An Effective Mother

2 Timothy 1: 5

Who is an effective Mother?

Is she one who pushes her children up the ladder of popularity?
Is she one who dresses her brood in the latest styles?
Is she one who fulfills their every wish?

Picture this scene of an ineffective Mother in a grocery store.
Her three-year-old son is running up and down the aisles.
He is wild!

His mother says, in a rather anemic tone, "Now, son, don't do that."
She has as much effect on him as a BB gun on a rhinoceros.

He dashes around the corner to the next aisle
and begins to rearrange the display.
The mother calls out feebly, "Now, son, don't do that."

By this time you can see customers hurrying to get out of the way.

The next moment he runs into a display
and canned beans and saltine crackers litter the floor.
Then he races to the front of the store and begins to assault the magazine rack.
He climbs up each shelf and almost reaches the top,
until he crashes to the floor and magazines fly in every direction.

He screams and mamma scampers to his aid,
and just as quickly, the manager of the store arrives.
The manager is polite and sensitive.

The child was unhurt,
but the mother begins to berate the manager
for having such a flimsy magazine rack in the store.
Next, the mother quizzes the manager about his insurance coverage.

If you listen closely, you can hear one of the customers
saying that the store probably doesn't carry livestock insurance for her little animal.

In this scene we can distinguish an ineffective mother from an effective one.

An effective mother is one like Eunice,
who created a spiritual atmosphere for her son, Timothy.

The effective mother creates an atmosphere for faith.

Eunice shaped an environment in her home that nurtured Timothy's faith.

Blessed is the mother...
who can hold onto her children while letting them go;
who puts a tranquil home ahead of an immaculate house;
who knows a kind act will be remembered longer than an easy word;
who truly believe that prayer changes things;
whose faith in the future sweetens the present;
whose faith in Christ is active and alive;
whose Bible never needs dusting;
whose sense of humor is alive and well.

It shouldn't be this way, but the spiritual atmosphere
in thousands of families exists solely because of the mother.
Her disposition and diligence is often the warm climate
in an otherwise spiritually cold and bleak situation.

The effective mother creates a setting to the best of her ability
that will encourage her children to possess a sincere faith.

The effective mother demonstrates the Christian life.

A significant influence of a mother comes
not so much by preaching or teaching, as it does by example.
Eunice demonstrated the Christian life to Timothy, and Timothy was always aware of it.

In a real sense, each home is a demonstration center
in which values, beliefs, and behavior are rehearsed.
Children watch mother act out her inner convictions.

Children see mother's reaction to various situations,
and they record in their computer, "That is how you do it.
That is how you handle it. That is how you act. That is how you talk
."

Children perceive their mother's priorities and peculiarities.
They especially notice her faith, and they take note if her faith in God is strong enough
to carry her through the difficult days.

Eunice demonstrated an "unfeigned faith" that Timothy caught.
The word, "unfeigned," means, "without hypocrisy".
She professed faith in Christ without a taint of hypocrisy.
She demonstrated a genuine belief in Christ.

Children, and especially teenagers, learn rapidly by what they see.
If they see mother acting one way at home and another way outside the home,
they will think that she is hypocritical.
If they see mother treating them one way,
and then see mother treating her own visitors nicer than
she treats them, the word, "hypocrite," appears in their mind.

Someone entitled these lines, "Saturday With a Teenage Daughter":

"Are you going to sleep all-day?
Who said you could use my makeup?

Clean the dishes off the table.
Turn down that radio.
Have you made your bed?

That skirt is too short.
You're not going to wear that.
Your closet is a mess.
Stand up straight.

You have to chew that gum?
Can't you be still?

I don't care if everyone else does have one.

Didn't I tell you to turn that radio down?

Have you done your homework?
Don't slouch!
You didn't make up your bed.
Can't you do anything to help?

Iron it yourself -- do you think you are the only one who lives here?

Sit up straight.
Get off the phone!
Why did you buy that record? That's awful...

You've been in the bathroom long enough.
Turn off that radio and go to sleep.
Are you trying to drive me crazy?

Another day is gone, and not one time did I say to my daughter, "I love you."
"Dear God, forgive me, and I'll ask my daughter to do the same.
"

It is absolutely necessary that mothers demonstrate
a Christian life and love without hypocrisy.
Mothers must walk with Christ so that their children follow the right path.

The effective mother enables her child to minister.

In our "me first" society, it is refreshing to see young people
who selflessly minister to others.

Eunice couldn't force Timothy to serve the Lord and serve others,
but along the way she could encourage and enable him to do so.

The effective mother is an enabler.
She is neither coercive nor dictatorial.

Instead of teaching her children the absolute importance of the ego,
she enables them to develop a healthy self-esteem
that focuses on "ministry," rather than on "me first."

Eunice enabled Timothy to minister to Paul.
So many times Paul longed for Timothy's fellowship.
Many times Paul received encouragement and support from Timothy.
Paul's labor still would have been fruitful without Timothy,
but it was far more rewarding with him.

Eunice could not have known in those formative years
that she would have a son that would have his name written in history
because of his selfless ministry.

No mother can foresee the future,
but every mother must honestly ask,
"Am I preparing my child to meet the daily challenges in his future?"

The years pass swiftly, and the challenges of motherhood grow -- none are greater!

The effective mother will enable a son or a daughter to minister to Christ
and to others, and that ministry may affect the world for Christ.

Today's mothers hold the hands of the future.
Those hands may be grimy from playing in the dirt
or may have a Band-Aid on the pinky.

But the most important thing about those hands is that they are the hands of the future.

Those hands may hold a Bible and proclaim the gospel
or they may wrap around a 38 revolver during a robbery or a murder.
Those hands may play the church piano or they may spin a roulette wheel.
They may gently care for a sick person
or tremble deliriously while clutching a fifth of liquor.

Right now, Mothers, those little lives are under your influence.
Soon, sooner than you can imagine, they will not be.

The effective mother can make the difference
by the spiritual atmosphere she creates.
And the happiest moment of her life is when her child receives Christ as Saviour.

I could wish for every mother that your prayers for your children come true.

"A Mother's Reward"

"I do not ask that you repay the hours of toil and pain.
The sacrifice of youth and strength
Shall not have been in vain.

I do not ask for gratitude
But only this, my child,
That you shall live your life so well
That my gifts be not defiled.

The nights I watched beside your crib,
The years of love and care
Will amply be repaid if once
I see you standing there --
An upright and an honest soul
On whom success has smiled,
That I may say with humble pride --
'That is my child
!' "

Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White