5 Characteristics of a Godly Mother in an Ungodly World

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What does it mean to be a godly mother? Are there qualities or characteristics of a godly mother that we can look to as we pursue being a godly mother in an ungodly world? Yes. Let’s explore this topic as we learn what it means to be a godly mother who is passionately pursuing Jesus Christ.

In an ungodly world, embodying the essence of a godly mother requires unwavering faith, compassion, and resilience. A godly mother navigates the turbulent waters of societal pressures with grace, instilling values of kindness, integrity, and empathy in her children amidst a culture often characterized by moral ambiguity. She stands as a beacon of light, exemplifying steadfast devotion to her faith and the well-being of her family, cultivating an environment of love and understanding.

With prayer as her anchor and her actions guided by divine wisdom, she embraces the challenges of the world, nurturing her children with the steadfast assurance that goodness and righteousness prevail even in the face of adversity.

godly mother in an ungodly world

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Have you watched the popular Disney movie “Tangled”? In it a demented mother Gothel impressively sings her heart out to the showstopper song, “Mother Knows Best.” The song spins a tale of how Gothel knows exactly what is best for her captive daughter.

Gothel is a picturesque representation of the selfishness that runs rampant in this sinful world. She is about as ungodly as it comes. Yet what I find so fascinating is that this culture often strives for the very things that made Mother Gothel disgusting.

Mother Gothel’s entirety could be summarized by “a selfish pursuit of oneself.” Yet that is exactly what is praised in the world’s definition of a good mother. The world preaches putting ourselves first. The Bible says differently. How do we be a godly mother in an ungodly world?

Being a Godly Mother Through Missional Motherhood

Motherhood is the ministry of glorifying God through nurturing the hearts of our families. We give unconditional love to our families willingly. Gloria Flurman in her book, calls this Missional Motherhood,   Nurturing doesn’t just belong to the biological mothers, it belongs to all women. We are all daughters of Eve and by extension, all have mothering or nurturing instincts. We were made to nurture the world and tending to our family’s needs.

When we look at motherhood as a ministry it becomes a trajectory of sharing the gospel with our families and everyone around us. The most important thing we can do as mothers is love our Savior and love our family with unconditional love. The biblical role of a mother is very purposeful. She has Christlike qualities and character traits that flow out through the fruits of the spirit. 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23 ESV

Self: The Destroyer of a Godly Mother

The preoccupation with self is a destroyer of the home. So often we are busy building ourselves up, promoting ourselves, building our careers, engaging in self-care, creating a beautiful home, or any number of high callings that we forget our greatest calling. Do our needs come first our family’s needs come first?

Our greatest calling as believers in Jesus Christ is to pursue Jesus and bring glory to God. Bringing glory to someone besides ourselves is in direct conflict with the world’s determination to pursue the best version of ourselves. Yet, God calls us to bring glory to him through every part of our lives, including motherhood. 

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:31 ES
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What Does the Bible Say About a Godly Mother?

In 1928, a man named  W.L. Caldwell preached a sermon to mothers and in it, he made a great claim that after Jesus the mother was God’s greatest gift to mankind. 

“Well may we pause to pay honor to her who, after Jesus Christ, is Gods best gift to men – Mother. It was she who shared her life with us when as yet our members were unformed. Into the valley of the shadow she walked that we might have the light of life.”

Rev. WL Caldwell, 1928, page 339 

Could that be true? Is one of God’s greatest gifts the mother? If so, that is not only a high honor but an unimaginable responsibility.  Caldwell went on to say that “no nation is ever greater than it’s mothers.” I did fairly good research on this, and I cannot find anything in the Bible that specifically backs this up, and yet there is great wisdom in letting the words of this preacher rest upon us. Our influence as mothers is both great and a great honor. 

It would be lovely if the Bible ever came right out and gave us a bullet-pointed list of what a good mother means in the bible, but it doesn’t. Instead, it gives us extraordinary examples of godly mothers. 

