Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." – Proverbs 31:28
A true mother thinks day and night about the well-being of her children. She is the first to praise and comfort them and is also the first to protect them when she senses danger. It is she who has carried them and borne the pains of pregnancy and childbirth, and it is she who now continues to carry them in her heart. Her intuition is often clearer than her husband's, and she will not let him make light of her concerns or reassure her too easily. She will also be the first to turn to God on a child's behalf. Perhaps that is what inspired the old Jewish saying, "God could not be everywhere at once, so he gave each child a mother."
When a child cries at night, it is usually the mother who comes to its bedside first. She feels her child's pain instinctively and will bear it not only as a burden, but also as a privilege and a joy.
A mother's sensitivity and love are boundless. She will continue to hope for her children long after others have given up on them and pray for them even when everyone else has condemned them. Moreover, she will believe for them when they have ceased to believe.
A good mother is a role model for her immediate family and for everyone else she meets. Her joy makes those around her happy. And every woman is called to be a mother, whether married or single, and whether or not she has had children. People notice a woman who loves God and whose primary concern is serving others.
I cannot thank God enough for the love of my own mother, and for her deep relationship with my father. Even though they could never be called "religious" people, it was obvious to us seven children that our parents loved God, each other, and each one of us. And while it was clear that our father was head of the family, he never tolerated the slightest disrespect from us towards our mother.
Many women today resent the idea of motherhood, but they forget that it is a privilege as well as a task. Once regarded as the highest calling of woman, it is now pushed aside by "real" careers and viewed as an inconvenience or even an embarrassment. While this rebellion might be understandable in the case of oppression and abuse, it achieves nothing. How different family life could be if we admitted our confusion over the roles of man and woman; if we sought to rediscover God's plan for both, and regarded one another with respect and love!
Women today hold important jobs right up to the time they go into labor, and that is admirable. But when pregnancy and children require it, a woman's first priority should always be motherhood. She should be a mother first and foremost – and only after that, a doctor, teacher, lawyer, manager, or accountant. Far from regretting or resenting it, she ought to feel that motherhood is a gift, and that in God's eyes, there is no sacrifice more worthy than one made for a child.
One of my favorite examples of motherhood is found in the Old Testament. Hannah was barren for years but vowed that if she had a son, she would give him back to God. Her wish was finally granted, and even though she must have found it very hard, she kept her promise – she gave Samuel to the priest Eli to raise as a servant of God. Her childlike faith was rewarded not only once, but several more times: in time, she and her husband Elkanah were given five more children.
From Why Children Matter by Johann Christoph Arnold.