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RELIGION COLUMN

Let Mom know you appreciate her stubborn love

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By D. Clay Perkins
Columnist

Saturday, May 13, 2017

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother” – which is the first commandment with a promise – “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3 (The Bible, New International Version)

Her name was Lula Bell. A classic southern name. She raised eight. I was number six, the good child. As we celebrate mothers, we remember. For me, the memories are good. For those whose mothers are less than stellar, I am sorry, but I cannot relate. But for all mothers, please know this — you are not in control.

Raising children is not for the faint at heart. There is joy, pain, and promise in the process. There is a story handed down from preacher to preacher about the first parent. The first parent, God, started with one word, “Don’t.”

Adam: “Don’t what?”

God: “Don’t eat the forbidden fruit.”

Adam: “Hey Eve, we have fruit. Forbidden fruit!”

God: “Adam, don’t be tempting Eve. I said, “Do NOT eat the fruit.”

Adam: “Why not?

God: “Because I said so.”

You have to wonder at this point in the story if God was considering why he had not stopped the creation process after the animal kingdom was complete. After all, he had lions, tigers, bears, giraffes, elephants and more.

Many of you have read the Bible. You know the rest of the story. Soon Adam and Eve were enjoying the fruit, and the good Lord was not happy.

God: “Did I not tell you – do NOT eat the fruit?”

Adam: “Uh huh.”

God: “Then, why did you?”

Eve: “I don’t know.”

Adam: “She started it!

“Did not!”

“Did too!”

“Did not!”

Ugh.

Parenting is a challenge on the best of days. You love. You give your best advice. Day after day, you are there. You are there with unconditional love. No one could love them more than you. No love is more like God’s love than that stubborn love of a mom. But at times your children — in spite of all your efforts — fail in even the simplest things in life.

My mom was amazing even on her worst day. With eyes in the back of her head and wisdom beyond compare, she corrected and loved each of her sons and daughters. But I am sure, even with her good son, there was more than one occasion that she wanted to pull the hair out of her head.

Mothers, take solace in the reality. Remember the first children, and who their parent was, and they were less than stellar. So, what makes you think that raising children is a piece of cake?

Be savvy, take time to give love and honor to your mother. Make sure she knows — whether she is your natural, adopted, or surrogate mother — that you deeply appreciate her stubborn love. Tell her because she may not know since our actions do not always reflect her parenting.

Stay focused.

Dr. D. Clay Perkins is president of Mid-Atlantic Christian University.

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