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Games and Activities for Christians

Summer is quickly approaching. With it comes some extra free time for kids. We can all agree that kids get far too much screen time these days. So to try and counteract that, we’ve made some fun and educational games and activities that can be enjoyed with family and friends while keeping God the center of focus. 

***Everything is in a printable PDF format so be sure to download them all!***

1. Bible Bingo

Bingo is so fun and exciting. The anticipation builds up and you are on the edge of your seat ready to place your markers down, hoping to yell “BINGO!” You can switch up each round by getting a bingo for the four corners, an X across the board, or making a border around the card (Look at the sample below). Having little prizes will make the game just that much more fun! Our printable includes 6 different Bingo cards, cards for the callers, and markers.


Click here to download a PDF of Bible Bingo 

2. Bible I Can Find

This printable is fantastic for little ones. This is similar to an ISpy game. Kids will have fun searching for each of the items on the page. There are two different pictures to print.

Click here to download PDFs of Bible I Can Find activity sheets

3. Bible Name It Fast Answers

This is an entertaining and lively game for a group. Test your Bible knowledge and see how many answers you can get in just a matter of seconds. The printable game includes 96 cards, including 4 blank ones to fill yourself. A set of instructions is included. 

Click here to download a PDF of Bible Name It Fast Answers game

4. Pictionary for Christians

Brush up your drawing skills with our printable Pictionary for Christians game. Our printable game includes 70 cards with different topics and scenes to draw. 

Click here to download a PDF of Pictionary for Christians

5. Spiritual Scavenger Hunt

Get out of the house and explore with this Spiritual Scavenger Hunt. This is great for groups.

Click here to download a PDF of the Spiritual Scavenger Hunt

6. Bible Alphabet Race

This is a fun printable for a group to do together at home. It is really simple and requires some creative thinking.

Click here to download a PDF of the Bible Alphabet Race

7. Bible Topics Word Searches 

Printable word searches on different Bible topics. We have included 6 word searches.

Click here to download PDFs of the Word Searches

These games and activities are also great for youth ministry groups. Please feel free to print and enjoy these activities with others. 

-Torrance Church of Christ


Common Phrases, Idioms, and Words Derived from the Bible

Did you know that many of the metaphors, figures of speech, and phrases that are habitually used today stem from the Bible? Although some of the meanings and definitions have veered off the path of the original context or intent, the fact that these expressions are accepted in everyday speech and literature emphasizes the influence the Bible has on society. 

***All scriptures are NIV unless otherwise noted***

“By the sweat of your brow”

Definition: something that is achieved by your hard work. 

Genesis 3:19: By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.

“Oh ye of little faith”

Definition: a mild rebuke in response to someone expressing doubt. 

Luke 12:28: If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!

Matthew 6:30: If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?

Matthew 16:8: Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread?”

“Throw/Cast the first stone”

Definition: describing someone who is quick to judge, criticize, or blame. 

John 8:7: When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

“The truth will set you free”

Definition: Accepting the truth about a circumstance or situation that will allow you to move forward in life. 

John 8:32: Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

“It is better to give than to receive”

Definition: It is more fulfilling to give to others than it is to receive.

Acts 20:35: In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work, we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ 

“Twinkling of an eye”

Definition: Something that occurs very quickly. 

1 Corinthians 15:52: …in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

“You reap what you sow”

Definition: Your consequences are shaped by your actions.

Galatians 6:7: Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.

“Labor of love”

Definition: Work someone does for their own enjoyment or for the benefit of someone else without expecting anything in return. 

1 Thessalonians 1:3: We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

“Fight the good fight”

Definition: Acting in a moral and ethical manner. 

1 Timothy 6:12: Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust”

Definition: a metaphor for death. 

Genesis 3:19: By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.

“Am I my brother's/sister’s keeper?” or “I’m not my brother's/sister’s keeper”

Definition: saying you are not responsible for someone or something that happens to them, usually in reference to a sibling.

Genesis 4:9: Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”  “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

“I am my brother’s/sister’s keeper”

Definition: being responsible for the well-being of someone, usually a sibling.

