Three Examples from Biblical Mothers

Mothers hold a special place in the heart of our Lord. How do I know? He said he was like one.

…how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

Matthew 23:37 KJV

This past Sunday, most churches celebrated mothers in some way. Maybe there was a flower for every mother who attended the service. Prizes are sometimes awarded to the mother with most children in attendance with her.

In the very least, pastors in pulpits across the land preached about mothers. Mothers should be celebrated because without a mother, none of us would be here.

Last week, I wrote a tribute to mothers. If you missed it, check it out now. This week, I’ll be using three motherly examples from scripture to reflect on the fine art of motherhood. Maybe we’ll even decide why Jesus likened himself to a mother hen.

In my mind, the best mothers teach their children by example. The Bible mothers I’ll mention today taught their children to:

  • Pray
  • Laugh
  • Trust God

Even now that my children are adults with children of their own, I’m aware that my example matters. How are we showing the love of God to our families today?


If you’ve been a Bible student for long, you’ve heard of this mother. Her prayer for her son began before he was born, and likely continued until she died. She is one of few women whose prayers are recorded in scripture.

Yes, I’m talking about Hannah, wife of Elkanah and mother of the prophet Samuel.

Read her story in 1 Samuel 1:1-2:11.

We know her son Samuel became a man of prayer, too. And based on the evidence in 1 Samuel 2:12, we can guess it wasn’t because he was raised in the temple by the priest Eli.

If we pray daily (or multiple times per day and not just before meals), it’s natural that we’ll mention the people we care about. I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t pray for my children often enough when they were young. I was too busy praying for myself because I kept fumbling the motherhood game ball.

But I believe God read my heart during all those years. Yes, He wanted to hear me ask, and I can only imagine how much more my children would have been blessed if I had prayed for them more.

I pray for them now. I pray they value prayer.


Therefore Sarah laughed…

Genesis 18:12 KJV

I know, I know. In context, Sarah’s laughter might not paint her as the ideal role model for mothers everywhere. But I believe she laughed for the right reasons after Isaac was born.

The name Isaac literally means “he laughs.” What joy she found in finally holding her long-awaited son in her arms!

I believe in the power of laughter.

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine…

Proverbs 17:22a KJV

Isn’t this where we got the saying “laughter is the best medicine”?

In fact, laughter has multiple health benefits. It reduces stress, enhances oxygen intake, increases endorphin release and leads to decreased blood pressure.

Personally, I believe that laughter relieves tense situations and is a welcome addition to the most somber of moments. Yes, I was the one cracking jokes while hanging out with my mother when she was on hospice.

There’s no telling how many fights I deferred by sharing a dumb joke. Let’s face it, if you make people laugh, they forget to be mad. And if it improves your immune system and relieves pain, all the better.

Trust God

One of the most interesting and somewhat obscure stories of motherhood in the Bible centers on a woman who did not pray for a child. In fact, she seems a bit miffed when she gets a child and then something bad happens to him.

Read the story of this unnamed woman in 2 Kings 4:8-37.

A close reading of this story isn’t needed to see that this Shunammite woman had faith in God. She invited the prophet to dine at her home. Because her home was located centrally, she convinced her husband to build the prophet his own room in their house.

When the worst happened, and her son fell ill, she ran for the man of God. She trusted God to heal everything.

Our children are a gift from the Lord (Psalm 127:3). We should trust him to care for them better than we can.

Trusting God isn’t easy for sure. And the only way to teach others to trust him is by showing them what that looks like. On example is giving even when finances are tight.

How would you demonstrate trusting God?

What mothers in the Bible do you admire?

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