Calvary Road Baptist Church


I am an inveterate collector of old family photos. I have photos of my parents, my grandparents, and four of my eight grandparents. I must have 10,000 pictures on file on various thumb drives to protect myself from the loss of all those memories.

Because today is Mother’s Day, I spent some time looking at pictures of my Aunt Scottie and my mom throughout her lifetime. My Aunt Scottie is now a ninety-six-year-old widow, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother who was my first babysitter before her children were born.[1]

A Christian woman, during my infancy she looked after me from time to time, sang me to sleep with Christian hymns, and prayed for me because she knew my mom and dad well enough to know they would not. She lives in Oklahoma near her daughter. I called her a few days ago to tell her how much I love and appreciate her.

I cannot tell you how profoundly grateful I am to have had such women in my life as Yvonne Little, Charlene Johnston, and Shirley French. They were very much surrogate mothers to me, and I thank God for them. How God used those women particularly to nurture me, encourage me, pray for me, and mother me in ways my beloved mother did not and could not because my mom was not a Christian mother.

I also had two wonderful grandmothers I loved dearly. I had several aunts who were wonderful blessings. I have lovely cousins who are among the sweetest Christian mothers I know. For the last couple of weeks, however, I have reflected, perhaps as only a man my age can, on the appreciation God has cultivated in my heart as a result of what I did not experience growing up the firstborn son of a woman who was not numbered among the saints of God.

In particular, the Lord brought to my mind the notion of liberty. When you consider a young woman, contemplate her as a your future wife and the mother of your children against the backdrop of liberty. You young men whose sights are set on future marriage and family. And you young women who are not yet married or mothers. Reflect on yourself as someone who will someday embody a woman set at liberty.

Because it is Mother’s Day, and because my mother (who I miss so much and think about frequently) was not a believer in Jesus Christ, I want to do two things: First, I want to read to you several of the twenty-five verses in God’s Word including the word liberty. Then, I want to bring six relationships only a Christian mother can experience, six relationships only a mom set at liberty can live as a witness to her children and others on this Mother’s Day.

Here are the verses without comment or explanation: 

Leviticus 25.10:

“And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.” 

Psalm 119.45:          

“And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.”

Isaiah 61.1:

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” 

Jeremiah 34.15:       

“And ye were now turned, and had done right in my sight, in proclaiming liberty every man to his neighbour....” 

Jeremiah 34.16:       

“But ye turned and polluted my name, and caused every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, whom ye had set at liberty at their pleasure, to return, and brought them into subjection, to be unto you for servants and for handmaids.” 

Jeremiah 34.17:       

“Therefore thus saith the LORD; Ye have not hearkened unto me, in proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother, and every man to his neighbour: behold, I proclaim a liberty for you, saith the LORD, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will make you to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.” 

Luke 4.18:  

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” 

Romans 8.21:          

“Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” 

1 Corinthians 7.39: 

“The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.” 

1 Corinthians 8.9:

“But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.” 

1 Corinthians 10.29:

“Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience?” 

2 Corinthians 3.17: 

“Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” 

Galatians 5.1:           

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” 

Galatians 5.13:

“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” 

James 1.25: 

“But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” 

James 2.12: 

“So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.” 

1 Peter 2.16:

“As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.” 

Liberty in Christ is the freedom to do right, think right, and act right, not the license to do wrong. Liberty is bestowed to God’s children, those adopted into the family of God, and those set free from legal constraints to obey the perfect law of liberty.

That understood, I want to set the liberty of motherhood before you, making observations and asserting declarations not before realized by many of you and opposed by some in connection with you. 


Of course, the Jewish mother who does not know Christ occupies a somewhat different position concerning God than a Gentile woman who is lost. Though the Bible clearly shows that the Jewish mother who does not know Christ is guilty before God and faces eternal torment, her situation is not the same in this life as the Gentile unsaved woman’s predicament. The Jewish lost mother is not alien from the commonwealth of Israel. The Jewish lost mother is not a stranger to the covenants of promise. There are other matters I will not address at this time. Suffice it to say, however, that the Jewish mother who dies rejecting Jesus Christ faces the same eternal damnation anyone else who dies lost faces, as is seen in the case of the Jewish rich man’s damnation in Luke 16.19-25.

