The Law of Your Mother

Title: The Law of Your Mother

Bible Book: Proverbs 1 : 8

Author: Franklin L. Kirksey

Subject: Mother; Mother's Day



Dr. Charles R. Swindoll writes, “I SMILE as I remember the Mother’s Day card I saw that was really cute. It was a great big card written in little child’s printing—little first-grade printing. On the front was a little boy with untied sneakers. He had a wagon, and toys were everywhere. He had a little cut on his face and there were smudges all over this card. It read, ‘Mom, I remember that little prayer you used to say for me every day.’ Inside, ‘God help you if you ever do that again.’”[1]

Rev. James Smith (1802—1862), predecessor of Charles Spurgeon at New Park Street Chapel in London from 1841 until 1850, writes, “A mother's influence is great; a mother's love is strong. Every mother therefore should endeavor to use her influence wisely, and for her child's eternal good. A very great responsibility rests upon godly mothers, which they should realize, and realizing — should act under a sense of it. The mother's life — should be the child’s lesson; and the mother’s words — should be the child’s law. The authority of the mother — is essentially the authority of love; and the teachings of the mother — should be the teachings of love. With these thoughts in the mind, we want to enforce the inspired admonition to the young, ‘Do not forsake the law of your mother!’”[2] Rev. Smith outlines Proverbs 1:8 as follows:

I. The OBJECT to be Regarded.

II. The TEMPTATION to be Resisted.

III. The ADMONITION [to be Reinforced].[3]

Dr. George Lawson (1749-1820) writes, “It is here supposed that parents will instruct their children. They are monsters rather than parents, who do not love the fruit of their own bodies. Love will dispose persons to do all the good they can to the objects of it; and the best thing that can be done for children, is to teach them the fear of the Lord. To be careful about providing the supports of life, or raising portions for children, without taking care of their souls, is like taking care of the clothes, and being indifferent about the body that wears them.”[4]

Note three things related to the law of your mother.


I. First, the acceptance of the law of your mother.

Proverbs 1:8 reads, “My son, hear the instruction of your father, And do not forsake the law of your mother.” Proverbs 6:20 reads, “My son, keep your father’s command, And do not forsake the law of your mother.” (Emphasis mine) When it comes to “the law of your mother,” you can reject it, resist it, or receive it.

Proverbs 1:10-19 reads, “My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent. If they say, ‘Come with us, Let us lie in wait to shed blood; Let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause; Let us swallow them alive like Sheol, And whole, like those who go down to the Pit; We shall find all kinds of precious possessions, We shall fill our houses with spoil; Cast in your lot among us, Let us all have one purse’— My son, do not walk in the way with them, Keep your foot from their path; For their feet run to evil, And they make haste to shed blood. Surely, in vain the net is spread In the sight of any bird; But they lie in wait for their own blood, They lurk secretly for their own lives. So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain; It takes away the life of its owners.”

Do you remember Toya Graham, the mother from Baltimore, Maryland, who recognized her son and forcefully removed him from the harmful situation in the riots? The sixteen-year-old son, Michael Singleton told ABC News, “I understand how much my mama really cares about me. I just got to try to do better.”[5] This story reveals the correlation between a mother’s love and a mother’s law. Proverbs 29:15 and 17 read, “The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. . . . Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight to your soul.” Proverbs 10:1 reads, “A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.” Proverbs 15:20 reads, “A wise son makes a father glad, But a foolish man despises his mother.” Proverbs 23:22-25 reads, “Listen to your father who begot you, And do not despise your mother when she is old. Buy the truth, and do not sell it, Also wisdom and instruction and understanding. The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, And he who begets a wise child will delight in him. Let your father and your mother be glad, And let her who bore you rejoice.”


