8 May 2022 PM – Ezekiel 16:44 – Mother – Scott Childs
Introduction: Listen to the words of this brief poem. “A careful mum I ought to be, for little children follow me. I do not dare to go astray, for fear they’ll go the self-same way.”
One of the best safeguard for the next generation is the positive influence of parents, particularly mums.
The proverb in our text reads, As is the mother, so is the daughter. This proverb is true in at least three ways.
Transition: As we consider three influences that a mother has on her daughters (and other children), it would be good for each of us to consider the impact we have on the next generation. While God directs the proverb to mothers, it similarly applies to fathers and somewhat to grandparents.
1. Mothers influence physically
a. No mum can alter her genetic influence.
1) A mum naturally pass on some of her physical characteristics to her children. This is part of God’s creation. (Ps 139:14) “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.“
2) Every child she bears will share varying amounts of her physical characteristics. God’s genetic design is amazing.
b. A mum can alter her environmental influence.
1) Another environmental influence is the state of your marriage. When a husband and wife do not live in biblical happy harmony, the children are the first to notice and suffer. A happy home is likely to have happy children.
2) A second environmental influence is mum’s attitude in the home.
a) Cheerfulness spreads. (Prov 17:22) “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.“
b) Angry parents produce angry children.
c) Selfish parents produce selfish children.
3) A third environmental influence is mum’s character. Here are three character qualities that children learn best from their mum’s example.
a) Ambition. We are living in the age of lazy children. They spend their time slouched in front of the TV or playing video games. Everything is done for them. They avoid as much work as possible. (Prov 13:4) “The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.” Seek to be an ambitious example for your children to imitate.
b) Dependability. (1Cor 4:2) “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” Keep your word. Be prompt to appointments. Your children are watching and learning.
c) Honesty. When children see mum or dad exceed the speed limit, lie to a neighbour, or take something that is not theirs, they are learning to be dishonest. God urges us in 1 Timothy 4:12 to be “… an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.“
4) Consider one final environmental influence. A mum often passes on physical traits by her nutritional choices. Parents that have poor eating habits are often unhealthy and have unhealthy children. Since a Christian’s body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, we ought to care properly for our nutritional health.
2. Mothers influence maternally
A mother’s work never ends. Mothers are busy people, but the way that they do their motherly tasks is a huge influence on their children.
a. Children learn how to keep house from mum
1) They learn mum’s orderliness or lack of it, her way of cleaning house, making beds, doing laundry, ironing clothes, gardening, etc. Whether mum’s example is good or bad, her children are learning from her.
2) They learn mum’s food choices and style of cooking.
3) They learn mum’s frugality or wastefulness.
b. Children learn from mum how to be a wife
1) Children learn how to love dad from their mother. (Titus 2:3-5) “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” It is healthy for children to see mum kiss and hug dad.
2) Children learn how a wife submissively completes her husband as his help meet from their mum (Genesis 2:18).
3) Children learn how a wife is to respect her husband from mum. God clearly commands wives to reverence or respect their husbands. (Eph 5:33) “Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.“
4) Children learn how couples work as teammates from their mum (and dad). Let them see you and your husband working together, talking things over, making decisions together, and caring for each other. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10) “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.“
c. Children learn from mum how to rear children
1) They learn from their mother’s priorities.
a) Family Bible time and prayer, mealtime prayer, etc.
b) Giving your children a Christian education is priceless.
2) They learn from mum’s expectations.
a) Acceptable language, attitudes, habits, friends…
b) Immediate obedience without her yelling.
c) No means don’t ask again.
3) They learn from mum’s method of discipline.
a) Clear expectations with specific rules (Eph 6:4) “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.“
b) Consistent enforcement (backed up by dad).
3. Mothers influence spiritually
Like it or not, children often follow their parent’s spiritual walk. Many parents say, “Johnny can make his own spiritual decisions, I won’t hinder him.” However, in reality, Johnny will probably follow his parent’s example.
a. Mum sets an example by her relationship with God
1) Children observe your daily Bible time. Do not hide this from them. Share with them things God teaches you. Show them how to study the Bible and learn from it. Inspect what you expect from their personal Bible time.
2) Children observe your prayer time with the Lord. Again, do not hide this from them. Let them know that Mum is praying, so please be good and quiet. Teach them to pray.
3) Pray with them at meals, during family Bible time, at bedtime, after discipline, and especially when they are burdened.
4) Faithfully attend every church service with your children.
One of the greatest influences for good in my life has been the consistent church attendance of my parents. We never missed a church service except when we were sick.
b. Mum powerfully influences her children’s eternal destiny.
1) Let your children see a real, personal faith in Christ in your life. If they see Christ in you, it will draw them to Christ.
2) Keep the Gospel before them regularly.
3) Pray for your children’s salvation openly before them, but let the Holy Spirit convict them of their sin and draw them to Christ. Only God can convict and save them.
Conclusion: Mothers are an influence on their children. If you are a mother or hope to be one day, I urge you to take to heart the proverb expressed by Ezekiel, “As is the mother, so is the daughter.” Being a godly mother is no small task. If you feel overwhelmed, look to the Lord for guidance and strength.
Husbands, God has given us wives to help us, not to replace us. He holds us accountable. Our job is to equip her to be all that God wants her to be as our teammate.