Monday— So correct me, LORD, but please be gentle. Do not correct me in anger, for I would die. Jeremiah 10:24
Billy cowered in the corner of his room. He’d really done it now. His last foster mother would have beaten him black and blue for denting her car door, but he hadn’t been in this home long enough to know how this would go down. He trembled inside and wished he were dead. Mrs. Ames opened the door of his room. “Billy? Are you in here? I saw what you did and I know it was an accident. You were being careless, but I’m not angry.” Billy caught his breath. Did she mean it? Her voice went on, soft and kind. “Please come out and we can talk about it. There will be a consequence to help you learn, but we’ll talk about it first. I will never hurt you.” Could this be true? Her voice didn’t sound like his last foster mom’s. Maybe he could learn to trust again.
Mothers are our first experience with the world. God’s goal is that mothers represent Him well to the children He gives them. While simply being a parent does not make a woman a fit representative for God, good mothers model His gentleness. If God unleashed on us the way we deserve, none of us would survive. Instead, He placed on Jesus the full weight of His righteous wrath and doles out only gentle consequences to those saved by His grace. Discipline may not feel gentle in the moment, but compared to the gravity of what we’ve done, God’s discipline is merciful. As a loving mother gently instructs her child, God teaches us, picks us up when we fall, and points us to His promises when we’re afraid. God does not have to be gentle with us, but He is. So the next time you see a mother being gentle with her child, remember how God is gentle with you.
Final Thought: Good mothers reflect the gentleness of God.
Prayer: Lord, you present yourself to us as a Father, but you also have the traits of a loving mother. You watch over us, think of us, protect us, and deal gently with us. Help me model the gentleness of Jesus to those around me. In His name, amen.
Tuesday— The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have good understanding. Ps.111:10
“Don’t swallow your gum. It’ll stick your insides together!”
“Why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free?”
“You’re gonna put somebody’s eye out!”
Motherly wisdom. Our moms and grandmas gave us big doses of it whether we wanted it or not. Mom taught us that kisses heal scraped knees, she had eyes in the back of her head, and you must never wear ragged undies in case you’re in a car wreck. But a good mother’s wisdom goes deeper than eye-rolling idioms. She has learned tough lessons and wants to impart that wisdom to her children. The Bible tells us that the fear of the Lord is the foundation for wisdom. So despite being book smart, street smart, or a smart Aleck, we are not wise unless we are seeking God. Godly wisdom has an eternal perspective that colors everything else. Our mothers reminded us that foolish actions have future consequences and God’s word teaches us the same. If we listened to our mothers and put their wisdom into practice, we’re in position to listen and obey God.
Final Thought: Good mothers reflect the wisdom of God.
Prayer: Father, thank you for the women in my life that helped shape me with their wisdom. May I not let it go to waste, but continue to pursue wisdom so that I can share it with those coming after me. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Wednesday— For you, Lord, are kind and ready to forgive, abounding in faithful love to all who call on you. Psalm 86:5
Dan flipped on the living room light and his wife Marta blinked in the sudden glare. “What are you doing?” he whispered. “It’s 3 o o’clock in the morning.” Marta rubbed her grainy eyes and pointed to their son, asleep beside her on the floor. “He wet the bed again,” she murmured. “I was too tired to change his sheets and he was scared to go back to sleep by himself. So I sat with him…guess I fell asleep too.” Dan smiled as his eyes misted. “You’re amazing,” he whispered. “You work all day and then take care of us all night. I never worry that our kids won’t understand the patience of God. All they’ll have to do is remember you.” He knelt and kissed her hair. “Here, I’ll take your place. You go back to bed. We’ll deal with the sheets in the morning.”
Has your heavenly Father ever had to stay up with you at night? Your heart was broken. Your self-esteem shattered. Your future uncertain. Isn’t it good to know that no matter when we need Him, our Father is always there, patiently waiting to hear our worries? Psalm 121 reminds us that God never sleeps, so 3am is as good a time as any to pour out our hearts to Him. It doesn’t matter that He’s heard it all before. Doesn’t matter that we’re crawling back in shame. He is patient. Kind. Eager to restore the relationship. As a mother patiently rocks a fussy toddler, our God patiently rocks us until our hearts can rest.
Final Thought: Good mothers reflect the patience of God.
Prayer: Father, I’m so glad you don’t sleep because sometimes I need you in the dead of night. Thank you for being patient with me. Help me learn from my mistakes so you don’t have to keep sitting on the floor with me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Thursday— Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous… Psalm 139:14
“You have to dress like a Roman soldier by tomorrow morning?” Mom gasped. “For a grade?” Jason wrinkled up his face and tried to look cute. “Yeah…um, I forgot…sorry.” Mom shut her eyes and counted to ten while her son held his breath. When she opened her eyes, she had that look. “Okay, here’s what we’re gonna do…” It took half the night, but by the time the school bus came, Jason’s costume would have made any Roman soldier proud—if he didn’t mind a cardboard shield and spear.
Every mother has had a moment like that, when creativity was wrenched from some secret stash known only to desperate mothers. A mom’s ability to make do when necessary is a gift from her heavenly Father. He is the ultimate Creator, and part of being made in His image is that we can be creative too. He pulled an entire universe out of thin air—oh, and He also made the air. His creativity knows no limits; its evidences are all around us. When we write a song, paint a picture, design a room, build a shed, we are reflecting the creativity our Father passed on to us. He knows what He put in each of our hearts and wants to see it blossom. God did not hesitate to create some pretty bizarre things (think about the platypus), so we should not let fear or embarrassment keep us from creating too. When children watch their parents experiment with creativity, they are inspired to follow suit. When Jason grows up, he’ll know that he, too, can create when necessary—even if it’s a cardboard suit of armor.
Final Thought: A good mother reflects the creativity of God.
Prayer: Father, thank you for being so creative and for putting some of that creativity in me. Forgive me for wasting it. Help me uncover some passions you’ve placed in my heart and develop them as much as I can. I want to create like you do. Amen.
Friday— If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. James 1:5
Most of us had a mom, an aunt, or a grandma who exemplified generosity. Every meal at her house was an invitation to gluttony. “Here, don’t you want some more green beans? Did you like the roast? Have some more. Take some of that pie home with you.” Mealtimes, she wouldn’t sit with the rest of us but kept popping up, shoving delicacies on us until we felt ashamed for not having another helping. Good mothers tend to be generous with their children and that generosity reflects God’s generosity toward us. It would have been enough that He filled this planet with a million delights for our enjoyment, but He didn’t stop there. He went beyond merely providing for our earthly needs; He has also provided for our eternal ones.
Romans 8:32 says, “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” We tend to be chintzy when we pray, as though God has a limited supply of blessings and we fear taking more than our share. That kind of praying reflects a poor image of God. In reality, He is a loving Father who dotes on His kids. He invites our requests, even the bizarre ones, and says “yes” to as many of them as we can handle. When our lives honor Him, He delights to honor us. We need only look around to see His generosity. As a loving mother fills her children’s lives with good things, so our heavenly Father does the same. Mom’s resources may have been limited, but God’s are not. So ask away!
Final Thought: Good mothers reflect the generosity of God.
Prayer: Father, thank you for your generosity. Thank you for placing people in my life who were also generous with me. Sometimes I’m afraid to ask for all I want, but you are a generous Father and you tell me to. So here goes…