II. Second, the alliance with the law of your mother.

Proverbs 1:9 reads, “For they will be a graceful ornament on your head, And chains about your neck.” Dr. E. H. (Edward Hayes) Plumptre (1821-1891), former professor of pastoral theology at King's College in London, comments, “To the Israelite’s mind no signs or badges of joy or glory were higher in worth than the garland around the head, the gold chain around the neck, worn by kings and the favorites of kings (Genesis 41:42; Daniel 5:29).”[6]

Proverbs 6:20-23 reads, “My son, keep your father’s command, And do not forsake the law of your mother. Bind them continually upon your heart; Tie them around your neck. When you roam, they will lead you; When you sleep, they will keep you; And when you awake, they will speak with you. For the commandment is a lamp, And the law a light.” (Emphasis mine) Psalm 119:105-112 reads, “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. I have sworn and confirmed That I will keep Your righteous judgments. I am afflicted very much; Revive me, O Lord, according to Your word. Accept, I pray, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O Lord, And teach me Your judgments. My life is continually in my hand, Yet I do not forget Your law. The wicked have laid a snare for me, Yet I have not strayed from Your precepts. Your testimonies I have taken as a heritage forever, For they are the rejoicing of my heart. I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes Forever, to the very end.” (Emphasis mine)

Valerie Elliot Shepard shares the following in “A Snapshot of Elisabeth Elliot”: “I thoroughly enjoyed my life. . . .” After recounting the death of her father, Jim Elliot (1927-1956), and recalling the dangers with her mother, Elisabeth Elliot Gren, among the Auca Indians, she further shares, “I realize now that my mother deeply trusted the Lord, and she completely entrusted her only child into God’s capable hands.”

Valerie concludes, “My mother believed God brought us to the Aucas to share the good news with them. Every night when she put me to bed, she sang and prayed for us. I always felt completely secure and safe. I still remember two special songs from those childhood years in the jungle—‘Jesus, Tender Shepherd, Hear Me’ and ‘The Lord Is My Shepherd.’

Perhaps the most important gift from my mother was that she instilled in me a confident trust in my heavenly Father. She believes and lives the promises of God.”[7]


Dr. George Lawson writes, “The inspired writer takes it for granted, that the

instructions of parents will correspond with the law of God. Can it be supposed that parents will give stones instead of bread, or serpents instead of wholesome nourishment, to their children? If they do, they are not to be obeyed, for they act not as parents, but as enemies. The children of Jonadab denied themselves, for many generations, some of the pleasures of the land of Canaan. This they did from a regard to the advice of their progenitor. But when the commands of our earthly parents only enforce those laws of our heavenly Father which are designed for our own benefit, every motive of interest and duty, whether divine or human, concurs to enforce our obedience. These laws ought to be bound continually upon our hearts, that they may be ever present to our souls.”[8]

Ephesians 6:1-3 reads, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’ which is the first commandment with promise: ‘that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.’” From the wisdom of Agur recorded in Proverbs 30:11 and 17 we read, “There is a generation that curses its father, And does not bless its mother. . . . The eye that mocks his father, And scorns obedience to his mother, The ravens of the valley will pick it out, And the young eagles will eat it.” (Emphasis mine)

2 Timothy 3:1-5 reads, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” Please note, being “disobedient to parents” is one of the marks of the coming apostasy.

Matthew 18:6 reads, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” Who are the “little ones”? While it can refer to those recently born again it obviously refers to little children. Matthew 18:1-5 reads, “At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, ‘Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.’”

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord. . . .” (Ephesians 6:1) The phrase “in the Lord” is also found in 1 Corinthians 7:39, “A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.”

Exodus 20:12 reads, “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.” Honor your parents and God will honor you and when God honors you, your parents will receive honor again!

III. Third, the assistance from the law of your mother.

Proverbs 22:6 reads, “Train up a child in the way he should go, when he is old he will not depart from it.” Josh Billings (1818-1885) writes, “Tew bring up a child in the wa he should go-travel that wa yourself.”[9] “More than many people want to admit, how we train our children determines their values, views and behaviors as adults,” [George] Barna said in a July 22 [2002] news release. In addition, Barna stated, “If you want a moral society, you must develop it by raising children who understand and embrace good values and standards. Leadership based on consensus is always prone to satisfying the lowest moral standard. Leadership based on firm and unchanging standards of virtue never goes wrong.”[10]

Deuteronomy 6:6-9 reads, “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 11:18-21 reads, “Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, like the days of the heavens above the earth.”

