Key Passage: Proverbs 31
Key Text: Prverbs 31:31 – “Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.”
In this world there are certain people who are just too important to ignore in one’s life. Every human being was carried in the womb of a mother and delivered by a mother. Today as the world celebrates mother’s day, I want to look at the significance of mothers, whilst I celebrate my mother, the mother of my children and all mothers worldwide.
How does one live without a mother. God has put that capacity to nurture children in mothers and most people can attribute their view of life, skills, behaviour and values to their mother’s influence. Most people that grew up in stable homes can also attribute the peace and harmony in such homes to their mother’s love, patience and faith.
Some of the greatest men in the bible are direct products of their mothers. Moses and Jochebed, Samuel and Hannah, Samsom and Manoah’s wife, Isaac and Sarah, Jacob and Rebecca, John The Baptist and Elizabeth and Timothy and Eunice; Jesus and Mary. Mother’s are so invaluable.
Interestingly, all the evil kings of Israel and Judah had evil mothers and the good kings had good mothers. This shows the value of mothers in shaping even leaders and kings. Todays passage is written by King Lemuel, based on what his mother taught him.
Using the alphabets of MOTHER I want to examine some of the attributes mothers have imparted to us.
Morals – The morality of a person is clearly linked to their mother’s influence. My mother punished us severely for lying, stealing and cheating. She taught us to be content with what we had and not covet other people’s things. She rewarded hard work and punished laziness. Saturdays were horror days when we were growing up. Our mother woke us up early and we had to scrub the whole house, and polish all the brass decorations till they shone. We were not done until about 1pm in the afternoon, and only then were we permitted to eat. For boys, this was tough. Later on in life, I was about 20 years old, I found myself in the company of some boys doing drugs in London. That night, I kept hearing my mother’s voice ringing in my ears “Remember whose child you are!” It was as though she was standing right beside me. I could not go ahead and promptly left the place. (Phew, what an escape!!!)
Organisation – Our mother was a pathologically clean and neat person and she had five boys. So this was always a place of great conflict. She never relented in pushing us to keep an orderly home. Our books, bags, shoes and clothes had to be in the right place. We had a regimen we stuck too each day. Our day mostly started at 5:30 am with prayer and ended at 8:00pm with prayer. Then straight to bed.
Trust – We were told never to trust strangers and to trust our parents judgements. If you brought anything home that you got off a stranger, our mother would beat you and then ask that you return it to the person. We would always stick together as a family and try our best to keep to the rules our parents gave us.
Health – I can’t recollect how many times my mother nursed me back to health when I fell ill. My older brother was asthmatic and had some really bad episodes. My mother would put him on her back and drive all the way to Massey Hospital in Lagos (about 15 miles) to get treatment. She taught us basic Hygiene, wash you hands before eating, brush you teeth early in the morning, wash your clothes at weekends, cut your nails, comb your hair etc etc.
Education – My mother pushed us to study. She took pains in helping us understand our subjects and paid for extra lectures from her meagre resources. Our mother really pushed us. I remember once I did not do well in one of my examinations. I had believed I was going to come out tops and I failed. I was very disappointed in myself and I became depressed. I did not leave my room for days and I was even contemplating ending it all. One day my mother broke into my room, I was 16 then, and with eyes blazing, she went on to tell me my life history and remind me of who I really am. Something in those words got a hold of me and made me stand up and I have never looked back since then.
Respect – Respect for elders, for others and respect for the law, were things our mother really drummed into us. She would make us prostrate before older members of our family and when we spoke to older people, we did this with our hands folded behind our backs. If you see and elderly person carrying anything, you must rush and help them. We were taught to respect our brothers too. The older one got the first choice at anything. That’s just how it worked. Lastly our mother taught us to respect God. To fear God. Our favourite song was “trust and obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, than to trust and obey.”
Truth is today, I see these very traits in my wife and I see the way she deals with our children and in some ways I feel like déjàvu. My wife reminds me a lot of my mother when we were growing up. She is the epitome of good morals, healthy living, strong education, and respect. I know a great mother taught my wife too, so it keeps going on.
I know you would agree with me that my mother is the best mother on earth and my children have the best mother possible!
I want to thank God for my mother, my children’s mother, my wife’s mother and all mothers everywhere. Thanks MUM!
Let’s pray: Father we thank God for all our mothers and we pray that you would bless them especially today and always. Let their children rise up and call them blessed and let their works praise them in the gates. Let them know unbounded joy as they see their children grow and flourish and prosper. May they live long to enjoy the fruits of their labours. In Jesus name I pray. Amen