Letter From A Mother
By An Anonymous Upc Pastor’s Wife
Dear United Pentecostal Preacher,
Another Mother’s Day has come and gone, and I have something to say, if you will give me just a couple of minutes of your time, I will try to be brief, kind, and to the point.
I am a pastor’s wife of a United Pentecostal revival church. I am also a mother. I have raised my children on United Pentecostal pews. I do not believe United Pentecostals are the only ones going to heaven, but I believed in what we have taught and stood for through the years. I have appreciated the fellowship, anointed preaching, teachings, laws, and principles of this organization. It is not perfect, but it’s been the best thing going.
Bringing children from birth to adulthood in the nurture and admonition of the Lord is no easy matter. Talk about fighting a war; this battle starts at the cradle. You need God almighty, a strong church, and all fruits and gifts of the Spirit when you go against enemies like the world, flesh, and the devil to train your children in the ways of God.
I remember some of the tough times in public school…when my children went through the class that kept tearing down the founders and forefathers of our country, criticizing George Washington and finding fault with Abraham Lincoln, telling them how many lies and terrible crimes that the C.I.A. perpetrated.
… when teachers constantly tore down parental authority, saying, “You don’t have to do what your parents say. You have your rights. Report it if you get spanked.”
… the barrage of ungodliness and wickedness came through school with constant mockery of the Bible, God, and prayer.
. . . the pressure was placed on them to conform to the dress code of the world, not only by sinners, but, worse yet, by church members of so-called Spirit-filled churches.
… and then there were the times we went through the criticisms, jealousies, and rejection of certain people in our own church-times common to P.K.’s but especially painful to endure.
These battles have all been tough to fight. It has been like trying to go against the current of a giant river. At times you make headway by inches, and at times you just dig in and hold where you are.
All of these things I could have expected, but I have become very alarmed at what I am hearing recently over some of our pulpits. We have heard for years that we need more love and we need to change.
This message presented in a balanced way has given us a greater tolerance for one another and increased our efforts in soulwinning. In many ways, we have changed for the good. But some seem to be advocating changes that are not so good. May I be plain and say that I am weary with hearing criticisms and innuendoes against commandments, laws, and rules that are actually biblical standards.
Some preachers have openly attacked the manual, our basis of fellowship and our expression of what we believe the Bible teaches, not in a closed preachers’ session but where our children, teenagers, new converts, and lay members were present.
Do we have to tear and rend at principles that we have established our fellowship to live by? Should we burn our own flag in the eyes of our children and God’s children? Is there something better that we are telling them to move to? If so, where is it? Is it without guidelines? Does anything of value or worth come without guidelines or rules?
Rules have always been part of our household. Our children have love and respect because they have been taught, by word and enforcement, the value of rules. A home without rules is not a home very long. It is a breeding place for selfishness, rebellion, hate, and every evil thing. I did not tear down their father to them. We did not talk disrespectful of or scorn the rules of the house. They were there, and, yes, they were necessary.
I have about completed my job of raising my children to adulthood. The things my husband and I have taught them by precept and practice have been laid to rest in their hearts. They too have felt their call and found their places in the ministry. But I wonder how their lives and ministries will be influenced by those who attack what the elders have handed to us and what the ministerial body has voted to maintain a standard against lethargy, deception, and sin.
Are they strong enough and wise enough in their experience to combat the pressures hurled at them to conform to modem religions and philosophies of deception when they hear bold criticism of what we have taught them? Will they still hear the doctrines of self-denial, taking up the cross, and having a love that covers a multitude of sins but also embraces God’s commandments, saying, “I love You. Your commands are not grievious to me?” (See John 14:15; I John 5:3.)
I have invested twenty-six years in my children-years of listening, talking, reasoning, preaching, praying, crying, laughing, and sometimes doing what I did not want to do, and I count it all a privilege. But
when my job is completed and l pass them to you, will you tell it like it is in the Word? Will you encourage them to contend for the faith that was delivered to them?
Please remember when you step to the pulpit that you will build on the foundation that has been laid … and it was not done in a day!
The above article was published in Forward, April-June, 1991, p.13