For Ladies - Reflections: A Mother And Her Son

Clista Heintzman

Mary loved her firstborn son. She knew He was God’s Son and was conceived by the Holy Spirit, but He developed in and was born of her body. She loved Him as her own flesh and blood.

Jesus was God’s Son, but born as a human child—in need of teaching. Mary taught Him God’s laws and raised Him to know right from wrong. However, when Jesus came to be twelve years old, He began to apply what His Father in Heaven had instructed Him concerning spiritual matters. His parents found Him in the temple talking of spiritual things among the adult teachers. The teachers were amazed at His understanding of the scriptures at such a young age. When His mother found Him, all she could think to do was to scold Him for not staying with them upon departure from Jerusalem. Mary was not aware of the fact that Jesus was ready to discuss and defend the scriptures. Mary was no different from you or me in this regard. Her son had grown up without her realizing it. Jesus said, “... Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49) Mary kept what Jesus said in her mind.

As mothers, we must be aware that our sons do mature. We must allow them to put into practice the things we have taught them about the scriptures. When my son reached this point in his life I, too, was unprepared. Every year at the Forest Festival in Elkins, West Virginia, a denominational group has a booth set up and gives people literature that teaches false doctrine about salvation. Several years ago, one of the men at the booth gave my son a pamphlet. We talked of how the information given was false. The next day, as we were about to return to the festival, my son asked, “Should I go back and tell that man what he is teaching is wrong?” Thinking of him as a little boy, I discouraged him from going back to the man. Later that night, I found a piece of notebook paper with scriptures and explanations he had written with the anticipation of teaching the man the next time he saw him. I was devastated. I apologized to my son for not realizing his readiness to teach. The next morning the booth was gone. The following year at the festival my son gave the same man a pamphlet explaining the truth of salvation, but I will always feel regret for holding him back from teaching the gospel when he was ready.

Sometimes, as mothers, we feel that we have special privileges and influence over our sons. Mary felt this way at times while Jesus was still on earth. Remember when Jesus was at the wedding in Cana. (John 2) Mary asked Him to use His miraculous powers to make more wine for the guests. Jesus did not want to do what His mother asked. He said, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” Even after Jesus said this, Mary still “expected” Him to do what she wanted because she said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” This incident seems to have been a frustration to Jesus. There comes a time when we as mothers need to modify our expectations and privileged thinking toward our sons. Ephesians 5:31 says, “... a man shall leave his ... mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” We need to allow our sons to make this transition easily. It is God’s will that he love and respect his wife and give her his attention. This does not mean he will despise or neglect his mother when she is old (Proverbs 23:22), but he must be allowed to leave and form a special bond with his wife.

Our sons will encounter criticism, hardships, and suffering as they mature and begin leading in a spiritual way. When we watch our sons put the scriptures into practice, it fills our hearts with joy and relief that they are faithful to God. To see the world’s reaction to that faithfulness, however, causes us great pain. Mary must have felt this way “a hundred times over” as she watched others mock her son, lie about him, and, eventually, kill him. One of the most important things we can do for our sons (and all our children) is to pray for them constantly and let them know we pray for them. Abraham Lincoln once said, “I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.” Our sons will have to speak for God on many issues and on many occasions during their lifetime. Mothers are usually one of their son’s biggest supporters in doing right. 

Great support and bravery was shown by Mary at Jesus’ death. As Mary stood by the cross and watched as Jesus died, I can imagine how all the things she had “stored in her heart” flooded over her memory. She probably thought how He had gone from a little boy, to an accountable young man, to the perfect leader and example among God’s people, to the Savior of the world. Although He was the Son of God, Jesus loved and respected Mary for the care she had given Him. While dying, He made arrangements for John to take care of her from that time onward.

A mother-son relationship is special from the very beginning. It is, however, an evolving and changing relationship. Keep your relationship with your son “in check.” As you watch him grow, keep the changes you see “in your heart” as Mary did. Teach your son (and all your children) God’s word and will. Pray for him earnestly and then let him grow, leave, and lead. “A wise son makes a glad father ...” (Proverbs 15:20) 

P.S. A wise son also makes a glad mother. -3049 Tyler Highway, Sistersville, WV 26175.

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