The Concerns of a Christian Mother 

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • May 10, In the year of our Lord, 2015


  1. The difference between non-Christian and Christian mothers: 
    1. The non-Christian mother
      1. wants to make men and women
      2. of her children.
    2. The Christian mother
      1. builds men and women of God
      2. from her children.
  2. A Christian mother and preacher’s wife who died over 180 years ago, 
    1. had concerns for her children, and
    2. her concerns ought to be the concerns of women today.
      1. Paul told the Philippians to,

        17 …note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern (Phi 3.17).
      2. Therefore, consider the outcome of her life and imitate her (Heb 13.7).
    3. I speak of Margaret Campbell, first wife of Alexander Campbell.
      1. I took these quotations from Robert Richardson’s book,
      2. The Memoirs of Alexander Campbell.
        1. She died when she was 36 years old.
        2. All eight of her children preceded their father, Alexander, in death.


  1. That Her Children Know Scripture

    During the fall months, Mrs. Campbell’s disease, which in the summer had seemed slightly alleviated, began rapidly to increase, and it soon became apparent that recovery was hopeless. Of this she had herself long been convinced, and looked forward to the time of her release with the utmost composure. Her chief desire seemed to be that she might first see her youngest daughter, Clarinda, able to read the New Testament. One day, when Miss Counselman called in to see her, she found her listening to her little daughter, now six years old, reading to her out of the sacred volume, upon which occasion she remarked that the Lord had granted her desire, and that she was fully ready to depart.

    1. I do not know of a greater tool to possess than the ability to read.
      1. Poor is he who cannot or will not read.
    2. Christian mothers know what the Bible is, and
      1. she wants her children to read it daily, because
      2. she knows it gives the only formula for true success,

        8 “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” (Jos 1.8).
        2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
        And in His law he meditates day and night.
        3 He shall be like a tree
        Planted by the rivers of water,
        That brings forth its fruit in its season,
        Whose leaf also shall not wither;
        And whatever he does shall prosper.
        (Psa 1.2–3)
    3. The Christian mother encourages her children to read the Scriptures:
      1. by teaching reading,
      2. by being caught reading the Bible by her children,
      3. by making it obvious that her life is built on Scripture,
      4. by buying their own Bibles
      5. by teaching respect for its care, and
      6. by delighting to hear them read it.
  2. That Her Children Imitate Jesus Christ

    Shortly before her death, she assembled her five remaining daughters around her bed, and made to them an address expressive of her hopes and wishes in regard to their future course in life. After speaking of her gratification in knowing that they could all now read the Scriptures, she thus continued:“The happiest circumstances in all my life I consider to be that which gave me a taste for reading and a desire for understanding the New Testament. This I have considered, and now consider, to be one of the greatest blessings which has resulted to me from my acquaintance with your father. Although I have had a religious education from my father, and was early taught the necessity and importance of religion, yet it was not until I became acquainted with the contents of this book, which you have seen me so often read, that I came to understand the character of God, and to enjoy a firm and unbounded confidence in all his promises…I say to you, then, with all the affection of a mother, and now about to leave you, I entreat you, as you love me and your own lives, study and meditate upon the words and actions of the Lord Jesus Christ. Remember how kindly he has spoken to and of little children, and that there is no good thing which he will withhold from them who love him and walk uprightly.”

    1. A Christian mother exhorts her children
      1. to imitate Christ, and
      2. her exhortation must be with authority.

        15 Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you (Tts 2.15).
    2. She encourages with authority by
      1. a consistent example,
      2. beginning early in life, and
      3. building her children’s trust in her.
        1. Often we delegate training our children to others
          1. so that children do not see their mother
          2. as one to trust.
    3. What has a Christian mother gained
      1. when her children imitate Christ?
      2. Would you like to have Christ as a son?

