“Men are what their mothers made them.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
The first commandment of being a kid: Thou shalt honor thy mother.
There you are, basking in the moment of your most recent victory. You feel like you could conquer the world. In fact, you want to conquer the world. Then gravity acts upon your body and you fall, skinning your knee and bumping your head. Never fear, your mom is near to wipe away your crocodile tears. This is a moment you have experienced countless times in your life…
- The first time you stood up
- The time you let go of the coffee table and tried to walk
- When you laughed so hard that you cried, so you got scared and really cried
- After taking the training wheels off your bike
- Your first tree well
- Your first mean girl
- Your first bully on the playground
- After losing the big game
- Your first broken heart… and countless more
You are born to stand on your own. You desire independence, making your own decisions, living life on your own terms. Moms want that for you as well; however, before you set sail on the waters of life there are a few things you need to learn if you are going to stay at the helm of your ship.
“Moms are the manifestation of unconditional love.” – Toph
While the world is full with possibility, there are dark corners and back alleys you will want to avoid. These places are full of nefarious characters that are not there to wipe away your tears. The road of experience requires a toll that can only be paid with knowledge and wisdom, or with pain and experience.
As we grow, we become blinded by our burgeoning confidence in our new-found abilities. Our confidence becomes arrogance, keeping us from seeing our insecurities. No one wants to let their mom down so we put on a faux veneer of confidence and we set out into the waves, not heeding the voice of reason – our mom. And then we get broadsided by a wave, swallow a bunch of water and wash up on the shore in a puddling heap.
“Kids don’t stay with you if you do it right. It’s the one job where, the better you are, the more surely you won’t be needed in the long run.” —Barbara Kingsolver
At its root, this is the natural order of things. Kids grow, they learn and they leave. Then the cycle starts all over again. The goal of parents is to raise fully functioning, independent adults. To do this, kids need to leave the safety of port and launch out into the deep; however, viewed from the harbor the endless horizon can be paralyzing. How do you muster the faith to steam out into the unknown? Are you seaworthy? Will you make it to the next port?
Mom’s are specially minted by God to sheppard kids through the ripples, waves and rapids of life. No one you will ever know over the course of your life, has or will sacrifice more for you, your happiness and your success than your mom. They know you better than you know yourself. Moms spend the majority of their waking moments thinking about your well being. Nobody is more invested in you than your mom.
Every kids journey is different and a mom’s GPS is programmed to chart the course for all of them. They are a catalog of wisdom. Some call them “Encyclopedia Mom.” Others call them “The big book of everything.” Before there was Google, there was mom.
There are many paths that can lead you to success, but they all require you to rise to a higher level and become more than you presently are. The definition of faith in the Bible is “calling those things that are not as though they are.” Mom’s exercise this type of faith on a daily basis. They call us to live by a higher standard, to live with honor. Our family credo, penned by your mom, captures the essence this:
“Be true to who you are the family name you bear.”
In life, it is both what you do as well as how you do it. You are latent possibility with infinite upside. You can do anything, but how you do it speaks to who you are. It is the manifestation of your character. This is what your mom calls out daily, “things that are not as though they were.”
I’ve learned much in this life from many people, but the most important lessons I learned came from my mom. Learning begins with humility, honor and respect. Because I honored my mom, I was able to receive immeasurable wisdom from her. To this day, she is still teaching me, long after she has left this Earth. If it were not for my mom and her belief in me, I would have crashed my ship on the rocky shore. Honoring your mom brings light in the darkness. It illuminates the course to your next destination. In a nutshell, honoring your mother brings blessing.
Each and every day, you should hug your mom and say “I love you.” Because one day, you won’t be able to.