She never gave up on me.
Seeing yourself aright provides a challenge few men ever conquer. We develop identities that mask our true nature from our own perception. It takes some external force to crack the mask we wear before ourselves. For me that force has been observing other people, especially teenagers. I watch how many teenagers treat their parents and it causes me to grind my teeth. They are rude, dismissive, condescending, and sarcastic. I marvel that any parent can put up with their attitude.
Then, I remember my own adolescence. Nothing shames me more than remembering what I was as a teen. I especially remember how poorly I treated my mother. While students of developmental psychology may excuse my behavior as simple adolescent searching for independence, this cannot justify my abominable behavior. I repeatedly dismissed what my mother said as irrelevant.
I burn with shame at the remembrance, for I now recognize my mother as one of the wisest women I know. Most people will say this of their parents, especially at this time of year, but I do not take these words lightly. Society likes to stereotype women in certain categories: beauty, style, grace, manners, strength, power, and gentleness. You usually will not find wisdom listed in the most respected women. I think this a great deficiency in our perception of women and in the character that most young ladies strive to develop. I would like to see this rectified.
Wisdom is the ability to apply knowledge to life. It is the skill of living well. As a skill, it is learned over many years and many struggles. You acquire knowledge, but you train skills. As you would train a muscle by pain and struggle, so you train wisdom. Though I confess my mother to be wiser now than before, she also demonstrated great wisdom even when, as a teen, I did not recognize it. If I had listened to her earlier, my life would have been easier, but God used this to train me in wisdom.
Proverbs says, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." (22:6) Training takes time. It takes struggle. It requires a dedication not to give up on the student though often he fail. I thank God that my mother never gave up on me and dedicated her life to training her children in the way of wisdom, even when it appeared that we weren't listening. Her godly example of patience and determination, I pray will describe my life, as I love, minister, and train others with the skill I have learned from my mother.
Happy Mother's Day!