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An Excellent Mother

Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,but you surpass them all!” Prov 31:28,29 NLT

In the early years of raising children I thought if I could create a home where I was the primary caregiver for my children, where we read and lived the scriptures daily, attended and volunteered at church weekly and prayed about everything, that in the teen and young adult years my children would make their relationship with God the center of their lives and we would be in agreement with their choices. Looking back I recognize how much fear of “not getting it right” and fear of “not being everything my children need me to be” drove my parenting. I was unconsciously desiring to control the outcomes of their lives.

If you haven’t realized it yet, you will: control is an illusion in parenting. When the world opened up for my children at 18, it felt like the veil I had in my mind that I was somehow in control, dropped from my eyes. Of course, I would get reality checks to the contrary along the way, especially when tragic things would happen in the news or when they would make a decision that surprised me, but it wasn’t until they turned 18 and were considered adults that I really understood this.

I can’t imagine a Proverbs 31 woman who wouldn’t have experienced the same joys and struggles in parenting you and I have. Proverbs 31:28 tells us that her children stand and bless her. Another translation explains it as they sing the praises of her virtues.The hope she delivers to moms is that she and her children are able to arise from their journey through life together with them praising her. If she has a husband, he chimes in with his praises.

One of the synonyms for praise is to eulogize. As her family looks back over the course of her life, not one incident where she may have stumbled, but many well lived moments, they praise her for the life she has lived. It makes me wonder: What was her lasting impact? What change did she create?

Her story is an encouragement for all women who mother, whether biological, adopted or surrogate. Let’s allow this proverb to capture our imaginations for the reconciliation that’s possible. We get a lifetime to figure out motherhood. Not only does God have a “well done” for us at the end of our life, let’s trust our family will too.

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