Return to:

A Mother's Love

Scripture Reading - 1 Corinthians 13:1-8; Text: 1 Corinthians 13:8

As I begin this sermon, let me talk a little about the subject of "love" in general. It is a subject of unquestionable merit. Few subjects are so far reaching or comprehensive in their effects upon us. Almost all people both give and receive love. We love others and are loved by others in return. Love is one of the greatest subjects for mortal minds to explore and hearts to embrace. Therefore, as Paul ends this chapter on charity or love, he tells us that among the subjects mortals would rate the highest, love is at the top of the list. We all feel the need for faith, hope and charity; but love is the greatest of the three (Verse 13).

There are also many "degrees" of love, but love never fails. Some people we love more than we do others, that is what we mean by degrees of love. Just as some days are hotter than others, measured by degrees of temperature; so love comes in degrees too. The Bible talks about loving one more than another in Luke 7:41-42. Of course we do not love our cat the same as our wife or husband, neither do we love our friends in the same way we love the Lord who saved us by His grace. We are to love God with all our hearts and others as we love ourselves, according to Matthew 22:37-39. The truth is that some things we do not love as much as either. Hopefully, we will search our hearts to understand if the loves of our life, are in the right order of priority. If not, let us repent and seek grace to love as the Lord commands in His holy word.

In the Bible we find that love is one of the subjects to which a great many scriptures have been devoted. God helps us to see love as a precious gem. Think of a diamond for an example. One stone with many facets and all of them reflect light and radiant beauty. In the scriptures, its like love is a diamond set on a rotating stand, reflecting its brilliance in many different directions. Just as there are many facets in the stone, so there are many different kinds of "love" mentioned in the Bible, but love never fails. (1) We read about the love of God. He loved us and saved us by giving Jesus Christ to die for our sins. Romans 5:8. There is so much of His love, that it is called "great," for it is able to save all the elect of God. Ephesians 2:4-5. (2) We also think about our love for God. Do you love God? If we love Him, it is because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19. He worked His grace in our life and put His Holy Spirit in us, causing us to love Him. Sometimes, like Peter, we need to examine the sincerity of our love for God. John 21:15-17. You see it does more than give us words to speak, it causes us to want to live for His glory. (3) We are told about the duty of loving others too. Jesus made that His commandment according to John 15:12. It is by our love for people, that we are recognized as disciples of Christ. John 13:35. It is this category of love, that brings us to consider a mother's love for her children.

I do not believe that any of us here doubt our mother's love. The many years of caring for us when we were sick, taking us where we wanted to go, cooking things we liked to eat, kissing our hurts away; and a vast host of other expressions of love could be enumerated. However, it is not universally true that mothers love their children. The sad reality is that millions of children are both unloved and unwanted. They are viewed as a nuisance and burden by some mothers and are thus killed by abortions or given away. If a mother does not want her child, it is far better to give it away than to kill it. At least the child will live and can be loved by others. To so many such children, God would say though you are forgotten and unloved by your mother, I will never forget you or stop loving you. Isaiah 49:15. To those of us who are blessed to have loving and nurturing mothers, He would also reassure us of His love with the words of Jeremiah 31:3. Thank God for His love and thank God for our mother's love.

Let us take a little time to look at what the Bible says about this special love and some who manifested it. A mother's love not only moves her to perform many useful and helpful tasks for her children, but often requires them to make great sacrifices and even endanger their lives. Let me show you what I mean as we take a quick look at some mothers mentioned in the Bible.

1. In Genesis 21:16, we read of Hagar. She gave birth to Abraham's first son who was named Ishmael. God promised Abraham and Sarah a son, but like many, they became impatient and pursued their own system to accomplish it. Later Sarah did bear a son and named him Isaac. He was the son of promise and understandably preferential treatment was given to him. Soon hard feelings emerged between Sarah and Hagar, so Hagar and Ishmael were sent away. They were given food and water for the journey, but when it was exhausted, the death of the child seemed inevitable. Hagar's motherly love, caused her to seek a shady spot and make the child as comfortable as possible. Then she went a little ways off and sat down where she could see him, but he could not hear her cry. There she sat and wept for the child. God intervened and provided water and both she and the child were saved. What a beautiful reminder of God's love and a mother's love.

2. In Exodus 2:3, we are told about the love of Moses' mother. In the bondage of Egypt, the number of Hebrew slaves grew steadily in spite of their hardships. So Pharaoh decided that all boy babies were to be drowned in the river at birth. Moses' mother risked her life to conceal him and when she know he would be discovered, she placed him in the river near Pharaoh's daughter. She saw the baby and raised him as her own, hiring the real mother of Moses to feed and care for him. She was willing to risk her life for his and to give him up rather than see him die. She even concealed her identity as his true mother, just to be near her precious son. Such actions are often manifested by mothers who genuinely love their children.

