The Lord made it clear that Mary had chosen the best. Moms let me encourage you to make God the first priority in your life. If you do those other tasks will be more joyful.


What happens when a godly woman opens her mouth in wisdom, looks well to the ways of her household, and reverences the Lord? According to this passage her husband and children rise up and praise her. One of the greatest weaknesses in many homes today is that family members take each other for granted. Husbands and children, you need to praise your wife and your mother. Husbands need to set the right example before their children by openly praising the Lord and the wife for the blessings of the home. This kind of appreciation should not be reserved only for Mother’s Day. Gratitude is a wonderful Christian virtue. It needs to be cultivated in every home.

Abraham Lincoln said, “No man is poor who has a godly mother!” Jesus was concerned about his mother even when he was dying on the cross. “Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with a promise; that it may be well with you, and you may live long on the earth.” (Ephesians 6:2-3) May we honor our mother every day of the year, but especially on this day!