Genesis 4:9: Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”  “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

“The land of milk and honey”

Definition: a place that is thought to be prosperous. 

Deuteronomy 6:3: Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you.

Numbers 13:27: They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit.

Leviticus 20:24: But I said to you, “You will possess their land; I will give it to you as an inheritance, a land flowing with milk and honey.” I am the Lord your God, who has set you apart from the nations.

Exodus 3:8: So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.

“An eye for an eye”

Definition: justice that is achieved by a punishment equal to the crime. 

Exodus 21:23-25: But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life,  eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.

Leviticus 24:19-20: Anyone who injures their neighbor is to be injured in the same manner: fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. The one who has inflicted the injury must suffer the same injury.

The word “Scapegoat”

Definition: a person who is held accountable for another's wrongdoings.

Leviticus 16:10: But the goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the Lord to be used for making atonement by sending it into the wilderness as a scapegoat.

“Apple of my eye”

Definition: a person or thing that is cherished and held in high regard. 

Deuteronomy 32:10: In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye,

Zechariah 2:8: For this is what the Lord Almighty says: “After the Glorious One has sent me against the nations that have plundered you—for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye. 

“A man/woman after my heart” or “A man/woman after my own heart”

Definition: a reference to someone who shares beliefs, values, or interests with you. 

1 Samuel 13:14: But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.

Acts 13:22: After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’

“Be a man”

Definition: to handle a situation without complaint; to go about something with a tough perspective. 

1 Kings 2:2: “I am about to go the way of all the earth,” he said. “So be strong, act like a man.”

“Put your house in order”

Definition: to arrange your affairs; to solve your own problems; to correct your habits and issues. 

2 Kings 20:1: In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.”

Isaiah 38:1: In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.”

“Nothing but skin and bones"

Definition: describing someone who is unhealthily thin or emaciated. 

Job 19:20: I am nothing but skin and bones; I have escaped only by the skin of my teeth.

“By the skin of my/your teeth”

Definition: narrowly getting through or achieving something. 

Job 19:20: I am nothing but skin and bones; I have escaped only by the skin of my teeth.

“The root of the matter”

Definition: the essence or base of something. 

Job 19:28: If you say, ‘How we will hound him, since the root of the trouble lies in him

“Bite the dust”

Definition: to die; to fail at something; to fall. 

Psalms 72:9: May the desert tribes bow before him and his enemies lick the dust.

“At my wit's end”

Definition: used to emphasize that you are so overwhelmed with something and you are unsure what to do about it. 

Psalm 107:27: They reeled and staggered like drunkards; they were at their wits’ end.

“Eat, drink, and be merry”

Definition: expressing a carefree attitude; living in the moment and enjoying yourself. 

Ecclesiastes 8:15: So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.

Luke 12:19: And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”

“A little birdie told me”

Definition: to let someone know that you have received a piece of information without revealing the source of the information. 

Ecclesiastes 10:20: Do not revile the king even in your thoughts, or curse the rich in your bedroom, because a bird in the sky may carry your words, and a bird on the wing may report what you say.

“Four corners of the Earth”

Definition: representing the farthest parts of the earth; referring to something that is from all over the world. 

Isaiah 11:12: He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth.

“See eye to eye”

Definition: agreeing with someone; having the same opinion as someone. 

Isaiah 52:8 (KJV): Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion.

“No rest for the wicked”

Definition: referring to having a lot of work to be done. 

Isaiah 57:21: “There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”

“Rise and shine”

Definition: used to tell someone it is time to get up for the day. 

Isaiah 60:1: Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.

“A leopard can’t change its spots”

Definition: refers to a person's inability to change their basic character and personality traits. 

Jeremiah 13:23: Can an Ethiopian change his skin or a leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil.

“Laughter is the best medicine”

Definition: laughter benefits a person's attitude, outlook, and health. 

Proverbs 17:22: A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

“The writing on the wall”

Definition: there are clear indications that something bad is going to happen. 

