May 9, 2014

Well Meaning Mom

Written by Boyd Bailey

Family sitting in hammockThoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 9, 2014

Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him. “What is it you want?” he asked. She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom. Matthew 20:20-21

Sometimes well meaning moms can get ahead of God on their child’s behalf. They may see an opportunity for their son or daughter to succeed, so they seek to influence the process. But it’s counterproductive to politic for a child to obtain a position prematurely. It’s better for a child to learn how to wait on the Lord than to bypass lessons in faith, patience, and humility. An insecure, aggressive mother can edge out the Spirit’s work, instead of inviting in the Spirit’s influence.

No doubt, the mother of James and John wanted the best for her boys, but she crossed a line  motivated by pride when she sought special favor. Perhaps she thought they deserved preferential treatment since Jesus’ mom, Mary, was her sister. However, an unqualified relative for a work role only creates confusion and indignation among other better qualified team members. Jesus knew James, John, and their mother, did not understand how suffering would precede this lofty position.

“Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory” (Romans 8:17).

In an effort to promote our children before they are ready, we actually set them up for failure. It’s pure pride to seek status for our son or daughter, just so it makes us look good. A person who obtains a highly regarded role before they are ready, is similar to giving a teenager a sports car before they have seasoned driving experience. A wise mom trusts the Lord to lead her offspring to listen to His small voice. She prays more than she tries to persuade. She wants wisdom.

Therefore moms, seek Jesus with a humble heart on behalf of your children. Ask the Lord to educate your child in lessons of becoming the least, so He can use them the most. God blesses your beautiful example of serving others to teach and motivate your sons and daughters to serve others. A servant of Christ is the greatest position in God’s Kingdom. So mom, ask the Lord in prayer for your little ones to grow in joyful obedience to Him. Yes, suffering may precede your child’s success. What man manipulates does not last, but what God initiates is eternally blessed.

“I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him” (1 Samuel 1:27).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for my precious child. I pray you will lead him to decrease, so you might increase in his life.

Related Readings: Psalm 66:9-10; Matthew 19:28; John 15:4-5; Philippians 3:10

Post/Tweet today: Our consistent example of serving others teaches and motivates our children to serve others. #wisdomhunters

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© 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.


  1. ALBERT ANTOS says:

    Interesting, this is the second time that I have come across something saying John’s Mother was Mary’s sister.
    As far as I know, and correct me if I am wrong, John’s Mother was Mary’s cousin.
    Mary was an only child, born free of sin and sent to live with a religious order at a very young age.
    There is very little written about Mary and her life before Jesus. What I did find tells me that she was an only child and had no brothers or sisters.

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Albert~ Thank you so much for reaching out to us with that great question! And you are right about Mary’s cousin, Elizabeth, was the mother of John the Baptist (Luke 1:36). However, Mary’s sister, Salome was the wife of Zebeedee, who was the father of James and John (the apostle, John). (Matt 4:21 and Mark 15:40).
      I can see where this can be alittle confusing. Albert, I appreciate your question and I thank you because it makes me “dig into” the Word, which is always a blessing!
      We are so thankful that you are a fellow wisdom hunter! Blessings to you and yours.
      Believing and trusting~

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