The heart of every mother desires for her child to find his place in the world, but that same sweet mother’s heart just about breaks when her child goes into the world for his life’s journey.
Within the past two years I’ve joyfully sent my two oldest children out of the country to help people far from home. As much as I felt like doing a front flip from joy, I also felt as if my heart was ripped out as I saw them step into adult shoes and adult responsibilities. My tears were mixed up. Some were joyful and others were filled with pain.
I wondered how a mother’s heart must feel when she sends a child to war? Many, many mothers have worn badges of honor and sorrow as they have kissed their children and sent them off to stop a conflict or save the helpless.
A mother’s heart is the most tender and powerful part of society. Classical stories and historical accounts are full of mothers loving and grieving in powerful ways for their children. Think of Abigail Adams, Mrs. Margaret March (Marmee), and Mary the mother of Christ.
In a day when some people openly show disdain for motherhood — as well as contempt for the traditional public praise of that powerful social and familial figure we call mother — it might do us well to ask ourselves a question. Where would we all be, and who would we all be, without the strength and security that comes from a mother’s heart?
Even if our own mothers weren’t perfect, they loved, ached and prayed for, as well as taught us. Their hearts made us choose better than we normally would have and helped us feel safety when nothing else would. No matter our age or the age of the mother’s heart, we lean on it for strength and look to it as a source of truth. Nothing can replace the impact a loving mother’s heart has on a person’s life.
For some, a mother wasn’t always there. But even when that happens, none can deny the powerful influences the hearts of other mothers can also have on us. Even just the longing for the love and security of a nurturing mother’s heart can forever improve a life and perspective.
A Mighty Mother
Years ago I spoke with a remarkable mother about one of the hardest motherhood moments in her life. As a mother of six children she was always busy teaching, correcting, kissing, loving and praying for her busy family.
During World War II she was a young woman, so she knew firsthand the rigors of physical and emotional hardships.
In war time the people knew many of the brothers, husbands, cousins, uncles and fathers wouldn’t come home alive. But World War II wasn’t the most important war the soldiers were fighting. To the families left behind and to the majority of the GIs, the real war was between right and wrong; good and bad. If their son had chosen the right and lived a clean, good life, then he had won even if he was killed in action.
This mother married one of those clean, good men and raised a family of children who were taught how to be good people. They were also taught how to stay clean and good.
One by one her children left the safety of her protective care. She watched them go and her heart swelled with pride and anguish. Most of the children chose paths that would lead them to happiness and freedom, but one child didn’t.
She watched her young daughter start to develop bad friends and participate in activities that eventually led to her sadness and frustration. For a time, she damaged relationships and suffered many negative consequences for her actions.
Then, almost as quickly as the young adult went off course, she found herself back on the right track. She became dedicated to living a happier and more principled life.
When the mother related this story to me as one of her hardest parenting moments, I asked her what she did to help her daughter during her very difficult times.
This now gray-haired, gray-eyed woman looked into my eyes and into my heart and said, “I loved her. I never stopped loving her. No matter what she did that wasn’t good, I kept showering her with my love. I didn’t agree with all my daughter did, but I never stopped loving her — and she knew it.”
This one simple conversation with an elderly woman years ago taught me one of the most profound lessons about motherhood I have ever learned. A mother’s heart is her most powerful tool. It sets the tone for the relationships and the home environment, and it draws everyone to the truths she teaches. I also learned that no matter how hard a mother tries, a child may still go astray, but the mother’s heart can always help to bring a wayward child home again.
In hard times, a mother’s heart carries the others through and points the way to go. A mother’s heart is the dearest part of her.
No wonder so many children present their mothers with pictures and crafts done up in hearts each year on that one day that commemorates the impact mothers have on us all and our hearts!
If you, your wife or mother wants more unity and happiness at home this year for Mother’s Day, you’ll want to take advantage of the extreme Mother’s Day discount special of $400 off on the upcoming Parenting Mastery Retreat. Visit: http://teachingselfgovernment.com/events/parenting-mastery-retreat