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The Dayspring Blog

Jillian Diffenderfer

The Influence of the Mother

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“Does not the influence of woman rest upon every member of her household, like dew upon the tender herb, or the sunbeam silently educating the young flower? Or as the shower and the sleepless stream, cheer and invigorate the proudest tree of the forest?” – L.H. Sigourney, Letters to Young Ladies, 1836

One cannot deny the influence of the mother in society. Over the years, scholars and politicians alike have commented on the invaluable contribution that mothers have. Although this contribution went largely unacknowledged until Jesus, and later, his apostles, opened the minds of society, the unmistakable fingerprint of the mother has left its mark in the annuals of history.

What Does the Bible Say About Mothers?

The Bible has much to say on the topic of mothers. The familiar Proverbs 31 (verses 25-30) passage describes the mother as:

  • Speaking with wisdom
  • Faithful in her instruction
  • Watching over her household and all its comings and goings
  • Productive (not idle)
  • Blessed by her children
  • Praised by her husband
  • God-fearing

Additionally, the Bible counsels us on how we should treat our mothers:

  • Do not forsake her teaching (Proverbs 1:8-9)
  • Be obedient with the promise of enjoying a long and fruitful life (Ephesians 6:1-3)

The Bible also shows us the God-given responsibility that mothers (and fathers) have of educating their children:

“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old, they will not turn from it.” – Proverbs 22:6

The Mother Plays a Role in the Form of Government We Have

Lydia Sigourney, in her writings to young ladies, noted that,

“She [the mother] renders a noble service to the government that protects her, by sowing seeds of purity and peace in the hearts of those who shall hereafter claim its honours or control its destinies.”

In other words, the mother’s teaching has a lasting effect not just on her household and her offspring’s households; her teaching affects society, including its form of government. Sigourney elaborates in her prose:

A small child reads a book with her mother.“This influence is most visible and operative in a republic. The intelligence and virtue of its every citizen have a heightened relative value…Teachers under such a form of government should be held in the highest honour. They are the allies of legislators. The have agency in the prevention of crime. They aid in regulating the atmosphere, whose incessant action and pressure causes the life blood to circulate, and return pure and healthful to the heart of the nation.”

The Mother is the First Teacher

The mother is undoubtedly connected to her child’s education. She is his first teacher. Sigourney again, notes:

“Is not the infant in his cradle her pupil? Does not her smile give the earliest lesson to its soul? Is not her prayer for the first messenger for it in the court of Heaven? Does she not enshrine her own image in the sanctuary of the young child’s mind so firmly that no revulsion can displace, no idolatry supplant it? Does she not guide her daughter, until, placing her hand in that of her husband, she reaches that pedestal from whence, in her turn, she imparts to others the stamp and colouring which she has herself received? Might she not, even upon her sons, engrave what they shall take unchanged, through all the temptations of time, to the bar of the last judgement?”

Set Aside Time to Pray for All Mothers, Everywhere

This Mother’s Day let’s pray for all mothers, everywhere. Motherhood is not an easy job, and the responsibility of the mother is profound. Sigourney commented that the strength of a nation, especially of a constitutional republic like ours, lies in the intelligent and well-ordered homes of the people. In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “the best gift you can give to your mother is conduct that will make her proud of you.”

At Dayspring Christian Academy, we are committed to raising up the next generation of Christian leaders who acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus Christ in every area of life, demonstrate a biblical worldview, become citizens of excellence in Christian character and scholarship, and aid in the restoration of America’s biblical foundation. If you would like to learn more about Dayspring Christian Academy, please contact Karol Hasting at 717-285-2000 or schedule a private tour using the button below.

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Works Cited.

L.H. Sigourney, Letters to Young Ladies, 16th ed., New York: Harper and Brothers, 1836, Introduction – 9, 10-15; 75th

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