Passing On Boldness
A Biblical Approach
by Rachael Carman

the Spring Issue, we discussed what it means to be bold. Now let’s zero in on what it means to be a bold mom. Some of the characteristics of bold motherhood might catch you off guard. Bold moms guard and protect their children. They nurture and feed them. They seek what’s best for their children, even if it costs them their lives. Most often we think of mama bears when we think of bold motherhood. The saying goes that it’s best not to get between a mama bear and her cubs. That is a no-man’s land, a danger zone if ever there was one. A mama bear is devoted to her cub, and insofar as it depends on her, she’ll lay down her life to defend her cub.

But sometimes in the human realm, we swing on the pendulum and find ourselves overprotective and completely unengaged on one end, or unfeeling and uncaring at the other end of the pendulum. Unlike the mama bear, we’re inconsistent. And all too often we let the culture dictate what we should protect and defend, instead of taking our orders from our heavenly Father. As homeschool moms we know what it’s like to be accused of being overly protective. We’re told that our kids need to be out in the “real” world, not just in our homes all the time. And yet, the Bible tells us that keeping our kids in our protective and loving care is exactly where they need to be. The real world, devoid of truth, without God, isn’t a place for the young and vulnerable.

So, we will look at seven moms in our study, four from the Old Testament and three from the New Testament. All of their circumstances of motherhood were different, unique. Their situations varied by age, marital status, political climate, urgency, anticipation, loss, criticism, loneliness. These moms were moms just like you and me. They had lives just like you and me, with laundry to wash, meals to prepare, homes to manage, relationships to navigate. Their lives were complicated just like yours and mine.

Of the seven, two were “too old” to become moms, and one very young, a virgin. One was desperate. One was enslaved. Four were surprised. One was married to a priest, another to the father of the faithful, another betrothed to a carpenter. One was a single mom. Two only had one child. One bore her son under threat of death. Another carried her son while being misunderstood and judged. One was accused of being drunk as she prayed. One wove a basket. One made a coat. One journeyed to Bethlehem and gave birth in a stable. And all of them were bold.

“Bold mothers… don’t know the future, they don’t assume one either, but they take advantage of every day, moment by moment investing, nurturing, devoting themselves to the work of God…”
What can we learn from these women? First, being a bold mom begins early, sometimes even before pregnancy. Praying for a child is bold. Waiting for God’s answer is bold. Trusting God’s timing is bold. Welcoming His blessing is bold. Next, bold motherhood accepts the child God sends and the circumstances in which they are sent. It’s common to reject children, to bemoan the surrounding situation. It’s popular to whine about unmet expectations, to give up in the face of difficulty. But bold motherhood trusts God’s good, pleasing, and perfect will. Bold motherhood isn’t inhibited or limited by expectations. Bold motherhood doesn’t white-knuckle and insist on her way. Bold mothers yield to God’s will.

Finally, bold mothers dare to engage. They don’t know the future, they don’t assume one either, but they take advantage of every day, moment by moment investing, nurturing, devoting themselves to the work of God (a.k.a. raising their children in the fear and the admonition of the Lord). Bold motherhood doesn’t take anything for granted, not God’s grace, not any opportunity, not even a sunset. Bold motherhood knows it all matters, the small things and the big things. She isn’t perfect, but she makes progress. Her charge isn’t easy, but she perseveres. On her roughest day, she leans farther in, trusting the Great Redeemer.

For our purposes, we’re going to adopt the following acronym for BOLD: Belief, Obedience, Love, and Discipline. These qualities are what define boldness. Living BOLD first means that our belief is grounded in the truth of God and His word. We know the truth, and we build our lives on that foundation. Next we live in obedience to God’s loving commandments. His word teaches how to pursue the holiness we’re called to as His children. BOLD living requires that we love God and neighbor with our whole hearts, souls, minds, and strength. We don’t just say we love, but our love is shown in our words and actions. And lastly, BOLD living is characterized by discipline. We choose against the indulgence and binging this world offers and instead practice restraint and prudence. Altogether, our belief, obedience, love, and discipline set us apart by granting us the focus necessary to honor God and serve others.

It takes a bold mom to raise a bold child. Bold children don’t just happen. Rebellious children do. They happen due to neglect, abuse, and lack of discipline. Defiant children demand their way, and they get it. They make everyone as miserable as they are, perpetually searching for someone to love them enough to tell them “no” and actually mean it. They long for the loving limits of discipline and spin out of control in anger and resentment to the rest of the world. But that’s not boldness. Boldness is God-honoring. It’s selfless. It stands up and speaks out, not for self, but for the downtrodden and oppressed. It is respectful, not reckless. It is considerate, but assertive. It is intentional, not rash. Boldness risks reputation, approval, and even life. It is willing to die knowing that it’s not the end, but the beginning. In fact, it lives dying. That’s boldness.

When we dare to live boldly, we show our children what it looks like to live worthy.


Belief  |  Obedience  |  Love  |  Discipline

To assist you in your journey, I wrote a five-part Scripture study on passing on boldness that includes a joint study with both parent and students on the last day. Click here to access.

Rachael Carman Headshot

achael Carman, respected speaker and author, has traveled the world teaching God’s Word at conferences and retreats. Rachael and her husband, Davis, own Apologia Educational Ministries, an award-winning publisher of homeschool curriculum. Her books How Many Times Do I Have to Tell You? and How to Have a HEART for Your Kids are winsome calls for moms to live each day at the foot of His throne. Connect with Rachael online at and the Let’s Talk Homeschool podcast.