"Ahaziah also followed the evil example of King Ahab's family, for his mother encouraged him in doing wrong." 2 Chronicles 22:3
As I read Ahaziah's account, I was deeply saddened. He did evil in the Lord's sight. At the encouragement of his mother! Those were some strong apron strings!
As mothers, we have a strong influence over our sons. When Ahaziah was crowned king he was only twenty-two years old, an age when most young men are still single. My friend's eighteen-year-old son just made a comment that his mother "was the only woman in his life."
That is how it should be, a wonderful blessing, before a man gets married. Ahaziah's mother abused the trust in the mother/son relationship by manipulating her son, the king, and his decisions for her own evil desires.
The beautiful closeness between a mother and son gets twisted and ugly if a mother refuses to let her son go into the arms of his bride. The husband is called to put his wife's well-being above that of his own...and that of his mother and extended family.
We've all seen damage done when a mother is unwilling to "cut the apron strings." I have even heard of many godly women giving a pair of cut apron strings to the future daughter-in-law as a wedding gift as if to say, "He's yours now. I'll willingly remove my influence to make room for yours."
Ahaziah may not have even recognized how his mother was manipulating him to get her way. Women are so good at that, aren't we? Or maybe he did recognize it but his mother made his life so miserable that he just gave in to her whims. Women are great at "punishing" the "poor" choices of others too, aren't we?
Well, women can be all of these things very easily. My mother's heart prays daily for my future daughters-in-law for I know the influence they will have over my sons. A beautiful influence and a godly one I pray. As I trust the Lord with my someday grown boys, I pray they will do only goodness at the encouragement of their mother. And, someday at the encouragement of their wives.
As I look at the relationship between Ahaziah and his mother and their involvement with the Ahab's family I'm reminded of two things.
"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands," 1 Peter 3:3-5
"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6