by Jane Grafton
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” III John 4
Since becoming a parent, I have occasionally reflected on the mother of Judas Iscariot, whose son betrayed Jesus for thirty paltry pieces of silver. Especially since nothing is told of this lady in the Bible, I could never begin to judge her as a parent—nor do I wish to do such.
After all, it is not unusual for two children from the same family to go in two completely different directions. Though they had the same parents and the same basic upbringing, somewhere along the way each of those children came to a point where, for whatever reasons, they made certain choices regarding the course their lives would take. I am familiar with the hurt a wayward child causes a parent as is indicated in Proverbs 10:1b which says, “a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.” I caused my own mother some heaviness of heart when, for a time, I ran with the wrong crowd. Possibly knowing that my backsliding was a result of my choosing to go against the principles my parents had taught me has helped me to not judge others who have unspiritual or backslidden children.
My purpose in referring to Judas’ mother is not to judge her. Rather, I want to pose a question to those of us who are still in the process of rearing our children: Did Judas’ mother have many regrets? If, in years to come, we have to watch our children flounder away from God, it certainly seems it would be a help to know that we had done all we knew to do at the time we were rearing them.
Quite possibly Judas’ mother was what we would consider the ideal mother. On the other hand, possibly her attitudes of life were the primary factor in setting the course for this young man’s miserable existence.
Did Judas’ mother do her best in rearing her son? Did she study the Scripture looking for principles of child rearing, or did she go along with what-ever happened to be the accepted child-rearing trends of the world in her day?
Did she not only in word, but also by her example, try to teach Judas to live for that which is eternal, or was she more concerned about his sharp clothes and whether he was popular and well-liked by his teachers and friends?
Did she quietly pray for God to direct his steps as she worked with his teachers and other leaders to help him become a person of character, or did she routinely manipulate and scheme to help him be in the spotlight performing for others, wanting him to be chosen as the lead character in the class play?
Did she care more about his integrity and attempt to train him to be a man of decency, or did she cover for his sins, mistakes and wrong behavior in order to impress other people?
Did Judas’ mother administer Scriptural discipline as needed, or was she afraid of what others would think if she spanked him? Did she realize the seriousness of his offenses and disobedience when he was in his formative years, or did she smile at his antics, thinking his behavior was “cute” and simply part of his being “all boy”?
As a mother I ask myself, am I more interested in Carissa’s character, her spiritual development and her heart condition, or am I, by the things I say and do, teaching her to live for material things and be more concerned with how she looks before others than what God already knows her to be?
May we all determine to do our best to train our children according to Biblical principles and trust God to work in their lives as we consistently pray for, unconditionally love, and diligently train the children God has given us to rear for Him.