The Gentile mother who does not know Christ knows none of the benefits granted by God’s grace to the Jewish people deriving from the unconditional promise made to Abraham.[2] The non-Jewish mother who is not a believer finds herself in the same predicament illustrated by the Greek mother who sought the Savior’s help for her demon-possessed daughter without privileges of any kind before God.[3] The Savior likened her situation to a dog looking for crumbs falling from a table. Quite different from the relationship with the Savior, many mothers imagine they have for no other reason than being mothers. Her situation was desperate, as is every unsaved mother’s situation before God, despite the honor they are to be shown by their children and our culture. No one possesses saving merit before God. Not even mothers. Thankfully, the account of that mother’s interaction with Christ in Mark 7.24-34 ended well, with her faith in Christ being the means of her sins being forgiven and her daughter being rid of demonic oppression.

The Christian mother, whether Jewish or Gentile, has a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, and that is through faith. If you are a mother who knows Christ, you occupy a grand and glorious relationship with God. You are an adopted child of God through faith in Christ, and you are granted a privileged place in the grand scheme of God. Reflecting that, consider the commandments God gave to Israel at Mount Sinai, with the command to honor fathers and mothers preceding the commands not to murder, not to lie, not to commit adultery, and not to steal or covet.[4] So lofty is your place as a mother in the purpose of God, so insistent is God that you be treated with respect by honoring you, that Leviticus 19.2-3 reads, 

2 ... Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.

3 Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the LORD your God. 

You Christian mothers are not to be honored only. You are to be feared. That issue is another sermon from God’s Word. Time constraints prohibit the full development of this point. 


Unlike Islam, which systematically denigrates Muslim women by discounting their value as witnesses of fact,[5] by dismissing their competency as responsible adults,[6] and by dismissing their spirituality as interfering with men’s prayers,[7] the faith once delivered to the saints acknowledges female believers, which would include mothers who know Christ, as having equal standing and status before God. Galatians 3.28 reads, 

“there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” 

Unlike Hinduism, which used to denigrate Hindu women by the practice of suttee, the Indian custom of burning a widow on the funeral pyre of her dead husband soon after his death.[8] A religious tradition that sanctions the murder of a mother for no other reason than the death of her husband attests to that religion’s unequal treatment of mothers.

Concerning the Christian faith and God’s plan for every believer involving membership in and commitment to a Church congregation, her status is singular. If you want to become a Christian, no one can stop you from trusting Jesus by faith. If you do not want to become a Christian, no one can force you to take a step that a heart’s belief unto righteousness can only take. Also, no Christian mother can be denied Christian baptism to become a member upon the satisfactory demonstration of her faith in Christ and willingness to enter into the Church relationship. Indeed, not her husband or any other member of her family. No Christian mother needs anyone’s permission to faithfully serve God in her Church, to attend her Church, to seek out the advice and counsel of her pastor, to benefit from the mentoring of an aged woman, to engage in ministry, or submit to or participate in the Church’s ordinances.

The Bible contains no indications of such a thing as auxiliary membership, whereby anyone, including mothers, occupy diminished roles and responsibilities subject to their fathers if they are adults or their husbands if they are married. I have known men who attempted to forbid their wives certain things. Once, a man tried to ground his wife by taking the keys to her car from her. Once, a man told his wife, “I forbid you to talk to the pastor without my permission.” Such men betray their weaknesses and do not understand the difference between despotism and spiritual leadership. Christian women are given liberty in Christ. And Christian women follow their husbands because, by God’s grace, they choose to rather than because they have to. But I am spilling over to the next relationship. 


What a topsy-turvy world we live in after a century of concerted opposition to the plan and purpose of God in our culture, not the least of which is the sabotaging of the institution of marriage as it is reflected in the Word of God.

Established by God when He created Adam’s wife, Eve, and described her as “an help meet for him,” Genesis 2.20, efforts are underway throughout the world to undermine and overturn every aspect of marriage that resembles the Biblical template.

To be sure, each Christian mother enjoys the liberty she has in Christ to engage in any activity she freely chooses, as seen in Proverbs 31.10-31, in Acts 9.36-41 with Dorcas, in Acts 16.14 with Lydia, and in Acts 18.2-26 with Priscilla. Husbands are not bosses but leaders. And wives are not slaves but partners. The hierarchy in marriage is functional, not a scaling of merit or value.

