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Mother: Teacher Joseph, Part 4

by | May 10, 2024 | Holidays, Parenting, Prayer, Teacher Joseph

The life of Joseph has so much to teach us… But wait. Tomorrow is Mother’s Day… What can Joseph teach us about … Mothers?

Well to start off, Joseph had one! Her name was Rachel, and we do know a few things about her. We know she was very beautiful, we know she had an older sister, Leah, who Jacob, Rachel’s fiancé, was tricked into marrying, and we know that Rachel, once she was actually allowed to marry Jacob, was the favoured wife. We also know that Rachel was initially barren, and her sister, Leah, gave her husband 7 children before she, herself, finally was able to have a child (See Genesis 29-30). We know that the firstborn son of Jacob’s favorite wife was also Jacob’s favorite son (See Genesis 37, and finally, we know that Rachel died giving birth to Joseph’s full brother, Benjamin (See Genesis 35).

Of course, that is all history; but what was Rachel actually like?

Again, we have been given just a few snippets of her life. We know she was tormented beyond reproach that she couldn’t have children (See Genesis 30). We know her frustration often pushed her to angry outbursts, for she said to Jacob: “Give me children or else I die!” (Genesis 30:1b NKJV). We know that she was an idolatress and a thief: “Rachel had stolen the household idols that were her father’s.” (Genesis 31:19b NKJV). And finally, we know that Rachel was deceitful: “And Laban searched all about the tent but did not find them. And she said to her father, ‘Let it not displease my lord that I cannot rise before you, for the manner of women is with me.’ And he searched but did not find the household idols.” (Genesis 31:34b-35 NKJV)

It doesn’t paint a very pretty picture, does it?

We must remember that the story isn’t really about Rachel. The writer only included certain facts; and in this case, none of them were good. But everyone has good mixed in with the bad. And everyone has bad mixed in with the good; therefore the purpose here isn’t to judge Rachel. Rather, it is to illustrate one very important thing: God can use imperfect mothers!

Some of you reading this right now are mothers yourselves. And perhaps you aren’t 100% proud of how you’ve lived your lives and how you raised your children. If that is you, you’re not in that boat alone, for I’m right there beside you.

Some of you reading this were not blessed with perfect mothers. Some of you may go so far as to hate your mother, or at the very least, to judge and criticize her for the bad things she did. Some of you may not have ever even known a figure in your life who merited the name “mother”.

Some of you reading this would have been happy enough to have had an imperfect mom rather than none at all.

No, Mother’s Day isn’t as full of joy as it seems…. But let’s remember Joseph. His mother wasn’t perfect, and he lost her while he was just a child. Nonetheless, Joseph still turned out to be a very responsible, God-fearing young man! A man who valued his relationship with God, who was not beneath humbling himself and doing menial tasks, a man who ultimately saved Egypt and his own family without becoming proud.

I often look at my grown children, and I ask myself how they came to be so loving and responsible and God-fearing, given all the mistakes I made as their mother. I actually know the answer to that question: It is because I did one thing right as a mom: I prayed for my kids.

We have to look at the other side of the picture as well. Some of you out there may have been pretty good moms overall; yet your kids turned out bad.

The point is, no one is a perfect parent, and no one has perfect kids. A good child isn’t the direct result of a good parent any more than a bad child is the direct result of a bad parent. Our kids make their own choices in life, and the most responsible thing we can do is to entrust our kids to the Lord. Especially when they are making bad decisions. Especially when we make bad decisions. We need to pray without ceasing for those kids.

Remember, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward. (Psalms 127:3 NKJV)

And if someone reading this hasn’t been praying for your kids, don’t hit yourself up with guilt! Rather, start today! It is God who grew and shaped Joseph, and it is that same God who can grow and shape our children today!

Got kids?

Pray! The same God who came through for Joseph despite his imperfect mom will come through for your kids as well!

Join us next Saturday for another powerful lesson from the life of Joseph in “Choosing to Believe: Teacher Joseph, Part 5”!

In His love,

Lynona Gordon Chaffart
Author, Moderator, Acting Director, Answers2Prayer Ministries

(To access the entire “Teacher Joseph” mini-series, click here!)


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