Leadership
Church Mother

Mother Earnestine Jones

Mother Earnestine Jones (also known as Mama Jones) was born during the World War II era in the small town of Crenshaw, Mississippi. The town of Crenshaw is so small that it is generally not noted on the state map. During the era of her birth, the town’s population was 623. She was the fourth child of thirteen and of which only five remain alive today. She learned the importance of hardwork and developed a strong work ethic through the unfair and tiring labor of the sharecropping system. She spent some of her early childhood years with her grandmother who encouraged Godliness.

Wanting a better life, as opportunities were greatly limited in the south during her young adult life, she married a minister moving to Northern California in 1969. From this union, two daughters were born; Earnestine Jones (named after her mother) and Mary Elizabeth (Jones) Foster.

She has a wealth of life experience and can relate to the many roles a woman plays inside and outside the home.

  • She can relate to a woman as a homemaker as she spent time as a homemaker during the early years of her daughters.
  • She can relate to a woman who works outside the home as he worked in the field of education for more than 27 years until her retirement. She started working for the Oakland Unified School District as an Instructional Assistant and later due to the change in requirements, she returned to junior college to receive a Certificate in Early Childhood Development and Education. This certificate also permitted her to serve as a Substitute Teacher for more advanced grades within the public school system. Her career in the field of education included working with advanced learners, slow learners, autistic children and those who were a part of the Special Education Program. She gained a great deal of patience as a result of her work with children.
  • She can relate to married women as she was married for more than thirteen years before her husband’s death. She can relate to being a single-parent and widow – learning the need to make wise and careful decisions and becoming victorious over the result of making unwise life choices.
  • She can relate to the needs of a minister’s wife as she assisted her husband in handling the affairs of the local church during the absence of church leadership. She can relate to the need of balancing home and work as she became responsible for the training and development of her children.

Most importantly, she can relate and understands the need to live a Godly life by which the Holy Spirit directs you daily. She is blessed to be among the Saints of God where she can grow in her personal relationship with Christ and be changed by the power of the Holy Spirit.

A Promise for Mothers

"He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young." (Isaiah 40:11, KJV)

In this Old Testament promise, spoken by the prophet Isaiah, the Lord clearly states His commitment to guide and protect mothers and to care for their children. Surely the Lord loves our children even more than we do. What a wonderful encouragement for Mother's Day and always.

A Godly Mother's Example

I prayed for this boy, and the Lord has given me what I asked of Him. So I have given him to the Lord. He is given to the Lord as long as he lives." (1 Samuel 1:27-28a, NLV)

Hannah was a woman of faith. In fact, her Hebrew name translates as "grace" or "favor." After waiting many years in earnest prayer, the Lord finally blessed her with a son, Samuel. Hannah responded by dedicating her long-anticipated child back to God. What an important example for any faith-filled mother, particularly at Mother's Day.

Mothers Are Still God's Children.

"You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous - how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born.

"Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed." (Psalm 139:13-16, NLT)

Mothers exert constant and considerable energy to meet the needs of their families. Parenting is full-time work, and mothers know this full well. How many mothers might be blessed by the reminder that God still sees them and adores them as His own children? The Psalmist, King David, expressed this truth so clearly in Psalm 139.

What mother would not take comfort in some tender parenting of her own, such as only our loving Heavenly Father can provide, on Mother's Day and any day?

Wisdom Is for Mothers.

"If you follow my teachings and keep them in mind, you will live. Be wise and learn good sense; remember my teachings and do what I say. If you love Wisdom and don't reject her, she will watch over you. The best thing about Wisdom is Wisdom herself; good sense is more important than anything else.

"If you value Wisdom and hold tightly to her, great honors will be yours. It will be like wearing a glorious crown of beautiful flowers." (Proverbs 4:4-9, CEV)

Mothers love receiving flowers on Mother's Day. Corsages, wreaths, crowns and bouquets are the order of the day. After all, a loving mother is a blooming beauty herself.

This oft-quoted passage of the Old Testament book of Proverbs points out the value of wisdom as a root of life and honor. How many mothers might be encouraged by such words, particularly if they may be counted among the wise? Mother's Day offers an ideal opportunity to express our appreciation for wise mothers.

Children Are a Blessing.

"Don't you see that children are God's best gift, the fruit of the womb his generous legacy? Like a warrior's fistful of arrows are the children of a vigorous youth. Oh, how blessed are you parents, with your quivers full of children! Your enemies don't stand a chance against you; you'll sweep them right off your doorstep." (Psalm 127:3-5, MSG)

At times, most mothers may feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities of parenting. Penned by the wise King Solomon, Psalm 127 reminds parents that children are a gift and a blessing from God. How He loves our children, and how He must value us, if He entrusts these little ones to our care. Mother's Day is a superb occasion for pondering these truths.

A Mother's Rest

"I look up to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord. He is the Maker of heaven and earth. He won't let your foot slip. He who watches over you won't get tired. In fact, he who watches over Israel won't get tired or go to sleep.

"The Lord watches over you. The Lord is like a shade tree at your right hand. The sun won't harm you during the day. The moon won't harm you during the night. The Lord will keep you from every kind of harm. He will watch over your life. The Lord will watch over your life no matter where you go, both now and forever." (Psalm 121:1-8, NIRV)

Every mother experiences sleepless nights. In times of sickness, concern or simply high activity, a mother often forgoes rest for the sake of her children. What a comfort it can be to know that God never sleeps. He never goes off duty. Instead, he constantly guards and cares for those He loves.

