by: Gary L. Hutchens
A mother’s love is special. It may be the best illustration we commonly observe of what agape love describes in scripture. A mother loves her child no matter what. In spite of how many pregnancies are terminated by abortion, a mother’s love remains one of the strongest resisting forces against that procedure. A child may be born severely handicapped, but his mother loves him just the same, with all of the same affection, tenderness and sincerity she bestows upon her children who are not handicapped. In observing her deep love and devoted care, without even thinking about it she serves as a graphic visual example of true, selfless love.
A child may go off to school and get picked on by his classmates. He may be made fun of unmercifully. He may be shamed for some physical characteristic, some speech impediment or a learning handicap. He may even be made to feel inferior by his teacher. But he knows he can always go to his mother and feel loved and be reassured of his self worth.
A child may grow up, go off on his own, run with the wrong crowd and go bad. He may get into trouble on a repeated basis and run afoul of the law. He may lose his direction and take a path of wickedness. He may so ruin his life that he alienates virtually everyone around him. He may get fired because of irresponsible behavior. He may lose his wife and children. He may even be reprimanded by society, end up in jail and spend half his years incarcerated. Still, his mother will love him, hold out hope for him, visit him in prison and try to encourage him to change.
Ah, a mother’s love! Yet there is one thing that many mothers fail to do for their children that could make all the difference in the world. It could mean the difference between failure and success for their children. It could be the thing that opens the eyes of their children to real meaning and direction and fulfillment in life. In the end, it could bring abiding happiness and peace to not only their children, but also to themselves. Yet so many mothers fail do this one thing that is more important than everything else they do for their children. They fail to bring them up in the ways of the Lord! (Gen. 18:19; Eph. 6:4).
There is no greater gift that a mother could give to her child than knowledge of God and His teachings. That gift could help her child understand that he has eternal worth, that he was created in the image, not just of his mom and dad, but more profoundly in the image of his Heavenly Father. That gift would be the surest way to guide her child along a path of righteousness and goodness and of guaranteed eternal life in Heaven. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6).
Gary L. Hutchens