At our recent ladies Bible study where we learned more about Priscilla, a few quotes were taken from the book “All the Women of the Bible” by Herbert Lockyer. We happen to have that book here at home and this past week I thought it would be good for the girls and I to start at the beginning and, along side our Bibles, take a more in depth look at the different women listed in God’s Word. Keeping in mind that the comments are a man’s opinion and not inspired by God, the book is a good resource of each woman’s name meaning and family connections as well as an overview of “her story” in the Scriptures.
As we go through the book, I know some women will be very familiar to us but I would say the majority will be names we have read but know little to nothing about. My hope and prayer is that we will be able to glean some biblical principles to live by as well as learn certain characteristics to avoid. We have already looked at the first three women (listed in alphabetical order) and as a result have come away with some food for thought.
The very first lady mentioned in this book is “Abi” and as I read her entry, there was something said about her that has stuck with me. I pray the following thoughts will be an encouragement to wives and mothers who may find themselves in a similar situation.
Abi’s name means “my father is Jehovah” or “the will of God”. Isn’t that a great meaning? (By the way, if you have read through God’s Word, you will notice what an emphasis God puts on the meaning of names!) Anyway, to summarize her life – Abi was married to the godLESS King Ahaz but was the mother of the very godly King Hezekiah. A quote from the book said:
“In spite of the idolatry of her royal husband, Abi…clung to the Fatherhood of God and sought to do His will. She counteracted any evil influence of Ahaz over their young son, Hezekiah…”
From the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition for counteract is:
“to make ineffective or restrain or neutralize the usually ill effects of by means of an opposite force, action, or influence”
Reading Mr. Lockyer’s comments on the mother Abi and her son, Hezekiah reminded me of the more familiar story in the New Testament of Eunice and son, Timothy.
The Apostle Paul speaking – “To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day; Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy; When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.” II Timothy 1:2-5
Eunice, along with Grandmother Lois, was faithful to teach and train young Timothy according to Scripture. By doing this, they were able to counteract the negative influence of an unsaved father. Because God’s Word mentions the faith of Timothy’s mother and grandmother being passed on to him, I believe we can know that God blessed the FAITHFULNESS of these two women! Timothy grew into a man who was greatly used by God!
Momma, are you in a situation similar to Abi or Eunice – trying to raise godly children while worrying about the negative effects of an ungodly spouse? Learn from these two women as well as countless other women down through the years. Resist discouragement. Resist the urge to throw in the towel and quit. Be faithful to the Lord and His Word and counteract godlessness with GODLINESS!
>>>>> Mommas, be an Abi! <<<<<
Here are some practical ways to do that:
PRAY – Bathe your children in prayer. Practice importunity – don’t stop praying for their salvation, surrender and service to God. Daily ask God for wisdom in teaching your children! Daily ask God to show you areas in your own life that need changed. And, of course, daily CONTINUE to pray for the salvation or restoration of your spouse.
GROW – Your children need a mother that can teach them about the Lord and the only way for that to happen is for Momma to be spending much time reading and studying God’s Word. Turn off the TV, get off the computer, lay down the phone….and open up your Bible. Make it a goal to read your Bible through. Read a portion in the Old Testament and the New Testament each day. Then, finish up with the “Proverbs for the day” – the chapter in Proverbs that corresponds with the day’s date. And, as the Lord convicts you about areas in your life, submit to Him and obey His Word. The moment we refuse to obey is the moment we stop growing.
TEACH – As God shows you truths from His Word, pass those truths on to your children. For example, if you read Proverbs 1 today, you would have read “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.” (verse 10) You could use that verse to remind your children to say NO to Satan’s temptations.
GO – Be faithful to God’s house! Ask the Lord to lead you to a good KJV Bible-preaching, Bible-teaching, Mission-minded church where the Holy Spirit is welcomed and CHRIST is exalted! Ask the Lord to give you a church family where your relationship with God as well as your family will be strengthened and encouraged!
SURROUND – Surround yourself with godly influences. This not only includes “real, live people” but would also include anything you read or listen to. Whether we realize it or not, our eyes and ears are the two ways we receive counsel – be careful of the counsel you are receiving on a daily basis via individuals, radio, social media, magazines, books, music, etc. If it contradicts God’s Word, forsake it and, if possible, flee from it! As mothers, we must remember that we are setting an example for our children to follow. When they begin to make choices of who or what they will allow to influence them, will we want them to follow in our footsteps?
SING – I know I’ve said it before but I don’t know if I can emphasize enough the importance of good, Christ-honoring music in a home. Music is so very powerful! I was blessed to be raised in a home where hymns were a big part of our life. Whether played on the radio, played from a record album or sung by my mother and father, I have a heritage of godly music for which I am very thankful. The choruses that I learned as a little girl have not left me! Recently, I heard one of those choruses and got so excited. I still remembered that old vinyl record album and looked it up via the internet so that I could show my girls a picture of one of the albums my mom used to play in our home when I was a little girl. Mommas, fill your home with godly music!
TALK – Talk to your children about God. Don’t just limit this to a “formal teaching time”. Deuteronomy 6:6,7 tells us:
“And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”
Tell them about answered prayers. Let them hear you praising the Lord. As you go about your day, point out to your children how God has blessed your family. Be constantly aware of “teaching moments” throughout the day where a biblical truth can be reinforced. If this sounds awkward, that’s ok. The more time you spend in God’s Word and the more your home is filled with Christ-honoring music and the more you surround yourself with godly influences…the more natural this will become! The Bible teaches us that whatever is in our heart will come out.
“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” Luke 6:45
Mommas, the more our hearts are filled with thoughts of HIM, the more those thoughts will come out in our daily conversation – naturally!!
The above is certainly not an exhaustive list, but would definitely be a good starting point for one who desires to give their children a godly home environment and, if such is the case, counteract godlessness. Momma, by God’s grace, choose to be an Abi!
“There is more power in a mother’s hand than in a king’s scepter.” ~ Billy Sunday
“The impression that a praying mother leaves upon her children is life-long. Perhaps when you are dead and gone your prayer will be answered.” ~ D.L. Moody
by Rachel Harkins
This article was first published at www.inthineheart.com