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The Meanest Mother!

Romans 16:13

A teacher gave her class of second graders a lesson on the magnet and what it does.
The next day in a written test, she included this question:
"My full name has six letters.
The first one is M. I pick up things.
What am I

When the test papers were turned in, the teacher was astonished to find that almost 50 percent
of the students answered the question with the word, "Mother."

It's possible that some of you have not yet recovered from the deep emotional wounds left by your mother.
I hope to address whatever work God has done in your life through your mother and also acknowledge
whatever pain and brokenness you may have experienced in your life because of your mother.

You may have had a very loving, godly mother, but there are those who didn't.
Those who may have been neglected, abused and deeply hurt by their mothers could leave here
without receiving anything from the message.

Many have been both loved and wounded by their mothers.
So, we must acknowledge both the positive ways and the negative ways that our mothers have influenced us.

Every mother has an important ministry.
I believe that mothers have the most important ministry in life.

In our observance of Mother's Day, we must also acknowledge that there are thousands of women in our country
-- at this very moment that have an unwanted pregnancy.

They are debating within themselves as to what to do about it.
In many of these unwanted pregnancies, the man involved is not willing to share the responsibility,
so the woman is left in a very difficult predicament.
Many are choosing abortion as a way out.

We should be thankful that our mothers chose life for us.
And we should pray and support our Christian centers who give counseling, encouragement, and support
to mothers to keep their babies.

Let us look at the importance of the ministry of every mother.

The Scriptures are filled with examples of godly mothers.
These are mothers through whom the Lord worked in shaping the character of their children.

When our biological mothers have not been available for us, God has used others to nurture us.
They became mothers to us spiritually and emotionally.
We refer to them as our second mother or adopted mother.

Have you been blessed with such a person?

There was such a person in the life of the apostle Paul.
Nowhere, in any of his own letters, does Paul refer to his biological mother, but in his letter to the church at Rome,
Paul does refer to this woman who had related to him as though he were her son.

Paul does not even mention her by name.
All that we know about her is that she had a son named Rufus, and that Paul felt as though she had been a mother to him.
We can only surmise what Rufus' mother meant to Paul that would lead him to write that she had been a mother to him.

Perhaps, she had nurtured him during those first years after his dramatic conversion to Christ.
Whatever she had done, we can be certain that it was significant to Paul.

It also serves as a powerful illustration of the fact that women can have a mother's influence not only in the lives
of their own natural children, but also in the lives of other children.
God expects the older Christian ladies to train the younger women in the ways of Christ. All of us who were blessed with imperfect, but loving mothers, who truly nurtured us will find appropriate ways
to express our heartfelt appreciation. Of course, some husbands must help and teach their children to give special recognition to their mother today.

I read about one man who wrote the following lament to his wife on Mother's Day:

"M is for the mink coat you want, dear,
O is for the opal ring you crave,
T is for the tiny car you'd love, sweet,
H is for the hat that makes you rave,
E is for the earrings you'd admire, love,
R is for the rug on which you'd tread;
Put them all together, they spell bankrupt,
So I'm giving you this handkerchief instead

All of us must take the opportunity to express our thanksgiving to the Lord for our mothers.

I'd like to close by reading how one person expressed her gratitude to God for her mother.
It comes from Larry Christenson's book entitled, The Christian Family.
Here is what she wrote:

"I had the meanest mother in the world.
While other kids ate candy for breakfast, I had to have cereal, eggs or toast.
When other had Cokes and candy for lunch, I had to eat a sandwich.
As you can guess, my supper was different than other kids' also.
But at least I wasn't alone in my sufferings.
My sister and two brothers had the same mean mother I did.

My mother insisted upon knowing where we were at all times.
You'd think we were on a chain gang.
She had to know who our friends were and what we were doing.
She insisted if we said we'd be gone an hour --
that we be gone one hour or less -- not one hour and one minute.

I am nearly ashamed to admit it, but she actually struck us.
Not once, but each time we had a mind of our own and did as we pleased.
That poor belt was used more on our seats than it was to hold up Daddy's pants.

Can you imagine someone actually hitting a child just because he disobeyed?

Now you can see how mean she really was.

We had to wear clean clothes and take a bath.
The other kids always wore their clothes for days.
We reached the height of insults because she made our clothes herself --
just to save money.
Why, oh why, did we have to have a mother
who made us feel different from our friends?

The worst is yet to come.
We had to be in bed by nine each night and up at eight the next morning.
We couldn't sleep till noon like our friends.
So while they slept -- my mother actually had the nerve
to break the child-labor law.

She made us work.
We had to wash dishes, make beds, and learn to cook and all sorts of cruel things.
I believe she lay awake at night thinking up mean things to do to us.

She always insisted upon our telling the truth,
the whole truth and nothing but the truth, even if it killed us -- and it nearly did.

By the time we were teen-agers, she was much wiser,
and our life became even more unbearable.

None of this, tooting the horn of a car, for us to come running.
She embarrassed us to no end by making our dates and friends
come to the door to get us.
If I spent the night with a girl friend,
can you imagine she checked on me to see if I were really there?

I never had the chance to elope to Mexico --
that is, if I'd had a boy friend to elope with.

I forgot to mention, while my friends were dating at the mature age of 12 and 13,
my old-fashioned mother refused to let me date until the age of 15 and 16.

Fifteen, that is, if you dated only to go to a school function.
And that was maybe twice a year.

Through the years, things didn't improve a bit.
We could not lie in bed, 'sick,' like our friends did, and miss school.
If our friends had a toe-ache, a hangnail or other serious ailment,
they could stay home from school.

Our marks in school had to be up to par.
Our friends' report cards had beautiful colors on them,
black for passing, red for failing.
My mother, being as different as she was,
would settle for nothing less than ugly black marks.

As the years rolled by, first one and then the other of us were put to shame.

We were graduated from high school.
With our mother behind us, talking, hitting and demanding respect,
none of us was allowed the pleasure of being a dropout.

My mother was a complete failure as a mother.

Out of four children, a couple of us attained some higher education.
None of us has ever been arrested, divorced, or has beaten his mate . . .

And whom do we blame for the terrible way we turned out?
You're right -- our mean mother . . .

She forced us to grow up into God-fearing, educated, honest adults.

Using this as a background, I am trying to raise my three children.
I stand a little taller and I am filled with pride, when my children call me,

Because, you see, I thank God, He gave me the meanest mother in the world."

God, give us more mothers like that!
We need them, desperately!
That is a mother's ministry!

Thank God for mothers like that!

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