Mother’s Day is an opportunity to reflect on the love that our Moms have shown to us throughout our lifetimes. Parenting is a daunting task. Everyone is an expert on childrearing until they have their own children. Each of our parents did the best they could with what they knew. I was blessed to have the mom that God gave me. She is kind, generous and loving. She helped mold my mind and heart. I think of her every day. Take some time today to remember 5 lessons that you learned from your mom. Here are 5 that I learned from my Mom out the many I could share.
1. Love all your children the same.
I was blessed to grow up with 5 siblings at our home. Not once do I remember my Mom showing favoritism. She would always say, “I love you all the same.” And she did. This didn’t mean that we always had the same amount of treats or privileges. Things like age and obedience should be factored in to the equation. However, these differences were never a matter of favoritism or a difference in love.
As a Biblical counselor, I have seen the destruction first-hand that comes from favoritism in families. The story of Joseph in the Bible should serve as enough proof. It clearly demonstrates the frustration, anger and politics that favoritism creates. Some children will be more like you while others are more like your spouse. Some will be high maintenance and others low maintenance. Some will have personalities that fit will with yours and others may rub you the wrong way. Some will be more obedient while others are more obstinate. Nevertheless, love your children the same and make sure they all know it.
2. Don’t make fun of people.
In our house we were not allowed to make fun of others. Making fun of someone’s race, size, mental capacity, looks, etc. was a sure way to get in trouble. Getting a laugh at someone else’s expense was frowned upon and corrected. There will always be people different from you. Learn to be a cheerleader of the struggling. Lift up those who are fallen. Love the unlovable. Help others to laugh, but not at the expense of someone else. Be secure in yourself and you won’t feel the need to tear others down.
3. Choices have consequences.
I thank God for a Mom who disciplined me when I broke boundaries. Every child needs parents who teach them that choices have consequences. There is a cause and effect in life. My mom taught me that if I chose to disobey there was a consequence to my disobedience. If I wasn’t home on time – consequence. If I didn’t do my schoolwork – consequence. If I didn’t do my chores – consequence. If I chose to talk back, you got it, there was a consequence.
Parents do their children a huge disservice when they shield their children from the consequences of their choices. Impose consequences that are equal to the transgression. Teach your children this truth daily. Help them to know the pain of bad decisions in the safety of your home before they are on their own. The power to choose comes with a great responsibility. You can choose your actions, but you can’t choose your consequences.
4. Learn from the mistakes of others.
My mom wanted us to learn from her mistakes. Like most parents, she wanted her children to have a better life than she did. She would always encourage us, sometimes with tears, to not make the same mistakes. We often heard her pray that God would protect us from her bad choices in the past and help us not to make the same ones in the future. Why is it that we so easily transfer our bad habits to those around us? Unfortunately, some children become a combination of the worst attributes of their parents.
Beg God that He would help your children to learn from your mistakes. Be open with your children and teach them how to make better decisions. Beg them to be smarter and wiser than you were and learn from your mistakes and experience. Get victory in your own life so you can teach them how to have victory in theirs. They are made of the same stuff you are and will struggle with many of the same thoughts and feelings. Be present and engaged in their lives to help them navigate the dangerous waters of life.
5. Have compassion.
Compassion is a worthy virtue. It changes the way you see the world. My mom taught me to enter the lives of others. She didn’t just see life as a series of sterile events, but as people living with thoughts, feelings, fears and hopes. She taught me to think about how others are thinking and feeling. Life did not revolve around me. There were other people in the world and they needed someone to care about them and their situation.
Do you have compassion? Can you put yourself in other people’s shoes? Jesus looked on the multitudes and was moved with compassion. True compassion not only changes how we see the world, but also how we interact with the world. Show compassion today.
Take a moment and share a life lesson that your mother taught you in the comments below.