Who Is My Mother?

May 2, 2013


On Mother’s Day, we usually take time to honor our  biological parents or our adoptive parents. That a good thing to do and hopefully, we honor them all year long and not just on the “legal” day.  Scripture tells us that a man who finds a wife finds a good thing. (Proverbs 18:22) If a child has a good mother, that child is indeed blessed. Sadly, many
of us do not realize how good our mother was until they are passed on and then we cannot show them the honor they deserve.
My own mother, Darlis Louise (Diehl) Shultz, and I had a pretty terrible relationship until I was an adult. It took that long for us both to be saved and for me to truly understand the
trials of raising a child alone. I was nearly killed in the car accident that killed my father. I was not quite seven and my Mom was only twenty-five when she became a widow.
It was not easy raising a child in the sixties. It was tough for a two-parent family. It was Hell for a single mother. Mom did not have much of a support group. My Dad’s family did little to help her and she was the baby of seven, but for various reasons, her family was not much help. My maternal grandmother was a Christian and tried to stabilize her family. We lost her
eleven days after the youngest of her sons died and the family was never the same. My Mom cared for her father the last few years of his life.

I was sixteen in 1968 and a flower child. I wanted to live the life of peace, love and power to the people. I wanted to burn down the establishment. I believed authority was designed to be rebelled against. You can see what a problem my Mom had. I was voted most likely to be in jail in high school. I was kicked out a month before graduation, Mom begged the school to take me back, and they did.

Mom was not perfect and she had her struggles with the loss of her husband and the care of this budding juvenile delinquent. She drank to forget and to cope. Sadly, no Christians were about to help her or me. At least, they did not seem to be in our lives. Oh, yes, I attended a denominational church now and then. I sang in the choir. The rest of the boys in the choir and I swapped dirty jokes in the loft, as we watched the old folks nod out after they checked out who came in with who and how they were dressed. Consequently, the church had little impact
on her or me. If the preacher ever called on us, I was never there when he did.
Mom had a tough life. By His grace, we both received Christ in 1975 and things were better. We both had wounds and there were still some rocky times. I was able to hold bible studies in her house while I was in college and spend some good times with her before she died a few days after her fifty-fifth birthday in 1989. As a child, I often wished her dead, but it was hard to stop the tears as I held her funeral and eulogized her. I did not know how much she loved me and how hard she tried to teach me right until she was gone. I miss her. I hope none of you will wait until your mother is gone before you learn to  appreciate her. Let her know now!

My wife had a different childhood. Both her parents were there for her and she had a close relationship to her mother, Betty Jane (Johnson) Weaver. I envy my wife’s childhood. She was the goody toe shoes and baby of the family. I was very fortunate to have known and loved my mother-in-law for over twenty years before she passed away.
Genetic and adoptive Moms are very needful for a child. I do not think we ever outgrow our need for a mother. Men do not like to be mothered like a little boy after awhile, but they still need Mom in different ways. Mom’s can help them understand their wives. Men often pick women with the qualities of their mother. Moms have eternal impact on their children.
I believe that Jesus loved His mother very much. However, He also taught us to broaden our definition of family and motherhood. He came to bring us into the family of God. That relationship and family goes beyond genetic and puts us all into an adoptive family that is much larger than any traditional concept of family.

Mark 3:31-35
31
There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto
him, calling him.
32 And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him,
Behold, thy mother, and thy brethren without seek for thee.
33 And he
answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren?
34 And he looked
round about on them, which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my
brethren!
35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother,
and my sister, and mother. (KJV)

Who is my mother? Are Karen and I to be bereft of all the joys of having a mother because our genetic mothers are no longer with us? No, in the family of God we have access to many mothers. Jesus said that whoever does the will of God is His mother. Those women are my mothers also. One of the truly wonderful things about my spiritual family is that
while I was not born Black, Hispanic, Asian, French, etc, I can have Black, Hispanic, Asian, French, etc, mothers! Think of all the things that I can learn from all of those mothers and the impact they can have on my life!
In fact, I believe that I do have a Black mother. At work, Ms. Alma Trimble, has prayed for me and over me, anointed me with oil, baked for me, encouraged me, given me candy, and bragged on me to all kinds of folks. That sure sounds like things a mother would do to me! She is not old enough to have borne me, but in the Spirit, she has adopted me. I doubt that she has ever thought of it in that way, but she sure enough has done it. Knowing how she is, I expect that she has a rather large family! I am honored to be included in that family!

