What Kind of Mother Will Your Children Remember?
Many years ago, I was left speechless as I listened to a young woman share with us (her friends) stories about her mother. She broke down in tears as she recalled the injustice and untold hatred she had suffered at her mother’s hands. In her words, ‘I wonder what I ever did to make her dislike me so much’. These memories of her mother were etched in her soul forever.
I have also listened to an elderly man share with me about his love and deep gratitude for his grandmother. He told me, “When my own mother died, I felt no sense of pain, but when my grandmother died, I felt a deep void in my heart and wept profusely.”
His grandmother was his anchor and support, when his parents left to seek greener pastures in a foreign land. Her memory lives in his heart always and she will never be forgotten.
I read online sometime ago from a woman who shared about how her mother prayed earnestly that she and her siblings will have good and peaceful marriages. Her mother had taken it as an assignment to praying specifically for the kind of spouses she wanted her daughters to have.
In this woman’s words, ‘Today, I and my sisters are happily married to loving men and our marriages are a reflection of God’s peace.’ Her mother’s action is one memory that will stay glued to her heart forever.
In my life’s journey, I have also watched my mother rise up from the ashes of difficulty. I have watched her stay calm in the midst of life’s storms. I have also seen this phrase come alive in her own life – ‘In quietness, sometimes, therein lies your strength.’ I grew up seeing a heart that always cared. I also learnt about the beauty of understanding, wisdom and faith in a marriage by watching her own life.
However, I will never forget these lessons that I have learnt from mothers around me. And it is that hope must never die, because light may just shine through at the end of that dark tunnel. Also, that love, gratitude and contentment are great virtues to cultivate in your motherhood journey. These lessons I will always hold close to my heart.
A Mother’s Influence
The influence of a mother in the life of her children starts with her availability. Sometimes, you can be in the same room with your child and be absent, not really listening to them. So, are you fully present in the life of your child? Mothers are meant to be godly examples, teachers and a source of encouragement to their children.
In the bible, we read about two women who had a profound impact in the life of a young man named Timothy. These women, a mother Lois and grandmother Eunice were able to plant seeds in the life and heart of a son, so much that the great Apostle Paul had to call them out for their godly and positive influence in the life of Timothy.
“I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.” I Timothy 5:7 ESV
The great Martin Luther King Jr known for the famous, ‘I have a dream’ speech in an essay he wrote at Crozer Seminary, also said this about his mother, Alberta King:
“She was behind the scenes setting forth those motherly cares, the lack of which leaves a missing link in life. Of all the people I have ever known, she had the greatest influence on me. I am sure one reason that the Lord has directed and safeguarded me, as well as Ruth and the children, through the years was the prayers of my mother and father.”
Zimbabwean entrepreneur, Strive Masiyiwa once shared some lessons he learnt from his mother. In his words, “I have often said that some of the most important qualities for running a business, I learnt from my mother. She was a businesswoman in the diaspora.”
But this lesson on saving he shared caught my attention. In his words, ” Because we did not have access to banks, or investors, we saved everything we laid our hands on. My mother was like a little ‘squirrel’, always hiding away small amounts of money. If she made a little money, she made sure that she saved as much of it as possible, for a “rainy day”.
This capacity to save money, and live within one’s means, was always taken to the extreme in our household. When I got a scholarship to go to college. My mother told me to save some of it! She would always ask me, so how much did you save? “
A well-known preacher and author of ‘Amazing Grace’, John Newton was unashamed to give credit to his mother for his education and foundation in the Christian faith.
The Two Mothers Who Molded Abraham Lincoln
The life and story of America’s former President, Abraham Lincoln will be incomplete without mentioning the two women who shaped his life.
In an article titled, ‘ The Two Mothers Who Molded Lincoln‘ , the author shares about the mothers who led Lincoln on his journey to becoming one of America’s finest Presidents.
According to the author of the article, his biological mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln who died at a young age is credited for instilling virtues of honesty and compassion in her son. And also for planting seeds for his intellectual curiosity. While his step-mother, Sarah Bush Lincoln is given credit for improving on Lincoln’s mother’s work by cultivating his reading comprehension and intellect.
In Oppenheimer’s words, “Sarah filled the enormous void in Lincoln’s life after the loss of his biological mother. Although likely illiterate herself, Sarah quenched her stepson’s thirst for knowledge by providing him with books to read. Sarah had an appreciation for the value of an education. She recognized early on there was something special about this boy and defended his right to pursue his intellectual development.”
What Will Your Children Remember?
Children will always remember how you spent time playing with them, listening to them, the fun moments and how much time you spent with them. They will also remember how helpful and kind you were, your family traditions and how you cared and gave them lots of physical affection. It is up to you as a mother to make each day count, so that you will be that mother who her children will always remember.
Education they say usually commences at the mother’s knees. And what we do and say as mothers will always have an impact in the lives of our children. Good or Bad!
If I were to ask you to share something inspiring about a mother, you will definitely have a few stories to share. But aside the stories, words and lessons, what steps you are willing to take today as a mother, step-mother, grandmother, aunt, caregiver and woman to truly make a difference in the lives of the children God has put in your care?
Refuse to be that mother who is sitting still with arms folded, watching her children grow up without God in their lives and values to live by. Remember that time passes quickly and character formation begins at a young and tender age.
Do not be that mother whose words are like a dagger cutting through the soul of her child? You are slowly breaking down your child’s emotions and leading her to grow up with a battered self-esteem. Or perhaps, you are that mother who has grown passive in her role and has little or no awareness about 21st century parenting. You are in the dark, leaving your children to chance and at the sidelines of life. Get up and arm yourself with tools and resources to help you become a better mother.
You must never forget that children grow up quickly and that it is better to train a child than to mend a broken adult. Also, know that no mother is perfect and it is more about how much you are willing to learn and grow to become a better mother to your children every single day.
So, will you become that mother whose life and relationship with God is worth emulating? Will your life always reflect godly values and show good character? Will you let your counsel and words be drenched with wisdom from God? You can become that mother whose voice and words will be heard for generations to come. What kind of mother will your children remember?
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