The second Sunday in May was first set aside in America as Mother’s Day in 1912.

What a wonderful idea to focus attention on the mothers in our nation.

In the New Testament, Paul praised women in his ministry. Jesus took care to include special relationships with women; it was women who ministered to him during His life, women who stayed to watch Him be crucified, women who first came to the tomb. It was women in the Old Testament also, that God used in remarkable ways.

The widow woman, Naomi, Hannah, Esther, Ruth, and so on.

It is true that women have been suppressed at different times in history. Sadly, today in many cultures women are still considered ‘property’, but I’m so glad for the freedom women enjoy today in our nation.

However, while most women enjoy great freedom and opportunities, many are still victims and oppressed. Not only by radical religions, but in the sex industry and sex trade where little girls (and boys, too) are sold to the highest bidder and older girls forced into prostitution. Many turn to pornography and adult entertainment as a way to support themselves.

Sin has taken what God created to be a beautiful helpmate for man into a “toy,” a sex object for selfish pleasure. This is a sad and depressing reality for thousands of women today. The good news is they can still find “reedom” in the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is interesting that our Creator reserved the most godlike quality and characteristic of human beings not to rough and rugged man but to a woman. For only a woman has the physical ability to “procreate.” No man has ever given life in this way other than the Almighty Himself, and the woman He created.

The great Apostle Paul speaks lovingly of his spiritual son Timothy, and in Ch.1:5 of that book he says, “When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee which dwelt first in thy Grandmother Lois and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also!”

What a picture of third generation mother instilled godliness! Then later in Ch. 3:15 Paul records the ‘in home instruction’ Timothy got as he adds, “ ... that from a ‘child’ thou has known the holy scriptures, which are able to make the wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

Now I know that there are many women down through the years who were ‘good mothers’ but there is something ‘extra special’ and ‘noteworthy’ about women who not only give birth to children, but who see their role through the eyes of scripture, and eternity.

In Bible days, names were very important. Today we name our children after our ancestors at times, and other times we make up new names. Names are still very special, however, and it is usually one of the first words a child learns — his/her own name.

Did God speak to you about the name of your child? Did He tell you what to name it? Did you obey Him?

I was the fourth child in our family. The Dr. warned that my mother shouldn’t have any more kids after my brother David was born. But, five years later she was expecting me. My father was warned that either myself or my mother might not make it through the delivery, so everyone was on pins and needles.

Prior to my birth, the subject of “names” was in the air at the Abbey household. After a lot of discussion, it was decided that if I was a girl I would be Frances; if a boy, I would be named Frank.

My mother tells the story like this: As she was being rolled into the room for hard labor the Lord spoke to her and said, “You are going to have a boy! You are to name this child John.” She was taken back because they had already agreed on ‘Frank’, if I was a boy. But she said the instruction was very clear as the Holy Spirit told her that I was to be called John and that I was to be dedicated to the ministry. She changed my name, and I guess you can see where I am today and have been since I was 14 years old!!

You can imagine the confusion when my father went to the window later on to look at his new born son. Where’s Frank? Frank? We don’t have a Frank, but we do have a John Abbey!

Now, I was there at my birth, but I must confess I don’t remember the details! I do remember a few other things, however, about the woman who gave birth to me.

I remember my mother as a godly and consistently faithful woman! She was faithful in all things relating to being a wife, a mother, a teacher, a sacrifices. Her walk with Christ was solid and inspiring to all who knew her.

My parents were married during the Great Depression. Back when running water was not always available, and the trip to the bathroom was often a few yards down the path! They knew what it was to work hard, and trust God!

Godly mothers understand that the most important job they have in life is the one they hold in their arms, and nurture!

There is no love on Earth that can compare to the love a mother has for her children.

There is no sacrifice that a godly mother won’t make to save her child from harm or danger.

In the same way, there is no love a child feels growing up that compares to the love that is felt and exchanged with their mother. They love their dads, but there is a special something in the mother and child relationship.

Sometimes a child rebels and turns their back on the faith of their mother. That mother doesn’t turn her back on her child. She will love him/her back into the family of God regardless of the cost – she will never cease praying for her child.

Being a mother, even a godly mother doesn’t come without pain. Life has a lot of pain, but a real mother would gladly trade places with their offspring if they could to take the pain away from their child.

Some of you reading this may not have had a loving, or godly mother. That is a very sad and unfortunate, but the good news is that God through the ministry of His Word and the Body of Christ can fill that void in your life. The Bible says, God will become a mother to the motherless and a father to the fatherless.

So, make the most of this Mother’s Day! Make sure moms know you love them, along with grandmothers. Thank them for their sacrifices — do something special to make their hearts warm. It is God’s will that you honor her. May God bless each mother who reads this little message and may I be the first to wish you a Happy Mother’s Day!

The Rev. John E. Abbey is pastor of Bethel Church in Killeen.

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