“For all eternity, may happiness and peace be as abundant in your
heart as your goodness and sweetness so rightfully deserves…
The LORD will give strength unto His people;
The LORD will bless His people with peace.”
— Psalm 29:11
So reads the inscription written by my father to my mother in her Bible eight years prior to my adoption into the Ennis family. My mother’s prayer was much like Hannah’s recorded in 1 Samuel 1:10-19. She greatly desired a child; however, a hysterectomy at an early age rendered the desire biologically impossible. The Lord, nonetheless, said “yes” to her heart’s desire and allowed the assimilation of a daughter into their childless household through adoption.
Certainly He knew what type of parents I would need…an abandoned child with very poor health, I would not have survived in a household where I was not tenderly monitored. My parents had already done their “fun things” and were happy to stay at home and nurture the child for whom they had earnestly prayed.
Mother impacted my life in multiple ways…those making the greatest contribution include:
- Teaching me by example to be a “keeper at home.” Mother loved her home and made it a prepared place for those who belonged there. She spent time transferring her skills and abilities to me rather than simply doing the tasks and allowing me to enjoy them.
- Practicing patience while I was learning the skills. She performed the tasks skillfully…it would have been very easy for her, at her age, to become impatient and critical with a novice!
- Being at home when I arrived. We shared many special times because she anticipated my homecoming and willingly gave me her undivided attention.
- Allowing my friends to come to our home.
- Transferring godly values and standards that would guide me during the years when I would not have parental influence (my mother went to be with the Lord when I was 23 and my Father, when I was 18).
- Willingly sacrificing for me in material resources, time, and energy.
- Displaying the attributes of love rather than just talking about them.
As you read this description of my mother, numerous thoughts may be filtering through your mind — I have or had a mother just like that; my mother was not anything like what you described; I am single or have not been able to conceive, so what you wrote does not apply to me… You are blessed if your mother was a mirror image of mine, and you have no reason for self-pity if our gracious, heavenly Father said “no” to a godly mother, husband, or children. Regardless of your heritage or marital status, if you are a Christian, Titus 2:3-5 clearly instructs you to be a spiritual mother. Let’s examine some of the basic virtues you are to exemplify using the letters that form the word MOTHER as our foundation:
M — modeling the character qualities that you want your spiritual daughters to embrace (1 Corinthians 4:16, 1 Corinthians 11:1).
O — obedient to those having authority over you (Hebrews 13:17).
T — teachable (Psalm 27:11, 86:11) and capable of teaching
(2 Timothy 2:24; Titus 2:4).
H — humble (Proverbs 16:19; Isaiah 57:15).
E — exhorting and encouraging (1 Thessalonians 5:14; Hebrews 3:13, 10:19-25).
R — reputation for good works (Proverbs 31:29; 1 Timothy 5:3-10).
Despite the fact that Titus 2:3-5 is an instruction, not a suggestion, to Christian women, few are willing to assume the role of spiritual mother. Excuses range from, “I don’t know that much,” to “No one cares what I have to say.” However, when she hides behind these excuses, she is sinning by failing to obey a clear instruction from her heavenly Father. Remembering that an excuse is not a substitute for obedience
(1 Samuel 15:22), the woman who is seeking to please her heavenly Father practices this biblical instruction!
Today, I am the Director of a Homemaking program that is based on the Titus 2:3-5 precept. It is the third higher education program I have established. Though I have no biological children I have spiritual children around the world. Much of what I impart to them is generated from the foundation I received through my adopted mother’s training and example. It is my prayer that you, too, will embrace the Titus 2:3-5 precept so that your joy will be complete!
If you are in the Fort Worth area, consider scheduling a tour of Horner Homemaking House, Southwestern’s Management Model where our Homemaking classes are taught. If you would like a sample chapter of The Christian Homemaker’s Handbook simply click on Contact Pat and request your copy.
As well, you might enjoy attending the “Building a Culture of Biblical Femininity in the Home, Church and Community” Conference on the Southwestern campus October 1-3. Visit www.RockCreekBC.org for more information.