I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. 2 Timothy 1:5
For centuries upon centuries—I suspect from the beginning of time—mothers have been central to the sacred art of handing down their faith. As it lives within them it is expressed and explained and lived out for their children. There has been no movement of God where mothers have not played some role in shaping those who lead, those who respond, and those who follow.
In fact, mothers are often God’s most profound movements themselves; making disciples at the kitchen sink or the bedside, over skinned knees or in the midst of the night. Anywhere and everywhere that young life finds itself growing up we can find mothers revealing their faith through their love.
In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, “ Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life…” 1 Samuel 1:10-11
Mothers love with a sacrificial love, a love that perhaps no other can know. The longing to bring life from their life, the desire to lead and care for and raise up a new person into the world. And then, out of the depths of that love to give these precious ones back to the Father. To commit them to him and entrust his grace and his leading and his will for the plans of these young ones. It is a great and sacrificial love.
It is a mothers love. Different from a father’s love—not better, but not the same. A mother’s love is her own, a special connection with her child. It is a gift God has given. And many of us are who we are today because of the intangible things our mothers did for us. Yes, we were shaped by mom’s peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, her constant concern for our vegetable intake, and her seemingly endless desire for hugs. But we were also shaped by her love for God. She committed us to the Father and we were never the same because of it.
If your faith in Jesus first lived in your mother, you should thank her. If she does not know the Father, show her by extending her gratitude and love today. Either way, your mother has given you life and shaped you into who you are today. The least she deserves is our thanks. And if she’s near by, a hug. They never seem to get enough of those!
* Photo “sunset kite” by Shlomit Wolf