1 Samuel begins with a difficult story. Hannah desperately desired children but was unable to bear any of her own. She suffered constant derision from Peninnah due to her barrenness. After years of sadness, she prayed in the bitterness of her soul to God for a son, saying, “O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head” (1 Sam. 1:11).
Hannah received a son from God, the boy Samuel. As she fulfilled her vow to the Lord by bringing young Samuel to the house of the Lord, Hannah spoke these words: “My heart exults in the Lord, my mouth speaks boldly against my enemies, because I rejoice in Your salvation. There is no one holy like the Lord, indeed, there is no one besides You, nor is there any rock like our God” (1 Sam. 2:1-2). Hannah recognized her son as the greatest of blessings from God and saw him as a reason to sing praises of thankfulness to the Lord.
One of the greatest gifts God gives is a child. Psalm 127:3 states, “Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.” Hannah was anticipating, as do many who hope to bear children, the joy that a child would bring to her life. However, her joy was not the greatest accomplishment of her son’s life. Her son continued on to serve the Lord faithfully, to anoint kings and speak the counsel of God to them.
According to God’s plan, mothers create and manage the home environment in which their family, and especially their children, will grow and learn (1 Tim. 2:15; 5:14). In so doing, mothers will receive joy as they watch their children flourish, and that joy will be redoubled as her children leave the home and become successful workers for the Lord. Her instruction and example to them in the home teaches them priorities as well as sacrifice for the work of the Lord (2 Tim. 1:5).
High praise is due mothers who by their words and actions teach their children to honor the Lord. A mother is more than a maid, much more than a simple housekeeper. The mother who teaches her children to honor the Lord is an irreplaceable servant of God whose faithful actions will cause her children, and all others, to praise her for her wisdom and foresight (Prov. 31:26-31). Mothers are indispensable, praise them often and openly.