A MOTHERS INFLUENCE
Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
John Newton is the author of one of the most beloved songs of the Christian faith -- Amazing Grace. He was born in London July 24, 1725, to a pious Christian woman and the commander of a merchant ship which sailed the Mediterranean. In July of 1732, thirteen days before his seventh birthday, death took his saintly mother who had, since his third birthday, been his teacher and friend. He was left with only the memory of a godly mother and her Christian teaching.
When he was eleven, John went to sea and it was not long before he was wholly involved in the ungodly vices of seamen. As one author put it, "he became a dissipated sailor." He followed this ungodly path for many years, but finally, the memory of his mother brought him to himself. He remembered her Christian teaching and her godly life, and considered his ungodly lifestyle and his wretched life. The recollection of his mother prompted him to again seek Christ. He searched the slave ship for a Bible or some other book about Christ and found Imitations of Christ Imitations of Christ by Thomas Kempis. This book sowed the seeds of his conversion. On May 10, 1748 when the ship nearly sunk in a violent storm he trusted Christ as his personal Savior. As a result of his mothers influence a stream of boundless influence flowed forward throughout the world.
John Newton became a preacher of the Gospel. One of the people he lead to Christ was Claudius Birchman. Birchman went as a missionary to India. No doubt, no one has ever heard of Claudius Birchman. But, God mightily used a book this Englishman wrote, The Star in the East, to motive an American to become the pioneer of American foreign missions. The man this book motivated was Adoniram Judson, who became a missionary to Burma. Judson was the first American foreign missionary.
Newton also led Thomas Scott to Christ. Scott became a preacher and the author of the famous Scotts Commentary on the Bible. Rev. Scott pointed despondant attorney and harp player, William Cowper, to the Christ of the Bible and through reading Romans 3:25 Cowper was saved. He says, "I saw the sufficiency of the atonement He had made, my pardon sealed in His blood, and all the fullness and completeness of His justification." Not long after his conversion he penned one of the great songs of the Faith, There Is A Fountain Filled With Blood. William Cowper was used of the Lord to write many great Christian hymns but he also wrote other poetry, including The Negro's Complaint, an anti-slavery work, which had a mighty impact on a short and sickly little Englishman named William Wilberforce. He became a powerful English statesman and through his efforts slavery was ultimately abolished England. Wilberforce was a dedicated Christian as well. He wrote, A Practical View of The Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians Contrasted With Real Christianity. This book was instrumental in bringing Legh Richmond to Christ. Rev. Legh Richmond is the author of the once popular Christian childrens book, The Dairymans Daughter. Between 1813 and 1820 there were 22 editions of this book printed in America. The book was used of the Lord to bring about the salvation of thousands. Under girding this chain of events stands the influence of John Newtons godly mother.
(Source Information: Golden Links in the Chain that Connects Mother Home and Heaven edited by Mrs. J. P. Newman, 1890, p. 56-57; Moody Monthly, August 1931, pp. 594, 595; The Dairymans Daughter by Rev. Legh Richmond, M.A., published in 1800s by American Tract Society, pp. 11-12)
The Power of A Mothers Influence Illustrated
Mothers have a powerful influence on children and therefore must use that influence to the glory of God. The early life of Moses reveals the powerful influence of a mother in the life of her child as well as the vital value early childhood training.
Turn in your Bibles to Genesis 41. I want to refresh you memory as to how the children of Israel came to be in Egypt. There was a famine in Canaan where Jacob and his family lived. Jacob, who was renamed Israel by God, sent 10 of his 11 living sons to Egypt. Their mission was to find food, buy it, and then return home. When they got to Egypt, they were directed to the second most powerful political leader in all of Egypt, Zaphnathpaaneah (Zaf-nath-pay-knee-ah) (Genesis 41:40-43 & 45). In fact, this was their long lost brother Joseph, whom their father, Israel, thought was dead. To make a long story short Genesis 46:27 tells us that the 70 relatives of Joseph accepted the invitation to come and live in Egypt. Thats how Israel got into Egypt in the first place.
Now, we jump ahead several centuries to Exodus 1:7-11 -- And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them. 8 Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. 9 And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: 10 Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land. 11 Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses.
By now there are more than 2 million Israelites. Israelis greatly outnumber the Egyptians and the powers that be fear that they will rebel and take over their nation so, they take action to be sure that does not happen. The Israelites are enslaved and put to forced labor. But that is not all. An infanticide decree is enacted which demands that all baby boys born to Israeli women be put to death (Exodus 1:16). God be thanked, the midwives charged with carrying out this heinous decree "feared God" and would not carry out the kings command (Exodus 1: 17). So Pharaoh took his decree to the nation. Exodus 1:22 says, Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.
Next, we come to Exodus 2. A woman for the tribe of Levi gives birth to a baby boy and hides him for three months (Exodus 2:2). But you cannot hide a baby forever with every Egyptian citizen is on the look-out for boy babies. So, the babies mother makes a little ark or boat for the child, puts him in it and sets the little boat loaded with baby in the reeds at the edge of the river and then positions the babies older sister at a distance to see what happens (Exodus 2:3-4). Along comes Pharaohs daughter to take a bath. She sees the little basket-boat in the reeds and sends one of her servants to get the it, And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews' children. Exodus 2:6
It just so happened that Moses sister comes on the scene and offers to find someone to nurse the baby. Pharaohs daughter thinks thats great and even pays the woman, who is Moses mother, to nurse and care for him (Exodus 2:7-10).
Listen carefully folks. Heres why I am rehearsing the Bibles account of Moses to you. Moses stayed with his mother until he was weaned. According to Bible scholars, in those days mothers would nurse children until they were 4 or 5 years old. They did not have formula or baby cereal in those days. Nursing was not all that took place during those early years. The mother of Moses "redeemed the time" and surely taught her son diligently. The training he received from his mother and father before he was five years old shaped his character. Despite the fact that that from 5 years old he was reared in luxury, exposed to paganism and given opportunity to pursue sensuality, his early training paid off. How do I know? Turn to Hebrews 11:24-27 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; 25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward. 27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
I like the way Dr. John Stormer puts it. He says, "Really examine this passage. See all that it reveals. As a result of the few early years of training that Moses had before he was five years old, when he grew up, he knew who the people of God were --- knew that while sin offers pleasure it only lasts for a season --- knew and believed about the coming Messhia (Christ) --- correctly evaluated that heavenly rewards are of greater value than earthly treasures --- knew that the invisible God could protect him from the anger of an all-powerful earthly king --- and had the character to do what was right no matter what it cost him."
Moses did all these things by faith. And we know that faith cometh by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). The only opportunity Moses had to be taught Gods word was during the few years his mother was nursing him. Moses early training paid off BIG TIME.
This true story is a dramatic illustration Proverbs 22:6 is true Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. It is a testimony to the influence of s godly mother who diligently trains her children early.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.
Rearing children biblically takes time, lots of time! That is why the Bible teaches that women with children are to be what has been called "stay at home moms." Titus 2:5 puts it this way keepers at home. That is one word in the Greek and that word is oikouros (oy-koo-ros'; 3626) which literally means a stayer at home. It is clear from verse 4 that married women with children are in focus here. They are to be "stay at home moms" bringing up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
How To Use Your Time To The Best Advantage
What American children need is godly mothers who will take the time to exert their influence early upon their children. It will make a difference!