As Mother’s Day approaches, I’m thankful for my Christian mom who, at 91, continues to serve the Lord, attend church weekly, and pray for her four boys and their families. We are blessed.
Billy Graham said, “Only God Himself fully appreciates the influence of a Christian mother in molding the character of her children.”
Mom certainly had and still has a powerful influence on my life and much of what I learned about God and about life I learned from her. As we were growing up, Mom had a heart for God and a heart for her family. She still does.
Mom taught me about God’s unconditional love as she exemplified I Corinthians 13: “Love patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” (13-4-7).
To this day, Mom shows no partiality. What she does for one son, she does for the other three.
Mom also taught me God’s Word as opportunities came along. When I was five or six-years-old, I was into playing with G.I. Joes, the army action figure that’s now a collectable, and accumulating as much G.I. Joe equipment as possible. We were at my cousin’s house and I noticed he had two field radios. My G.I. Joe didn’t have one, so I made the childish decision to take one of the radios.
When we got home, I pulled it out and started playing with it, and my Mom asked, “Where did you get that radio?”
“I took it from Tim’s house.”
I got in big trouble and learned “Thou shalt not steal.” Other scriptural lessons followed from time to time.
Mom taught me to do my best. I was an “A” and “B” student until I confronted Algebra I and II. I wasn’t math-minded and just “didn’t get it,” no matter how hard I tried. My math grades dropped to “C’s.” She said, “Just do your best.”
I wasn’t happy with “average,” but neither could I master Algebra. Thank goodness I didn’t have to take calculus.
However, I learned “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10) and “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord . . .” (Colossians 3:23).
Mom did her best to protect me and fight for me. When I began 8th grade, I was placed in a “lower” academic group instead of the group I came along with. I didn’t know until years later that Mom went to the counselor to ask why I was dropped and to request my return to my usual grouping.
No luck, so she went to the principal. No luck. She went all the way to the school superintendent and he, of course, backed his personnel. Yet she tried!
Another time, my 7th-grade friends were getting mini-bikes for Christmas. These motorized vehicles required a driver’s license to operate, but parents in my neighborhood were buying them for their 12- to 13-year-olds.
I’d say, “Tony’s mom is getting him a mini-bike!” and Mom would respond, “Well, I’m not Tony’s mother!” She was looking out for my safety while also teaching me to respect the law.
Above all, she showed me what a Christian marriage looks like. She and my dad were not perfect, but they were in love with the Lord and with each other. They raised us in church and taught us to love the church, the bride of Christ. They taught us to serve the Lord and to contribute financially to the Lord’s work through the church (“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse . . .” Malachi 3:10).
Charles Spurgeon told mothers, “You are as much serving God in looking after your own children and training them up in God’s fear . . . and making your household a church for God, as you would be if you had been called to lead an army to battle for the Lord of hosts.”
[Dr. David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church, Fayetteville, Georgia. The church family gathers at 352 McDonough Road, near McCurry Park, and invites you to join them this Sunday for Bible study at 9:45 a.m. and worship at 10:55 a.m. Visit them online at www.mcdonoughroad.org and like them on Facebook.]