On Mother's Day, why not remind our mothers that God is on the job, so that she may enjoy a much-deserved moment of rest and peace.

Mothers May Believe in Miracles.

"For nothing is impossible with God." (Luke 1:37, NLT)

"Jesus looked at them intently and said, "Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible." (Matthew 19:26, NLT)

These two Scriptures, spoken on very different occasions, echo the same truth. God delights in astonishing us by making impossible events come to pass.

The first passage comes from the Gospel of Luke. The Angel Gabriel affirms the unlimited power, or omnipotence, of God to the Virgin Mary, who has just learned that the Holy Spirit will cause her to conceive the Christ child.

The second statement comes from Christ Himself. A rich young man has asked Jesus how he might obtain eternal life. The Lord has explained how salvation is only possible through the power of God.

Faithful mothers know firsthand the power of prayer. Having wrestled in prayer over concerns for their children, many mothers understand the availability and accessibility of our loving Heavenly Father. Why not offer these Scriptural affirmations on Mother's Day?

A Cheerful Mother

"A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." (Proverbs 17:22, NIV)

Cheerfulness is contagious, and it can actually improve our physical and emotional health. On the other hand, bitterness and anger can have the opposite effect.

Henry Ward Beecher, a 19th Century American clergyman, said it this way, "The mother's heart is the child's schoolroom." Truly, a parent's attitude may set the tone of the entire family.

What mother does not desire to infect her children with cheerfulness? By reminding mothers of this truth on Mother's Day, we might actually boost whole families.

A Word of Faith for Mothers

"And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19, NASB).

By definition, mothers are need-meeters. From dawn to dawn, mothers strive to feed, clothe, shelter, train and teach their children. Often, our primary focus is caring for our children.

How might mothers be encouraged, particularly on Mother's Day, to know that God is the ultimate Source of all we may ever need? He is Jehovah-Jireh, the Provider. Even in a difficult economy, a job loss, a family crisis or other time of need, God has promised to care for His children.

No Worries for Mothers?

"Casting the whole of your care 1 Peter 5:7, AMP)

The Apostle Peter reminds us that God adores us passionately, and that He invites us to place our worries and concerns at His feet. God calls us to pray, to leave our needs with Him. Of course, this does not absolve us of daily responsibility, but it surely frees us from fretting.

A similar statement appears in Matthew 6. During His most famous teaching, the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said this:

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:33-34, NIV).

Mother's Day offers a wonderful chance to affirm mothers and encourage them to trust God continually for the outcome for their children's lives.

Classic Parenting Scriptures

Several additional Scriptures pertain particularly to parenting and the family. These merit mentioning here.

Without a doubt, the most often-quoted family Bible verse comes from the Decalogue, or the Ten Commandments. The Fifth Commandment applies directly to children.

"Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you." (Deuteronomy 5:16, NIV)

This statement also appears in the book of Exodus, where the Ten Commandments are listed. It reads this way:

"Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you." (Exodus 20:12, NIV)

Jesus cited this verse in Matthew 15:4 and 19:19, Mark 10:19, Luke and 18:20. The Apostle Paul also quoted it in Ephesians 6:2.

Of course, no household of faith (either Jewish or Christian) is complete without the primary passage, known as "The Shema." In English, this affirmation of faith reads as follows:

"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart,
and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
And these words, which I command thee this day,
shall be in thine heart:
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children,
and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house,
and when thou walkest by the way,
and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand,
and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house,
and on thy gates." (
Deuteronomy 6:4-9, KJV)

The classic biblical example of motherhood is described in the thirty-first chapter of the Old Testament book of Proverbs. This account portrays an ideal that may seem impossible to reach. Actually, biblical scholars have speculated that this description applies more to a combination of many virtuous women, rather than one single paragon of feminine honor.

A mother who bears even a handful of the traits described here is worthy of admiration indeed.

"Who can find a virtuous woman?
For her price is far above rubies.
The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her,
so that he shall have no need of spoil.
She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
She seeketh wool, and flax,
and worketh willingly with her hands.
She is like the merchants' ships;
she bringeth her food from afar.
She riseth also while it is yet night,
and giveth meat to her household,
and a portion to her maidens.
She considereth a field, and buyeth it:
with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
She girdeth her loins with strength,
and strengtheneth her arms.
She perceiveth that her merchandise is good:
her candle goeth not out by night.
She layeth her hands to the spindle,
and her hands hold the distaff.
She stretcheth out her hand to the poor;
yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of the snow for her household:
for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
She maketh herself coverings of tapestry;
her clothing is silk and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates,
when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
She maketh fine linen, and selleth it;
and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
Strength and honour are her clothing;
and she shall rejoice in time to come.
She openeth her mouth with wisdom;
and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
She looketh well to the ways of her household,
and eateth not the bread of idleness.

Her children arise up, and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praiseth her.

Many daughters have done virtuously,
but thou excellest them all.

Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain:
but a woman that feareth the LORD,
she shall be praised.

Give her of the fruit of her hands;
and let her own works praise her in the gates."
(
Proverbs 31:10-31, KJV, emphasis added)

Abbreviations of Scripture Translations Used:

AMP = The Amplified Bible (Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation).

CEV = Contemporary English Version (Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society).

KJV = King James Version (Public Domain)

MSG = The Message (Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson).

NASB = New American Standard Version (Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation).

NIRV = New International Readers Version (Copyright © 1996, 1998 by International Bible Society).

NIV = New International Version (Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society).

NLV = New Life Version (Copyright © 1969 by Christian Literature International).

NLT = New Living Translation (Copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.).

 

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