Mothers. Where in the world would we be without them? The obvious answer to this rhetorical question is, of course, that we wouldn’t even be without them. But this obvious answer presupposes a reference to childbearing, which would be incorrect. Being a mother involves more than the act of childbearing. Most healthy females can perform this act. The more difficult act is child rearing. That is, being a mother.
A mother is (or should be) the greatest female influence in every child’s life. A child’s perception of what it means to be a woman, a wife, and a mother are (or should be) shaped by their own mother. That is a daunting responsibility. Some women aren’t up to the task. Thankfully, my mother was.
My mother was, and continues to be, a great mother. She exemplifies what it takes to be a great mother. She does so in many ways. Most importantly, she does so in her devotion to God, in her devotion to her husband, and in her devotion to her children.
DEVOTION TO GOD
My mother is the godliest woman I know. My mother’s faith in God and her devotion to God are unfailing. Not once have I heard her question God or His will for her life. Not once have I sensed even a scintilla of doubt regarding her faith in God. Not once have I observed her devotion to God wane. She has always been, and remains, steadfast.
There were times in the early years of my father’s ministry that circumstances could have led her to question or doubt God. I have heard my parents recount times during those years when the cupboards were bare, when their bank account was empty, or when my younger brother was at death’s door as an infant. But through it all, rather than allowing such circumstances to weaken her faith, she grew in her faith.
DEVOTION TO HER HUSBAND
My mother is a devoted wife. She and my father have been married for over 50 years. And not just married, but happily married. I am sure they had their fair share of struggles and disagreements, dare I say “fights,” along the way. But I can honestly say, I don’t recall any. What I do recall is unfailing devotion to each other.
My parents, like the Apostle Paul, have known what it is to be in need, and what it is to have plenty (Phil. 4:12). I have observed many wives scorn their husbands during times of need, and fail to encourage their husbands during times of plenty. Not so with my mother. I have never observed my mother deride my father. I have never observed my mother speak negatively to or about my father. I have never observed her disrespect my father. What I have always observed is godly submission to, godly encouragement of, and godly support for, my father. And she has done so regardless of the circumstances.
DEVOTION TO HER CHILDREN
My mother gave birth to five children (4 boys and 1 girl). We are, and have always been, vastly unique. Unique in our personalities, in our perspectives, even in the way we look (I mean, just look at this picture). To this day, I do not know how she mothered such a unique cast of characters and remained sane (perhaps she didn’t). What I do know is that she loves each of us the same – unconditionally. No matter our successes, no matter our failures, our mother loves us. When others support us, when others betray us, our mother loves us. When we are (or were) good children, when we are (or were) not-so-good children, our mother loves us.
What I also know is that my mother always wanted the best for us. To her, the best is not temporal, but eternal. And so, my earliest childhood memories revolve around church attendance. My mother believed the scripture that says, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6). It was (and is) her desire that each of her children have a personal relationship with Jesus – a relationship that reflects her own love and devotion to the Savior.
As we have all grown older, she has had to stand by and watch as each of us has experienced our own unique faith journey. Though our paths are all different, each has been influenced by our mother’s own relationship with God and her prayers for us to God. I, for one, am thankful for this influence.
HERE’S TO YOU, MOM
Mom, I love you. I am so grateful God allowed me to be your son. You were the greatest female influence in my life (sorry, that role is currently held by my wife). I am glad you’re such a mother.
Happy Mother’s Day! Not just to my mother, but to all the great mothers of the world.