COLUMN: Measuring the value of a godly mother

Published 7:30 am Sunday, May 12, 2024

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A minister was talking to a mischievous five-year-old boy, “So your mother says your prayers for you each night? Wonderful! What does she say?” The little boy replied, “Thank God he’s in bed!”

Charles Swindoll, an author and minister, describes a great big Mother’s Day card he once read. On the front, there was a picture of a small boy with a tiny cut on his face, his sneakers untied. The youngster was pulling a wagon. Toys were everywhere. The card read, “Mom, I remember that little prayer you used to say for me every day.” Inside was her prayer, “God help you if you ever do that again.”

“Nothing else will ever make you as happy or as sad, as proud or as tired, as motherhood,” writes Elia Parsons, co-author of “The Mother’s Almanac.” “The only simple part about being a mother is how effortless it is to love your child,” writes Maria Wahlmart.

How well I remember the joy I felt the first time I held our daughter in my arms. The diaper days and school days that I thought would last forever seemed to pass all too quickly. Now she is grown up.

There’s one thing I’ve been doing almost every day since the day she was born. I’ve prayed for Kelley. I will continue to ask God to bless her, and guide her, and keep her safe – just as my mother prayed for me.

“As a mother, my job is to take care of the possible and trust God with the impossible,” Ruth Bell Graham once said. Her husband, the Reverend Billy Graham, puts it this way, “Only God Himself fully appreciates the influence of a Christian mother in the molding of character in her children.

If you’re ever tempted to doubt the importance of motherhood, just remember the words of William Ross Wallace. “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.”

Consider these examples of two presidents and the founder of the Methodist Church.

Our first president, George Washington, stated, “All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual, and physical education I received from her.”

Abraham Lincoln said, “I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.” He reminds us, “No man is poor who had a godly mother.”

“I learned more about Christianity from my mother than from all the theologians of England,” John Wesley once said. Nineteen children were born to Susanna and Samuel Wesley between 1690 and 1709 (only nine lived into adulthood). John was her 15th child. He and his brother, Charles, founded the Methodist Church.

Two months before Susanna Wesley died, her son, John, preached a series of revival messages to the biggest crowds his hometown had ever seen. Susanna’s prayers for her children made an impact on generations to come.

The value of a godly mother can be measured when “her children rise up and call her blessed” (Proverbs 31:28).

— Jan White has compiled a collection of her columns in her book, “Everyday Faith for Daily Life.”