1 Tim
5:2 The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.
(KJV)

Paul tells us to treat the elder women in the church as mothers. I think that injunction is more than just a respect issue. I believe that we are to love them and if we are without earthly mothers to seek motherly guidance from them. If we are to treat them as mothers, that takes in everything that goes with motherhood. That also puts some responsibilities on the elder
women. In the following passages, Paul tells Titus what the character and the responsibilities of the aged women should be.

Before we get into this passage, I would like to say that while the definition of aged means an old woman, there are times when the younger women are also aged women. If you are in
a church where the oldest woman is thirty, and there are some like this, than that woman is an aged woman to that group. You do not need to go out and specifically recruit some folks from the nursing homes. The whole concept of the aged is that these women are experienced and wise. Not every woman with silver hair is wise or walking in holiness. Not every young woman is ignorant or spiritually immature. The whole issue is that the most experienced and most godly women are to teach the inexperienced and spiritually immature. There must
be spiritual discernment.

Titus 2:3-5
3 The aged women likewise, that
they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much
wine, teachers of good things;
4 That they may teach the young women to be
sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
5 To be discreet,
chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of
God be not blasphemed. (KJV)

The aged women must be walking in holiness or there is no sense in them teaching the younger women. A woman might not be saved until she is older and still struggling in some areas of holiness or is just flat spiritually immature because she is saved at sixty. At sixty-two, she is only two years old in the Lord. She would not be expected to be mature any more than someone being saved at eighteen would be two years later. It would be unloving and even disrespectful to thrust that person into a teaching or maternal role just because they are sixty-two.
They are not to be diabolos, false accusers, slanders, satans. Wow! They are not to be the ones that spend all their time finding things wrong with people and spreading it around the church. A slanderer will usually lie and thus they are false accusers. However, they also take truth and twist it or only share part of it to make a person look bad. These folks are not going to be a positive influence on anybody, let alone your younger women. That kind of seed we need not generate or help spawn.
They are not to be given to much wine. They are not to be enslaved to it. They are literally not to be winos. If her nickname is Tipsy and her mouthwash or cologne smells amazingly like Thunderbird or Boone’s Farm; she is enslaved to wine and disqualified. Folks often ask about the word oinos, which is translated wine. There is great debate over whether it means grape
juice or wine as we think of it. I cannot picture an injunction against being enslaved to grape juice. Oinos here definitely is referring to an alcoholic beverage derived from grapes. It was not as high in alcohol as our present day wine and usually watered down, but it did contain alcohol. Some of my Baptist brethren just had a cardiac moment, but fact is fact. Teaching by example to be enslaved to wine would not be an example of teaching good things. This could also be translated teaching right things. In an age where few seem to know what is right, godly women with such knowledge are sorely needed in every church.
Right things are not taught in our schools, the media, and often not by genetic mothers. How shall the young women know if spiritual mothers do not teach them? They are to teach the younger women to be sober and that would be tough if the elder was a wino, but the word here really is not speaking about being alcohol free.

4994 sophronizo (so-fron-id’-zo); from 4998; to make of
sound mind, i.e. (figuratively) to discipline or correct: KJV– teach to be
sober.

