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The Things Mothers Teach Us King Lemuel decided to share with the world the wisdom he had garnered during his ascent to the throne. These “sayings” of King Lemuel are the things “his mother taught him” (Proverbs 31:1). Restated this means that the king learned his really important lessons from his mother.


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Maybe Lemuel’s mother was unusually wise and articulate. But I suspect that the king learned these things from his mother for the same reason that many of us found our mothers to be our best teachers: mothers love their children. One night I was privileged to handle bedtime for the three preschool daughters of my eldest daughter. As I was tucking them in they started to plead, “Back scratch! Back scratch!” “Okay,” I said, and I scratched their backs, but I could not perform the task precisely as their mother did, and they all fell asleep feeling slightly deprived. Mothers scratch your back out of love, not duty. They hold you close, comb your hair, clean your ears, and wash your feet just because they love you. They are often our most powerful teachers, not just because they teach us when we are very young, but also because they teach us out of this context of unselfish love.

THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN The things of which you think you are certain climb in number while you are a child. But if you are emotionally healthy and intellectually active, conducted a nationwide survey several years ago in which they sometime in young adulthood that number of supposed certainties begins asked thousands of girls between to decline. the ages of 11 and 18 what they would like to be in adult life. A surprising 80% expressed a desire to be like their mothers!

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The things which remain as personal certainties after (running) the gauntlet of adolescence, education, marriage, parenting, bereavement, conflict, and grand-parenting are mostly the lessons your mother taught you. These sureties are solid ground for decision-making, relationships, and quality of life on the planet. The king’s mother taught him to use his power for the good of others, to abandon selfish indulgence and focus on caring for his subjects in need. She cautioned him about wine and women which she said are not the prerogatives of kings but their downfall. The king’s mother cared for him when he himself was helpless and needy and could not speak for himself—when he was a baby. That’s what mothers do. They encourage such behavior in their sons and daughters because they know it corresponds with fundamental truth and goodness.

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This Mother’s Day we should rehearse the things our mothers taught us by word and example. Maybe the principles and virtues we learned from them will aid us in our current dilemmas, conflicts, and challenges. A mother’s tenderness, gentleness, and generosity should not be lost on those who now have opportunity to speak for the powerless and destitute. If our mothers are still among the living, we should count ourselves blessed. They deserve a heartfelt thank you and a big hug if we can give it. If they have passed from this life we are still blessed to have known them and known their love. A moment’s reflection about that remarkable woman on this special day might bring a smile and a laugh. Remembering her we might even see the way forward to a higher road, a deeper love and a better life. Her selfless love continues to teach us our most important lessons.

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MOM … She cooked the breakfast first of all, Washed the cups and plates. Dressed the children and made sure Stockings all were mates. Combed their hair & made their beds, Sent them our to play; Gathered up their motley toys, Put some books away. Dusted chairs and mopped the stairs, Ironed an hour or two; Baked a jar of cookies and a pie, Then made a pot of stew. The telephone rang constantly, The doorbell did the same; A youngster fell and stubbed his toe And then the laundry came. She picked up blocks & mended socks, Then she polished up the stove; And when her husband came at six He said, “I envy you! It must be nice to sit at home Without a thing to do!”


“Okay,” I said, and I scratched their backs, but I could not perform the task precisely as their mother did, and they all fell asleep feelin...