The Apostles Creed, begins, “I believe in God the Father Almighty.” Over thirty years ago, I read a book that suggested updating the creed to, “I believe in God the Mother Almighty,” or better yet to “I believe in God the Parent Almighty.”
Our biblically illiterate and sexually confused age needs to be reminded that the Bible teaches God’s children to regard Him as their Father. Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.” “My Father” is the way Jesus regularly spoke of God.
This does not mean, as some have charged, that the Bible is patriarchal, misogynistic, and indifferent to the abilities and needs of women. Quite the contrary. Even in the passages modern people find most distasteful, we can see God’s deep concern for women.
When God chose the nation of Israel to be His Covenant people, He began to lift them out of a surrounding paganism that was horrible in the extreme. Against some forms injustice, such as child sacrifice, He spoke with fierce condemnation. Other kinds of injustice He softened and moderated. He moderated but did not abolish slavery; He waited until Jesus had come before He taught us that slaves and free men, men and women, are all one in Christ.
In ancient Babylonia, a woman who had become a slave-wife of her master could be sold to another man if her master was displeased with her. In ancient Israel, she had to be set free. The Lord was compassionate toward these poor, abused women.
The Bible honors and exalts women. Men and women are equally made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). Because women are in God’s image, the Lord occasionally uses feminine imagery to describe Himself: “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; and you will be comforted in Jerusalem” (Isaiah 66:13).
Mothers share equally with fathers in the instruction of their children: “My son, observe the commandment of your father and do not forsake the teaching of your mother” (Proverbs 6:20). Scripture praises godly wives and mothers: “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord” (Proverbs 18:22). “House and wealth are an inheritance from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord” (Proverbs 19:14).
The last chapter of Proverbs describes the “excellent wife” whose “worth is far above jewels.” She is a strong woman who rules her extensive household well. She is a diligent and astute businesswoman, who invests her money wisely. Martha Stewart would have to hurry to catch up to her. She is such an impressive woman that her reputation enhances her husband’s standing in the community (v. 23). “She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue” (v. 26). “Her children rise up and bless her; her husband also, and he praises her, saying: ‘Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all’” (vv. 28-29).
The New Testament also honors godly women. The rabbis frowned on teaching women, but Jesus praised Mary for sitting at His feet to listen instead of fussing over an elaborate dinner (Luke 10:38-42). Jesus’ first appearance after His resurrection was to a different Mary (John 20:11-18). The first convert to Christ in Europe was a businesswoman named Lydia (Acts 16:14-15). Paul’s young helper, Timothy, learned the Scripture from his mother and grandmother.
On this Mother’s Day, if you were raised by a godly mother, rise up and call her blessed. If you are a woman, I encourage you to center your life around the Lord Jesus Christ so that those around you may see Him shining out of your life and be drawn to Him. And if you are looking for a wife to be the mother of your children, seek a woman who loves Jesus.
(This post is an article I published in the Allentown Morning Call on May 10, 2014.)