The Mother in the House

Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine within your house, your children like olive plants around your table. Behold, for thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord (Ps.128:3-4).

He makes the barren woman abide in the house as a joyful mother of children. Praise the Lord! (Ps.113:9).

One of the mistakes we’ve been making in the church for over a century now, is neglecting the Bible’s teaching on the role of women, and specifically mothers. We’ve commonly liked the idea of babies, but after birth, what then? This has caused us no end of pain, as the world has taken a lead from our inaction, and gone on to make all sorts of foolish and evil assumptions about what it thinks mothers ought to be doing, with some dire consequences.

The teaching responsibility of godly parents begins with the father. We see this in Genesis, when God speaks of Abraham, declaring that

I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him (Gen.18:19).

Alongside this, the woman’s original role given before she was created, was to help her husband. According to the Bible, every mother has a powerful and influential role as a teacher as well.

Proverbs 1:8 says:

Hear, my son, your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.

Proverbs 6:20:

My son, observe the commandment of your father and do not forsake the teaching of your mother.

Proverbs 31:1:

The words of King Lemuel, the oracle which his mother taught him.

Proverbs 31:26:

She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching [or law] of kindness is on her tongue.

Song of Solomon 8:2 says

I would lead you and bring you into the house of my mother, who used to instruct me.

Today, when a woman says, “I’m just a mother,” it tells me that she’s been brainwashed by someone. Someone’s convinced her there is something diminutive, second-rate or of little consequence about what she does. Like Eve in the garden, she’s believed a lie.

Mary Pride, in her book “The Way Home,” is helpful here:

Careerism is based on an inferiority complex, as follows.

  • Only men’s work has worth. Women’s traditional work is useless.
  • Therefore, I must get a job to prove I am somebody. If all the action is out in the men’s “economic-opportunity sphere,” well then, we’ll all have to crowd into that end of the bus.

But ‘tis not so, not so at all. As I sat there that day in the doctor’s office wondering what word would better express my career than “housewife,” a word flashed into my head. Homeworking. That word is the centre of the passage in Titus [ch.2:5] which tells young wives how to live a Christian life.[1]

It’s no accident that humanists have been attacking for centuries the thought of mothers being at home with their children. They hate the notion, because they understand that the godly home is the cradle of the Christian faith for any society. They understand the powerful teaching role mothers can have with their children, and they will crawl over broken glass in their attempts to subvert this.

With the Russian Revolution in 1917, the Soviets knew what they had to do. They soon declared that:

[The Soviet family] is an organic part of Soviet society. Parents are not without authority … but this authority is only a reflection of social authority…. In our country he alone is a man of worth whose needs and desires are the needs and desires of a collectivist…. Our family offers rich soil for the cultivation of such collectivism.[2]

If you thought these ideas would have been limited to Communist nations, you’d be in for a rude shock. The West has been increasingly drinking from the same ideological well as the Communists, since their revolution. Forty years ago an American woman declared that

If we want to talk about equality of opportunity for children, then the fact that children are raised in families means there’s no equality…. In order to raise children with equality, we must take them away from families and communally raise them.[3]


It’s powerful when that Christian mother is requiring that Johnny memorise a verse of scripture, use an adjective in a sentence, or is teaching Suzie to recite her times tables.  Why?

Because they have entered into a process with their children that almost inevitably will lead to much, much more than just the knowledge of sentence structure and times tables. They may not have recognised the implications, but they have begun a process in their family that God has ordained since Genesis.

In that home and family, the beginnings of reformation are taking place. Given time and the faithful obedience of generations, the fruit of this promises to be nothing short of remarkable: the reconstruction of families, communities and whole nations.

And for what goal? The re-establishment of a Christian culture, and a God-honouring Christian civilisation in the world.

Christian mothers should get out of bed tomorrow, with a plan.





[1] Mary Pride, “The Way Home,” 1984, p.132.

[2] Soviet family theorist Anton S. Makarenko, “The Collective Family, A Handbook for Russian Parents,” pages xi-xii, 42.

[3] Dr. Mary Jo Bane, Assistant Secretary of Administration for Children and Families at the US Department of Health and Human Services, 1993-1996; currently Thornton Bradshaw Professor of Public Police and Management, Harvard Kennedy School; quoted in “The Family: It’s Surviving and Healthy” by Dolores Barclay, Tulsa World, August 21, 1977.