The Teacher – The Godly Woman (XV)

Sue and I have three sons: Jonathan, Benjamin and Philip. Sue completed her education at Year 10 level, but with my assistance from 1990-2003, supervised the three boys in their education at home, through to the completion of their Year 12 Certificates. This process of having the children at home for those years with their mother in particular, has in my opinion, made a major difference to their outlook on life. They have all appreciated it.

Can a Mother Teach her Children?

The Bible has a lot to say about a mother being a teacher:

* “Listen my son…do not forsake your mother’s teaching” (Prov.1:8).

* “My son…do not forsake the teaching of your mother” (Prov.6:20).

* “The sayings of King Lemuel, an oracle which his mother taught him” (Prov.31:1).

* “She speaks with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue” (Prov.31:26).

* “I would lead you and bring you into the house of my mother, who used to instruct me” (Song of Sol.8:2).

Clearly, the Biblical picture of a wife and mother, requires her to be intimately involved in the training of her children.

* Noah Webster, in his Dictionary of 1828, defined Education as:

The bringing up, as of a child; instruction; formation of manners. Education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and for the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties.

So, What Could Education Involve?

1. The fear of the Lord. Ps.34:11; Prov.31:30.

2. Loving and serving Jesus Christ.

The goal of a Christian education is to prepare children for the victory that is theirs in Christ Jesus. ..[a mother] must comprehensively teach her children that apart from Christ, there is no salvation…she needs to focus on rearing strong, confident, God-fearing individuals who will uncompromisingly take their place in adulthood, ready, willing and eager to proclaim the crown rights of Jesus Christ. [1]

3. The Ten Commandments, (as a beginning).

4. Christian responsibilities of home and family. Tit.2:4-5; I Tim.5:14.

5. Academics, theology and church history. (Depending on abilities, these may primarily be the husband’s responsibility, but his wife can certainly have a role.)

6. How to: budget, shop, cook, do banking, clean the house, use a computer, do book-keeping, drive a car, provide health and medical care, physical education, and the use of First Aid.

7. Whatever are her areas of capability: sewing, gardening, music, art, etc.

8. The ethics of work and labour. Prov.31:27. Luther said, “A housemaid who does her work is no farther away from God than the priest in his pulpit”…  [and] Zwingli and Calvin believed that “work was connected with the joy of creating and exploring even the wonders of creation.[2]

9. The necessity for and legitimacy of, entreprenerial activity (Prov.31:16, 24).

“If your careful to bring them up diligently in proper business, [the Puritan, Benjamin Wadsworth advised parents] you take a good method for their comfortable subsistence in the World (and for their being serviceable in their Generation) you do better for them, than if you should bring them up idly, and yet leave them great estates.” [3]

10. Hospitality and care for the needy. Prov.31:20.

11. Good manners and social etiquette. Prov.16:24; Ro.12:10-16.

This is not an exhaustive list, but represents the beginnings of what a woman can engage in, in the process of discipling her children.

Two Biblical Examples-Rachel and Leah:

* Not outwardly or publicly prominent women.

* They were faithful with what they had been given.

* They raised Jacob’s sons to be patriarchs.

* Joseph (the only son Rachel discipled), ultimately proved to be the family’s deliverer.

* These two women “built up the house of Israel” (Ruth 4:11).

* What could be more important than raising godly children?


Christian women need to understand that God has big plans for them, with their children! This involves training and discipleship, so that the process of the Great Commission (Mat.28:18-20), begins at home, with the family.

The heart of her husband trusts in her, and 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 bless her; her husband also, and he praises her, saying, ‘many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all’ (Prov.31:11-12, 28-29).

[1] Andrea Schwartz, ‘The Woman of the House: A Covenantal Voice of Victory,’ in “Faith for all of Life” magazine, Chalcedon foundation, Nov/Dec 2009, p.15.

[2] Bell, quoted in Rushdoony, R. J., “Salvation and Godly Rule,” 1983, p.374.

[3] Morgan, E., “The Puritan Family, Religion & Domestic Relations in 17th Century New England,” 1966, p.66.

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