A Mother Worthy of Remembrance
by pamela spurling
No matter who you are, where you live, what your age… the very mention of the word “mother” likely conjures up many emotions. Even when we mothers look at ourselves in the mirror, we undoubtedly have mixed emotions as to who we are, what we do, what we hoped we’d be and what we are becoming. We may think back on memories of our mothers with bittersweet emotion… loving them for who they were or tried to be, cringing with regret for taking them for granted, regretting things they did that hurt us or things we did that hurt them, we may feel a sense of loss over the mother we never really knew, we may have ambivalent feelings toward them who have or had lives so different than our own… Whatever the case, Mother’s Day surely is a time when emotions run high, when remorse or guilt grips us, or when joyful memories flood our hearts and minds.
This Mother’s Day, I am especially mindful of who I am as a mother to my children, of how I am viewed by them and how they’ll remember these days of their childhood and early adulthood—thus the title of my message today: A mother worthy of remembrance.
In addition to considering how I will be remembered by them, I am now also considering another phase and that is how the LORD will use me in the lives of my grandchildren… and I am continually sobered by the thought that the grandchildren, like my own children need loving encouragement and they need a faithful mother/grandmother who will daily be remembering them at the feet of the LORD, that someone loves them and cares so much for them that they are a frequent topic of conversation before the LORD. I know that one of the saddest thoughts I had at the passing of my husband’s grandmother was the fact that we would no longer have her daily prayers of intercession on our behalf. I knew that day by day we were carried to the throne of God in her prayers. It was knowing this that taught me to daily pray for our children… it was her example of steadfast prayer that taught me to pray and to wait on the LORD for His timing and His answers, in the same way, she taught me to pray for their future spouses, for their lives and for the work the LORD had planned for them. Her dedication to prayer and of daily waiting on the LORD was a discipline she learned from her mother—of whom, as I understand it, was also widely known as a woman of prayer.
It amazes me how the LORD works, in that some of her prayers were not answered until long after her death, and yet, seemingly unanswered prayer was not a discouragement to her while she lived. It is knowing this and trusting in the LORD’s timing that has inspired me to pray for our children in a whole new way. I pray for many things for them and I pray that they, too, will learn the discipline of prayer—the obedience of prayer. I pray for their daily walk, their decisions, their future work, for their future spouses, and so on. Recorded prayers and recorded answers to prayers have surely been an encouragement to me as I look back on petitions before the LORD and His directions and answers to them. More and more I hunger for the times of the day when I can go aside and pray. The LORD has demonstrated His loving and listening ear over and over as He directs through His Word and in answers to prayers. He has confirmed His listening ear time and time again and I trust Him for His past deeds and future promises—for what He has said, that will He do. The prayers of His saints are wafting up as incense about His throne. What a blessing this is to know. And so, prayer is one of the disciplines of a mother worthy of remembrance.
These Grand and great-grandmothers were models to emulate; they are mothers worthy of remembrance … and their disciplines are worthy of remembrance today, as I know that my mother in law credits her own disciplined life to the examples she saw in her mother and grandmother. Faithful women. We may not personally have living examples of faithfulness, but the LORD has given us models of women who trusted in Him, whose faith was a credit to them. We have past lives and living examples and accounts of women in the Word who stand as models for us today. Sarah is an example of a woman whom the LORD found faithful. We are told in 1 Peter that we are her daughters if we do well and are not afraid with any amazement… or as the American Standard says: “…if ye do well, and are not put in fear by any terror.” We are to trust and not fear. We see once again that fear and faith cannot be carried in the same bucket. And so, faithfulness is one of the disciplines of a mother worthy of remembrance.
It is the desire of our hearts to be found faithful… just as we read in the Word: “His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” —Matthew 25.23
I so wish that I had had the wisdom in the early years to carefully weigh the decisions I was making and the lasting impact those decisions would have. I didn’t grow up as a disciplined person, nor did I learn to carefully plan decisions. Oh, how I thank and praise the LORD today for His watchcare over me even when I did not know Him. Motherhood sort of just “happened” to me as a young married and I would apply what I was reading or what was suggested to me at the time. I must thank the LORD continually that He specifically placed me in “strategic” places where I would learn or hear ideas and try and do them. I didn’t know early on that decisions needed to be made with wisdom. I didn’t carefully weigh out all my decisions in light of the future or in light of eternity. The tyranny of the urgent and the expedient ways of doing things dictated how I made decisions. As I look back now, very seldom was wisdom employed in the making of decisions. I was easily swayed by emotion and worldly reasoning. I didn’t weigh out the consequences of my actions… though I was hemmed in by the LORD, I took much liberty to exercise what I would later come to see as poor judgment.
I continually grow in this area of decision making as I still on occasion tend to be impulsive and have to keep this in mind when buying things for our home, for our children, etc.
I see such great need for wisdom and understanding when teaching the children, when talking with others, in making lists for the day, in planning schedules or whatever other decisions might need to be made. I often pray for wisdom and understanding as I seek the LORD as the mother in our home. I sometimes think that there is nothing I need more than this with the passing of each day. The Word teaches us that wisdom is more to be desired than gold. Proverbs 31.26 says: “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” And so this tells me that seeking wisdom is one of the disciplines of a mother worthy of remembrance.
Psalms 49.3 “My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding.”
Psalms 51.6 “Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.”
Psalms 90.12 “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”
Another one of the disciplines of a mother worthy of remembrance is the discipline of virtue. We learn of this in the Word that the Proverbs 31 woman was a woman of virtue. She was a woman of excellence. What a loving and Marvelous God to give us this insight into His design for us each one. O, that it might be said of us: “Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.” (Proverbs 31.29) We learn of this quality in the New Testament as well. 2Peter 1.3 “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue” This quality is both passive—and what I mean by this is that it is a quality of the mind or the way we think on things—and it is active, it is what governs what we do and how we behave, and it is given to us by the Lord Himself.
Philippians 4.8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
2Peter 1:5 “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;”
Desiring and becoming a virtuous woman means deciding to leave off with worldly thinking and worldly ideals. A virtuous woman cannot be measured by the standards of the world—she is measured by the standards of the Word. And just as I shared with you earlier as well as last week, faith and fear cannot be carried in the same bucket, so also the Word and the world cannot be carried in the same bucket—one will displace the other. In order to follow the Word, you must leave off following the world. The road of either one is going in an opposite direction. A virtuous woman does not travel both roads… she has chosen the better part, she has chosen to be a woman of the Word. And so, at any cost, seeking to be virtuous is one of the disciplines of a mother worthy of remembrance.
Proverbs 31.10 “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.”
And finally, though this subject is far from being covered, a mother worthy of remembrance is a mother who is loving. O, how I desire to be a mother who, through love, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. I feel quite certain that this aspect of love is the desire of your heart as well. No matter how much I pray, no matter how disciplined I am, no matter how I seek wisdom and virtue, if I don’t have or demonstrate love, I am nothing… and that’s not how I want to be remembered.
A truly loving mother… that’s a mother worthy of remembrance.
pamela spurling ~ TheWelcomeHome ~ 2001 ~