National Baptist Convention of America International, Inc.

Rev. Samuel C. Tolbert, Jr., DMin, President

Rev. S.C. Dixon, General Secretary

Motherhood is sacred. It is God's idea, God's plan. HE has so designed this that women of this world are the human vessels that give birth to children. God ordained it, and it is so. HE established for us the "when and why" of motherhood. The stewardship of parenting is best accomplished by following the instructions of "the Maker's manual" the Word of GOD. "...but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4(b) 

Each motherhood experience is uniquely different. Some mothers do not physically bear children yet they willingly bear the "joys, burdens and sorrows" of dedicated motherhood. God grants them that ability and opportunity. HE used motherhood in a magnificent and strategic way to bring about our salvation. Even Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, had a mother! 

Normally, a mother is a child's first teacher. Even before there is the development of speech, mothers have a major influence on children. How mothers talk to their children and interact with them greatly impacts the physical, emotional, social and spiritual development of children. God knew what children would need from mothers, and on every level of parenting, God wants to meet the needs of mothers to help them fulfill their calling. 

My personal lessons in motherhood began early in my life through familial roots. As a young person growing up in the 1930's and 40's, I did not always understand the ways of my own God-given mother. Yet, I always honored her as she herself had honored her own mother. As the years passed, I realized more and more what a truly unique jewel she was. She insisted along with my god-mother and other women from our church and community, that I pursue a college education. During those college years, she supported me with her prayers and shared with me from her meager earnings. I always valued her devotion to us, her protection of us and her concern for our spiritual needs as well. Our family never owned a car, so she walked with us to church services on Sunday mornings and evenings. She did the best she knew how, with what she had. She was a wise steward of the few possessions she owned and was a woman of great determination. Her memory and legacy to me are best summed up in the Proverbs 31:28(a) verse, "her children arise up and call her blessed". 

Reflecting on my maternal grandmother I remember that she was a stern, sturdy woman. She had a strong work ethic which she impressed upon her children. She was the wife of a farmer and they were the  biological parents of ten children. In addition she raised to adulthood one grandson and three children of deceased relatives. They lived in the rural part of central-east Louisiana, and "made a living" from the large acreage of land that they owned. They planted and harvested their food, pumped the water from a well and raised farm animals. In days long gone, I observed her incredible endurance from dawn to dusk. I watched her carry out her duties of canning, cooking, churning, washing, ironing, sewing and other recurring chores. I listened to her, and from her I learned many valuable lessons. 

I lovingly admired my paternal grandmother, a strong Christian woman. She raised her three sons and mourned the loss of her only daughter who died at the age of thirteen. She was a fine cook who spent most of her days in the "white folks" kitchen. Her first husband passed away when the two oldest sons were young, so she worked long, hard hours to support them. A gentle and kind woman, she was especially pa-tient. Though demure in stature, she was so big-hearted with time and resources spent on her grandchildren and extended family. 

As a young married adult, I was warmly received and nurtured "as a daughter" by my dear mother-in-law. She had borne two sons and was step-mother to a third son. We both had the privilege of being mar-ried to ministers of the gospel. Both the similarities and differences in our experiences helped us form a strong bond. She was self reliant, a wonderful cook, a business woman, thrifty and an attentive caregiver to her ailing and homebound husband. From her, I received helpful, practical advice which has been useful to me on my journey. 

I thank and praise God even today, for the valuable deposits that these dearly beloved "mother-mentors" made into my life. The New Testament book of Titus 2, verses 3 - 5, tell us how the community of faith should flow ideally, that "the aged women" teach and mentor the younger women about the things that really matter. 

Today, the role of motherhood is not always revered or cherished as God intended it to be. The on-going challenge is to stay focused on God's point of view, "Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is His reward." (Psalm 127:3) Remember, dear mothers, that you and your child (or chil-dren) are Divinely loaned to each other for only a brief period in time. Redeem the time you are given with your family, for eternal purposes. Prayerfully, guide your child toward faith in Christ Jesus, then anticipate the joys of spending eternity together, perfection in the Presence of our LORD. 

Written By: Sister Leslie A. Jones 
Member, Galilee Baptist Church
Shreveport, Louisiana
Rev. Brian Wilson, Pastor 
National Baptist Convention of America International, Inc.
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