Key to remember, however, is the Bible’s original description of the Christian mother’s initial task as the wife and her husband’s help (which is quite different from the husband being the help to his wife). How important is this matter? And the duty of a husband? Some mothers lose sight of the proper priority, placing their motherhood duties ahead of their wifely responsibilities. That is a mistake my dear mom made. The husband and wife relationship mirrors the Lord Jesus Christ’s relationship with the Church, Ephesians 5.22-33, not the Christian woman’s motherhood relationship with her kids. Thus, while motherhood is profoundly important, it is secondary to her role as a wife in modeling the relationship of the believer to Christ for her children and others.

You, sir, are to sacrifice for her, while she is subject to you. What do you sacrifice for your wife, the mother of your children? Your time, not hers. Your convenience, not hers. Your work, not hers. Your strength, not hers. Sacrifice those things, sir. Current taxation, government policy, and all the rest is so confusing to the young that concerted efforts are needed from fathers and mothers to demonstrate by example that believers do not work for their salvation. The Savior did. As the Savior died on the cross on our behalf, mothers are well-served by husbands who support Biblical motherhood by demonstrating a willingness to die if necessary to provide for their families. The apostle does not picture mothers sacrificing for their husbands, but the reverse. As Christ for the Church, husbands sacrifice for their wives, the mothers of their children.[9] 


Modern feminism disgusts me. It disgusts me that someone would have such profoundly distorted values that working a job, any job, is felt to be more critical, more satisfying, and more beneficial to a family or a culture than devoted Christian motherhood. Granted, more and more mothers work.

But what could possibly be more challenging than engaging in the formation of another human being’s personality over the course of approximately twenty years? Then there is the task of multiple personalities being formed in families with two or more children growing up simultaneously? With each child, except in the case of twins, passing through different stages of intellectual and physical development.

Add to that the astounding privilege of collaborating with the children’s father to provide spiritual nurture. Clearly, the mother’s is the more complex of the parenting tasks involved, from pregnancy and delivery to nursing and caring for first an infant, then a toddler, and so on. As the child grows, mom’s duties change as is age appropriate.

She sets an example that communicates to her children the relationship of a believer to Christ, as she leads her children while being led by her husband. With her daughter, she models Christian womanhood and femininity. With her son, she also models Christian womanhood and femininity and sets the example that communicates the relationship of a believer to Christ to her children.

But whereas her daughter grows up to be like her, her son grows up to be unlike her, at some point turning from her as his model to his father as his template for adulthood. This is a complexity most dads do not appreciate very well, and some clingy mothers also seem not to grasp about their sons.

Additionally, the way a mother shows love to her children is not precisely the same way a father shows love for his children. Mothers have typically included close proximity with their children as demonstrating love, while men have shown love each day by leaving their children in order to provide for them. Modern culture is complicated, but historically this is the routine pattern.

Add to that the complexities of mothers raising their daughters to be husband followers while raising sons in the same home and at the same time to be wife leaders. Methinks there are a number of nuances to early child development that mothers are far more sensitive to than fathers. 


There are sororities of mothers. Being a woman bestows membership in one sorority. Being a wife confers membership in yet another sorority. Being a Christian woman grants membership in still another sorority. And being a Christian woman who is a mother bestows membership in a sorority of mothers beyond the sorority of mothers who are not Christians.

What does that mean? It means you will come to possess as a Christian wife and mother a gravitas, a degree of respect among your peers and near peers, that women who are not married, women who are not mothers, and women who are not Christians do not enjoy. Of course, silliness prevents some from realizing that earned respect and position. As does loudness and stubbornness.

Given time, faithfulness, the acquisition of wisdom, and experience, you will become by God’s grace what some here are already, one of the aged women the Apostle Paul described to Titus, in Titus 2.3-5: 

3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. 

Although the Apostle Paul pointedly comments about an aged woman’s ministry to younger women, Christian women, Christian wives, and Christian mothers, it would be naive to imagine such women do not have influence that is much broader than what is mentioned. God wants your influence to broaden, and the men in your life who are worth more than ten cents do, as well.

Influencing young Christian wives who are mothers to be holy, not to be false accusers, not to be wine bibbers, to be teachers of good things, to be sober, to love their husbands and children in a way most women do not, and to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, are things men other than your husband takes note of.

