The Gift of Praise to Our Mothers
“Her children rise up and call her blessed…” (Prov 31:28)
Now that I’m a mother, my heart stirs as I read this verse; it resonates with me.
God teaches us in Proverbs 31:28-31 that the praise of others is a common reward given to the woman who strives to manage her home and engage with her family in the fear of the Lord. While a mother’s strength shouldn’t rise or fall on this blessing, it undeniably is a gift to be praised by our children (a.k.a. those who have a front row view of us wringing out our hearts in our favorite, but toughest, job). I can attest to the happiness that accompanies this blessing when my 2-year-old son gives me “praise” with an unprompted “I wuv you!” or “kissy”.
Speaking of my sugary toddler—he has recently entered into this I-am-sinner-hear-me-roar mode. Naturally, this first-time mommy has become disillusioned and likewise scrambling to get into train-up-my-child-according-to-Truth mode. So, I have officially begun reading some parenting books to help me put into action the biblical principles about this topic I’m already familiar with.
Recently, I was reading one such book and the author referenced Proverbs 31:28 in a way similar to how I just mentioned it. She continued to share a few quotes of praise expressed by influential men about their own mothers. I became “twitterpated” as I read them, just imagining that my own ‘lil guy might actually think of me in those ways someday. I was so encouraged and reminded that a mother has the invaluable position of lovingly influencing her child.
I dug up some other quotes for you by godly men and women, whose earthly impact can be significantly attributed to the precious women who reared them…
Mommas, be melted!
“If I am Thy child, O God, it is because Thou gavest me such a mother.”
~St. Augustine, early church father
“My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. 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.”
~George Washington, 1st President of the United States
“My dear mother, besides the rains she took with me, often commended me with many prayers and tears to God; and I doubt not but I reap the fruits of these prayers to this hour.”
~John Newton, hymn writer
“I learned more about Christianity from my mother than from all the theologians in England.”
~John Wesley, co-founder of Methodism
“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”
“I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.”
~ Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States
“My mother had a slender, small body, but a large heart—a heart so large that everybody’s joys found welcome in it, and hospitable accommodation.”
~Mark Twain, author
“There is nothing in the world of art like the songs Mother used to sing.”
~Billy Sunday, athlete and evangelist
“If I have done anything in life worth attention, I feel sure that I inherited the disposition from my mother.”
~Booker T. Washington, educator and civil rights leader
“My mother seems—to me at least—to have been the wisest and best human being I ever knew.”
~John Gresham Machen, Presbyterian theologian
“My own dear mother was a martyr indeed, and it is not to everybody that God grants so easy a way to his great gifts as he did to [my sister] and myself, giving us a mother who killed herself with labour and trouble to ensure us keeping the faith.”
~J. R. R. Tolkien, author
“With my mother’s death, all settled happiness, all that was tranquil and reliable, disappeared from my life. There was to be much fun, many pleasures, many stabs of joy; but no more of the old security.”
~C. S. Lewis, author and literary scholar
“Mother was the heart of my childhood home… I knew that I was loved and cherished because I was worthy of Mother’s time and energies… My prayer now and as long as I have breath is that God would give us a host of women like my mother…”
~Dorothy Kelley Patterson, First Lady of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Whether or not you are a mother, it’s true that you have been profoundly impacted by a mother. I have been influenced by my biological mother, who has faithfully and sacrificially nurtured me in many ways throughout my life; my spiritual mothers, who freely cared for me as one of their own when I was a young and needy Christian, before I even knew what “discipleship” was; and my “mother-in-love”, who lavishly cares for me with gifts, refreshing words, and quality time together.
In these days leading up to Mother’s Day, let’s consider how we can bless the mother (or mothers) in our lives—perhaps by writing a card, arranging a flower delivery, or traveling to visit her. She will hardly be encouraged by anything as much as our praise of her!