Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Mother's Highest Calling

Last month Democratic operative Hilary Rosen created a firestorm when she said on CNN that Ann Romney had "actually never worked a day in her life," making her a poor adviser on women's economic issues.  There has been widespread bipartisan condemnation of Rosen’s assessment of Mrs. Romney.  While the comments were certainly ill advised, they have served to highlight the role of mothers who serve primarily in the home.

In a book entitled Spiritual Parenting, the great 19th century Baptist preacher, C.H. Spurgeon wrote the following:

“It is well to note the admirable selection of instructors. We are not at a loss to tell who instructed youthful Timothy. In this epistle Paul says, ‘When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.’ (2 Timothy 1:5). No doubt grandmother Lois and mother Eunice united in teaching the little one. Who should teach the children but the parents? Timothy’s father was a Greek, and probably a heathen, but this child was happy in having a venerable grandmother, so often the dearest of all relatives to a little child. He was blessed also with a gracious mother, once a devout Jewess, and afterwards also a firmly believing Christian, who made it her daily pleasure to teach her own dear child the Word of the Lord.

O dear mothers, please understand that you have a very sacred trust reposed in you by God! He has in effect said unto you, ‘Take this child away, and nurse it for Me, and I will give thee thy wages’ (Exodus 2:9). You are called to equip the future man of God, that he may be ‘thoroughly furnished unto all good works’ (2 Timothy 3:17). If God spares you, you may live to hear that pretty boy speak to thousands, and you will have the sweet reflection in your heart that the quiet teachings of the nursery led the adult man to love his God and serve Him.

Those who think that a woman detained at home by her little family is doing nothing, think the reverse of what is true. Scarcely can the godly mother quit her home for a place of worship. However, dream not that she is lost to the work of the church. Far from it, she is doing the best possible service for her Lord.

Mothers, the godly training of your offspring is your first and most pressing duty. Christian women, by teaching children the Holy Scriptures, are as much fulfilling their part for the Lord as Moses did in judging Israel, of Solomon in building the temple.”

Mothers and grandmothers, be encouraged that there is no opportunity in life to make a greater contribution of eternal concern than by fulfilling your God-given maternal responsibilities. Choosing to subsist at a lesser economic level or intentionally not pursuing other self-interests because of your devotion to home and family will reap rewards you will never live to regret. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Wisdom in Chuck Colson's Final Speech

Christian statesman Chuck Colson was called to his heavenly home April 21st.  He became seriously ill during a March 30th speech that would prove to be his last.

Several points that he made are well worth noting in this election season, one that has been labeled by many commentators as the most critical in American history.  Every Christian should exercise his right to vote; failure to do so is to aid the forces of evil bent on destroying this country.  There is no justifiable rationale for Christian indifference when it comes to casting an informed vote to uphold righteous standards in civil matters. 

But Colson presented a balanced view that recognizes that changing our country requires more than merely electing different politicians:

“I happen to be one of those who believes that societies are changed by movements at the grassroots. So how do we get that material out to people that they can use it for their neighbors? I think cultures are changed over the backyard fence and the barbecue grill; I don’t believe they’re changed from the top down. And I’ll talk to you tonight a little bit about why I think that is so critical right now. …”

“Everybody looks to the elections and thinks, well the elections are going to settle this problem or settle that problem. Elections are important. Whoever serves in office, it makes a difference what kind of person that is and what that person believes. But elections can’t solve the problem we’ve got. The problem we’ve got is that our culture has been decaying from inside for 30 or 40 years. And politics is nothing but an expression of culture.”

So, to improve the social and moral climate in this country, we have to change the culture.  Culture is simply a reflection of what people believe.  And politics is a reflection of the nation’s culture.  We get the kind of politicians that the majority want and vote for; elected officials reflect the values that the electorate believes in and lives by.

In reality, then, we have ourselves to blame for the state of affairs that is destroying this country from within.  The church has historically been a constructive force for truth and righteousness, in influencing a society to seek the Lord and His righteousness.  When we fail in that mission, the blame for the dismal state of affairs must be laid at the feet of the people of God.

Colson summarized it this way: “So it comes right back to us. Look in the mirror, that’s where the problem is. And if we can, through the church, renew the church to really bring a healthy cultural influence, then there’s some hope that we can be changed.”

May God grant to us wisdom, boldness, and discernment to stand for the unchanging principles of His truth, and to influence those around us to do likewise.  Therein lies the only hope for this nation.