Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day, Mom

I've been thinking about my mom this Mother's Day, as usual. Maybe it's because John is getting married (you're probably all tired of hearing about this and will be glad when he's finally married!) but today I've been thinking most about how she modeled what it means to be a wife and mother.

My mom loved my dad. And he loved her. It's just that simple. She loves all of us, her children, and is an incredibly devoted mother, but we grew up knowing that Mom and Dad loved each other first and us next. As it should be. They took time for each other and spent time with each other. They enjoyed each other and treated each other as if they were, indeed, as one. They preferred each others' company and were satisfied in the little, daily intimacies of living together and building a family together.

I can't tell you what that means to a child! To know that your parents LOVE each other is the best kind of security that a child can have. How hard it must be for the child who perceives that he or she is the hub of the home! And what freedom there is in being a child who knows that they are loved deeply but they are not the source of their parents' relationship. I never had to worry about what would happen to us if they split up or what would happen to them once we were all grown and out of the nest.

My parents had the most wonderful, loving, trusting marriage. Sadly, my father died at the age of 51. My mom grieved deeply, and still does, and often longs for the days when my dad was still here and the two of them were together every day, sharing the life that they built together. But even though he has been gone for over 20 years now, she will tell you that she still loves him, still feels married to him, still feels the eternal bonds of their relationship to this day. She treasures the life they had together and time has not dimmed her memories.

And on this Mother's Day, I realize that one of the greatest things my mother ever taught me was to love my husband and my children--in that order.

I love my husband. And he loves me. It's just that simple. We love our children deeply and would do anything for them, but we love each other first and them next. We take time for each other and spend time with each other. We enjoy each other and treat each other as one, for that is what we are. We prefer each others' company and are satisfied in the little, daily intimacies of living together and building a life together.

And when John and Beth exchange their vows next Saturday, my prayer will be that they, too, will love each other like Grandpa loved Grandma and like we love each other. Because if they do, my grandchildren will be very happy and secure.

They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. 2 Timothy 2:3-5

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