A Mother’s Day Reflection

As you celebrate the moms in your life—or contemplate your own journey of motherhood—take a moment to enjoy this Mother’s Day reflection from Rev. Dr. Nicole Martin.

This Mother’s Day, we reflect on the wisdom, grace, and love of the women who raised us. The Bible teaches us to honor our mothers and, in turn, empowers mothers with spiritual guidance as they lead and serve their families. As you celebrate the moms in your life—or contemplate your own journey of motherhood—take a moment to enjoy this Mother’s Day reflection from Rev. Dr. Nicole Martin.

Research from State of the Bible 2022 reveals that mothers are often one of the strongest influences when it comes to inspiring us to read and treasure God’s Word. How did your mother and grandmother influence your own spiritual formation?

Both of my grandmothers were strong women of faith who came from strong women of faith. Their prayers and songs were steady influences in my childhood, and they were deeply committed to Christian community through the church. My mother was no different­—rooted in prayer, committed to serving in the choir and leading our youth ministry, discipling younger people and women in faith. The women in each generation clung to God, in part because they had no choice. They understood what it means to fight for civil rights, to fight for their families, and to fight for their children to have better lives than they did. And they knew they could not do anything without God.

This passion that stems from deeply rooted faith is what I hope to pass on to my daughters. I already see the joy of the Lord in them through their prayers, their songs, and their love for God’s church. As they grow up, I pray that their faith grows deep and that they learn to depend on God desperately as all the women before us.

As a Christian leader, you deeply understand the importance of Bible engagement when it comes to faith. As a mother, how do you communicate this value to your own daughters?

I do my best to teach my daughters by modeling Bible engagement for them. They see me listening to the Bible as I get ready for the day. They see me meditating on God’s Word throughout the week. They hear me talking about Scripture with my husband, with friends, and especially with them. I want them to see Bible engagement as common and essential as reading the daily news. It should not be something that happens infrequently without application. I try to help them see God’s Word as a conversation partner to every part of our lives.

Mothers were hit hard by the pandemic, suffering some of the biggest declines in Scripture engagement over the past few years, according to State of the Bible. How have your Bible reading practices changed over the past two years, and how would you encourage another mom who is struggling to connect with God through the Bible these days?

The pandemic changed all of us in so many ways. My life became busier with the daily demands of family care, and I found it difficult to spend time with God—mostly because it was hard to take time for myself. Quiet time was replaced by meal prep, homework duties, and all the cleanup that comes after that. Gradually, I realized that if I do not take time for myself and prioritize time with God, I cannot love and serve my family well.

I had to see Bible reading as part of my own soul care that would help me to care for my girls. I also started more practical ways of engaging with the Bible, like listening to an audio Bible while I prepare for the day, meditating on Scripture while I take care of dinner or laundry, and, perhaps most importantly, actively fighting the guilt that would come when I couldn’t do it all. Practicing God’s grace in Bible engagement became one of my most essential truths during this pandemic!

Is there a mother or mother figure in the Bible who exemplifies a spiritual leader in your mind?

I have always admired Abigail. When she is introduced in 1 Samuel 25, she does not yet have children. But, because of her sensitivity to who David was, what he needed, and how she could help despite the limitations around her, she eventually became David’s wife and the mother of one of his sons. Her care for God’s people and willingness to act quickly reminds me so much of what it means to be a mother today. We have to be sensitive to God, willing to love deeply and act quickly, at times, in order to avoid disasters. Most importantly, perhaps, is the fact that, like Abigail, mothers have a critically important role in protecting our families by serving God with sensitivity and grace.

What advice would you give to a mother who desires to shepherd her children in reading and treasuring the Bible?

I’d say let’s make Bible reading fun and natural for ourselves and for our children. Engaging in God’s Word can happen just as easily at the dinner table as it can just before bed. We can weave the Bible into our everyday engagements with our kids; praying Scripture over them before they go to school, reading a few verses as part of a shared meal, and even challenging older kids to memorize verses with games and rewards. As long as Bible reading is important for moms, we can strive to model that importance for our kids with lots of love and grace.

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Rev. Dr. Nicole Martin
Rev. Dr. Nicole Martin

Rev. Dr. Nicole Martin served as the Senior Vice President for Ministry Impact at American Bible Society until November 2022. In this role, she oversaw American Bible Society’s ministry efforts in five key areas: Translation, First Bible, Armed Services Ministry, Trauma Healing, and the Faith and Liberty Initiatives. She resides in Baltimore with her husband, Dr. Mark Martin, and their two daughters, Addison and Josephine.

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