May 5, 2014
How a Mom is Like a Lighthouse
In celebration of Mother's Day, Sharon will have several devotions devoted to moms! If you're not a mom, please pray for one who is!
She watches over the affairs of her household… (Proverbs 31:27, NIV).
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I have always seen a mother as a lighthouse, or beacon in a child's life. She is a landmark that her children can always count on. She shines the light of Christ at night and she serves as a landmark by day. She is watching out over the sea of faces to protect her tiny fleet. Like the Proverbs 31 woman she "watches over the ways of her household." She is present. She's available. And she's on guard.
The words "watch over" mean "to hedge about as with thorns," much like a mother bird might do to protect her young. These same words are also used in the Bible as a military term, such as to watch over a city. Can't you just see it now: the lighthouse standing tall, not tossed by the surf, guiding her children safely to shore?
But this beacon watches out for more than the physical safety of her fleet. She watches out for their spiritual and emotional needs as well.
Her gaze is not a casual glance. She doesn't just give her children a "once-over" before they rush out the door to make sure their hair is combed and their socks match. This is a mother who actively guards, protects, saves, guides, and attends to those precious to her.
When children approach adolescence, they desire Mom to be less visible. However they want to know the sentinel is still available. Being available for that teen after school is paramount. They need a refuge, a safe harbor after a day of social combat. Who will they turn to? Whoever is available and willing to listen. If it is not you, it will be someone else. And just who that someone could be is a scary thought.
Being physically present is not the mother's primary goal. Having the greatest possible impact on her home is. You can be physically present and still not make a positive impact. You can be there, but not be all there. You can become so wrapped up in other pursuits, so focused on relational struggles, so preoccupied with keeping the castle clean and checking items off your "to do" list, so engrossed in television or a good book, that you are oblivious to the chubby fingers tugging on your skirt or the teenager who has become withdrawn and sullen. If you are going to be there—then be all there—mind, body and soul.
Being a landmark doesn't end when a child goes off to college. The farther a ship goes out to sea, the more important the landmarks become. One day in the Sunday School class I attend, 150 parents of teenagers sat with an air of foreboding filling the room. It was the Sunday after many students had made their exodus to that wild, frenzied world of academia, experimentation, and freedom—their kids had gone off to college.
Grown men were weepy, sharing their battle wounds of dropping their baby girls off at tiny, stark dorm rooms. Moms were unashamedly crying, and many were speechless for the first time in their lives.
Nancy and Bill Hall were there that day. Their son, Jordan, a rising sophomore, was visiting our class and witnessed these blubbering parents. In an attempt to encourage everyone, our teacher asked, "Jordan, since you haven't gone back to school yet and already have one year under your belt, can you share some words of wisdom with the class about what you feel your parents did right during your first year of college?"
With that, Jordan rose, faced the class, and replied, "I would like to take this time to publicly thank my parents for the strong moral upbringing they gave me. I want to thank them for the way they gave me my freedom when I went off to college. But more importantly for the way they let me come back home. They were always available when I needed someone to talk to, and they've left the lines of communication open. They have been great parents and I would like to publicly thank them for all they've done."
When Jordan sat down, everyone was crying, even those who did not have children leaving for college. He had risen and called his parents blessed. His mother was a beacon. A faithful landmark that keep her light shining, welcoming her son home, but directing the way so he could leave and sail out to new horizons.
Their childhood goes by so quickly yet we can never turn back the clock as this poem expresses.
My hands were busy through the day.
I didn't have much time to play
The little games you asked me to,
I didn't have much time for you.
I'd wash your clothes, I'd sew and cook,
But when you'd bring your picture book
And asked me please to share your fun,
I'd say, "A little later son."
I'd tuck you in all safe at night,
And hear your prayers, turn out the light,
Then tiptoe softly to the door…
I wish I'd stayed a minute more.
For life is short, the years rush past.
A little boy grows up so fast.
No longer is he at your side,
His precious secrets to confide.
The picture books are put away,
There are no longer games to play.
No goodnight kisses, no prayers to hear,
That all belongs to yesteryear.
My hands once busy, now lie still
The days are long and hard to fill.
I wish I might go back and do
The little things you asked me to.
-Alice E. Chase
Dear Lord, thank You for being the light of my life. I pray that You will help me watch over the ways of my household with a wise and understanding eye. Help me not to miss the special moments, but to embrace and enjoy them. Remind me often to stop and pray for those that You have placed within my care.
In Jesus' Name,
Now It's Your Turn
List all the functions and characteristics of a lighthouse that you can think of.
How are those similar to a mother and her children?
What are some ways that you watch over the ways of your household?
Place your right hand on your left side and your left hand on your right side. Now give yourself a big hug. That's from me! You're doing a great job!
You know, I am not in the motherhood stage of life any longer. My son is a grown man. But I will always be a mom. And I will always be a praying mom. How about you? Is there a child, or grown child that you would like to pray for today? If so, click over to my Facebook page and leave his or her name, then pray for the name above your entry.
More from the Girlfriends
If you are a mom who needs some encouragement today, you'll want to read my book, Being a Great Mom--Raising Great Kids. You'll laugh. You'll cry. And you will know that you have one of the most important jobs on earth! And if you're a wife, come and join us at Facebook.com/ThePrayingWivesClub.
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