I haven’t always been the best son. I have a better mom than I deserve. She has been and continues to be a great mom. I’m all grown up now, but I will never miss a chance to get one of her hugs. Next to my dad she has had more influence on my life than anyone else. There are 3 things she does with her influence that radically shapes my life.
1. She Prays for Me
Growing up I remember that she prayed for me in family devotional time. I also remember passing by my parents room and hearing my parents pray for all of us children. I remember as a teenager coming home drunk one night and passing by her room and hearing her call out to God on my behalf. One time she got with some ladies and asked God to birth a desire in me and provide a way for me to go back to school (and He did). I wasn’t there, but I’m sure my mom prayed for me before I was born (maybe even before I was conceived). I believe God answers prayers, I’ve seen Him answer my mothers time and time again. I am thankful for a mother who asked God for me and clung to promises when I was in the midst of rebellion. I haven’t always been the best son.
2. She leads me to love the Bible
I remember a kids devotional book with a raccoon on the front (I don’t have a clue why a raccoon was on a kids devotional book). My mom made sure that in addition to our family devotional time that I began to develop a daily time in Gods word through the aide of this little book. Later it would be the purchase of an “encounter” teen bible complete with devotionals in the back. It was in this Bible that I would first document that I thought God might be calling me into ministry.
Beyond equiping me, she was in God’s word every morning too. Often getting up early to read the bible and do her woman’s devotionals. I remember several mornings waking up to use the bathroom and find my mom in the living room spending time reading her bible. I knew she wanted me to get in the habit of reading God’s Word because she was in the habit. I have a better mom than I deserve.
3. She speaks truth
Several times my mother has spoken with a prophet’s voice in my life. The time I remember the most was the 16 hour car ride down to college. She knew I was going into student ministry and took a moment to challenge me. She said, “Jon, there are a lot of student ministries that are built around games and just hanging out, don’t lead one of those student ministries. You teach the word. Love people enough to tell them about Jesus.” I really took her advice and a study of God’s word is what ultimately brought me to my own true conversion and trust in Christ.
I can imagine that there were countless times as I was growing up that my mom was biting her lip wondering If I would get it. If I would really listen. If I would receive the blessings she was giving me. I am sure there were times that she felt like she was defeated. I was a very strong willed child. But she has always had the last say. Her words even now hang in the air and influence me long after she has said them. She has been and continues to be a great mom.
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: (Proverbs 31:26-28 ESV)