Just like Paul did in Hebrews 11, I could go on and list more of the heroes of motherhood in the bible. The list could be extensively long. God gave us many amazing women, who were sinful, yet left legacies behind for our benefit. 

This is also a good chance to mention the Titus 2 women. Young women should look up to older women as their role models. A good Christian mother will know she will never be a perfect mother, but she will strive to look to others who have the characteristics of a good mother and seek them out when the challenges of raising children come up. During difficult times you will find the influence of an older woman of utmost value. Older women who have gone before you will have a solid foundation to help you explore God’s plan and God’s wisdom for your life.

Think about Proverbs 14:1 for a moment. The verse says that a wise woman builds her home, but a foolish one tears it down. A godly woman will be in pursuit of building a home with God’s help instead of tearing it down with her foolishness.

The wisest of women builds her house,
    but folly with her own hands tears it down.

Proverbs 14:1 ESV

What Does the Word Mother Mean in the Bible 

The literal translation of mother in Hebrew is “the first or strong water giver.”    But it really goes deeper than that as we look at the significance of being a nurturer in Genesis 3:20.

In Genesis 3:20, we are all defined as daughters of Eve which means “mother of all living.” There is no distinction between mother and non-mother. We are all made to nurture life. Not only our bodies are specifically made to physically nurture life, but nurturing is an instinct in our behavior as well. You are a nurturing mother even if you do not physically hold a biological child in your arms. 

In today’s world, being a godly mother amidst ungodly influences requires embodying being a godly wife, faithful mom, and praying mother. Drawing strength from God’s love and grace, she walks in the will of God, nurturing her children with a mother’s love that echoes the care of those who have gone before her.

As a nursing mother, she tends to her children’s needs, not only physical but also spiritual, guiding them through difficult times with prayers at night and teachings rooted in faith. Whether single mothers or part of a family unit, these women understand the sacredness of their mother’s role, striving to be not just better wives but also examples of godliness to their children, who are ultimately children of God.

A godly mother’s influence transcends the challenges of today’s world, leaving a lasting legacy of love and faith for generations to come.

5 Characteristics of a Godly Mother

Let’s dive into some characteristics of a godly mother and god-fearing mother. By no means are these an exhaustive list, these are simply guidelines that come to mind as I think to the role of a godly mom as we combat living in an ungodly world.

We will never be perfect moms, but we can be in pursuit of godly qualities that lead us to be good moms. The world will tell us that we need to put ourselves first to make something of ourselves. However, the Bible says differently.

#1 A Godly mother will pursue the Gospel first

“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 1

Corinthians 15:2-3 ESV

It may be hard to believe, but Jesus knows what motherhood is like. Think about some common complaints about motherhood. Especially during seasons with young children.

  • I’m always interrupted. Some of Jesus’ greatest miracles happened due to an interruption. He was always being interrupted. 
  • I’m so tired. Remember the storm on the sea that Jesus slept through. Even in your exhausted state, could you have slept through something like that?
  • I’m never alone. Crowds were constantly following Jesus, he rarely had time to himself.

Jesus knows what motherhood is like. I love how Jill Savage puts it in her introduction to her book, “Real Moms, Real Jesus.

What does Jesus know about the peanut-butter-and-jelly life of a mom? Plenty!

Real Moms, Real Jesus.”

#2 A Godly Mother Will Treasure the Word of God

The word of God is the lifeblood of a Jesus follower. By it, we learn what it means to walk in this world pursuing God’s truth. It is also essential for a mother to be drenched in the word of God. As you read the Word of God more you will find that you have a more discerning heart regarding the kind of mother you want to be.

But ladies, let us not forget that we are all in different seasons. I have a toddler, a baby, a spouse, a household, and a job. Years of my life were spent with very consistent quiet time and pursuing the Word of God. Those were fruitful years, and now they are here to aid me when I cannot spend consistent quiet time in the Word of God. Sometimes the only way I get snippets of God’s word is while I nurse a baby or give my toddler a bath. 

