A few years ago the family and I went to the Pizza Hut at the Morse Shores Shopping Center to enjoy their lunch buffet. (Yes, Palm Beach Boulevard used to have a Pizza Hut, just like it used to have a Pizza Inn, a Perkins, a Wendy’s, and a Sonny’s!). We usually got carry-out to take home but my wonderful wife had spied out some coupons (frugality is a Proverbs 31 virtue!) which made the eat-in buffet such an attractive option that we couldn’t pass it up. The server brought us our plates and took our drink order (they still serve Pepsi products at Pizza Hut!) and we were soon off to begin our journey through salad drenched with Ranch dressing, five specialty pizzas served at a time, and a choice between two dessert pies (and I don’t mean the kind with the flaky crusts!). It was really an enjoyable experience until a loud, obnoxious woman came in. She wasn’t wearing a blue dress as best as I can recall, but she was devilish nonetheless. You may think those are strong words, and perhaps they are, but the way this mom treated her three precious little children was truly pitiful. One was a baby, one was just above toddler stage, and the other couldn’t have been any more than 10. This lady (and I do use that term loosely) and her kids were apparently having lunch with another mom and her two little ones. I’m unsure if the other mom got any words of conversation in because the obnoxious one took up all the oxygen in the room not only complaining about her kids, but cursing at them as well. Now such a scene could get my dander up anyway, but the fact that our boy was just a couple of years old somehow made it even more maddening…and sorrowful. Though we felt like it, neither my wife nor I went over to give this outrageous mom a piece of our minds. But what we did do was pray—not only that her behavior would change but that someway, somehow, the other mom involved and the kids that were growing up would learn from any bad example they saw rather than follow after it. This year during Mother’s Day month, I want to look at examples of bad moms (or at least bad moments from the lives of some moms) found in the Bible and what can be learned from them.
Lesson From Eve—Don’t Believe The Devil’s Lies…A good place to start is with the first mom in history. She was truly a precious creation. Taken from the side of Adam by the Lord Almighty; she was formed and fashioned with great care and design. Indeed, she was made in the image and likeness of God. Her and Adam enjoyed fellowship with one another in a wonderful world and, more importantly, enjoyed fellowship with God Himself as they would walk together in the Garden of Eden in the cool of the day. All was truly a paradise, untainted by sin and its adverse effects. No wars, no sickness, no death, no conflict, no misunderstandings, no infidelities, no schedules to keep, no bills to pay. What more could one ask for? Perhaps you can’t answer that question, and probably neither could Eve. But one day the serpent came to her and tried to give her his answer. The serpent told Eve that God had commanded that she and her husband not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because if they did they would become like God Himself. There was a bit of verbal sparring that went on between Eve and Satan, but eventually the woman fell for the devil’s deception and believed that even with all the pleasure she was allowed to enjoy, God was somehow holding out on her, keeping back something that would make her better, more fulfilled, and more enhanced than she had ever known. Scripture records “when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate (Gen. 3:6).” And the rest, as they say, is history. Untold tragedy, injustice, cruelty, abuse, death, disease, and conflict were set in motion by the curse accompanying that original sin and the fallen nature of those who would follow after in the human race.
The Scriptures clearly point to children as a heritage from the Lord and to motherhood as being a most blessed and high calling. There is truly no more honorable duty, no more righteous privilege that a woman could have than being a mom. Now the world system will try to tell a woman that they aren’t all they can be unless they have a great career and make lots of money. Indeed, one of the greatest lies our culture sells is that if you are “just” a mom, then you’re a nobody. There is something more, something better, something that’s being withheld from you if you’re “just” a mom. And like Eve who fell for such a lie, many women fall for this lie and abandon the treasure that is motherhood, perpetually reaching for the something “more.” The detriment to our society and culture that has been wrought by such a lie is easily seen. Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean to sound chauvinistic. I know there are some moms who have to work outside the home, or who feel called to work outside the home, and who certainly can excel in pursuits outside the home. I’m also not saying that it is a sin for a woman to do “more” than be a mom. But what I am saying is that there is nothing that a woman will do or be that is “more” important than being a mom. So moms, don’t believe the devil’s lies!
