Undeniable #4-Always a Mother

Undeniable Truth #4 of the Ten Undeniable Truths of Womanhood is
“Once a mother, Always a mother.”

This is very much a double-edged truth.  It is both beautiful and poignant. And it’s a truth no one can prepare the mother for …before she becomes a mother and knows it by experience.

First the poignant and sadder side:  The truth that “Once a mother, Always a mother” is a strange reassurance for some of us.  We hope to see our children in heaven and trust that they will know we were family on earth.  However, it doesn’t make the pain go away for those of us who have outlived our children.  Women who have miscarried or endured the sadness surrounding stillbirth, women whose children have been afflicted with illness that robs them of life way too young, women whose children were killed at war, and women who have endured prodigal children who break our hearts, we know that truth of “Once a mother, Always a mother” … by the void … left behind.  We will always be mothers even if our children are no longer here.   I’d like to believe we have a special place in the heart of God for the unique kind of suffering this presents.  After all, He knows it by Adam’s rebellion/sin and by the crucifixion of God’s Son Jesus (at the age of 33) to make reconciliation with rebellious Adam even possible.

Jesus’ own mother Mary knew what it was like to have her son Jesus die.  Yet the Bible says she found favor with God and also this:

For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed.”  (Luke 1:48)

From this time on.  Wow.  How many people would consider Mary’s watching her son Jesus be crucified as blessing?

It sure doesn’t feel anything like blessing to those of us who have endured this side of “Once a mother, Always a mother.”  Our bodies have experienced chemical changes, maybe even our physical shapes remain changed long after giving birth.  We hear things differently, any baby’s cry is simultaneously alerting us to a child’s needs but also reminding us that a cry equals life (even if the sadness our life experiences have included no cry or an agonizing cry of a child in pain, the tears signaling a premature end to our child’s life).

once a mother always a mother“Once a mother, Always a mother” can be profoundly positive too!

For some of us, in the positive sense, “Once a mother, Always a mother” means that even into adulthood, our kids still call us to ask advice, or to help wrestle through problems (and not just ones involving math and homework assignments).  It’s reassuring, in a sense, to know our kids still want to talk to us or value our listening ear and counsel.  Inculcating beliefs is part of a mother’s role when we take seriously “Once a mother, Always a mother” and to know our kids care what we think is a very good thing!   That’s how it was in the life of Timothy, as the Apostle Paul records:

For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois, and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.” (2 Timothy 1:5)

Then there’s the issue of responsibility in “Once a mother, Always a mother.”

We worry about our children and care what happens to them, long after they leave the nest.  Whether this essay today is bordering on mere fact and admission or repentance and confession, sometimes motherhood isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. We experience conflicted feelings as this Huffington Post article discusses.   I look at my own two living children and see them as adults in their own right.  I am now a grandmother, too, and praise God for a healthy grandson.  But motherhood hasn’t been rainbows and unicorns all the time.  There have been times I’ve been my best version of myself well on my way to “Mother of the Year.”  But truth be told, there have been many, many times I know I have not come close to a nomination, holding the motherhood football and ending up sacked past the 50 yard line toward the other end of the spectrum maybe labeled “Mother from Hell.”

 Once a mother, Always a mother” emphasizes the fact that there are no do-overs.  Ever.  When it comes to children.

Every day that goes by is a day I will not get back to try to be a better mom.  The mother I’ve been is the mother my children will always know, one who has been full of flaws and best-efforts-gone-awry.  Hopefully plenty of good memories of love, too.  No amount of good grandmothering as a sadder but wiser Christian now erases my performance of motherhood or atones for my non-Christian years or my unchristian behavior at times.

I wish I’d known Jesus before I knew motherhood.  And that’s the truth.


Matthew 12:46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” 48 He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

Mark 3:20 Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. 21 When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” 22 And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebub! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.” 23 So Jesus called them and spoke to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. 27 In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can rob his house. 28 I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. 29 But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.” 30 He said this because they were saying, “He has an evil spirit.” 31 Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.” 33 “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked. 34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers!

John 2:1 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” 4 “Dear woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.

John 19: 25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. 28 Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.


  • Was Jesus being rude to His mother by saying His disciples were His mother?  What was Jesus’ point?
  • Was Mary wrong to have involved Jesus in the wine shortage?  Why did Jesus go ahead and instruct the servants?
  • Was Jesus wrong to have sent His mother Mary along with John instead of insisting upon her returning to Mary’s other children with Joseph?  What made John more suitable?
  • What does it mean to  “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12)?


If you’re a mother, praise God for your children and consider them a blessing.  Psalm 127:3 “Behold, children are a gift of the LORD; The fruit of the womb is a reward.”  Treat every day with them as a special gift and do your best to model love and faith.  Know there is grace for the times we all fail.  God loves us as His children and loves all His children more than we ever could.

If your mother is still living, thank God for her.  Be reconciled to her if estrangement has existed between you and her.  Let her know you value the relationship.  Maybe today.  Don’t wait for the obligatory Mother’s Day expectation.

If your mother is no longer alive on earth, consider the heavenly hope that, for those of us who know Jesus as Lord and Savior, we will see our loved ones in heaven.  I believe we will be aware of our relationships from earth even if we will be recast as brothers and sisters.

If you’ve never been a mother in a biological sense and that is a source of sadness for you, consider that Paul was a “father” to Timothy who was his true son in the faith (1 Timothy 1:2) and he could also say in 1 Corinthians 4:15 “For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.” Your children can be those you lead to faith in Christ.  You can be a mother to them.

If you’re a pastor, consider doing your part not to reinforce the expectations of perfection or of motherhood.  Be aware that Mother’s Day is among the most painful days of the year for many women.  As a Hallmark holiday, we can focus on sonhood and daughterhood and honor all mothers in that way.  While motherhood has the potential for division and pain, the command “Honor your father and mother” is definitely biblical and grows us all in God-honoring ways.


Ten Undeniable Truths of Womanhood:

  1. A Christian woman is still a complete woman, even without marriage.
  2. No man can teach a woman what is the truth of womanhood, even Christian womanhood.
  3. The Bible clearly outlines what womanhood is…and it isn’t always synonymous with motherhood.
  4. Once a mother, always a mother.
  5. Superwomen don’t exist except in the comics.
  6. All women make choices of no return.
  7. Biology affirms what the Bible teaches.
  8. The Christian woman must learn to artfully balance following Christ while honoring the men in her life.
  9. Submission and sacrifice aren’t bad words for women.
  10. The Lord’s maidservants bring glory to Christ by their obedience.

Categories Articles, Articles and Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on January 28, 2015

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