Perhaps you’ve heard the old idiom for describing someone dependent on their mother, “they’re tied to mother’s apron strings.” Dependence on mothers is good and beneficial in childhood. The law of a godly mother learned in the formative years of life will be a good resource and rule to live by throughout life (Proverbs 6:20-23). Who better to set an example before children than a godly parent who lives the virtues of Christianity day by day? Parents who know how they should act as children of God in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation are the best education for children (Philippians 2:15). God’s intention for the family is that deep, abiding impressions can be made by godly parents in the formative years of life (Ephesians 6:4; 1 Timothy 5:14; Titus 2:4).
But the time must come when mother’s apron strings must be untied. As a child grows into an adult and possesses the maturity and independence to stand on their own, then dependence on their parents diminishes. Time and again the Bible speaks of marriage as a time when one will “leave father and mother” (Genesis 2:24; Ruth 2:11; Matthew 19:5; Mark 10:7; Ephesians 5:31). This leaving does not mean that the child never considers the advice of their parents, for the command to honor parents still applies to adults who have old parents (Proverbs 23:22). Just as death is the natural end of a successful life and often brings sadness, so also the success of parenthood culminates in the sad day of allowing the little birds to leave the nest and find their own place in the world.
Consider Mary who was told by Simeon regarding her son, Jesus, “Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also” (Luke 2:35). Many times from that point on she had felt piercing pain of the sword when her son left her to fulfill His own responsibilities to the Heavenly Father. She lost Him at the Passover when He was twelve years old, only to find Him three days later discussing God’s word with the doctors of the law. Her son’s answer was, “I must by about my Father’s business” (Luke 2:49). When Mary wanted her son to help at the marriage in Cana, He told her, “Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come” (John 2:4). Though the word translated “woman” was a respectful title, it was not “mother.” When she desired to take Jesus away from speaking to the people in Matthew 12, her son’s reply was, “Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?” and stretching forth His hand toward his disciples, He said, “Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother” (Matthew 12:47-50). And finally, when she beheld her son nailed to a cross, suspended between heaven and earth to save all mankind, He provided for her wellbeing through the disciple John, saying, “Woman, behold thy son!” Then He said to John, “Behold thy mother!” and John took Mary to his own home to care for her (John 19:26-28).
Thank God for godly mothers, who give such wonderful blessings to their children’s lives only to see them leave home and go their own way. Truly a godly mother’s love is the epitome of self-sacrifice and tender care worthy of our praise.