Where would any of us be without our mothers?
The answer is obviously nowhere, but if we stop and think for a minute, most of us can’t even begin to think of all the things our mothers have done for us besides giving birth: that innate, unconditional love towards us that God gives them.
The bible puts a special emphasis on mothers in many scenarios. In fact, God even compares himself to a mother when referring to his comforting ability (Isaiah 66:13 says, “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you”).
So with Mother’s Day swiftly approaching, we put together this article in celebration of Mother’s Day and mothers everywhere, highlighting some of the most notable mother figures in the bible to remind us of what mothers have gone through or done for their husbands or children since biblical times.
Blessed Mary, ever-virgin
Perhaps the most well-known mother in the bible, Mary, accepted the role of being a mother willingly in a time when the odd circumstances of her pregnancy could have resulted in terrible things for a woman.
Thankfully, the angel also visited Joseph in the night, putting any doubts that he may have had in Mary’s story to rest.
There are many virtues associated with Mary: purity, prudence, humility, faithfulness, and devotedness to name a few. Her love for Jesus was evident throughout her life, but perhaps the most notable example was when she stayed to witness Jesus’ crucifixion.
Most mothers would not be able to witness anyone they’re close to going through something so horrible, let alone their own son. But Mary put herself through the pain of seeing that to be there for her son.
Sarah, the patient one
Sarah went through some extraordinary trials in her lifetime. She thought she would never have kids. She even laughed at the idea of herself bearing children at such an old age (Genesis 18:12).
It would have made it even more difficult going through a lifetime of being barren only to have her house maiden Hagar conceive a child before she was able to. But after that, Sarah rejoiced in the fact that she was able to conceive, this time laughing with joy (Genesis 21:6-7).
The experience Sarah went through would have been one of the most difficult trials; to believe that you are barren for most of your life. However, she rejoiced and thanked the Lord in the end for allowing her to birth a child even at such an old age. And even though she was far from a perfect role model, she still sets an example on the virtue of patience.
The Strength of Hagar
Hagar was a mother who endured many trials and serves as a testament to the strength many mothers must possess and may aspire to, not just for the normal trials that come with being a parent, but for her specific circumstances.
She had to endure not only living in fear due to the jealousy of Sarah, who also bore one of Abraham’s sons, but the eventual banishment of herself and her own son.
Hagar had to endure the fear of dying out in the desert and nearly witnessed her son die as well. God saved both her and her son in the end and created nations from both of Abraham’s offspring.
Hagar went through many trials and tribulations before she realized what her destiny was, but just like Mary, she trusted God’s judgment, and just like Job, she refused to curse his name.
Hagar endured demeaning words and actions for nearly her entire life, none of which she had asked for, and in the end, she was repaid for her sacrifice with a nation.
Rebekah, the faithful
Rebekah was a woman of faith. Genesis 25:23 says, “The Lord said to her, Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.”
This would have been unheard of back in that time. It’s interesting how so many times – such as was the case with Mary and Sarah – that the most shocking news is first presented to a mother or mother-to-be. Perhaps God feels that they are often the most well equipped to handle it.
Rebekah handled this situation with both finesse and dedication, telling nobody about it, but assisting the prophecy in coming true. She even took the curse upon herself when Jacob was not certain that he wanted to go through with the deception (Genesis 27).
It may be heavily debated on whether Rebekah did the right or wrong thing in this situation (though it seemed to go along with God’s plan, it still seemed quite shady). However, the lengths that Rebekah was willing to go for her son and her willingness to fulfill the prophecy that God laid down before her make her stand out as one of the most faithful and loving mother’s in the bible.