We will never know all of the sacrifices our mothers made to preserve our lives. That is why on Mother’s Day, we honor our mothers for their unyielding love and dedication to us. We buy gifts and cards, cook Mother’s Day dinner, and do whatever we can to see our mother’s smile. But for some mothers, Mother’s Day is a very dark hour, a grim reminder of the child or children that are no more. I have a friend who lost her only son on Mother’s Day. I can only imagine what it must be like for her and other mothers who have lost a beloved child. So to my friend and to those mothers who have lost children in death, be encouraged: God will never forsake a mother’s love. Even in your darkest hour, God is with you.
There is a story in the Bible of two mothers who went to court to settle a child custody dispute. The story focuses on King Solomon’s extraordinary wisdom in presiding over the case. But there are other hidden truths concerning motherhood concealed in this story. The story gives a perfect illustration of a mother’s love for her child and how far she would go to save that child’s life.
A Story of Two Mothers
Now two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. One of them said, “Pardon me, my lord. This woman and I live in the same house, and I had a baby while she was there with me. The third day after my child was born, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one in the house but the two of us.
“During the night this woman’s son died because she lay on him. So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while I, your servant was asleep. She put him by her breast and put her dead son by my breast. The next morning, I got up to nurse my son—and he was dead! But when I looked at him closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn’t the son I had borne.”
The other woman said, “No! The living one is my son; the dead one is yours.”
But the first one insisted, “No! The dead one is yours; the living one is mine.” And so they argued before the king.
Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword for the king. He then gave an order: “Cut the living child in two and give half to one and a half to the other.”
The woman whose son was alive was deeply moved out of love for her son and said to the king, “Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!”
But the other said, “Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!”
Then the king gave his rule: “Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother.”
A Mother’s Love Is Unselfish
I couldn’t help but notice that the story opens with “Now two prostitutes came to the king.” I wondered within myself, “Why is it important to God that we know these women were prostitutes?”
In Solomon’s day, prostitution was one of the lowest occupations in Israel. So it is likely that their neighbors didn’t think too highly of them. Although the story is about two women, who by modern standards, would have been accused of living opprobriously, it illustrates the affectionate bond of an unselfish mother’s love for her son. Her affection for her son was so strong she chose to give her son away to a selfish woman rather than see him killed.
If you are among the many mothers who experience loneliness on Mother’s Day, remember that a mother’s love is precious in God’s sight. With the same measure of love that you poured into your child, God will pour out grace on you. God’s grace is sufficient to keep the “Happy” in your “Mother’s Day” celebration.