3. In 1 Samuel 2:19, we can read about a mother named Hannah. She was the mother of a great man of God, a prophet named Samuel. Two books of the Bible are even named after him. Hannah was a good wife and a godly woman, who went with her husband to worship God. The great sorrow of her life was that she had no children. It grieved her heart so deeply, that she carried her burden to the Lord in prayer. As God so often does, He heard and answered her prayer. She promised God that if he would give her a son, she would in turn give him to be raised in the service of the Lord. God gave her this long awaited son and she was truly happy in caring for him. As he grew the time came to honor her word and carry him to the temple, to leave him there that he may serve the Lord. She wanted what was best for him and did as she promised God. Keeping her promise deprived her of seeing the daily changes as he grew, but when she went to the temple, she always carried the growing boy a new coat. She must have had a great joy in knowing that God used her son in such a great way. Many lives have been affected through the ages, because of the life and writings of Samuel. A great man, loved by the Lord and a devout mother.

4. In 2 Kings 4:20, we read of a mother whose name is not given, she was simply known as the Shunamite woman. In that way she differed from Hannah, whose name is mentioned. However, there is a way in which she was the same. She had no children either and wanted one desperately. The man of God, Elisha stayed in their home as he went about the service of God. He asked the Lord to give her and her husband a child. God answered the prayer of His servant and gave them a son. As he grew older he was in the field working with his father one day. He was taken ill with a severe headache. The child was carried to the mother and she held him in her lap until he died. It was not easy for her to see him suffer and die, but she was faithful to do all she could. Many a mother has sat up for days on end, caring for a sick child. The miraculous news here is that the prophet asked God to return life to the child. He did and the boy was joyfully returned to the loving lap of his mother.

5. In Matthew 15:22 of the New Testament, we are told of another woman whose name is not recorded. Perhaps God is telling us that the name is not so important as is what they did. This one was called a Canaanitish woman. She had a daughter who was possessed by a devil. Previously we were told of the boy who suffered from physical problems that led to his death. Here we have a girl who is suffering from satan's power and we all know that can be as deadly as any disease. This mother was desperate as was evidenced by the way that she sought out and followed Jesus, asking for his help. In the dialogue that follows, Jesus seems to speak unsympathetically to her. We must guard our hearts lest we try to judge the Lord. We certainly cannot look into His heart or understand what was going on. Personally, I believe He was testing her persistence and sincerity. She was deeply committed and the welfare of her child was far more important to her than the hurt to her feelings. She said that she possessed great faith and He healed her daughter. This loving mother put her child ahead of her feelings.

6. In John 19:25, we read about Mary the mother of Jesus. At an early age, she had been willing to suffer shame and ridicule from those who thought she was expecting out of wedlock. She knew that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Ghost and not Joseph. They were married and Jesus was born, nurtured by them and brought up by a loving mother whose heart was destined to be broken by His sacrificial death. She was a devoted disciple and she followed Him to the cross. There is no way for us to understand what she must have felt as she cared for and raised the sinless Son of God. Then the days of difficulty came, He was taken by the magistrates and endured a mockery of a trial. Though innocent, He was sentenced to die by the most horrible means imaginable - crucifixion. How could she help feeling deep grief? After all, she knew He had done no wrong, yet he must die. That was bad enough, but he would die in a long and agonizing process that could take days. In those scenes too horrible to witness she was there, standing at the foot of the cross. Indeed, she loved Him to the end, of His life and hers.

7. In 2 Timothy 1:5, we are told of a mother named Eunice. Her son was a young minister of the gospel named Timothy. There was a long lineage of faith that flowed to him. His grandmother Lois was a woman of faith and so was his mother Eunice. Their faith in God was not only witnessed by him, but manifested in him also. We know that faith is the fruit of God's Holy Spirit, but it is a joy to see and know that God had worked graciously in all their lives. We are also told that those dear saints, had taught the holy scriptures to him from his childhood. Mothers, care enough to set a good example before your children and live your faith as you teach them God's truths from the Bible. Then, if it pleases God to work graciously in their lives, they will have a wonderful advantage of knowing how to live life in the perfect will of God. This mother gave her son more than food and clothes, she gave him a good example and a knowledge of the word of God. What a great gift from a loving mother.

All these beautiful examples of a mother's love, prove that there really is "unfailing love." That is the point our text makes, love never faileth. All the examples given help prove that fact. The idea that is set forth by the word "faileth" is that love is enduring, even permanent. It does not come on the stage of action for a short time and leave, it remains. Listen to two scriptures that help clarify the word faileth. In Job 14:11 waters are said to fail or dry up. In Ecclesiastes 12:5 desire is said to fail or end. So then love will not fail or end.

Today so many people confuse passion and pure love. Too many people marry because of lust, not love. Then after a while they divorce. If they had true love, it would have endured. Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote a poem entitled "I Loved Once," in which she said "They never loved who dreamed that they loved once." Notice that comparison is made throughout the text. Love does not fail (cease), but prophecies will. Tongues will also cease and knowledge will vanish away, but love will remain. It is that quality which makes love so great. There is now faith, hope and love; but love is the greatest because it lasts longer.

Rejoice that love will endure. Whether it be God's love for us or our mother's love or even our love for others; if we have genuine love, it will not end. It is wrong to tell children that God won't love them if they are bad, God's love is forever. Even a mother is capable of loving a child throughout life and even beyond death. So if we truly love God, we will lastingly manifest it through our devoted service. May this truth both comfort us, and also encourage us to show that we love God and one another by loving at all times, because love never faileth.

Return to:

Copyright © 2014 Light From God's Word. All Rights Reserved.
This page last updated on June 17, 2014