Who would have thought that biblical women could teach us so much about motherhood? God often speaks to us through the words, actions, and examples of others. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Bible. Here, we are gifted with stories of faithful people who faced and overcame obstacles, who trusted in God, and whose lives demonstrate how we should live. They are the stories of true heroes.
Among these many biblical heroes we find the stories of phenomenal mothers—mothers who longed for children, mothers who protected their children, and mothers who trusted in God to do what they thought was impossible.
We know that God, of course, is pro-life, as He could never condone the killing of one of His innocent children. But through these biblical women, God shows us how to be pro-life. He allows us to read about the sorrows, the joys, and the trials and pains of these mothers to illustrate that He is always there, that He can help us overcome any obstacles, and that if we allow it, He will help us find something good in everything that happens to us.
From Sarah, we learn to trust in God. Sarah and Abraham had tried for many years to have children, but they could not, and Sarah had given up hope. When God spoke to Abraham and told him that Sarah would soon conceive and have a son, Abraham was incredulous. Sarah laughed because she was so old. She believed she was beyond the age where she could conceive. But she trusted in God, allowing Him to work through her. She and Abraham soon conceived Isaac.
From Hannah, we learn perseverance and faithfulness. For a very long time, Hannah longed for and prayed for a child. The emotional pain of being unable to conceive had taken its toll, and one day she went before the Lord in the temple and begged Him to “open” her womb. She promised that if she conceived, she would dedicate her child to God. She was so absorbed in her prayer that the priest watching accused her of being drunk. She responded kindly saying, “I was only pouring out my heart to the Lord.” The Lord saw Hannah’s faithfulness and gave her Samuel. As promised, she dedicated his life to the Lord. Hannah then went on to have five other children.
From Jochebed—the mother of Moses—we learn about a mother’s protection, determination, and sacrifice. The pharaoh had commanded that all male children born be thrown into the Nile, so when Jochebed gave birth to Moses, she hid him. When she could no longer hide him, she placed him in a basket and floated him down the river, hoping someone would find and care for him. As it turns out, the pharaoh’s daughter found him. Moses’ older sister had been watching nearby, and she asked the pharaoh’s daughter if she should find a woman to nurse the baby. She said yes, and Moses’ sister went right to their mother, who was then able to raise her own son.
In the New Testament, we are gifted with two amazing mothers—Elizabeth and Mary.
Elizabeth and her husband, Zechariah, could not have children. They prayed fervently, and one day an angel appeared to Zechariah and told him they would have a son. Elizabeth then gave birth to John the Baptist.
And of course we can learn so much from our Blessed Mother, Mary, who was young and unmarried but who trusted so much in the Lord that she said yes to being the mother of God. This yes made her forever part of our salvation history. Mary’s faithfulness, her courage, and her love, even as she watched her Son die an agonizing death, teach us that God never leaves us and that His love is so much greater than we could ever imagine.
And that is the most vital lesson that we can learn from these mothers. God will never leave us. He walks with us through everything.
So as we attempt to navigate the path of motherhood, let us strive to emulate these strong women. Let us go to them with our joys and sorrows. And let us thank God for these faithful examples, for we know that there is no job that carries with it so much pride, so much joy, and the potential for so much heartache as motherhood.
This article first appeared at stream.org/laugh-cry-fight-thats-what-biblical-mothers-do.