In 2 Tim 1:7, we are told that God has given us a sound mind versus a spirit of fear. The idea is of discipline and self-control. This would be in contrast with flighty or someone with fluctuating moods and emotional outbursts. These ladies would be in their S.A.F.E. zone. They would not be like the silly women of 2 Tim 3:6. Elder women were around long before charm schools or finishing schools. They would teach a girl how to become a proper woman. I imagine it was a bit more sane and practical than some of the things taught at those schools and surely made women far less vain. I believe the elder women prepared ladies to live in reality and how to handle the school of hard knocks. We need women leaders like that again.

The elder women are to teach the younger to love their husbands or to be fond of and affectionate to their husbands. You must remember that marriages were arranged in this culture. A
young lady might see her intended once before the marriage and that might be a year apart. Unless the lad lived in town, he went and prepared a place for her in his father’s house and then came a year later for the marriage feast ceremony and then took her away. Hmm, sound familiar? There was no chance to get to know each other or to develop romantic feelings for each other. That sounds nutty to us who must marry for love. Funny thing is that we choose the one we want and then when the honeymoon feelings wear off we want to send our ex-honey to the moon.
As an ex-hippie and married at 18, I never thought I’d say this but those marriages probably worked out a lot better because the parents are not blinded by the ooshie gooshie feelings and love bumps. They sought a mate for their children based upon character, demeanor, ability to support a wife and children and other more durable things than hunkiness or babehood or flushes.  Parents really do know best in most cases. Many things come full circle. There is a best selling book called, Love Is A Choice. It deals with recovery for codependent relationships, but the title fits well here. In the circumstances of the NT culture’s marriage rites women are taught to be affectionate as a matter of will. They should choose to be affectionate. The
emotion of affection will come later and indeed will be stronger and more lasting because it comes from something based on the stability of a determinate will rather than an inconsistent rush of hormones. They could bemoan their situation and wish for a more handsome, younger, richer or whatever husband or choose to love the one they have. God chose to love us and we certainly did not have the best characteristics of a mate or an object of love. We often make lousy brides even after years of marriage to Him and yet He chooses to continually love us. A dowry was paid to the bride’s father and we are bought with a price. Say, what you want, but their marriage rites were more sane and representative of God’s love and marriage to us than the capricious, impulse grocery shopping and trade-in practices we have today. I strongly favor the old timey courtship versus the modern dating nonsense. Well, I will get off that
soapbox for now.

We often speak of a maternal instinct. It is assumed that every woman that has a child will have something kick in that will make them cherish their children and protect them like an enraged she bear. Sadly, that is not true as we see today with young mothers dropping their children into dumpsters, toilets, and yards. Even in a society like the Hebrews where
children were desired more than anything and cherished more than gold there were women who had to be shown how to love their children and to have maternal feelings. To those who longed to have children and those who adopted children because they could not have their own the concept seems strange and alien, but not all women have that feeling or desire to have children. Again, these women were taught to be fond of their children and to be maternal even if they did not feel it. They were to choose to love and the feelings of love would come
later. Love was to be a choice and not a feeling.
To be fair, some women think they do not love children or want children because of fear. They may think they will fail as mothers. Their mother may not have been a good influence or
maybe died when they were young and they had no role model. Therefore given a choice they will stay childless. However, if they have a child and have the support of a genetic or spiritual mother they find that they love children just fine and they are not as incompetent as they thought they would be. Few turn out to be ones that abandon their child. That happens because of many other social ills and failure to teach our children, males and females, to be of sober minds.

Boy, are we going to have fun with this one. The next thing they are to be taught is to be discreet. Again this involves have a safe or sound mind, but also to be self-controlled or moderate/gentle/patient as to opinion or passion. Please note that it does not say that you cannot be impassioned about an issue or have an opinion. No one is asking for door mats or china dolls here. It is saying be discreet, rational, or discerning. I like the word sagacious. Be a wise, old, sage. Learn to refine your passion and learned opinion and express it
in a way that makes you look like a seasoned diplomat. It will gain you more respect and you will be far more influential.

