“You know your mom will give you some of the greatest advice you’ll ever receive.” That’s what I recently told a group of teens who all seem to have great parents. They seemed to have a hundred questions when I made that statement. “Yes, the mom who monitors your cell phone almost daily, and wants to know where you are all the time, and the mom who cares who you are hanging out with, she is completely awesome.”
I know about this because I had a mom just like that. The girls agreed with my next statement. “I used to think she didn’t want me to have any fun, and she just didn’t understand teens at that time.” Once I grew up, I realized she was the smartest lady I had ever known, and that still holds true today, even though she’s been in heaven for 33 years. Generally, my mom, Mama Gert, my pride and joy, gave me advice straight from the Word of God. After so many years, that advice still rings in my ears.
I’m not even sure where I learned the word “hate” because I didn’t hear it in our home. I’d say, “I hate this or I hate that,” and she was quick to tell me, “hate is a strong word.” Even today, if I’m displeased with something, I’m quick to say, “I strongly dislike this or that.” God is love and I’m thankful there is no room for hate.
Mom always told us, “Don’t go to bed angry,” which comes straight from Ephesians 4:26. Usually we will not sleep well or wake up at peace, if we hold a grudge in our hearts. If we feel it’s out of our control, and there’s no way we can release the anger, seek the Lord, He is a present help in times of trouble.
Mom was also interested in my friends and they always loved her. It was my parents’ responsibility to train us up in the way we should go, and she believed I should have friends who loved and served the Lord just like we did. I have wished the same for my children and my grandchildren as well.
While my mom offered a lot of advice with her words, her actions spoke volumes to all of us. I never saw her speak in anger to her parents, but she honored her parents with the love and respect they deserved. When both my maw maw and pa pa got sick, she and her two sisters were there for them night and day for a very long time. The sisters and their husbands used the same care and concern the sisters received when they were children.
I’m convinced my parents had an Ephesians 5:21-33 marriage. They respected each other; she listened to the sound advice of a godly man, and my dad treated her like Christ would treat the church. No one is perfect, but putting God first and family second, will make for a happy home. I saw true love; I saw true service and I saw God at work in all of our lives.
In our day to day lives, we have such an honor to make an everlasting impact on the children God places in our lives. It’s my prayer that God will use us to show each of them how to love, to serve, and to respect people, and that they will carry this message to generations to come.
Sherry Lewis of Maysville is pastor at New Beginnings Ministry. She can be reached at email@example.com.