Life Lessons From Imperfect Mothers

by Sally Matheny

 A perfect mother has never existed.
Nonetheless, God has the ability to use mothers, through their strengths and their weaknesses. There are valuable life lessons to learn, if we are willing.

Take Eve, for example. She was the first woman and the first mother. There are pros and cons to that. She didn’t have anyone to compare herself to, but also she didn’t have a mother or a mother-in-law she could call on for help or advice.

Eve gave birth without the help of a doctor or even a mid-wife. Can you imagine what the very first birth must have been like?

What we do know is before Eve became literally the #1 mom, she gave in to temptation. Eve focused on the one thing she could not have. She lost sight of all the wonderful things God had blessed her with in the Garden of Eden.

Eve chose discontentment. She acted rashly and sinned. Eve was also a blamer. She didn’t take responsibility for her own actions.

One of the life lessons we learn from Eve is God wants us to freely choose to obey him out of love. Also, nothing we do is hidden from God. And the problem worsens when we blame others for our mistakes. We must accept personal responsibility for what we do.

Consider Sarah, Abraham’s wife. Her devotion to her husband meant she shared in his blessings. She became the mother of the nation of Israel. 

However, there were times Sarah doubted God. She had trouble believing God would carry out his promises, so she forged ahead with her own solution.

The life lesson we learn from Sarah, is waiting for God to act in our lives may be the hardest task we ever face. It's also true that we can become frustrated when God's solution does not match our expectations.

Sarah's life teaches us that when we experience doubt or fear, we should remember God’s words to Abraham, 

"Is anything too hard for the Lord?" (Genesis 18:14,NIV)

Sarah grew discouraged during her long wait for God to fulfill his promise. Sarah considered things from a limited, human perspective.

But God used her life to unfold an extraordinary plan, proving that He is never limited by what usually happens.

Say this out loud:

God is never limited by what usually happens.

Praise the Lord, He is not limited! But sometimes we feel like our lives are in a holding pattern. We think God needs our help.

Rather than shaking things into motion ourselves, we can learn from Sarah that a time of waiting may be exactly what God deems best for us. He has a purpose in it.

The last mother I want to talk about is Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ.
Mary was young and poor. Many people considered her unacceptable. No one expected God to use her life in the miraculous and mighty way He did. She was not perfect, but God noticed Mary’s heart. She was willing, even joyful, to serve Him.

Faith in God is often the last thing the world takes into consideration. But, just like He did for Mary, God looks at the sincerity of our faith and obedience. He will often choose the most unlikely of choices to demonstrate His love and power.

Surely, Mary understood her submission to God's plan would mean surrendering some of her original dreams and plans. She knew she would be disgraced as an unwed mother. She had to wonder if Joseph would even go through with the marriage.

However, on the joyful night Jesus was born, Mary probably did not imagine how deep her future pain would be. What agony she’d endure watching her child bear the sins of the world and die on a cross.

When God called, Mary simply submitted and trusted Him for what lied ahead.

There’s a life lesson here for people who have to turn their dreams over to God. We may have desired a long, happy marriage, a successful career, developing our talents, or some other worthwhile goal, yet circumstances prevented it.

We can only get through those kinds of disappointments by turning them over to God.

In his gracious way, God gives us Himself, the most precious dream we could ever imagine. He fills every void in our lives if we let him.
By letting go and trusting God, an even greater purpose is fulfilled. We won't always foresee God's purpose in our letting go of something, but we can trust that His plan is better than ours.

God has a plan for each of us. He may use what we do and what we say as a life lesson for someone else.

The decisions we make and the way we live our lives may affect someone tomorrow or someone in a thousand tomorrows from now.

There’s no way of knowing, in advance, how God will use our lives to influence others. Remember, He will use our successes and our failures to guide us, and others, to Him.

What lessons from your life do you want remembered fifty years from now?

Will you allow your life to be a light for Jesus Christ today and for future generations?

All you have to do is...

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