Remember your season, and don’t compare your season to someone else’s. If you are a nursing mom, you might treasure the Word of God by reading a verse on your phone while you nurse. Maybe you have grown children. You can treasure the Word of God differently now. 

“You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 2You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth.”

Deuteronomy 11:18-21 ESV
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#3 A Godly Mother will Find Contentment in Christ

Dear mother, this one is a tough one. Being a mother is a high calling and contentment does not come easily to most. In our fast-paced world, where technology is at our fingertips, we are bombarded with longings for the next best thing. 

I found myself in this situation recently directly after giving birth to my second child. The itself was traumatic and my emotions took a slam when my husband decided it was time to move. For months leading up to the birth of our baby I had nested in our tiny home, I painted mountains on the nursery walls, I made a second cloth diaper station, shelves were created for additional baby supplies, and our tight home looked even tighter. But I loved it. I was ready to bring my baby home and revel in the contentment of having two healthy boys. 

God had other plans. I still cannot figure out exactly what God was trying to teach me in our abrupt plans, additional hospital stays with our newborn, and finally a large move all within 30 days; but I do know my contentment took a direct hit. 

Contentment that does not lie in Christ, is simply an idol waiting to become sin. My home had become my contentment and even though I still long to be back in my small and cozy home, I see the blessing of God pushing me out of my contentment and back into his loving arms. 

“O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you.”

Psalm 38:9 ESV

#4 A Godly Mother Will Discipline Herself in the Faith

Barbara Hughes forever changed the way I think about the disciplines of the faith and a virtuous woman with her book “Disciples of a Godly Woman.” In it, she goes into detail on sixteen disciples that make up a faithful and godly woman. These are not disciples that lead to legalism or simply good works, they are disciples that when in pursuit of, will draw us closer to Jesus and deeper in our faith.  Christian moms will want to understand the difference. Barbara puts it this way, 

“Legalism is self-centered; discipline is God centered.”

Disciples of a Godly Woman, pg 14

If we do not discipline ourselves in faith, we will become stagnant or empathetic. Early motherhood is a prime time for this to happen. Amidst the dirty laundry, dirty diapers, dirty dishes, and screaming kids, we can often place disciples on the back burner as faithfully parenting our children seems disciple enough! 

The Apostle Paul tells us to train in godliness.

Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

1 Timothy 4:7-8 ESV 

Training never is instant, and training often changes as we meet goals. We can apply this to the disciples of the faith during different seasons of life. The way we train in godliness will be different when we are single and 20-something than when we are 30-something with kids. 

Disciplines of a Godly Woman

Some spiritual disciples to think about are: 

  • The Discipline of the Gospel
  • The Disciple of Submission 
  • The Disciple of Worship 
  • The Discipline of Propriety 
  • The Disciple of Marriage 

#5 Godly Mothers will Love their Husbands Well

“Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

Genesis 2:18

Submission gets a bad rap. Just the word will often make women cringe. We instinctively will nurture our children, nurture our home, and nurture those around us, but instinctively using those same skills in our marriage is often an area of lifetime growth. 

One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is to be submissive, respectful, and loving wives. 

 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

Ephesians 5:31 ESV

Although I am still young in my marriage and have much to grow up in, there is one thing on marriage that dare I say, I might have a grasp on. Notice in the above passage that the two become one flesh. One flesh. One.

When I hold my babies in my arms, there is a powerful bond. But the Bible does not ever say we are one with our children. Our children were made from both husband and wife, the bond is strong, but oneness is reserved for marriage. Showing our children that our husbands come before them is one of the greatest reflections of godly living, we can give. 

We Need Godly Mothers 

Being a godly mother in an ungodly world is not easy because this world is not perfect. We are waiting for our perfect Savior to redeem this broken and ungodly world. This world is not our home, but while we are in it, learning godliness in motherhood can impact the world. 

What are ways that you have found to be a godly mother? What are ways you have found to combat this ungodly world in your mothering?

godly mother in an ungodly world
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