As I pondered my lesson for the women’s ministry service this week for the “World is in Your Womb” series (lessons on motherhood) at my church, I continued to be struck with Pastor Renee’s notion of maternal vision and blind parenting. In my message I kept that theme going as I looked at the biblical mothers Jochebed (Moses’ mom) (Exodus 2:1-10) and Rebekah (Jacob and Esau’s mom) (Genesis 25:19-34; 27). Jochebed represented the one with maternal vision and Rebekah was the blind mother.
I found that Jochebed was selfless, because she was
1. Cooperative. She didn’t fight against what God showed her about Moses. She went out of her way to ensure the best for her son.
2. Concentrated. She maintained her focus on her plans to save Moses. She never gave up but continued to be diligent.
3. Careful. She was meticulous with her efforts. She took her time like a skilled craftsman.
Opposite Jochebed was Rebekah, who was selfish, because her efforts were
1. Comfortable. She did what felt good to her.
2. Convenient. She did what came easy for her. She didn’t trust God with the unknown but worked to make prophecy come to pass in her own strength.
3. Calculating. She spent a great amount of time figuring out how to scheme, a method that was within her reach.
So though we must strive to be like Jochebed, there are a lot of reasons we fail and are blind mothers. Pastor Renee outlined these practical reasons in her blog post on Monday, which is definitely where Rebekah fell, but I want us to consider spiritual implications:
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (2 Timothy 3:1-5) (italics mine).
So while we are working hard against our natural selfish tendencies, we must also work hard against our two other enemies, the world and the devil. These perilous times have come and mothers now lack “natural affection” for their children. A mother should naturally want her children, care for her children, fight for her children, and raise her children to be the best they can be. But this lacking of natural affection has entered our cultural landscape, has spread into Christianity, and has made many of us challenge the biblical notions of nurturing our children. What we are up against is more than a flesh and cultural war but a spiritual battle that only God’s word can equip us to handle. Timothy tells us to “turn away” from people who don’t have natural affection. This includes you turning away from the you that lacks natural affection and seeking God to restore to you what is essentially your birthright as a mother.
So I urge you mothers to gird your loins with truth, and put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand Satan’s schemes that have duped many of us to believe that it’s okay to be a Rebekah and too much work to be a Jochebed (Ephesians 6:10-18). Don’t fall for his lies but believe that God can restore to you natural affection for your children so you raise them to be the godly seed that they are supposed to be.
Copyright 2009 by Rhonda J. Smith