The Bible gives this advice to children: “Obey your father’s commands, and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.” (Proverbs 6:20 NLT).
Mothers give more than instruction; they give care, love, understanding, protection, and so much more. If evolution is fact and not theory, why don’t mothers evolve more than two arms to do all the multi-tasking required of them?
Bert Christensen made a list of 25 principles he learned from his mother. Here are some things she taught him:
RELIGION: “You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”
LOGIC: “Because I said so, that’s why.”
MORE LOGIC: “If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you’re not going to the store with me.”
IRONY: “Keep crying, and I’ll give you something to cry about.”
HUMOR: “When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me.”
ROOTS: “Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?” (Did Jesus hear this from his mother when he ran out to play as a little boy?)
The Bible gives examples of poor motherly advice as well as good, including these mothers.
Jezebel. She told her husband King Ahab that she would obtain the vineyard adjacent to the palace that he wanted. He offered Naboth payment or a trade but Naboth refused to sell what was in his family’s possession for generations. Jezebel had false accusations brought against him that resulted in his execution. Then she told Ahab to go possess the land (1 Kings 21). Judgment of both Ahab and Jezebel followed this injustice.
Zeresh. She advised her husband Haman to build gallows to hang someone he hated. However, the tables were turned against him and the same judgment he planned for another came to him (Esther 5).
Herodias. She told her young daughter to ask for the head of John the Baptist when Herod promised her a gift of up to half the kingdom because he was pleased with her dance performance (Matthew 14:8). Its hard to imagine a mother offering that advice when so many gifts could have been requested.
Fortunately, there are examples of good advice from mothers in the Bible.
The Queen. Belshazzar, ruler of Babylon, hosted a huge feast for his friends. During that party, a hand appeared and wrote on the wall. No one understood the writing. His queen remembered Daniel and told the king to send for him because he was gifted in “dissolving of doubts” as well as giving interpretations (Daniel 5).
Pilate’s wife. As Roman governor of Palestine, Pilate presided over the trial of Jesus. Though he declared he found no fault in him, he allowed the crowd to determine his decision to crucify Jesus. This in spite of his wife sending a message that read, “Have thou nothing to do with that just man…” (Matthew 27:19).
Finally, Mary, the mother of Jesus, gave excellent advice to the servants at a wedding, “Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it” (John 2). The result was the beginning of miracles by Jesus.
Mary’s simple statement is still very good motherly advice to follow. Everyone, young and old, can have prayers answered and experience God’s power by obeying that advice.
Mitch Glover is pastor of Sterling Pentecostal Church. Sunday services include Bible classes for all ages at 10 a.m. and worship service at 11 a.m. Bible study is Thursday at 7 p.m. Visit sterlingpentecostalchurch.com.