Not too long ago my son looked straight into my eyes and said, “You’re just the meanest mom!” Instead of being overcome by fury as I should have been, the effect was reversed. I smiled within and when he was out of sight and sound, I began to laugh aloud. I had finally reached the height of being a good mother.
Memories of my own childhood were awakened. My mother took me to church when the other neighbor children were having fun playing ball or
jumping rope. It eventually became a habit with me because since growing into adulthood, I still find myself going to church while neighbors tinker with boats or mow their lawns.
She made me give of my money to the church. When I made a pocketful of change it became a habit to pay my tithe to the Lord. Somehow if I did not do that today, I would feel as if I were robbing God.
When I am shopping, I often see things that could easily become mine. Even without paying for them. But you see, my mom put it into my heart that it wasn’t right to steal. Today, it would be easier for me to die than to pick up something that wasn’t mine. My mother just would not let me do that!
There were many places she would not let me go. There was the kids’ hangout during the school lunch hour. The Brown Derby. It was the place to buy your sandwich and even play a game or two of pool with some of the older men who came to drink with their friends during their own lunch break. I was afraid of my mom. She was so mean I knew I’d catch it if she even thought I was at the Brown Derby!
I remember shutting the door to my room many times and telling my mom off under my breath. If she had heard me, I would not have been able to sit down for a long while! She was so mean, I could not talk back or argue. But I had so much to say! As a result, I don’t do that today. I can control the things that are best left unsaid.
Yes, I thought I had the meanest mom too. But looking back at the things she taught me and the things she refused to let me do, I have come to realize that she knew all along what was best for me.
I have never been a nuisance to society. I have never been behind bars. I have never harmed anyone. I have never been mixed up in gangs or crime. I have never been arrested for drunk driving. I have obeyed the laws of the land, and I am striving to obey the law in God’s Word.
It’s alright if my son thinks I am mean. For when he is older, he will view his training from a different perspective. He will see that in the midst of all the corrections and chastisement, there was an element behind it that he could not see as a child. His mother, the meanest mom, was really showing him a heart full of love.
THE MEANEST MOTHER IN THE WORLD
I had the meanest mother in the world. While other kids had candy for breakfast, I had to eat cereal, eggs and toast.
While other kids had Cokes and candy for lunch, I had a sandwich. As
you can guess, my dinner was different from other kid’s dinners, too.
My mother insisted on knowing where we were at all times. You’d think we were on a chain gang or something.
She had to know who our friends were and what we were doing.
I am ashamed to admit it, but she actually had the nerve to break the child labor law. She made us work. We had to wash dishes, make the beds and learn how to cook.
That woman must have stayed awake nights thinking up things for us kids to do. And she always insisted that we tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
By the time we were teenagers, our life became even more unbearable. None of this tooting the car horn for us to come running; she embarrassed us no end by insisting that the boys come to the door to get us.
I forgot to mention that most of our friends were allowed to date at
the mature ages of 12 and 13, but our old-fashioned mother refused to let us date until we were 15. She really raised a bunch of squares. None of us was ever arrested for shoplifting or busted for dope. And who do we have to thank for this? You’re right, our mean mother.
I am trying to raise my children to stand a little straighter and taller, and I am secretly tickled to pieces when my children call me mean. I thank God for giving me the meanest mother in the world.
A MOTHER’S SECRET
Someone asked a mother whose children had turned out well how she had prepared them for usefulness and Christian living.
“When I bathed my children,” she replied, “I prayed they might be cleansed by the precious blood of Christ.
“When I helped them get dressed for the day, I prayed they might be clothed in the robe of God’s righteousness.
“When I prepared a meal, I prayed they might be fed with the Bread of Life.
“When I saw them off to school, I prayed their faith might grow just as strong as their bodies and minds.
“When I put them to bed at night, I prayed they might be safe in the everlasting arms of our Savior.”
(The above information was published by THE MISSISSIPPI TORCH, May 1993)
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