Amy Carmichael’s (1867-1951) mother “operated under one rule: train up her children so that each would know, love, and serve God. It was a hands on experience for her children. During Amy’s childhood, the loving nurturing Catherine [Jane Carmichael] constantly read stories, sang songs, and played with her seven children. When Amy recalled her early days, she remembered how her mother always helped her children get ‘endless fun out of life.’

The other side of Catherine’s training consisted of a deep personal relationship with God, dependency on God through faith and prayer, and helping the poor and needy. When the family needed something, she would pray with Amy and her siblings and then rejoice with them as God provided. Often, she would send them out with soup in hand for the sick in their neighborhood. By involving her children in charitable acts, they learned firsthand about faith and Christlike servanthood. . . . Amy Carmichael sailed to India, remembering all her mother taught her. She remembered her mother’s training as she prayed for her own limited finances on the mission field. She remembered as she battled disease called neuralgia that attacked her nerves, causing so much pain and weakness that she would be bedridden for weeks. Even when other Christians said she was crazy for staying in India, Amy remembered her mother’s convictions and remained firm in the Lord and true to her calling as a missionary. Under the influence of her mother’s faith, Amy made the world a kinder place.”[11]

Proverbs 31:10-12, 28-31 reads, “Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil All the days of her life. . . . Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all.’ Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, And let her own works praise her in the gates.”


Dr. George Lawson writes, “The instructions of a mother are to be considered by us as a law that we are never to forsake. When old, she is still entitled to our respect; and we are never to leave those good paths into which her affectionate care has directed our steps.”[12]

“My son, hear the instruction of your father, do not forsake the law of your mother” (Proverbs 1:8).

[1]Charles R. Swindoll, The Tale of the Tardy Oxcart And 1,501 Other Stories (Nashville, TN: Word Publishing, 1998), 398.

[2]James Smith, “The Law of Your Mother!” Sermon Notes, (Proverbs 1:8).

[3]Ibid. [Note: “to be Reinforced” added by author]

[4]George Lawson, Expositions of the Book of Proverbs, In Two Volumes, Vol. 1 (Edinburgh: W. Oliphant, 1821), 8.

[5]Michael Cantrell, “Son of Baltimore Mother Who Slapped Him During Riots Speaks Out” Accessed: 05/06/15 .

[6]The Holy Bible According to the Authorized Version with an Explanatory and Critical Commentary, ed. F. C. Cook, Vol. 4, Proverbs, E. H. Plumptre (New York, NY: Scribner, Armstrong, 1875), 530.

[7]Mother’s Have Angel Wings: A Tribute To the Tears and Triumphs of Being a Mom, ed. and comp. Carol Kent, “A Snapshot of Elisabeth Elliot”, by Valerie Elliot Shepard (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress1997), 57.

[8]Lawson, Proverbs, 1: 120.

[9]Josh Billings, Hiz Sayings: With Comic Illustrations (New York, NY: Carleton, Publisher, 1866), 217.

[10]Art Toalston, “Slippage toward corporate scandal begins at home, Barna poll finds” posted July 29, 2002, BP News, Accessed: 05/07/15 .

[11]Mothers of Influence-Inspiring Stories of Women Who Made A Difference in Their Children and Their World, Manuscript written and compiled by Heartland Editorial Management in association with Snapdragon Group, Inc. (Colorado Springs, CO: Honor Books / Cook Communications Ministries, 2005), 127-128.

[12]Lawson, Proverbs, 1: 9.


Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey, pastor First Baptist Church of Spanish Fort 30775 Jay Drive Spanish Fort, Alabama 36527

Author of Don’t Miss the Revival! Messages for Revival and Spiritual Awakening from Isaiah and

Sound Biblical Preaching: Giving the Bible a Voice [Both available on in hardcover, paperback and eBook] & / [email protected] / (251) 626-6210

© May 10, 2015 All Rights Reserved

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