Spell check does not help very much with tongue twister names like Hephzibah, Meshullemeth, Jedidah, or Hamutal. Yet they are real names of real people who are remembered as being the moms of a sequence of kings of Judah. Probably some of those moms would wish they could have been more effective in influencing their sons’ decisions in life. Perhaps, like every mom, they learned something about the limits of motherhood while trying to do their best for their children. The kings of which these women were mothers were Manasseh, Amon, Josiah, and Jehoahaz. All related, their respective ages when they became kings were 12, 22, 8, and 23. Only the youngest, Josiah, did well. The others did real bad, especially Manasseh.
The Jewish historian, Josephus, makes interesting observations about these kings. Of Josiah he says, “He was of a most excellent disposition, and naturally virtuous, and followed the actions of king David, as a pattern and a rule to him in the whole conduct of his life”. (Antiquities, 10.4.1)
But of the others Josephus reports differently, and of a fifth king, Jehoiakim, we find, “He was of wicked disposition, and ready to do mischief…” (Antiquities, 10.5.2)
Josephus doesn’t blame the moms for their sons’ messes. Neither does the Bible.
Do we really get a “blank-page-to-write-on” when we become moms (or dads)? Not really. Newborns come with an agenda, not a blank page. Their “disposition” will help or hinder their ability to respond to instruction. It’s not all Mom’s fault.
Keep praying for your children; keep seeking God’s wisdom (James 1:5). Ultimately they will answer for their own choices, whether good or bad.