I am learning this myself. I have always been a shoot from the hip kind of guy. I have never left anyone be in doubt as to what I feel about a certain subject. In that, I have not changed. Be advised, if you do not want to know what I think, then do not ask me. However, I am trying to be more like the cowboy that can reason his opponent out of a gunfight rather than showing the speed of my draw. Even if I win the gunfight, I lose because it is awful hard to convert a dead man. So you ladies that are like me I understand well. I don’t do mind games well and I would rather have a piece of your mind than try to figure out what is on it. However, I do not need a bottle broken over my head to get my attention. Say your piece, but do not slash me to pieces with your tongue and we will do jist fine, heah?
They are to be chaste. The Greek word is hagnos which is a form of hagios the word for holy. To be clean and pure is a way of being holy because He is clean and pure. While it speaks of the body, it would include your mind and mouth. Hang out with the rowdy women and your mouth and mind will not be pure and often the body follows because of the thoughts of the mind. I have to say it. Ladies, if you are hanging out with the soap operas, you are going to trouble with that mind and mouth being pure. Those romantic novels that would have been considered soft porn in the fifties and sixties will not help you either. There is nothing holy about watching a show where Billy Bob is sleeping with his ex-wife’s sister, who is married to his brother, while he is hitting on his best friend’s mother who is an alcoholic. Besides after everyone in town has slept with everyone at least three times how exciting can the plots be?
Before I was saved, my wife and mother-in-law were hooked on this one show and I do not remember the name. All I know is that I was on thirty day leave at my in-laws house prior to shipping out to Thailand with nowhere to go and I watched this same show. I left for a year and when I came back for another thirty days before shipping out to my next assignment, they were on the same murder trial as when I left. I was home two days and felt like I had never left because I knew exactly what was going on. That pretty much clinched it for me. Even the original Star Trek had three years of totally different episodes. I cannot for the life of me figure out how they stretched that out so far and kept people watching! Let a preacher preach out of the same book three times in a roll and people say he is in a rut or boring. Sisters, find a better way to spend you time and fill your mind.
The elder women are to teach the younger to be keepers at home. Now, much ado is made about this verse. Some interpret this verse as making women chained to their home immersed in diapers, dishes, daytime operas, and Ding-Dongs©. You already know how I feel about the daytime operas. I believe a woman should stay home with young children and every effort
should be made by the husband to properly support the family to allow this. There are some circumstances that prevent this, but stay at home Mom’s should be the norm. No one will love and care for your child like you do or should. Daycare is often more day than care and your child is worth more than any salary you could earn. I do not believe that this passage is referring to jobs or being locked in the house. The Proverbs 31 woman was out of the house, but she was always guarding her home. The term keeper means a guard. The wife guards the
home in many ways. Her focus is what will make my home all that it should be. She guards her home by the domestic chores making it a fit place for her family and herself to live. She guards it by protecting, teaching, and ministering to the true valuables of the home, her children. She guards it by her fidelity to her husband. She guards it by her support and love of her husband. The Proverbs 31 woman did all of these things and providing those things at times took her out of the four walls of her home, but her focus was always on what was best for
her home and it’s safety. She was not cloistered in any way.

I think the following verses give us clarity as to what Paul was thinking about here.

1 Tim 5:13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from
house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking
things which they ought not.
14 I will therefore that the younger women
marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to
speak reproachfully.

He had been speaking of the Church’s duty to support
widow without kinfolk. These ladies then would serve the church in some
capacity. They may be prayer warriors or assisted with the women baptismal
candidates to ensure propriety. Note the widow of a prophet, Anna, in Luke
2:36-38.
Older women would do this unto death. Paul realized that the younger women might yearn for children or connubial bliss and urged that they seek a husband rather than change their mind later. He then explains that when they marry, besides becoming mothers they should guide the house or be house managers. This is how it works at my house. When it comes to decisions in the house, for the house or about the house, my wife need not even seek my advice or approval. She just makes the decisions and I respect those decisions. She knows me well enough and if she decided I needed to have pink lacy pillowcases or a teddy bear bolster, we would have a definite discussion. She knows and respects my likes or concerns and outside of that, she has free rein to express herself in guiding or guarding our home. I trust her and her judgment. Why micromanage, when I have a competent house manager?