Daniel 5:5-6: Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as it wrote. His face turned pale and he was so frightened that his legs became weak and his knees were knocking.

“To the ends of the Earth”

Definition: to express an unending amount of effort put into something. 

Zechariah 9:10: I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the warhorses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.

“Go the extra mile”

Definition: to put in more work or effort than is required or expected. 

Matthew 5:41: If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.

“Keep on the straight and narrow”

Definition: living in a way that is moral and ethical. 

Matthew 7:14: But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

“Wolves/Wolf in sheep’s clothing”

Definition: used to describe someone who puts off the air of moral intentions, but is concealing a malicious agenda. 

Matthew 7:15: Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

“A house divided”

Definition: refers to the division within any organization, including business, government, family, etc. 

Matthew 12:25: Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.

Mark 3:25: If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.

Luke 11:17: Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall.

“Fall/fell by the wayside”

Definition: to fail to complete something you started. 

Matthew 13:4 (KJV): And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up. 

Mark 4:4 (KJV): And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.

“Fly in the ointment” 

Definition: an irritation or a troublesome setback that causes the overall picture of something to be spoiled. 

Ecclesiastes 10:1 (ESV): Dead flies make the perfumer's ointment give off a stench; so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.

“Like a lamb led to the slaughter”

Definition: describing someone who obediently or innocently does what is expected without knowledge or understanding about the danger they will face. 

Jeremiah 11:19: I had been like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter; I did not realize that they had plotted against me, saying, “Let us destroy the tree and its fruit; let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name be remembered no more.”

Isaiah 53:7: He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

“Salt of the Earth”

Definition: used to describe people who are honest, reliable, and all-around good. 

Matthew 5:13: You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

“The blind leading the blind”

Definition: used to describe a person who lacks understanding in a matter that is providing advice of the matter to another. 

Matthew 15:13-14: He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”

“Sign of the times”

Definition: refers to something that highlights the way society is/was during a specific period, usually negative. 

Matthew 16:3: and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.

“Flesh and blood”

Definition: referring to a familial relation; referring to someone who is human. 

Matthew 16:17: Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.”

Ephesians 6:12: For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

“My/His/Her/Their cross to bear”

Definition: referring to an unfavorable situation or problem someone has to accept or deal with. 

Matthew 16:24  Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”

“Move/Moving mountains”

Definition: to achieve something seemingly impossible. 

Matthew 17:20: He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Matthew 21:21: Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.

Mark 11:23:  “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.”

1 Corinthians 13:2: If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

“The eleventh hour”

Definition: the very last possible moment to do something that needs to be done. 

Matthew 20:6 (KJV): And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?

“Kiss of death”

Definition: something that ensures the failure or ruin of a situation. 

Matthew 26:48-50: Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.

To “wash your hands” of something

Definition: to strip yourself of responsibility. 

Matthew 27:24: When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”

“Head on a platter”

Definition: a threat or desire to seek severe revenge or punishment. 

Mark 6:25: At once the girl hurried in to the king with the request: “I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”

“Good Samaritan” 

Definition: refers to a charitable and compassionate person. 

Luke 10:30-37: In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’  “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

To End 

It is pretty amazing the scope that the Bible has had on civilizations, cultures, societies, and the like. Can you think of any other words, phrases, or figures of speech we missed? 

Influential Mothers in the Bible

The mothers in the Bible held an instrumental role in reference to their children as well as their children’s relationship as well as their own relationship with God. Their stories hold a generous amount of insight that can be applied to motherhood and parenting today. 


Sarai (later known as Sarah), couldn’t give her husband, Abram (later known as Abraham) any children. She decided to grow a family through her slave, Hagar. When Hagar became pregnant, she grew to despise Sarai. This led to Sarai mistreating and rebuking Hagar. Hagar fled from the abuse. An angel found Hagar in the desert and told her that she was to go back to Sarai and submit to her. The angel promised that if she did, she would be rewarded with many descendants. Hagar faithfully returned and gave birth to a son, Ishmael.

