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Reimar A. C. Schultze

If you are a mother, it is more important that you get things into your child than that you get things for your child. 

And a man of the house of Levi went and took as wife a daughter of Levi. So the woman conceived and bore a son. And when she saw that he was a beautiful child, she hid him three months. But when she could no longer hide him, she took an ark of bulrushes for him, daubed it with asphalt and pitch, put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river’s bank. And his sister stood afar off, to know what would be done to him (Ex. 2:1-4).

In these verses, it says that Moses’ sister watched from afar off to see what would happen to Moses in the little ark. Pharaoh’s daughter found Moses and adopted him, but permitted one of the Hebrew women to nurse Moses. That woman was Jochebed, Moses’ mother, and she was able to raise him for the next five, six or seven years, as is reported to us by Bible scholars.

As a mother, Jochebed was able to put so much of God into her little boy’s heart during the first few years of his life that the world could not take it out. As Moses lived in the household of Pharaoh during the next 33 to 35 years, there was nothing evil, corrupt or worldly that could remove from his heart what his mother had sown there.

How many mothers are there in this world today that can raise a boy for just the first five to seven years of his life, and then turn him over to be adopted by a foreigner who has a strange religion and then live in a home which is ungodly, adulterous or idolatrous? How many mothers would be able to expect their son to stay the course with all the convictions he received during the first few years of his life?

The example of Moses’ life indicates that the first years of a child’s life, from babyhood until about the first grade, are very impressionable. If a godly mother is able to invest in her children during their early years, they will have a good start toward becoming exceptional, godly leaders. And how much more blessed will a mother and her children be if the mother diligently pursues the training of her children until they leave home during early adulthood.

Let me ask you, mothers, which is more important to you: to raise a boy or a girl that will impact his or her own world (or the whole world) for good unto righteousness, or to have the money to provide that boy or girl with their own room, a bicycle at age six, an automobile at 16 and a college education at 18? As a mother, you must have a vision to raise eagle saints: But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint (Isa. 40:31).

Little eagles, called ‘eaglets’, stay with their mother and father which shelter them from all outside influences until they have wings to fly before they are allowed to leave the nest and face the world on their own. They eat no one else’s food, they have no contact with other birds and they go nowhere until their wings are strong enough to fly, to face the storms of life.

Jochebed was a dedicated and focused mother. By the time Moses was seven years old, she had instilled in him the godly character needed to resist the spirit of the world in his later, adult life. Every decision that he would make in His life was based on what would be pleasing to the Lord.

Few mothers today are able to succeed in building this kind of godly character into their children because they give in to the pressures of worldly expectations, only to harvest a worldly spirit for themselves and their little ones. It is not about what your child desires, but it is about what is pleasing to God that needs to be instilled into your child’s character.

Let us now consider some things that caused Moses to keep that which Jochebed had taught him, and Pharaoh’s household was not able to remove that training from him during the rest of his life.

First of all, I am thoroughly convinced that Jochebed was a woman of prayer. Daily, she agonized in prayer for her son. These prayers, as well as her praises for God’s mercies, got deep into the fibers of the soul of Moses from the time he was a little suckling until the time he left that little shack in the land of Goshen. Along this same line of thought, I visited with a gentleman who runs a short-wave radio station reaching all around the world with the Gospel. He said, “The most influential thing in my life that caused me to walk with God was the sound of my mother’s voice coming out of the prayer closet each day.”

I believe the second thing that Moses’ mother did was to never allow her son to get away with disobedience. As a little boy, Moses was taught to respect all authority. The book of Romans tells us that all authority is ordained of God: ...For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God (Rom. 13:1). Moses was taught to obey all authority, even those who would treat him unjustly. If Moses had not learned to obey all authority figures consistently during those first five to seven years of his life, he would not have made it from a place of slavery, to the palace in the land of Egypt to later become the savior of Israel!

Even Jesus had to learn to suffer injustice after injustice, and He never complained. In fact, He was perfected through the things that He suffered. How is your child going to be perfected if you do not teach him to suffer injustices with a sweet, humble and courageous spirit?

I am grieved when I hear of children coming home from school, saying, “My teacher corrected me for something I did not do,” and then for mother or father to run to school to reprimand the school teacher (We all know that teachers usually do not punish children without due cause). Your children must learn to suffer injustice with grace at times to help build their character and be refined so that they can be eventually used by God.

So, do not pamper your children. Someday, when your children are grown, they will be treated unjustly. They may be fired from a job for no good cause. Will they then be able to run to mother or father? Early on in their lives, they must learn that the world is not fair, but God is good. As soon as they master this lesson, they will have great peace with that reality.

Dear ones, all of us must realize that: ...all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags... (Isa. 64:6), and if God were to administer justice altogether in our lives, we would receive many, many spankings and chastisements for things that we have done and said, and for attitudes that we expressed in the past.

So, mothers, teach your children to submit to authority as Jochebed did—right or wrong, and if there is something that is unfairly or immorally done by a person in authority, go to that person alone and talk things over in a kind, gentle way (There are cases when our children must be protected from harm). In general, you should not give your children the impression that authorities are to be questioned or defied because Paul says that all authority is ordained of God, mostly for justice, and often for injustice, to bring us to the feet of Jesus. No doubt, Moses’ mother instilled in him the law of God and exemplified a joyful obedience to God’s law by example in her own life. She demonstrated the love, mercy and justice of God in her dealings with her children and others. No matter how busy Jochebed was, she made it a priority to instill habits of godliness into her son, Moses.

Through her praying, Jochebed put something wonderful into the soul of Moses. She taught him to obey authority, never to complain when treated unjustly; and finally, she taught him in his first five to seven years to abstain from worldliness and to put God first.

Moses would never have been elevated in the Egyptian court had his mother not taught him all these things. The sole justification for a woman giving birth to a child is that she raises her child for the glory of God, and this can only be done, in most cases, if she gives her utmost attention and energies to her role of motherhood. Yes, mothers, many of you must choose between instilling into your children the things of eternity, and worldly/self-centered pursuits. Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it (Prov. 22:6). This is your divine vocation and you will never regret it for all eternity.

In my own life, my mother died after 50 years of widowhood and she left nothing material behind for me except her Bible. But what she taught me and put into my heart, nothing in the world can take it away from me. Be a mother like Jochebed and fulfill God’s calling for your life.

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