Parenting is no easy task. Whether it’s the sleepless nights with newborns or the tumultuous years with teenagers, each season of parenting comes with its own unique challenges. It’s truly an exercise in patience that we live out daily in front of our children’s watching eyes. And often, who we are as a parent is largely influenced by what we gleaned from our own parents.
With Mother’s Day just around the corner, the Living on the Edge team took time to reflect on lessons learned from our mothers. The recurring theme was the importance of love.
- Love in Every Season: We can speak of the importance of love and faith in the good times, but it is in the difficult seasons that our character is truly tested. Choosing love in the face of pain is one of the most influential legacies we can leave for our children.“The thing I admired most about my mom was her unfailing faith in God and love for His people,” said Claudia. “Though she was diagnosed with cancer at a young age and underwent many painful surgeries, she did not forsake Him. She ministered to many of the nurses and doctors who treated her and never stopped sharing of God’s love for them. She recited Psalm 103 often, and in the end was eternally healed and went to Heaven to be with her Savior. I am grateful for my mom and the example of a godly woman she was for me.”
- Love Through Every Action: Faith should not be compartmentalized for select situations or reserved for Sunday only. Our love for God should translate to every aspect of our lives.“We celebrated my mother’s 80th birthday a few years ago and made a special video that included personal messages from all of my siblings,” said Sandra. “As we all watched the video together, the clear-cut message that came through was that our mother’s faith and trust in God shines through in everything she does in life. And thankfully, she has instilled that in all of her children.
- Love for Every Person: Jesus told His disciples that the world will know us by our love for one another. For Christians, our love should not be contingent upon a person’s behavior but rather a reflection of our mission to love others as Christ has loved us. When we strive to see people through the lens of compassion, the impact cannot be measured.“I learned emotional intelligence from my mother. She was the most emotionally intelligent person I’ve ever been exposed to. She had a sixth sense about what was going on inside of people, dynamics in relationships, when people were hurting, and how to meet them in a way that was most meaningful,” said Chip. “Not surprisingly, she was a guidance counselor, filled with wisdom, and an amazingly positive attitude. She was very compassionate, and by far the glue that held our family together. She died quite young at 62, but her imprint upon my life, character, ministry, and relationships continues to this day.”
When you think of your mother or those who’ve made a motherly investment in your life, what are the lessons you have learned? Ask God to open your mind and heart this week to seek answers to that question. Choose to honor their investment by living out love before the watching eyes in your life.
To find out more ways you can be intentional in your parenting, check out the series entitled Intentional Parenting.
Merritt has served for nearly a decade in numerous capacities with Living on the Edge, including storyteller and blog managing editor. She and her husband make their home in Brenham, TX, where they are currently raising three rambunctious children and a renegade dachshund.More Articles by Merritt