What do you see when you think of a godly mother? Perhaps it’s your own mom or an idealized version of motherhood you’ve seen on TV – a mom who has all the answers, makes the best cookies, works full-time, has plenty of time for her kids, and serves as PTA president. (Are you tired after reading that?)
We asked a group of experienced moms what characteristics they have needed to raise healthy, faithful, believing children – and the Scripture that has encouraged them over the years. We hope you’re encouraged by the lessons they have learned through time in God’s Word and on the job as Christ-following mothers.
Here are five characteristics of a godly mom:
1. She Stays Off the Roller Coaster.
Every age and stage comes with its unique ups and downs. One minute your toddler is enjoying a day at the park; the next he’s melting down because you won’t let him eat the gum stuck to the bottom of the swing. At 10 AM, your daughter says you’re the best mom, and by dinner you’re the worst because you won’t let her go to a party that “everyone else’s parents” said yes to.
Because a godly mom is steadfast (Psalm 26:12) in her faith and firmly rooted in God’s Word, she stays off her child’s emotional roller coaster. Her foundation of faith keeps her stable and strong (Psalm 40:2), regardless of her child’s highs and lows. She disciplines her children out of love and not anger (Hebrews 12:11; Revelation 3:19). Her identity is rooted, not in her child’s opinion, but on who Christ says she is. So, she can set boundaries and make parenting decisions based on Scripture rather than on what’s popular or convenient.
- “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3)
- “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)
- “But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.” (2 Thessalonians 3:3)
2. She Loves Someone More than Her Family.
Did you just do a double take on that last sentence? As much as we love our families, there’s one love that surpasses them all – one love that anchors a godly mom’s feet and gives her the strength and grace needed to selflessly serve others. A godly mom loves the Lord with all her heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30). She depends on God’s love and power (Psalm 121:1-3, 27:11), rather than her own. She puts time in God’s Word and in prayer first, allowing the Bible to inform her words and actions throughout the day. She intentionally disciples her kids (Proverbs 22:6; Deuteronomy 4:9, 6:6–7) rather than farming out that privilege to the school or church. And on good days and bad, as she pursues the Lord, she leads her children by example (1 Corinthians 11:1).
- “And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.’” (Matthew 22:37-40)
- “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (James 1:22)
- “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7)
3. She Humbly Asks for Forgiveness and Extends Grace (Even to Herself).
Every mom gets frustrated or loses her cool when her son tells her at 9:59 PM that he needs posterboard for a school project the next day. But rather than allowing missteps and mistakes to lead her down the path of insecurity or comparison, a faithful mom has the God-given gift of humility (1 Peter 5:6-7). Humility helps her apologize to her children and spouse when she gets it wrong and extend herself a little grace as well. Guilt, perfectionism, and anxiety may be common struggles, but they rob her of joy (Romans 8:1, 3:23; Philippians 4:6-7) and distract her from what God has asked her to do that day. She’s been forgiven much, so she loves much (Luke 7:47) and generously extends grace to others when they need it – even the person staring back at her in the mirror.
- “Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” (Colossians 3:12-15)
- “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
- “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10)
4. She Doesn’t Go It Alone.
Community with other believers is never easy, but it’s essential for Christ-followers. She makes authenticity and confession (Proverbs 28:13) with other believers a regular part of her life. Faithful moms know they need friends (Romans 12:10) who will speak truth (2 Timothy 3:16), correct, pray for, and of course, encourage one another.
- “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” (James 5:16)
- “For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” (Romans 12:4-5)
- “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)
5. She Builds Others Up.
A godly mom knows her words have the power to tear down or build up her family and those around her (1 Thessalonians 5:11). So, she does her best to honor the Lord in her conversations, avoid gossip (James 1:26), and assume the best about others (Proverbs 17:9; Psalm 101:5). There’s no such thing as a one size fits all approach to parenting and discipline, so she builds her kids up by understanding their individual needs and the unique gifts God has given them. She views her role not only as a steward of her children’s lives, but also as an opportunity to live out the gospel in her community, in her church, and in the relationships she builds with others every day.
- “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” (Proverbs 31:26)
- “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:16-17)
- “So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.” (Romans 14:19)
- “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29)
Being a mom is an important job, and God’s Word gives us instructions on how to do the job well. By faithfully following Christ, you’ll be a mom worth celebrating—on Mother’s Day, and every day.