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Characteristics Of A True Mother

Characteristics Of A True Mother

1 Kings 3:16-29 ESV

16 Then two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him.
17 The one woman said, “Oh, my lord, this woman and I live in the same house, and I gave birth to a child while she was in the house.
18 Then on the third day after I gave birth, this woman also gave birth. And we were alone. There was no one else with us in the house; only we two were in the house.
19 And this woman’s son died in the night, because she lay on him.
20 And she arose at midnight and took my son from beside me, while your servant slept, and laid him at her breast, and laid her dead son at my breast.
21 When I rose in the morning to nurse my child, behold, he was dead. But when I looked at him closely in the morning, behold, he was not the child that I had borne.”
22 But the other woman said, “No, the living child is mine, and the dead child is yours.” The first said, “No, the dead child is yours, and the living child is mine.” Thus they spoke before the king.
23 Then the king said, “The one says, ‘This is my son that is alive, and your son is dead’; and the other says, ‘No; but your son is dead, and my son is the living one.’”
24 And the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So a sword was brought before the king.
25 And the king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other.”
26 Then the woman whose son was alive said to the king, because her heart yearned for her son, “Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and by no means put him to death.” But the other said, “He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him.”
27 Then the king answered and said, “Give the living child to the first woman, and by no means put him to death; she is his mother.”
28 And all Israel heard of the judgment that the king had rendered, and they stood in awe of the king, because they perceived that the wisdom of God was in him to do justice.

Message Recap

Often when we read this passage our focus in on King Solomon, King David’s son, whom God gave great wisdom. Earlier in chapter 3, we see that God appears before Solomon and asks him what he would like and God says he would give it to him. As the story show, Solomon requests wisdom. Looking at the story it is easy to see that God did indeed bless him with wisdom to governing the people and for discernment. However, with all that being said, King Solomon will not be the focus of this article. We will focus on and examine the actions of the two mothers that stood before King Solomon and their attitude towards the life of their children as we discuss characteristics of a true mother.

The scene can be viewed basically as a court scene where both women were standing before King Solomon. The first woman accuses the other woman of killing her baby and swapping the dead baby for the living baby of the first woman. Both women begin to argue, so King Solomon uses his God-given wisdom to come to a conclusion. He decides to cut the baby in half. The other woman does not care and would like nothing better than neither one of them having a child. Of course, as the passage shows, the true mother was willing to sacrifice having the child in her life in order to spare the lie of her child. The compassion of the first woman, gave King Salomon to knowledge to be able to actually be able to discern who the true mother was. As a result, the first woman and true mother was awarded her child and justice was served. That is the general plot of the passage, but below are a few things we learn from the examining the passage closely.

What Can We Learn From The Passage About The Characteristics Of A True Mother?

1) First, both women were prostitutes.

Prostitutes are almost always looked down upon. There are many reasons why a woman chooses or is forced into this profession, but notice the true mother still had love for her child. Sometimes people do things that we may not approve of or they are consumed with issues that they have going on in their lives. However, this does not mean that we should look down upon them or that they do not have love for their children. King Solomon could have very easily never even agreed to hear their case. We as Christian believers need to not stand in judgment but remember to pray people while they are in their situation.

2) A true mother is willing to sacrifice for her child.

As we look at the first mother we see that at the thought of her child losing their life, she was willing to never see or have access to then again. I can speak from experience, I can think of countless times where my mother was willing to suffer so that I could have a better life.

3) A true mother is one of compassion.

4) We must be careful whom we allow into our homes.

It is our job to protect our families. Anytime we can be of assistance to show the love of God, we should take every advantage, but we must be prayerful and sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Yes, this woman was a prostitute, but we can still learn and acknowledge the principal.

5) A true mother knows her child.

One thing about a mother that really cares for her children, she takes time to learn about them. When the true mother saw that what she thought was her child had died, she looks at the child closely and realized that this was indeed not her child. As parents, we need to make sure that we take time to study our children. School officials should not know more about your children than you do. God has given parents a great responsibility and level of influence in the lives of our children. We must not take this lightly. We must take time to study our children.

Final Thoughts


All those that God has blessed you with a great mother, please take time out to thank God for them and also please time to personally thank them. Lastly, as we begin our lives, we leave home and sometimes leave our elderly parents at home or at an assisted living facility by themselves. Please take time out to check in and care for your parents as much as possible. Every mother such as the true mother discussed in our passage truly has the love and compassion that is needed to truly parent a child. For those that do, let’s give them their flowers while they are still alive.

Related Messages In This Series

Focus On The Family

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