A Mother’s Influence

“Hear, my son, your father’s instruction forsake not your mother’s teaching.” Proverbs 1:8

“My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mothers teaching.” Proverbs 6:20

“Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord; also his mother, who has been a mother to me as well.” Romans 16:13

We don’t know much about Rufus. Paul mentions Rufus in the greetings section of Romans in the last chapter. R.C. Sproul has made the connection that Rufus, the son of Simon in Mark 15:12, could be the same Rufus that Paul speaks of. If so, Rufus might have witnessed his father help carry the cross of Jesus. We see two things about Rufus’s mother:

  • Rufus’s mother served her son through teaching the Word which God used to bring her son to salvation.
  • Rufus’s mother meant a lot to Paul in his ministry which led to him mentioning her service in his letter.

With the little information that we have regarding Rufus’s mother we can conclude she had great influence in the life of Rufus and the Apostle Paul.

Today is Mother’s Day and some pastors in American churches have been prepping their topical sermon about mothers this past week. The most important thing they should be doing is remaining faithful to the Scriptures. This Lord’s day mothers will be recognized. But for what?

Some have received flowers, pens, or some type of small gift. In some churches they will be asked to stand or go to the front of the sanctuary. No matter what a church chooses to do this Lord’s day morning for the mothers of the church. They will be recognized. But for what?

Does the church truly know why we recognize our mothers? Can we argue from Scripture that this is why we celebrate and show deep appreciation for the mothers of our church? Our spiritual mothers as well as the mothers who have raised us up from childhood ought to be recognized appropriately. We do not recognize them who they are, but who they know. This Lords day our God doesn’t take the backseat for one Sunday, instead the recognition of our mothers should point everyone in the church to Christ.

In Romans 16 verse 13, Rufus’s mother was recognized for her service to Paul which was ultimately her service to the Lord.  I remember my mother taking me to my ball games, cooking dinner for me every day, driving me to school, planning surprise birthday parties, watching movies with me cuddled up on the couch, and supporting me no matter what I did. One thing that comes to my mind is how her and my father do their best to come listen to me preach. I could be preaching 30 minutes away, but they make it their duty to come and watch me. I remember when I would back talk or fuss at my mother. There were times when I would bring her to tears with the words I would say to her, but there was much grace shown (of course with good discipline to follow). My mother’s character always pointed me to Christ. And eventually after teaching me the Bible, and demonstrating God’s grace towards me I came to know the Lord. I remember times I would wake up during the night and I would find her praying kneeled down on the fireplace. I could hear here plead with God about changing my heart.

Rufus’s mother must have had the same influence one him as my mother had on me. I can also speak of her devotion to the church. I can not remember a time where she wasn’t teaching younger kids in Sunday school. Her and my dad also teach elementary age kids on Wednesday nights at their church. In my years I have gained a lot from my mother’s teaching. I enjoy her cooking, and the fact she came to all my games growing up. But one thing that sticks out about my mother is her love for God and His church.

I believe that more than her beauty, more than her kindness, more than her talents, more than her generosity, more than her patience, the most important thing about my mother is her eagerness to serve God and His church. That is worth recognition!



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