Moms’ Great Stories Stretch Back to Genesis

Every mom has a story.

What was her childhood like?

Was she good at sports as a kid?

Did she like to read as a teenager?

What was her favorite subject in school?

The answers to those questions – our stories – shape who we grew up to be and the moms we are today.

An interesting question to ponder: If our stories are unusual, unconventional, or downright tragic, does that mean we can’t be “good” moms? I think absolutely not. Quoting M. Scott Peck, “It is only because of problems that we grow mentally and spiritually.”

Consider a mom that certainly was not what society considered traditional, or initially even acceptable, in biblical history. Genesis 38 tells the story of Tamar – twice widowed by Judah’s sons and refused her then-rightful marriage to Judah’s third and final son in order to have a son. (For a wonderful novella expanding Tamar’s story, check out Francine Rivers’ Unveiled.)

When her plight became apparent, Tamar took things into her own hands. She dressed as a prostitute, and seduced Judah himself in order to become pregnant – risking her very life itself to bear a son.

Her planning and ingenuity in keeping items to identify to Judah that he was the father of her unborn children saved her life. Tamar gave birth to twin boys, one of whom was Perez, whom we can trace to Boaz, to David, and, ultimately, to Jesus.

Was Tamar’s story unusual? Yes.

Unconventional? I think that goes without saying.

Was it tragic? Perhaps it could be viewed as such, at least at the beginning of her adult life.

But she took the hand she was dealt, did the best that she knew how to do, and ultimately raised two sons and believed, despite her early story, in a loving God. Without her unusual, unconventional, and perhaps tragic beginnings, would we have the lineage that led to the birth of the Messiah?

Although she may not have shared all the details with her sons – and there are always some things we are probably better off not sharing with our kids – boy, did she have a story. The fact that someone recorded that story for us to read today helps us understand the history of our faith. It doesn’t get much more powerful than that.

So, this year, as we’re approaching Mother’s Day, consider taking some time to record things about your story for your children, what shaped you into the person you are today. It’s your legacy that will last beyond a lifetime.

For a contemporary, tear-jerking look at the power of telling your story, check out the Mother’s Day video on


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