Having been a mother for many years and now being an empty nester, mothering is still on my mind quite often. As many of you probably know, I have had my ups and downs with mothering and struggles, lately, with what my role is supposed to be in the empty nest experience. I honestly did not think I would have a problem with having an empty nest, but withdrawal symptoms have risen up from a hidden place inside me.
I’ve been thinking about motherhood and how important the role of motherhood is and that has, of course, brought me to seeking out what the Bible tells us about mothers. There are many mothers in the Bible and the first one that God brought to my mind was the first woman and mother of the Bible, Eve.
Have you ever considered Eve? Yes, I am talking about the Eve of Adam and Eve.
I mean really, really considered her? I want to share a few insights that I have into her life after having had a fresh look at it.
There is not a lot mentioned in the Bible about her, yet everyone knows who she is. She is somewhat notorious meaning, famous in a “not so good” way.
I went back and read the first part of Genesis Saturday in order to refresh my memory with the order and simple facts that the Bible gives about her life.
Allow me to refresh yours with what was impressed upon my heart. First of all let’s look at her creation as opposed to Adam’s creation…this is the first mention of her creation:
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth. And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.
I just want to note that according to the above scripture, I understand that a big part of her destiny was to become a mother.
Now, here is a description of Adams creation in a little more detail:
And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.
And Adam said:
There is a difference in the way that Eve was created as opposed to Adam’s creation. This to me explains the many faceted differences in man and woman. This explains why men and women are not exactly alike in the ways that they think, live, operate or exist.
Then we read something else:
So, according to this, it was proclaimed by her husband why she was named Eve.
Wow, Eve, the MOTHER of all living…
Now, I am writing a blog entry and not a book so let’s skim through the scene in the garden of Eden as quickly as possible. This can all be found in the first few books of Genesis, the commandment was given to Adam to not eat the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, although the Bible does not specifically say when, the same command was communicated to Eve. The serpent came in and tempted Eve. Eve gave in to temptation and coaxed Adam to do the same. According to my Bible, it doesn’t look as if she had to do a lot of persuading. They are both removed from the Garden of Eden and God pronounces His sentences or curses on each of them. They continue to live.
As you read on in Genesis, you see that they must have produced a lot of children and in reality, a woman can birth about 1 child a year (believe me I know, because I birthed 3 in 3 years in my child bearing years.) The Bible tells us that Adam lived to be almost 1,000 years old so you can do the math.
Now, this is an assumption but I believe they were still able to communicate with God and that He was still able to communicate with them because, although they did not have the Bible to read, their sons knew about God and the need to sacrifice their first fruits to Him.
So now, move forward to Cain and Abel. We read about two of their sons, we know very little about their birth order. We don’t know where they are in the birth order or what their age difference is.
A good son and a bad son. Same parents…
Bad son gets angry, classic case, in a lot of ways, of sibling rivalry but he takes it so far as to murder his good brother and then try to hide it from God. Bad son is exposed, cursed and banished and according to the Bible produced a nation of people who have very similar character traits to the ones he exhibited in his dealings with his brother.
Now, let’s look back at Eve.
One son dead and one son banished. She had lost two sons amidst all the rest of her struggling life. It looks to me as if she was still bearing children just as fast as they would come so there had to have been little ones running around needing care while she was trying to survive through the Cain and Abel drama.
If you are a mother, you know, like I know that we love all of our children no matter what they do to each other or how much they hurt us. It doesn’t matter how many we have either we still have the capacity to love them all passionately.
Did she grieve?
Did she cry?
Did she care?
Did she get angry at God?
Did she suffer from depression?
Did she have time for any of the above?
Many questions, and I could build up a great big imaginative scenario but I won’t because God doesn’t tell us anything else about her except that she did produce one other mentionable son who was a good one, Seth.
I wonder if he was a good replacement for the pain of the previous losses or if maybe his presence was the healing balm.
I, for one, can vouch for the fact that one child can never replace the loss of another. There is still a big void when there is a missing child, whether he be dead, banned or prodigal.
Anyway, just thought I would mention some of my thoughts about a mother that I have been looking at the last couple of days. Maybe it will raise a few thoughts in your own heart.
Whatever your struggles are, the Bible will quickly show you that you are not alone, no matter what it is. There is encouragement, just knowing this simple fact!
Just take a moment to consider Eve…
I will close for today,
Love and Godspeed,