Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages (Exodus 2:9). Many times all over the world people have read this story or are told the story. This mother had remarkable pluck. Everything was against her, but she would not give up. Her heart never failed. She made as brave a fight as any man ever made at the sound of cannon or the roar of musketry. Mothers are always brave when the safety of their children is concerned. This incident happened out west last summer. A mother was working in a garden and the little one was playing. The mother heard the child, sitting under a tree in the yard, scream; she ran, and a huge snake was wrapping its coils about the baby, and as its head swung around, she leaped and grabbed it by the neck and tore it from her baby and hurled it against a tree.
As a mother she is always brave when the safety of her children is concerned. Fathers often give up. The old man often goes to boozing, becomes dissipated, takes a dose of poison and commits suicide; but the mother will stand by the home and keep the little band together if she has to manicure her fingernails over a washboard to do it.
If men had half as much grit as the women there would be different stories written about a good many homes. Look at her work! It is the greatest in the world; in its far reaching importance it is transcendently above everything in the universe - her task in moulding hearts and lives and shaping character. If you want to find greatness, don't go toward the throne; go to the cradle, and the nearer you get to the cradle, the nearer to greatness.
Now, when Jesus wanted to give His disciples an impressive object lesson, He called in a college professor, did he? Not much. He brought in a little child and said: "Except ye become as one of these, ye shall in no wise enter the kingdom of God." The work is so important that God will not trust anybody with it but a mother. The launching of a boy or girl to live for Christ is greater work than to launch a battleship.
Moses was a chosen vessel of the Lord and God wanted him to get the right kind of a start, so He gave him a good mother. There wasn't a college professor in all Egypt that God would trust with that baby, so He put the child back in its mother's arms. He knew the best one on earth to trust with that baby was its own mother.
When God sends us great men He wants to have them get the right kind of a start. So He sees to it that they have a good mother. Most any old stick will do for a daddy. God is particular about the mothers. Therefore, the great need of this country or any other country is good mothers, and I believe we have more good mothers in America than any other nation on earth. If Washington's mother had been like Happy Hooligan's mother, Washington would have been a Happy Hooligan.
Somebody has said, "God could not be everywhere, so He gave us mothers." Now there may be no poetry in it, but it's true that "the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world," and if every cradle was rocked by a good mother, the world would be full of good men as sure as you breathe. If every boy and every girl today had a good mother, the saloons and disreputable houses would go out of business tomorrow.
I thank God for what mother's love has done for the world. Oh, there is power in a mother's trust. Surely as Moses was put in his mother's arms by the princess, so God put the babes in your arms, as a charge by him to raise and care for. Every child is put in a mother's arms as a trust from God, and she has to answer to God for the way she deals with that child. No mother on God's earth has any right to raise her children for pleasure. She has no right to send them to dancing school and haunts of sin. You have no right to do those things that will curse your children.
That babe is put in your arms to train for the Lord. No mother has any more right to raise her children for pleasure than I have to pick your pockets or throw red pepper in your eyes. She has no more right to do that than a bank cashier has to rifle the vaults and take the savings of the people. One of the worst sins you can commit is to be unfaithful to your trust. "Take this child and nurse it for me". That is all the business you have with it. That is a jewel that belongs to God and He gives it to you to polish for Him so He can set it in a crown. Who knows but Judas became the godless, good-for-nothing wretch he was because he had a godless, good-for-nothing mother? Do you know? I don't.
Who is more to blame for the crowded prisons than mothers? Who is more to blame for the crowded, disreputable houses than you are, to let your children gad the streets with every Tom, Dick and Harry, or keep company with some little jack rabbit whose character would make a black mark on a piece of tar paper. I have talked with men in prisons who have damned their mothers to their face. Why? They blame their mothers for their being where they are.
"Take the child and nurse it for me, and I will pay you your wages." God pays in joy that is fireproof, famine proof and devil proof. He will pay you, don't you worry. So get your name on God's payroll. "Take this child and nurse it for Me, and I will pay you your wages." If you haven't been doing that, then get your name on God's payroll. You have been drawing wages from the devil. Why have you a bleary eyed, sickly, cigarette smoking boy? Why have you a girl whose reputation is kicked around like a football? Why? You have been working for the devil, and see what you have.
"Take this child and nurse it for me, and I will pay you your wages". Then your responsibility! It is so great that I don't see how any woman can fail to be a Christian and serve God. What do you think God will do if the mother fails? I stagger under it. What if, through your unfaithfulness, your boy becomes a curse and your daughter a worry? What, if through your neglect, that boy becomes a Judas, when he might have been a John or Paul?
Down in Cincinnati some years ago a mother went to the zoological garden and stood leaning over the bear pit, watching the bears and dropping crumbs and peanuts to them. In her arms she held her babe, a year and three months old. She was so interested in the bears that the baby wriggled itself out of her arms and she watched those huge monsters rip it to shreds. What a veritable Hell it will be all through her life to know that her little one was lost through her own carelessness and neglect!
"Take this child and raise it for me, and I will pay you your wages." Will you promise and covenant with God, and with me, and with one another, which from now on you will try, with God's help, to do better than you ever have done to raise your children for God?
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