Years later, Sarai (who now was known as Sarah) had a child. Once the child was weaned, a feast was held in his honor. Sarah noticed Ishmael was mocking her son, so she demanded that Hagar and the boy be sent away. Abram (now known as Abraham) was distressed because he didn’t want to send his son away. But God intervened and told Abraham to listen to Sarah, promising to make Ishmael a leader of a nation. Abraham listened and sent Hagar and his son off. They wandered the desert. 

Ishmael became extremely dehydrated, so she placed him under a bush for shade and cried. She feared Ishmael would die. But God came to her and provided water so that he would live. 

Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there, she began to sob. God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. Genesis 21:16-19

As her son grew, God stayed with him and protected him. 

When she first fled, Hagar faithfully and obediently returned to Sarah after being instructed to do so. Later, after being rejected and sent away, Hagar bravely took on the role of a single mother and journeyed through the desert. While in the desert, she struggled to keep her son well. But God hadn’t forgotten her, He saw her and provided. 


Despite desperately wanting children, Sarah spent the majority of her life barren and unable to conceive. Regardless, when Sarah was 90, God spoke to Abraham and promised him a son. 

I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her. Genesis 17:16

Because of Abraham and Sarah’s faithfulness, God, who is dependable and keeps to His word, fulfilled His promise to Abraham. Beyond her childbearing years, Sarah bore a son, Isaac, who would later become the father of Jacob. 

Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.” Genesis 21:6-7

Sarah’s story illustrates the importance of patients and emphasizes God’s timing is perfect and He delivers on His promises


After the Egyptians enslaved the Hebrews, Pharaoh became overwhelmed and angry about how quickly the Hebrews were multiplying. Because of this, he commanded the midwives to murder every male Hebrew baby born. However, the midwives did not listen to Pharaoh and allowed the baby boys to live. This pleased God, and He blessed the Hebrews with more babies. Angry, Pharaoh demanded that every Hebrew boy be thrown into the Nile River. A Hebrew woman, Jochebed, became pregnant. She birthed a boy and was fearful for her son's life. She tried to keep him and hid him away for three months. When she could no longer keep her son hidden, she placed her son in a basket and sent him down the Nile toward where Pharaoh’s daughter bathed. 

But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. Exodus 2:3

Miriam, the baby’s older sister, kept an eye on the basket until it reached Pharaoh’s daughter. When Pharaoh’s daughter saw a Hebrew baby in the basket, her heart was touched and she kept the boy to raise and named him Moses. As Pharaoh’s daughter had not given birth, she was in need of a woman who could nurse the boy. Miriam offered to find a Hebrew woman who could nurse the baby. Pharaoh’s daughter agreed, and Miriam fetched her and Moses’ mother. 

By faith, Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. Hebrews 11:23

Jochebed embodies what it means to trust in God and His plan. She saved her son by handing him over to the very household that wanted to kill him. With confidence and faith, she trusted that God would protect her child. 


Hannah was devastated because she experienced infertility. Her husband's other wife, Peninnah, mocked Hannah for her inability to have children. Hannah dreamt of nothing more than giving her husband a child. So, she prayed. Hannah promised God that if He were to give her a son, she would give her son over to Him to serve.

In her deep anguish, Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, “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 Samuel 1:10-11

In time, Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son, Samuel. 

So in the course of time, Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.” 1 Samuel 1:20

At the time, it was expected to go to the temple and offer God a yearly sacrifice. Hannah told her husband that once their child was weaned, she planned to keep her promise to God by bringing Samuel to the temple so he could serve God for the rest of his days. 

Hannah kept to her word, and once Samuel was weaned, she brought him to the temple.

“I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life, he will be given over to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord there. 1 Samuel 1:27-28

God was so pleased with Hannah, that he blessed her with 5 more children. 

Hannah demonstrates the significance of prayer and worship. She modeled great faith and obedience by entrusting Samuel to God. 


Rebekah married Abraham and Sarah’s son, Isaac. Rebekah and Isaac tried to have children, but it wasn’t until Isaac pleaded with God that she became pregnant. During her pregnancy, Rebekah felt two distinct bodies forming in her womb. She asked God why this had happened to her. God responded, telling her that the twins represented two nations that will one day be separated. 

The Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.” Genesis 25:23

When the twins were born, Rebekah named the oldest Esau, and the youngest Jacob. Being the eldest, Esau was the rightful heir to their father’s inheritance. Isaac favored Esau whereas Rebekah favored Jacob. 

One day when he returned from hunting, Esau asked Jacob if he could have some of the stew that Jacob had been making. Jacob agreed to give Esau some stew only if he promised to sell him his birthright. Ravenous, Esau agreed.  

When Isaac was old his vision began to wither. He called to Esau and requested that he go out and hunt some wild game to prepare a meal for him. Isaac promised Esau that after the meal, he would give him a blessing before he passed. Esau obediently left to go hunting. Rebekah overheard and instructed Jacob to go collect two of their best goats so that she could prepare a meal for Isaac. She told Jacob that he would then deliver the meal to Isaac so he could receive the blessing instead of Esau. Jacob was hesitant. 

Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “But my brother Esau is a hairy man while I have smooth skin. What if my father touches me? I would appear to be tricking him and would bring down a curse on myself rather than a blessing.” His mother said to him, “My son, let the curse fall on me. Just do what I say; go and get them for me.” Genesis 27:11-13

To be sure that Isaac wouldn’t figure out that it was actually Jacob, Rebekah disguised him in Esau’s best clothes and covered his hands and neck with goatskins. Jacob then went to his father with the food and received his father's blessing. When Esau came back from hunting, he prepared a meal and went to Isaac, ready to receive his blessing, only to discover that Jacob had already been the one to receive it. 

Isaac trembled violently and said, “Who was it, then, that hunted game and brought it to me? I ate it just before you came and I blessed him—and indeed he will be blessed!” When Esau heard his father’s words, he burst out with a loud and bitter cry and said to his father, “Bless me—me too, my father!” But he said, “Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing.” Esau said, “Isn’t he rightly named Jacob? This is the second time he has taken advantage of me: He took my birthright, and now he’s taken my blessing!” Then he asked, “Haven’t you reserved any blessing for me?” Isaac answered Esau, “I have made him lord over you and have made all his relatives his servants, and I have sustained him with grain and new wine. So what can I possibly do for you, my son?” Genesis 27:33-37

Esau was unable to forgive Jacob and decided that once their father passed, he would kill his brother. Fearful for Jacob’s life, Rebekah sent him away. 

Even though Rebekah was deceitful and hatched the plan that caused spite and anguish in her family, God’s plan was able to be carried out, as he had told Rebekah, “two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.” Regardless of her interference, God made certain that the oldest son ended up serving the younger. 

When it comes down to it, Rebekah only wanted what she saw best for Jacob. Sure, she went about it in a roundabout way, but she felt like it was the only way to get her son what he deserved. No matter how misguided, Rebekah was a mother trying to do all that she could for the sake of her son. Rebekah’s story highlights that humans are imperfect and make mistakes, yet, despite our flaws and imperfections, God and His plan prevail. 

Leah and Rachel 

Jacob left home and stayed at his uncle, Laban’s, house. Jacob ended up falling in love with his uncle’s daughter, Rachel. He asked his uncle if he could marry Rachel, and his uncle made a deal that he could marry her after working for him for 7 years. When the years were complete, Jacob requested Rachel’s hand in marriage. Laban agreed, and they held a feast in celebration. That night, Jacob went to bed with who he thought was Rachel. When morning came, Jacob realized that it was not Rachel in the bed with him, rather, it was her sister Leah. Angry, Jacob confronted his uncle and asked why he had been deceived. Laban explained that he needed to have his oldest daughter married first. Laban offered marriage to Rachel for another 7 years of work. 

Laban replied, “It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one. Finish this daughter’s bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work.” Genesis 29:26-27

Jacob and Rachel married, and it was very obvious to Leah that her husband loved her sister so much more than her. God took pity on her, and Leah soon fell pregnant. 