You also notice that a young woman without a house to guide or one that does not take the responsibility of guarding the home seriously might become idle or lazy and then become a gossip running from house to house. She thereby endangers her home and the homes of her friends and neighbors by giving something the enemies of Christ to speak reproachfully about and even cause them to blaspheme the word of God.

The injunction of being keepers at home is to not be a gossip or lazy wife, but to be a proper and responsible guard of the home. This is a part of being good. As the elder woman is to be a teacher of good things, so also then is the younger woman to be good in character and a doer of good things.  One of those good things is to be obedient unto her own husband. We have discussed the word here translated as obedient and in other places as submission before. Hupotasso is a military term. We talked about two Colonels of equal talent and ability being placed on a project and one would be put in charge because human nature dictates that someone must be in charge to get anything done. The only factor that usually determines which Colonel leads is time in grade. It has nothing to do with ability, respect or dominance and suppression. Someone has to be the CEO and tiebreaker in a two person setup and God gave man the extra vote and title. Anyone that missed the other series on men and women relationships can let me know and I will give them a copy where we discuss this in more detail.
I find it significant for God to say “unto their own husbands.” Not just any man is to be submitted unto. The role is for families not the gender. Sadly, many women are willing to please or submit to other men, but totally disrespect their own husband and they wonder why their marriage is crumbling. Other men are not a part of the corporate entity of your family and they have no say in what goes on in your family. If a man outside the family has any desire for input into your family, he should go to the husband. A real man would do so, but a thief comes in another way. When a man approaches you about your family inappropriately, he is likely more interested in you than your family. He wants to win your confidence and respect and usually that is due to the ulterior motive of getting you involved in an inappropriate relationship. Ladies, beware. Let your husband protect you from the destroyers. That is a way for you to guard your house. Gentlemen, send the ladies who express interest in your house to your wife. It works both ways.
Elder ladies, why are you teaching the younger ones to do these things which you are hopefully, following yourself? So “that the Word of God be not blasphemed.” There is a debate on an Internet newsgroup that asks, “Do Christians live up to their ideals?” We say we believe this book to be the verbal plenary inspired Word of God. That means we believe that every
word in its fullness of meaning God breathed into the writers using their personalities and styles to convey His message exactly as if He wrote it in stone like He did for Moses.
Do we live up to it? How much of this have you balked at tonight? I have given you His word in English and Greek. I did not write it and I have no halo to shine or axe to grind. I just told it as it is written. Is it only His Word when we and our society like it or is it still his Word when it rubs us the wrong way? Is your life or mine a denial of His Word? If so, then the adversaries of God will blaspheme the Word because of you or me. We must all strive to live up to the ideals. We may fail, but we do not or should not deny the ideal when we fail. We just admit our failure, seek cleansing and empowerment to move on.

You see ‘elder women, you are not just training the younger women to be better wives or Christians, but you are training up the future leaders and teachers of younger women and even wives of pastors.

1 Tim 3:11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers,
sober, faithful in all things. (KJV)

If you fail the younger ladies now, they will fail the next generation and families, the Church, and the world will suffer. I beseech you, live up to your calling to be mothers, teachers and doers of good things.My elder sisters, mothers, do you have no children or are they grown and away? Look around you, and seek out a younger woman that you can mentor and mother. They need you. My younger sister, are you without a mother or your mother is not close to you? Seek out a godly, elder woman and ask her to be your mother and mentor. Love her and let her love you. It is the way of strength and growth. Who is my mother? Every godly woman and because of that I will never be an orphan! May God truly bless you all! Good night, Mom!

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