“All that I am, or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother,” Abraham Lincoln. I share the sentiments of Mr. Lincoln. As May comes around and our country sets aside a day to honor mothers, I realize how very much God blessed me with a godly mother. There are countless lessons she taught me, and not always with words, but by her constant example. Even though we have lived in different states for quite a while now, I sense her presence with me, because so much of what I do is a reflection of her. My heart goes out to you if you were not guided by a godly woman as a child, but it is never too late to learn and grow where you are right now. My Mom came into the faith when my two older sisters were already married. Hopefully we can seek examples of godliness from the women who are in our lives at this time, so we can lovingly train our children in His ways. Let me share with you some of the priceless lessons I learned from her.
She showed me that marriage is for one man and one woman-for life. She and my Dad have been married for over 55 years now. Together they have kept their love during my Dad’s service in the Marine Corp overseas, raising six children, changing occupations, moving homes, battling cancer, saying “goodbye” to their parents, and most importantly, becoming Christians! They have had their share of ups and downs, but stood side-by-side through every hurdle. I knew that divorce was never an option for them. Whatever the argument, they would work at it until they worked it out. With God at the center of their marriage, they continue to press on. I know my Mom gets frustrated with my Dad, but the bond between them still grows each year. They are two “peas in a pod!” This reminds me of the verse, “And the two shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24b).
She showed me that a woman should love and nurture her children. There was never a doubt that any of us children were wanted; always lots of excitement when a new sibling arrived! I don’t recall a jealousy issue at all-except for wanting to hold the new baby when someone else was! The only sadness that I remember concerning babies was when my Mom miscarried. A piece of her heart broke each time it happened, and yet she found comfort knowing they were in Paradise. She truly considered us gifts from above. “Behold, children are a gift of the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward.” (Psalm 127:3)
She showed me that a woman is not defined by her clothes or her make-up, but by her heart. My Mom is beautiful–but not because she keeps the local salon on speed dial! She has grown steadily more gray as the years have passed, but she doesn’t obsess about it. She was never one to make our family late because she hadn’t “put her face on.” Please don’t misunderstand, my Mom does wear make-up, and she always looks nice, but that is not what defines her. She will be there to lend a helping hand in a flash, but she will never be mistaken for Tammy Faye Baker. Proverbs 16:31 says, “A gray head is a crown of glory.”
She showed me that a family works together. If she was in the yard, we were in the yard. If my Dad was cutting down a tree for someone, by her prompting and example, we were all running to pick up the sticks. We were not given an “allowance” for helping either; we learned that this is just what families do. “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men” (Colossians 3:23).
She taught me to check man’s word against THE Word. She dared to challenge church hierarchy when she had questions about why Scripture wasn’t being followed. When they didn’t have answers, she sought help from the Lord. He heard her and sent her answers via His foot soldiers. She showed me that I should never “settle” for the faith that I may have been brought up in, but to make my faith my own. This reminds me of Acts 17:11b: “…examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so.”
She showed me how to make the most out of what you have been given. We grew up with a modest income, but she made us feel like we lived in a castle. She painted, wall-papered, re-covered, and patched pretty much everything we had! Once, we had a picnic table in our kitchen that she had craftily covered with a tablecloth. Every meal was a picnic! She sewed a lot of our clothes and was able to make hand-me-downs a special deal. I was happy to wear clothes that my two older sisters had worn. She mended things so they were fresh and ready for the next in line. In those instances, I think of Proverbs 31:13, which states: “She looks for wool and flax, and works with her hands in delight.”
She showed me when to be a friend to my children, and when to be “Mom.” She did what she thought was best in disciplining us. (I was already a teenager before she became a Christian) I didn’t always like the rules, but looking with hindsight–and having teenagers of my own–I understand she gave us guidelines because she cared about us. (See Hebrews 12:7-11) She made me see that she will always be there for me, and that the time to be my friend would come later in life. Even though miles separate us, she is always close to my heart. “Her children rise up and bless her.” (Proverbs 31:28)
Finally, my Mom made sure when she found the Truth, she shared it with her children. She carried me under her heart for nine months and brought me into this world, but more importantly, she made sure I knew that the next life was where I would spend eternity. She is passionate about her faith, and anyone who talks with her for a bit will hear her talk about it! She was not excited to see my husband and me and her grandbabies move far away to Denver to attend BearValley, but she supported us 100%. She knew we were growing in the faith that she had brought into our lives with her fervent prayers. I know her heart overflows as she thinks of Heaven, and being there with those she loves. “I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the Truth.” (3 John 4)
Mom, you inspire me to be a godly mother. I hope to know some day the joy that you have watching your children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren learn and live God’s principles. I also hope you will never forget how much I appreciate you, and am happy that God gave me to you. I love you so much!
“Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.” (Hebrews 13:7)
Robin and her husband Randy serve with The South Twin Cities Church of Christ in Rosemount, Minnesota. They’ve been married for over 31 years and have 7 children together (6 of whom will be married to Christian spouses by the end of the year, Lord willing). Robin enjoys quilting, scuba diving, homeschooling, teaching Bible classes, and spending time with her 11 grandchildren!