        26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home (John 19.26–27)
  3. That Her Children Respect Their Father

    With regard to your father, I need only, I trust, tell you that in obeying him you obey God, for God has commanded you to honor him, and in honoring your father you honor Him that bade you do so. It is my greatest joy in leaving you that I leave you under the care of one who can instruct you in all the concerns of life, and who, I know, will teach you to choose the good part and to place your affections upon the only object supremely worthy of them. Consider him as your best earthly friend, and, next to your heavenly Father, your wisest and most competent instructor, guardian and guide. While he is over you, or you under him, never commence nor undertake nor prosecute any important object without advising with him. Make him your counselor, and still remember the first commandment with a promise.

    1. Children ought to respect their fathers
      1. because that is the teaching of Scripture,

        1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth” (Eph 6.1–3).
      2. Doing so, they place themselves
      3. under the protective authority of God.
    2. Such harmony with God and the family is encouraged by
      1. a Christian mother (and Christian father)
      2. who seek to build strong children.
        1. Example of Roy Lanier, Jr.
        2. Poor example of my second orthodontist.
  4. That Her Children Improve Their Minds By Spiritual Conversation

    As to your conversation with one another, when it is not upon the ordinary duties of life, let it be on subjects of importance, improving to your minds. I beseech you to avoid that light, foolish and vain conversation about dress and fashion so common among females. Neither let the subject of apparel fill your hearts nor dwell upon your tongues. You never heard me do so. Let your apparel be sober, clean and modest, but everything vain and fantastic avoid…have often told you, and instanced to you, when in health, the vain pursuits and unprofitable vanities of some females who have spent the prime and vigor of their lives in the servile pursuits of fashion…and what and where are they now? Let these be as beacons to you. I therefore entreat you neither to think, nor talk of, nor pursue these subjects. Strive only to approve yourselves to God, and to commend yourselves to the discerning, the intelligent, the pious. Seek their society, consult their taste and make yourselves worthy of their esteem.

    1. A Christian mother impresses upon her children,

      15b “For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God” (Luke 16.15b).
      15 And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Luke 12.15).
    2. A Christian mother encourages spiritual conversation.
      1. Yes, there are earthly things we must talk about, but
      2. how much of our conversation consists of things that do not matter?
      3. Think on these teachings,

        1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory (Col 3.1–4).
        29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers (Eph 4.29).
    3. The Christian mother improves her children’s spiritual minds by:
      1. Her example in conversation,
      2. Daily spiritual instruction,
      3. Encouraging Christian friendship, and
      4. Regulating worldly influences.
  5. That Her Children Remember That God Sees Them

    “But there is one thing which is necessary to all goodness, which is essential to all virtue, godliness and happiness; I mean necessary to the daily and constant exhibition of every Christian accomplishment, and that is to keep in mind the words that Hagar uttered in her solitude: ‘Thou God seest me.’ You must know and feel, my dear children, that my affection for you, and my desires for your present and future happiness, cannot be surpassed by any human being. The God that made me your mother has, with his own finger, planted this in my breast, and his Holy Spirit has written it upon my heart. Love you I must, feel for you I must, and I once more say unto you, remember these words, and not the words only, but the truth contained in them: ‘Thou God seest me.’ This will be a guard against a thousand follies and against every temptation…”

    1. Truly, God see us at all times,

      3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place,
      Keeping watch on the evil and the good.
      (Pro 15.3)
      13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account (Heb 4.13).
    2. The benefit of knowing God sees us:
      1. Guards against evil and temptation,
      2. Knowing that He knows our trials and helps us,


  1. Ultimate Concern of a Christian Mother: To Spend Eternity Together

    “I cannot speak to you much more upon this subject. I have already, and upon various occasions, suggested to you other instructions, which I need not, as indeed I cannot, now repeat…That we may all meet together in the heavenly kingdom is my last prayer for you, and, as you desire it, remember the words of Him who is the way, the truth and the life.”

    1. What concern surpasses this one?

      26 “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matt 16.26).
    2. Therefore, Christian mothers, encourage your children in that direction.
  2. All Energies Are Funneled Toward This Goal. 
    1. Be a Christian yourself.
    2. Make sure they know how to become a Christian.