When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he enabled her to conceive, but Rachel remained childless. Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, “It is because the Lord has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.” Genesis 29:31-32

With the hope of earning Jacob’s love, Leah continued to have children. After she gave birth to 4 boys, she couldn’t have any more children. 

Rachel was outraged that she couldn’t give Jacob children of her own. In a fit of anger, she yelled at Jacob. Jacob pointed out that God was the only one who could make this happen. 

When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, she became jealous of her sister. So she said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I’ll die!” Jacob became angry with her and said, “Am I in the place of God, who has kept you from having children?” Genesis 30:1-2

But Rachel thought of another way. She gave her servant over to Jacob with the hope that they could build a family together through her. Rachel’s servant convinced two sons, and Rachel was excited to finally be a mother. But after the second son, Rachel remarked about finally beating her sister. Leah had her servant marry Jacob, too. Her servant provided Leah and Jacob with two more sons. 

One day during the harvest, Leah and Jacob's oldest was in the field and found some mandrake plants. Rachel asked Leah if she could have some of Reuban’s mandrakes as Mandrakes were thought to cure infertility. Leah was openly angry and accused Rachel of taking away her husband and now trying to take away her son's mandrakes. In a lightbulb moment, Rachel proposed that in return for the mandrakes, Leah would be able to sleep with Jacob that night. Leah agreed. After that day, Leah became pregnant with two more sons and a daughter. 

And Rachel was finally able to conceive. She gave birth to Joseph. But after Joseph was born, she asked God to provide her with another son. 

At this point, Jacob asked Laban for his permission to go back home with his wives and children. Laban did not want Jacob to leave, and soon Laban’s sons accused Jacob of stealing from their father. Laban's attitude toward Jacob changed. God instructed Jacob to take his family back to his homelands. Jacob and his family fled. Rachel felt slighted by her father for not receiving any of her inheritance, so unbeknownst to her father and Jacob, Rachel had stolen her father's household gods. Laban was furious that his gods were missing and that  Jacob had run away without saying goodbye to his daughters and grandchildren. One wild goose chase later, Laban caught up to Jacob and his family. Jacob promised Laban that nobody had taken his gods. Jacob went as far as to curse the person who took the gods with death. Rachel hid the gods away while Laban searched Leah and her servant. When he searched Rachel, he was unable to find his gods there. Satisfied that nobody in his family had taken his household gods, Laban and Jacob made up and the family parted ways. While traveling, Rachel became pregnant with another son, Benjamin. However, she died during childbirth. She was buried along the road. In the end, Leah was honored and buried beside Jacob, Isaac, Rachel, Abraham, and Sarah. Together, Leah and Rachel’s sons established the 12 tribes of Israel. 

Despite longing for love from her husband, God stepped in and blessed Leah with many children to fill the void of loneliness. She named her 4th son Judah (yes… the very Judah in Christ’s lineage), the fifth Issachar, and the sixth Zebulun. In Hebrew, Judah means praise, Issachar means reward, and Zebulun means honor. Leah acknowledged that her children were treasures from God, and she was filled with peace. 

Leah and Rachel both struggled with jealousy and insecurity. Leah didn’t feel like she was enough because she knew Jacob loved Rachel more. Just the same, Rachel felt less than because she was unable to provide children for her husband. Their story attests to the substantial impact jealousy and insecurity have. It is so important to be grateful for what you are given, know that even if you don’t know that you’re enough, God knows that you’re enough, and not compare yourself to others. 

Samson's Mother

Samson’s mother was visited by an angel of God. The angel told her that even though she was barren, she would become pregnant. The angel continued to tell her that the baby would spend his life dedicated to God. 

You will become pregnant and have a son whose head is never to be touched by a razor because the boy is to be a Nazirite, dedicated to God from the womb. He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines. Judges 13:5

Because the baby was to be a Nazirite from the time of conception, she was instructed to not drink wine or any other fermented drink, and steer clear of unclean foods. She dutifully accepted. 

