Children are a gift from the Lord. (Psalm 127:3-5) In Titus 2:4, the Greek word philoteknos appears in reference to mothers loving their children. This word repre-sents a special kind of “mother love.” The idea that flows out of this word is that of caring for our children, nurturing them, affectionately embracing them, meeting their needs, and tenderly befriending each one as a unique gift from the hand of God.[i]
In order to develop this month’s article, I reached out to family and several members of The Ship. I asked that everyone provide a special feature, characteristic or quality they cherish about their mother. I am not surprised that the responses I received line up with how we are instructed to live as Christians. I’m also not surprised that our initial introduction to these Christian characteristics didn’t begin at church. They began at home with mom as teacher.
“One quality that I love about my mother is her wisdom. As I grow older, I value her godly advice and direction when I’m facing life’s problems more than ever.” ~Kimberly Lake
“Special feature – Smile. Characteristic – Heart/Passion. Quality to cherish – her capacity to love and nurture others. Even if she didn’t particular-ly care for you in the beginning, her heart would open and see the ultimate need and attempt to address it. As a teacher this quality was quite useful as she embraced those she taught, (History, English, Social Studies and of course the Word) met their need and found how to reach them to learn. She also knew no barriers and would embrace all to the extent that it was sometimes annoying to hear, “Ms. Sullivan, Ms. Sullivan” everywhere we went. But then, she was lovable. As a result, I probably have siblings all around the world.” ~Brenda Sullivan
“Mom was always giving me words to live by. I guess today, that is called “nurturing.” Growing up as a youth, she taught me about the Lord. As I grew older and started a life away from home, she would always end our visits with ‘Stay with the Lord.’ After Brenda and I were married in 1981 she added another word of counsel to our parting routine. She would ask about Brenda and say, ‘Do right bout her.’ Her way of saying, treat her good. Then she would say, ‘Stay with the Lord.’ I still cherish that advice. More now than I did then.“ ~Henry Hopson, Jr.
“My mother was very insistent on my sister and me practicing proper etiquette (she made us read Emily Post’s book on etiquette) and having excellent communication skills both oral and written. She would constantly correct us if we used improper English, or exhibited bad table manners, or showed disrespect towards elders. I cherish these lessons because they allowed me to be a better man and enabled me to teach my daughters these qualities. I miss you mom!”
Forgiving. No matter what we did coming up, she always forgave us. Then came the beating. But she forgave us. ~Morris Gavins
“I have always admired my mom because she has the biggest heart. We grew up not having very much money because my family is very large. That never stopped her from helping others. Even when she had nothing to give she would offer her home. There are so many people that call her “Mom” because she took them in and/or took care of them. She now has custody of four children that are not her own. One of them is a 14 year old that she has had custody of since he was two or three, and the other three are her granddaughters. Even though she is older and tired she never hesitates to help.” ~Christie Hall
“My mom is so totally convinced of God’s never-ending love that she is incapable of seeing the world with anything other than hope and the promise of salvation.” ~David Enniss
“I cherish my mother’s ability to love and support me in spite of my own inabilities.“ ~Steve Dent
“One characteristic of my mother that I cherish is she was a godly woman who taught me to love unconditionally.” ~Gladine Spyies
“The thing that I most cherish about my mother is no matter what the topic of discussion is, she will always tell you her honest opinion because of the love that she has for you.” ~Gloria Stinson
“Unconditional love and perseverance–These are characteristics that have been demonstrated by my mom throughout her life, notwithstand-ing the many disappointments, struggles, or hurts she had to endure and overcome.” ~Brenda Hopson
“Our mom, Rosemary Thomie, is absolutely the greatest teacher, a lady of compassion, love, and faithfulness. If love is as sweet as a flower, then she is truly that sweet flower of love. Simply a beautiful ‘Rose’ indeed. We love you ma-ma!” ~Jeremy and Jaylan Thomie
“ “I appreciate the opportunity to share with you my mom’s greatest quality – Resiliency! Growing up in a single parent home, I watched my mother time and time again provide for my sister and I without ever complaining. I didn’t realize until I reached my teens that mom was actually struggling to provide for us while going without many of the things she desired and probably needed herself. I chose “resilient” as my mom’s greatest quality because I can only imagine the countless times she was down and prayed to God to find a way for our family to make it. When my sister passed in 1996, I didn’t think my mom would ever recover from such as loss, however, again with the help of our Christ, she bounced back and has shown tremendous strength and stronger faith. She’s my mom…a strong, resilient woman!” ~Brent Gibson
“The characteristic that I most cherish about my mom is her selflessness. One of my greatest memories is when I was in college at Grambling State University and was trying to get home (New Orleans) for the holiday. It was December 1989 and it was the end of the fall semester. I needed to bring my worldly goods with me and Greyhound bus was not the option I was seeking. So my mom decided she would drive up to get me. At that time something was happening that rarely occurs in Louisiana…it was snowing! But that did not deter my mom and my Cousin Ken-dra from driving up to get me. It was so cold that the heater in my mom’s little Renault froze. When they arrived, mom hugged me, and said, “Angie, get your stuff.” We loaded up the Renault and mom drove back to New Orleans that same night, ten and a half hours round trip. That’s my mom, Mildred Smith Collins…selfless. To God be the glory for molding her in His likeness.”
The Bible never states that every woman should be a mother. However, it does say that those whom the Lord blesses to be mothers should take the responsibility seriously. Mothers have a unique and crucial role in the lives of their children. Motherhood is not a chore or unpleas-ant task. Just as a mother bears a child during pregnancy, and just as a mother feeds and cares for a child during infancy, so mothers also play an ongoing role in the lives of their children, whether they are adolescents, teenagers, young adults, or even adults with children of their own. While the role of motherhood must change and develop, the love, care, nurture, and encourage-ment a mother gives should never cease.[ii]
Written by Henry Hopson Jr.
Source: [i] [ii] “What does the Bible say about Christian mothers”, www.gotquestions.org.