Portrait of a Godly Mother
My two favorite women are my wife and mother, and neither of them get as much praise as they deserve. Speaking of industrious women, the last verse of the book of Proverbs in the Bible says to “give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.” My mother is largely the reason I am blessed to be married to the most wonderful woman in the world, my wife Jill. Growing up, my mother was the example of what I looked for in a wife and the mother of my children.
Different people have their ideas about what a mom should look like. Some walk the walk and talk the talk, but are the farthest from what a Christian mother is called to be. A godly mother is not recognized by donning skirts, having long hair, or tattoo-free skin. It’s not a matter of whether she has a career outside the home or not, but instead, a God-fearing mother is recognized by her character and wise management of what God entrusts her with. Some receive the praise of man, but many are the unsung heroes who quietly provide the backbone of our families and the fabric of society. My wife and mother are examples of these moms.
From as early as I can remember, my mom woke long before the light of day to make sure we had clean clothes and full bellies before school. She loved and supported my dad. As a young woman, when both her adopted parents had died, she wisely invested her time and money in graduate school. She often worked long hours, wisely putting her skills to work as she made a living – not just for her own household, but also to have something to give to others. Regardless of a long workweek, she had supper on the table and helped with homework late into the night. Before I could drive, she would drive me into town before swim practice started at 6AM. And there is scarcely anyone as positive and optimistic in a room as my mom. Despite the cancer that doctors thought was a death sentence, she remained joyful and trusted in God’s sovereign will. These are all character attributes that I saw in Jill that attracted me to her (besides how gorgeous she is 😉 Likewise, if the Lord blesses us with daughters, these are the qualities I hope and pray they would receive from their grandmother and mother.
Oftentimes, we have no idea the extent of our influence, and this is especially true of a godly legacy. Some people refer this as “the butterfly effect” but in reality, it’s the providence of God. But for the influence of my mom, I doubt I would have realized the value of Jill’s godly character, which led me to marry her. My wife is the most amazing woman I have ever met, and she deserves praise for all she does as a wife and mother. Jill is one of the most gifted people I know, and she could literally do whatever she wants, but she chooses to undertake some of the most difficult jobs out there. I say “some” because there’s really no single job title for what she does, which includes, but isn’t limited to domiciliary logistical engineer, in-home care provider, multi-level educator, contemporaneous researcher in multiple fields, chef, consumer finance expert, clothing technician, legal writing editor, and primary emergency response. Jill does all this and more as she’s on call 24/7. Every day is a new high-stakes, winner-take-all environment as the tiny humans are always testing her to see if she can adjust to new ways they’ve developed to try to kill themselves (they still don’t realize that people aren’t the same as phones when they die). Don’t mistake her smile and joyfulness for ease; that’s just who she is J She is selfless and always looks for a way to encourage those around her. But most of all she’s my best friend and lover.
Knowing my wife, I recalled something I heard my mom say years ago, which holds a new meaning for me today. Working for a large company, my mom was in charge of logistics for multiple countries, and she once commented that her corporate responsibilities often paled in comparison to family logistical challenges. I don’t know how she managed it, but my mom seemed to do it all. As a teenager, I soon realized that she wasn’t doing it all on her own, but that she was relying on supernatural power through her relationship with her heavenly Father. On occasion, when I was up before 5AM, I would see my mom studying her Bible and spending time talking to God as she prepared for the day. The Bible says that God is a father to the fatherless and defender of the widow – that he protects those whose hope is in Him. My mom has been both an orphan and a widow, and I have seen her reliance on God. Proverbs begins with a mother’s instruction to her son, and likewise, my mother has taught me much about life through words and actions. Just when life seems impossible, my Lord Jesus is, and continues to be, my salvation too. That is the most important truth my mother taught me, and it’s true for anyone who would realize God’s gift of eternal
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