On Sunday mornings, between the ages of four and ten, Mike recalls walking into a little brick house, in a small neighborhood just outside of Atlanta. The familiar smell of Sunday dinner was always in the air. In a small kitchen, stirring a hot pot on the stove, he would consistently find his grandmother putting the final touches on their Sunday meal. As Mike describes the scene to me, his thoughts immediately drift to a picture of his mother’s mother, in her faded cotton gown, singing to the top of her lungs, along to the old gospel hymns playing on the small transistor radio sitting religiously on the counter. From as far back as my husband can remember, his mother would drag him to church, teach him about Jesus, and remind him often that she had given him over to God from the day he was born — then take him to grandma’s house for Sunday dinner. Influences that had a life-long impact on Mike’s belief in God and love for gospel music.
In another state, in another house, I was growing up. Around the same time Mike was headed to church, I was being ushered into the car by my mom, wearing my best Sunday dress, preparing to head to the little church down the road where I sat in the pew, drawing on donation envelopes until I’d get tired and lay down in my mother’s lap.
These memories made lasting impressions in the minds of these two children, children who eventually grew up, met as teenagers, and eventually get married. Impressions that became the foundation of our ever-growing faith.
Due to the faith and fortitude of many mothers, grandmothers, wives, and women – countless boys and girls have been nurtured to become passionate pastors, evangelists, Bible teachers, and devout Christians.
Mothers have played a key role in the Christian faith, all the way back to the time of Mary, the mother of Jesus. In 2 Timothy 1:5 and 3:14-17, we learn Timothy came to faith and was grounded in the Scriptures through the influence of his mother, Eunice, and his grandmother, Lois.
Many of our Christian heroes were profoundly influenced by their godly mothers. Take for example the well-known preacher and author of one of our most famous hymns, Amazing Grace, John Newton, who boldly credits his mother for his education and foundation in the Christian faith.Lottie Moon, whose mother Anna Marie Moon profoundly influenced her education and love for the Lord, became the first woman in the south to earn a master’s degree, is known as a legend in the Christian faith, and wrote passionate letters home from China in 1888, where she served as a missionary, encouraging church members to financially support missions.
I’ve learned first-hand, “Mom” is a verb ––requiring excessive amounts of energy and action to live up to the title. Mothers give of their time, talent, and treasures. They share wisdom and warnings and are called to embrace countless roles when raising children. They are chefs, butlers, cab-drivers, and maids. They educate and entertain, offer first aid and counseling, and become tutors and cheerleaders when their kids are in school. Moms sacrifice regularly to meet the needs of their children, and give their hearts and loving unconditionally, all while asking for little in return.
There are birth-mothers, step-mothers, adoptive mothers, foster mothers and mothers of friends. Grand-mothers, God-mothers, and mothers-in-law. Even teachers, coaches, and neighbors give motherly love and advice to children they come to know. Even if we have no children of our own, there are endless opportunities to nurture and “Mother” others.
God created mothers to fill a very special role, one that’s ever-changing and ever-challenging. As a mother, grandmother, and mother-in-law, I can honestly say –– it’s the greatest blessing of all and the hardest — yet best job I will ever have!
As we celebrate Mother’s Day, be sure to take time and show all the mothers you know, how much you appreciate them and how very special they are!
Challias.com, Series, Christian Men and Their Godly Moms, By Tim Challias, https://www.challies.com/series/christian-men-and-their-godly-moms/, accessed 1-21-18.
Baptist Press, Great Mothers in Church History, By David Roach, http://www.bpnews.net/44717/great-mothers-in-church-history, accessed 1-21-18