Hannah: Hannah’s song is one of the most moving and personal in the Bible (1 Samuel 2). This childless mother received her miracle and dedicated her son back to God. Not all childless mothers receive their miracle but are still heard by God and are still a mother to many.
Elizabeth: Elizabeth was an older mother who raised her miracle son according to God’s plan and also helped her much younger relative Mary with wisdom and shelter in her pregnancy (Luke 1:23–25, 39–45).
Mary: Mary is depicted as such a strong character. Despite her young age, she is faithful and willing to take on the huge responsibility of carrying the Messiah (even at cost to her reputation). She is at the cross, unwilling to look away from her beloved Son even in the darkest hour. She takes an active interest in Jesus’ ministry.
Jochabed: This brave woman stood up to Pharoah and saved her son Moses, who would go on to be used by God to liberate his nation. She not only creatively saved him from the river, she nursed and raised him for Pharoah’s daughter (Exodus 2). The midwives who refused to kill the children for Pharoah should also get an honourable mention here as mother figures who protected the innocent (Exodus 1).
Anna: This old widow had strong faith and a prophetic prayer life. Her approach to Mary and Joseph in the context of worship and ritual must have been an encouragement to them. Never underestimate the older women in our worship communities who play an important, faith-building role in our children (Luke 2:36-38).
Lois and Eunice: The apostle Paul gives these two faithful women a shout out in one of his letters. Lois and Eunice are the mother and grandmother of Timothy, a young man of faith who was leading the church and being mentored by Paul. Paul credits these two mothers with passing their faith on to Timothy. Grandmothers are mothers who can be instrumental in passing on faith to children (2 Timothy 1:5).
Syrophoenician woman: her protective motherly instincts kicked in and this tenacious mother wasn’t going to take no for an answer. Jesus honoured her faith as she fought for her child (Mark 7:24–30).
King Lemuel’s mother: While there is conjecture about who King Lemuel and his mother even are, it is clear the “king” (who may have been Solomon) holds his mother and her teaching in high esteem. The poem of the Proverbs 31 woman comes directly after her teaching and may be “inspired” by her. As poetry it can be understood as an ideal to be strived for, rather than standards to live by.
Wisdom: The wisdom of God is personified in Proverbs 8 as a woman who is also a mother. “Now then, my children, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways” (v32). Any mother who remains close to God is a gift to her children and the world.
Jehosheba: We don’t know if Jehosheba was a mother—but she was an aunty who put her life on the line to save her nephew prince Joash, a descendent of Jesus and a king who turned back some of the evil in the kingdom. Many aunties in our lives are just like mothers to us and their value cannot be underestimated. You can read her story in 2 Kings 11.