Lesson From Athaliah—Don’t Belittle Your Legacy…When Ahab and Jezebel are your parents the chances you’ll have some challenges in life are pretty high. Athaliah, daughter of the infamous aforementioned duo that ruled the Northern Kingdom of Israel, proved not to fall too far from her family tree. She was married to Jehoram, Jehoshaphat’s son, and became 1st lady of the Southern Kingdom of Judah. Jehoram did not follow in the righteous ways of his father and because of his wicked actions the Lord smote him with dysentery (a dire dilemma with diarrhea; a ruinous run in with the runs) from which he died. Following him, both chronologically and spiritually, his son Ahaziah became king. Ahaziah was wicked and only had a short reign before being killed by Jehu, a man anointed to be the King of Israel (the Northern Kingdom). This left the Southern Kingdom without a monarch. Into this vacuum stepped Athaliah, mother of Ahaziah who had just been killed by Jehu and wife of Jehoram who had died of dysentery. She usurped the throne, becoming the only Queen who ever ruled Judah. In order to ensure that she would remain unchallenged in power, Athaliah had all of her grandchildren and anyone who could claim to be heir to the throne killed. By providence, one did escape, a baby named Joash who would later be installed as king during the midst of an uprising that would leave Athaliah dead.
If you had a hard time following all of that, let me summarize this way. A princess marries into the royal family of another kingdom. Her husband becomes king. That woman’s husband is wicked and dies as a result of a disease put upon him by God. Now that woman’s son becomes king. He too is wicked and is killed by an ordained plan of God. With husband and son both dead, that woman usurps the throne, becoming Queen, and has all her grandchildren (to the best of her knowledge) killed so that no one will threaten her monarchy. One grandchild did escape and the Queen is deposed and killed by an uprising a few years into her reign (see 2 Kings 8-11 and 2 Chronicles 21-24 for more information).
The Bible teaches us that we are to care not only for our children, but for our children’s children. Now that doesn’t mean that all of you grandparents out there have to raise your kids’ kids too, but it does mean that every parent should care about the legacy that you leave knowing that your life and testimony will last long beyond your years on earth. Moms, know that you have a great impact upon your children and your grandchildren. Take the time; make the selfless sacrifice, to care for and to pray for your kids, grandkids, great grandkids, and maybe even great great grandkids! Moms, don’t belittle your legacy!
Lesson From Michal—Don’t Begrudge The Lord’s Laud…The first monarch of the United Kingdom was King Saul. He was a tall and handsome man who looked like a grand leader. Yet his heart was not turned to following the one true God. The second ruler of the United Kingdom was David. He was known as a man after God’s own heart. Saul was set after the advancement of his own kingdom and the glory of his own name; David was concerned with the proclamation of God’s rule and with the glory of the Lord. Though being different in so many ways, one link between Saul and David was that David married Saul’s daughter Michal. One day when the ark of the covenant of the Lord was being brought into Jerusalem, David was so overcome with joy that he danced and praised the Lord openly, publicly, unashamedly, unreservedly, and with all of his might! (note: David was especially grateful because the first time he had attempted to bring the ark into Jerusalem hadn’t went so well—read all of 2 Samuel 6 for more). His wife Michal saw her husband’s public praise and thought it conduct unbecoming of a king. She confronted him about the matter and ridiculed him for looking so foolish in public. Like her father before her, Michal was concerned with her glory, not God’s.
I entitled this newsletter “Lessons from Bad Moms.” However, Michal never became a mom. Undoubtedly she desired to be one, especially since not to be a mother was considered a curse back in Old Testament times. But due to the fact that she begrudged the Lord’s laud (praise), Michal was stricken barren. Moms, know that there is nothing more important, no greater testimony that you could give, than to give God praise! Moms, don’t begrudge the Lord’s laud!