She found her husband, Manoah, and told him what the angel had said. Manoah prayed, asking God to have the messenger return so that he could speak to the man and ensure that he knew how to raise his son right. The angel returned to the woman while she was working in the field. She excitedly fetched her husband and told him that the man was there to speak with them. The angel reiterated what he had said days before and Manoah, not realizing that he was speaking to an angel, offered him to stay for dinner. The angel declined, instead suggesting that they prepare a burnt offering for God. 

Once the offering was prepared, they lit it on fire and the angel ascended in the flames. Manoah and his wife fell to the ground and covered their faces. 

“We are doomed to die!” he said to his wife. “We have seen God!” But his wife answered, “If the Lord had meant to kill us, he would not have accepted a burnt offering and grain offering from our hands, nor shown us all these things or now told us this.” Judges 13:22-23

Manoah and his wife had their baby and named him Samson. As he grew, God continuously blessed him. 

Samson's mother shows us the importance of being sensible, practical, and dutifully following through with your responsibilities. She readily shouldered her obligation of motherhood and devoted herself to living the way necessary so that she could provide Samson with the opportunity God had for him. 


Because of a famine in Bethlehem, Naomi and her family had to relocate. Her husband settled on Moab as the place to start their new life. Unfortunately, while settling down, her husband and two sons passed away, leaving her behind with her two daughter-in-laws in a pagan land.

Naomi caught wind that God had blessed her people back home with food. She decided that she would go back home, and urged her daughter-in-laws to go back to their mothers' houses so they could once again find love and start a family. But her daughter-in-law Ruth refused to leave her side. So Naomi and Ruth made their way to Bethlehem. 

In Bethlehem, Ruth went and worked the fields so she could earn money for her and Naomi to live. When she returned from work, Naomi discovered that Ruth had been working in the field of a relative of her deceased husband, Boaz. Naomi knew it wasn’t fair for Ruth to not live her own life, so she decided to play matchmaker and devised a plan to get Ruth and Boaz together. Naomi instructed Ruth to meet Boaz on the threshing floor and lay with him. She informed Ruth that Boaz was the family’s guardian-redeemer. 

Ruth did as she was told. Boaz was on board to take Ruth as his wife, but there was one problem. He technically wasn’t the family guardian-redeemer. So Boaz met with the council and the guardian-redeemer first in line declined the offer to have Ruth as his wife. So it was settled that Boaz could take Ruth as his wife. 

Then the elders and all the people at the gate said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the family of Israel. May you have standing in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. Ruth 4:11

Ruth and Boaz married and bore a child, Obed, who eventually became David’s grandfather. 

So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he made love to her, the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.” Ruth 4:13-15

Even though Naomi had been full of grief over the loss of her husband and sons, God provided and blessed Naomi for taking care of her daughter-in-law. 

Naomi exemplifies what it means to have a big heart. Even though Ruth wasn’t her biological daughter, Naomi opened her heart and loved Ruth from the bottom of her heart. She provided her daughter with the life she deserved and made sure that she would be well taken care of. 


Elizabeth was another woman in the Bible who experienced infertility. Elizabeth and her husband, Zechariah, were both very righteous and followed the laws God had set in place. Elizabeth was far beyond childbearing age, but she and Zechariah did not let childlessness embitter them. 

One day Zechariah was working in the temple and the angel Gabriel visited him. Gabriel told him that God was going to bless him and Elizabeth with a child. 

But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Luke 1:13-17

Zechariah questioned the angel, insisting that he and Elizabeth were too old to have children. Because of his doubt, Gabriel told Zechariah that he will be unable to speak until the baby’s birth. Elizabeth became pregnant and hid away for 5 months. She was grateful to God for the opportunity to be a mother.  During the 6th month of her pregnancy, Mary learned that she was pregnant with Jesus. She went to Elizabeth. Upon seeing Mary, she knew that Mary carried the Savior in her womb. 

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” Luke 1:41-45

Instead of doubting Mary, Elizabeth validated her and supported her. Mary stayed with Elizabeth for 3 months. 

