By Pastor Alan Dean
Seventh-day Adventist Church
This coming Sunday (May 14) is a day we try to show our appreciation to our mothers for their great love and care they have provided for us. It is a well-deserved day of gratitude, especially for today’s mother who often works and shoulders the responsibility of the home as well.
This, of course, was not God’s original design for the role of the mother. The father was to be the primary provider for the family, which then would allow the mother time to focus her attention on their children.
Child psychologists say that the first six to seven years of a child’s life will determine greatly the type of future life the child will have. Therefore these are the years that the child needs much love and proper training, guidance, and discipline to set him/her in the right direction in life.
This early education takes much time with the child and requires wisdom, patience, and prayer. It is a real challenge for working mothers to have the necessary time and energy to devote to this immensely important time in a child’s life.
A good daycare or pre-kindergarten program can’t fully replace the love and care of the mother in the home. God designed that there be a special loving relationship between the mother and her children. In Isaiah 49:15 the prophet says: “Can a woman forget her nursing child?” Her godly training builds self-worth, moral fortitude, and respect for authority that is so lacking in youth today. Our school teachers often have to do the work that should have been done by the mothers in the home.
But we need to go back to the reason why the mothers are often not at home, and this is because fathers have neglected their role in the home. Fathers are either not living in the home or are careless about taking on their responsibilities in the home. Not only is he to be the primary breadwinner for the family, but he is to supply leadership, security, and be a good example for the children.
Luke 11:11-13 compares a good father to God Himself. Children are good imitators and followers. So the father needs to give them a pattern to follow. It isn’t best to let the child’s peers set the life pattern.
God designed that fathers and mothers share this responsibility in a supportive, cooperative manner. They have the most important responsibility in the world, that of guiding their children to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior and receive eternal life. A prominent marriage counselor has stated that the best thing that a father can do for his children is to love their mother. What a change would take place if this counsel were followed.
Given the society we live in, however, mothers are doing a wonderful work. We all need to pray for, encourage, and support them in fulfilling the promise: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)