Do you ever hear an expression that reminds you of something your mother often said? Do you find yourself using the same expressions (even the ones you swore you wouldn’t) to your own children? A mother’s words, whether because of wisdom or mere repetition, can become set in concrete in our minds.
Mothers have an adage for every occasion. Meeting strangers: “Don’t talk to them or take anything from them.” (Although wise counsel for children, I still have trouble meeting strangers.) Meals: “Eat everything on your plate. There are starving children in India.” (If liver was on the menu, I asked if I could package my meal up and send it to them.) Seasons: “We don’t wear white shoes before Memorial Day or after Labor Day.” (I grew up being warned against such folly and have scrupulously avoided it.)
Motherly advice is nothing new. It has been going on since Eve probably warned her children of the danger of talking to snakes. See if any of these motherly words of wisdom bring back memories:
“Don’t ask why. Because I said so.”
“A little hard work never hurt anyone.”
“A fool and her money are soon parted.”
“If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”
“I’m doing this for your own good. Someday you’ll thank me.”
In the book of Proverbs, Solomon told us that his mother gave him some advice, “The sayings of King Lemuel—an oracle his mother taught him” Prov. 31:1. (Since historically there was no King Lemuel, most Bible scholars assume this was what Solomon’s mother called him.) What did his mother advise him? She warned him against wild women and alcohol and urged him to be a kind-hearted ruler (31:2-9). History records that her advice—like that of many other mothers—was mostly ignored.
Whether heeded or not, the proverbs Solomon collected are full of motherly wisdom. Here are a few that he may have heard growing up around the palace:
“If sinners entice you, do not give in to them.” Prov. 1:10
“Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!” Prov. 6:6
“Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.” Prov. 23:5
“Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.” Prov. 17:28
“The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother.” Prov. 29:15
In other words, Solomon’s mother (like you and I) probably said, “Someday you’ll thank me for this.”
Mother’s Day is in two weeks. Vicki Huffman’s novel about mothers and daughters, A Secret Hope, would make an ideal gift for Mom (or yourself). It is available in print and on Kindle through Amazon.com. One of the reviewers wrote, “From the first page, I was hooked on this beautiful and uplifting story about a daughter’s search and a mother’s unfailing love. Although the book is fiction, the settings and life circumstances have been well researched, and it was easy to identify with the characters. This is a story of faith, hope, love and forgiveness and, if you have ever experienced the joys of adoption, it is a book that you don’t want to miss.”
About Vicki Huffman
National award-winning journalist Vicki Huffman's latest book is Soon to Come: The Revelation of Jesus Christ. It is a verse by verse exposition of the only purely prophetical book in the New Testament. Her other five books are: The Jesus Moses Knew: How to See Christ in the Old Testament; A Secret Hope (novel); Still Looking: Finding the Peace of God in Job Loss; Plus Living: Looking for Joy in All the Right Places, and The Best of Times. All are available in print and e-book on amazon.com. Vicki is a national award-winning author who has taught the Bible for many years. She was an editor for several Christian publishing houses, including Thomas Nelson and David C. Cook Ministries.
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