Elizabeth gave birth to her son, and on the day of his circumcision, they needed to give the baby a name. Per tradition, Elizabeth wanted to name the baby after her husband. But Zechariah’s mother spoke up and said his name was to be John. Everyone turned to Zechariah and asked him what he would like the baby to be named. He was handed a tablet to write on and confirmed that the boy was to be named John. After this, Zechariah was able to speak again and he praised God. 

He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.” Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God. Luke 1:63-64

Throughout years of infertility, Elizabeth’s faith never wavered. God saw this and blessed her with the good fortune of being the mother to John the Baptist. 

Elizabeth signifies the importance of continued worship. Even though she had been disappointed about not having a child, she didn’t let it prevent her from faithfully growing her relationship with God. Elizabeth also encompasses what it means to be a kind and supportive friend. Mary was young, unwed, and claiming to be a virgin. Most others would have ostracized her, but Elizabeth didn’t. Instead, she affirmed Mary and opened her home up to her. 


Ending with the most renowned mother in the Bible, Mary. The angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, a young girl engaged to a man named Joseph. Gabriel gave her an honorable greeting, saying that she was highly favored by God. Gabriel told Mary that she will conceive and give birth to the Son of God. Rightly confused, Mary asked the angel how this would be possible, as she was a virgin. Gabriel told her that the Holy Spirit will come to her and God would make it possible. Mary knew what the angel said was true. 

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. Luke 1:38

The birth of Jesus was surrounded by less-than-ideal circumstances. But this didn’t bother Mary. She humbly accepted the situation as it was. As word spread that the Savior had been born, people excitedly spoke about the news. Even though she was proud of her son, she was never boastful, opting to keep her joy to herself. 

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19

King Herod heard that the Messiah had been born, so he ordered that all the boys under 2 years of age in the vicinity of Bethlehem were to be killed. An angel appeared to Joseph and told him to take his family to Egypt until the death of Herod. Mary and Joseph fled to keep their son safe. Once Herod had died, they returned to Israel and settled in Nazareth. 

Mary knew what her Son was called to be. Throughout His life, Mary supported Him. As a boy, Jesus taught and preached in the temple. Mary was by His side when Jesus was hanging on the cross. She followed Him, cared for Him, and had faith in Him. 

Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joseph, and Salome. In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there. Mark 15:40-41

Through all of the grief Mary undoubtedly felt, Mary never questioned what needed to be done needed to be done. She knew her Son needed to be sacrificed for mankind. But she was never angry with God for the suffering that she and her Son had to endure. Mary chose to cling to her faith to get through it. Jesus saw this, and he loved his mother dearly. While on the cross, Jesus provided and blessed His mother and His disciple by gifting them to one another. 

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. John 19:25-27

After His death, Mary faithfully continued to stand by her son. 

They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. Acts 1:14

Mary adored and stood by her Son. When the angel Gabriel first appeared to her, Mary welcomed his message, no matter how strange. She accepted things as they were, even if she didn’t understand. Mary chose to be humble and wholeheartedly trust God and his plan. Mary teaches us to be a willing vessel in God's plan. By taking on the role of Mother to the Son of God, Mary experienced a sizable amount of sacrifice, but she leaned on God to work through the pain. 

Mothers’, You Are So Blessed

The mothers in the Bible teach us extremely valuable lessons. They signify great faith and highlight the vitality of humility and trusting God. 

A mother’s role is to love, support, protect, guide, and teach. Sometimes, this isn’t an easy task. Especially in the age of the internet, where other moms post picturesque photos of their perfectly clean homes, their always smiling children, and the most fun and adventurous family vacations, you get the point. These moms appear to have everything put together. But the reality is, they have struggles, too. They make mistakes, their children aren’t always smiling 24/7, and they face trials that they just don’t post about. Don’t compare yourself to them. Don’t think that you are not enough. You are. 

When motherhood, work, or life feels like it is too much to bear, God sees you, He knows you and what you are going through. Turn to Him, lean on Him, and submit yourself to Him. 

- Torrance Church of Christ

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