Strength in Motherhood: 10 Inspiring Biblical Mothers Who Endured Hard Things

🌺  Written by Sarah

Do you count yourself among mothers who are enduring hard things?

In honor of Mother’s Day, let’s look at these 10 mothers in the Bible who endured hard things.

They can encourage us in our own journeys as mothers now.

 

1. Eve

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Eve’s name means “mother of all the living,” as described in Gen. 3:20.

She was the first woman to bear a child when her son Abel was born.

Sadly, she was also the first woman to endure the loss of a child, when her son Cain took Abel’s life (Gen. 4:8).

Though she endured this terrible difficulty, she was blessed with the birth of more children, including Seth (Gen. 4:25).

Seth was in the bloodline of Jesus, the Savior to come from Eve’s lineage, as described in 1 Chronicles 1.

Eve’s story is encouraging because God redeemed the bad for the greater good.

 

2. Hagar

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Hagar was an Egyptian slave in Abraham’s house.

Since his wife Sarah could have no children, Abraham agreed to Sarah’s idea to have a child through Hagar.

However, after Hagar conceived, Sarah mistreated Hagar, so she fled, as told to us in Gen. 16.

Though Hagar was mistreated and abused, God met her in the wilderness and spoke encouraging promises about her pregnancy.

The angel announced God’s promise to her:

“I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.” (Gen. 16:10, NIV)

Though Hagar suffered, God took care of her and fulfilled His promise to her, as He takes care of us too.

 

3. Sarah

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Sarah was Abraham’s wife, and she dealt with the hardship of infertility.

But God opened her womb well into her eighties.

The birth of Isaac when Sarah was 90 years old made her laugh and brought her great joy, as described in Genesis 21:1-17.

Through Sarah’s story, we learn that God can do miracles even in situations that seem impossible.

 

4. Leah

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Leah was unloved by her husband Jacob, who was tricked into marrying her.

However, God saw that Leah was unloved so he blessed her with children to comfort her (Gen. 29:31).

Leah received the honor of being Judah’s mother.

Judah was the one chosen in the 12 tribes of Israel to be the bloodline of King David and eventually Jesus.

God redeemed Leah’s sadness and turned it into a great blessing for many.

 

5. Hannah

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Hannah was childless and tortured by her husband’s other wife, who had children.

In her distress and grief, she poured out a request to God in prayer:

“Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head” (1 Sam. 1:11, NIV)

God honored her request, and Samuel became one of the greatest prophets in Israel.

Through Hannah’s story, we see the power of prayer and the blessing of a mother’s sacrifice.

 

6. Bathsheba

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Bathsheba was the wife of Uriah the Hittite. However, king David wrongly took her, slept with her, and impregnated her. Sadly, the baby was born and only lived a few days until it died.

Though Bathsheba endured much pain, including infant loss, God restored her story.

Eventually, King David married Bathsheba and they conceived another son – Solomon.

Bathsheba enjoyed the blessing of seeing her son Solomon become the wisest and richest king the world has ever known.

God took Bathsheba’s struggles and turned them into good, as promised in Romans 8:28.

 

7. A Woman in Solomon’s Time

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When Solomon was king, a dispute arose between two women as described in 1 Kings 3:16-28.

Both women had baby boys, but one baby had died in the night.

One of the women switched the babies in the middle of the night. Yet each woman claimed the living baby was her own.

To settle the dispute, Solomon boldly proposed to divide the living baby between the two women. However, the real mother cried out on behalf of the baby, and then Solomon knew she was the true mother and protected the baby’s life.

This woman received God’s abundant grace in a desperate time of need.

 

8. Mary

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As a teenager, Mary was chosen to be the mother of Jesus, the long-awaited Messiah.

She had great faith when she said to the angel:

“I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:38, NIV)

Her willingness to face shame and criticism as a young mother is inspirational.

Her unwavering commitment to her Son, especially after watching Him suffer, was essential at the start of the early church, as noted in Acts 1:14.

Mary’s practice of pondering things in her heart likely helped Luke write his gospel, which has been a blessing to countless millions.

 

9. A Canaanite Woman

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A Canaanite woman had a child suffering from demon possession.

Canaanites had long been enemies of the Jews. But since she was desperate for her daughter to be healed, she cried out for Jesus’ help, risking rejection.

However, Jesus commended her great faith and granted her request, and her daughter was instantly healed as described in Matthew 15:21-28.

God cares when our children are sick and troubled, and He hears the heart cries of mothers pleading on their behalf.

 

10. Eunice

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Timothy was a young pastor under Paul’s teaching. Timothy’s mother Eunice was a Jewish believer, but his father was Greek, as told in Acts. 16:1. It’s possible that this difference of belief created friction in the family.

Timothy’s grandmother Lois was also a believer.

These two women passed on their beliefs to Timothy, whom Paul commended for his “sincere faith” (2 Tim. 1:5, NIV).

The intentional acts of Eunice and Lois to pass their faith on to Timothy were instrumental in helping the Gospel spread in the early church.

Their example can inspire mothers today to be faithful in passing on their Christian beliefs to their children, even if fathers don’t share in the belief.

 

How to Trust God’s Plan – When You Don’t Know What it is

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Do you ever struggle to trust God’s plan for you or to wait patiently on His timing?

It’s difficult when you want answers, for the pain to go away, or to step into a new and exciting future.

Thankfully, waiting doesn’t have to be a painful season. It can be an exciting season of growth while you prepare for whatever God has for you next.

How to Trust God’s Plan – When You Don’t Know What it is

 

How to Read the Bible (Easy Instructions for Beginners!)

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Want to learn how to read the Bible for yourself, but you’re not sure where to start or how to understand it?

Reading the Bible is a lot easier (and way more enjoyable) than you might think. You just need a step-by-step guide to help you get started.

How to Read the Bible (Easy Instructions for Beginners!)

 

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Brittany Ann Equipping Godly Women

About the author

Brittany Ann is an ECPA bestselling author of “Fall in Love with God’s Word” and “Follow God’s Will” and the founder of EquippingGodlyWomen.com, a popular Christian-living website dedicated to helping busy Christian moms find practical ways to go "all in" in faith and family. Her work has been featured on CBN, The Christian Post, Crosswalk, and more.

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