A guy who just about kills himself providing for his family picks up on those peripheral women like you who help his wife be a good woman, a great wife, and a successful mom. He appreciates the fact that someone like you ministers to him in his exhaustion by encouraging his wife in ways he hasn’t the time, energy, or know-how to accomplish himself. And he thanks God for you, even if he cannot muster the words to express his gratitude to you directly. 


Let me revisit the final phrase of Titus 2.5, “that the word of God be not blasphemed.” Whether you are a young Christian wife and mother who directly contributes to the effort to live your life so that the Word of God is not blasphemed or a more seasoned mother or grandmother who helps younger Christian moms to accomplished this weighty responsibility, your impact as a Christian mother ends up being far more extensive than most people realize.

Drop a pebble into the smooth glass water of a pond and watch the concentric circles move outwardly until they reach the shoreline surrounding the pond. That is the effect you have as a Christian mother on others as a witness to God’s grace, Christ’s sufficiency, the Spirit’s empowerment, and the Scripture’s truth.

You have an impact, Christian mom, whether you are conscious of your effect. Sometimes the ripples are small by the time they have extended from you to the other person affected by your life and ministry. But even small ripples move what is floating on the water. 

My two grandmothers, one of whom conscientiously prayed for and witnessed to me, are gone. My mother, who I never heard pray for me, read the Bible to me, or witness to me, is gone. Charlene Johnston and Shirley French, who encouraged and prayed for me, are gone.

Of the mother figures in my life, and I am a convinced momma’s boy who profoundly regrets that my mother is not a believer, are all gone save one. She is ninety-six years old, and I have known her as Aunt Scottie, with her knowing me as Steve, my middle name, for seventy-two and a half years. No one else alive has known me for so long.

Before she was a mother, she began mothering me after a fashion, by volunteering to babysit me for my mom whenever she wanted. On those occasions, she sang Christian hymns to me and prayed for me, as she loved me, held me, fed me, changed me, and bathed me.

How could I possibly know this side of eternity, the role she and her prayers for me played in my life, God’s superintending protection over me, and my life as a Christian man and Gospel minister in answer to her prayers?

I do know this, Christian mom. You, too, can have such an influence on others’ lives. By God’s abundant grace, what a wife you can be, what a mother you can be, what a teacher of other women you can be, what an influencer beyond your wildest imagination you can be. I commit you to such an approach to motherhood.

And what if you are not a Christian mom? It is still Mother’s Day. We still honor you. But we want so much more for you. We want you to know our Savior, Whom to know is life eternal.

You may think your motherhood is nearing the end, but what an impact you can have for Christ in the time that remains. With some, your motherhood has not yet begun, so for you, there is a great opportunity for preparation.

And if you are a mother but not yet a Christian mother? Don’t your beloved children deserve a new Christian mom who can tell her children what Jesus has come to mean to her?

On this Mother’s Day, I urge you to cast off your concerns for anyone and anything other than the will of God for your life and come to Christ.


[1] Nicknamed Scottie because of her maiden name (Scott), my Aunt Scottie was married to Joe Bill Little, who lived at Cherry Creek, SD in 1950-1951, where my parents and I also lived among a small group of Bureau of Indian Affairs government employees on the Indian reservation. Born and raised in Amarillo, Texas before marrying her World War Two veteran husband, my Aunt Scottie is widowed, the mother of a son and daughter, a grandmother, and great grandmother. With me being the first child born to the young government employees’ wives, Scottie was available to my mother to care for me from time to time during the first two years of my life after we arrived from Wheeler, Texas when I was six weeks old.

[2] Genesis 12.1-3

[3] Matthew 15.21-28

[4] Exodus 20.12-17

[5] In an Islamic court, two women are required to offset the testimony of one man.

[6] Throughout much of the Muslim world women are prohibited from movement outside the home unless accompanied by a male member of the household, and are prohibited from dressing in a fashion not approved by men.

[7] The prayer of a Muslim man is said to be disrupted if a dog or a woman passes in front of him while he prays.

[8] Though Internet sources falsely claim suttee was a voluntary practice, in reality the widow was typically bound or drugged to accomplish the foul practice.

[9] Ephesians 5.23-25.

Would you like to contact Dr. Waldrip about this sermon? Please contact him by clicking on the link below. Please do not change the subject within your email message. Thank you.