Lesson Focus: Cultivating Maternal Instincts
Read Genesis 3:20, ESV
The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
Studying Genesis 3:20
Not every woman has maternal instincts, nor should we assume that every woman who is a mother has maternal instincts. In fact, women are not the only ones who can possess or embody maternal instincts, men, and even animals can possess these qualities. Having maternal instincts implies there is an innate knowledge and set of caregiving behaviors that are an automatic part of becoming and being a mother, or motherly. I know women who did not have the advantage of having a mother or mother figure in their life and were raised by their fathers who accomplished being both mother and father in their lives. They have turned out exceptionally well and are lacking in nothing. Supporting the truth that maternal instincts are not feminine characteristics alone but can be qualities both male and female can cultivate and possess because all caring and nurturing characteristics come from God our Creator and heavenly Father.
Even after Adam and Eve sinned God’s instinct to love and nurture were in place. Just like someone who possess maternal instincts God’s instincts were to help, nurture, have compassion and restore his created beings. Though he named the consequences of their disobedience he also promised good for them and a future that included separation from Satan and offspring which Eve was to bear. (Gen 3:15). Immediately afterward, Adam gave his wife a new name, to replace the first name he had called her (woman) because she had been taken out of man, he (Gen. 2:23) now named her “Eve” because she would be the mother of all the living. He recognized Eve was not only created to be a helpmeet to him but to nurture, care for and have motherly instincts towards all the living. Mothering was part of her nature and capabilities. Even though sin had taken away so much of their blessing they had enjoyed, God also made it possible that a new blessing would be bestowed. Genesis 3:20 can reminds us that not even sin needs to keep us from experiencing God’s blessing or being promoted in our life or circumstances. Because God is all powerful and loving, possessing both feminine and masculine characteristics, understanding the needs of his created beings fully, nothing can get in the way of his blessing us as we need and is appropriate for our life. Sin does not need to be a destroyer of life but with God’s grace, love, forgiveness, nurturing, and compassionate spirit sin can also be a portal to experience new blessing and way of life.
Meditating on Genesis 3:20
On Mother’s Day we may traditionally celebrate women who have borne or raised children, but Adam shows us how to celebrate and honor women and everyone who has cultivated and embraced the maternal instinct and made it one of the qualities and characteristic they possess. How can what you see and learn through Genesis 3:20 impact your own character and who might you be appreciating especially today?
Praying Genesis 3:20
Heavenly Father while we appreciate mothers today, especially those who have been willing to cultivate their maternal instincts, we also appreciate and are thankful for everyone-including those who have never had or raised children and men, for the loving, caring, nurturing spirit they have embraced and made part of who they are. There impact on lives is tremendous and we praise them for all they have done to make us better. Amen