|The mother is the heart of the home. It is she who determines its characteristics and gives it that subtle atmosphere which every sensitive person can feel when they come into the home. It makes no difference whether it be a wealthy or poor home; whether the mother can read or not read. A true love of home transcends schools and circumstances.|
It is the spiritual place where she lives, it is the motives which influence her life, that determine her influence and measure her power in moulding the character of her children.
What will place the mother in the highest place in the home is the conviction, on the part of her children that they know she has unselfish love for them, and a desire to do right towards them and others, will always guide her actions. That she may be depended upon for justice and generosity and truth and kindness toward every one. She will love her children with deep devotion and yet not wholly selfishly. Her mother heart can take in the needs of children who are not hers, and devise kind and loving things for them.
What lesson in kindness and care for others is so effective towards children as to see their mother taking thoughtful care of those who need it and whom it is in her power to help? What lesson in every moral and religious truth can effect children as much as the knowledge that their mother in her actions is guided by these high beliefs?
There can be no doubt that the most effective training for children is the training of example. The mother needs to be constantly aware of this truth.
How can the impatient, querulous, faultfinding mother teach patience and kindness and good temper? How can the vain mother teach humility? How can the mother greatly absorbed in keeping up with the pomps and vanities of life, eager for place and show, teach her children the true principles of a happy life? How can the selfish mother teach generosity or kindness, or the discontented mother teach contentment?
And right here is one of the fundamental needs of the mother, the need of being happy in and satisfied with her work in the home.
1 Timothy 6:6 "Godliness with contentment is great gain."
All other ambitions and aims must be last compared to her work there during the period when her children are around her or needing her constant care.
Many a young mother makes this her first mistake. She has been accustomed, maybe, in her life before marriage, to live according to her own plans and purposes. Perhaps she has been devoted to some specific interest which she gave hours of her life. Her work in her home and for her children is of such ant entirely different nature that it often causes great pain and perplexity.
A large part of the actual work of the home seems to be repairing the ravages of daily life, with no progress toward a definite result.
Children, with all their beautiful and loving ways, are for the first few years of their lives mainly little tyrants, and attending to their material needs fills up the mother's time and exhausts her vitality. Keeping them out of mischief, absorbs so much of her time that she seems to have little left for her Bible reading.
If the mother allows herself to become discouraged at this period of her home work, to look with longing toward the pursuits and opportunities of feministic women, if she underestimates the honor and value of her work, lowly though it may appear, she is in danger of undermining her own happiness, and, consequently, the comfort and happiness of the home.
She should strengthen her heart by remembering that these confining home duties and cares occupy only a passing period of her life.
What if she does not have the uninterrupted time she wishes for accomplishing her own plans for study or reading or practice or social interaction? She is instead learning the joys and sorrows of the mothers in Christ. She is learning to die to self. She is practising an art. Incomparably, the highest of all arts, the moulding of the human character. She must give herself to these duties with an eye single to their right performance, holding a love for and devotion to the work which will make her happy in it. If the mother so loves and honors her work, she will make the atmosphere of the home a happy one under all ordinary circumstances.
Children who from their earliest memories remember their mother as kind and patient and devoted to their best interests, happy in spending and being spent for them, will inevitable feel the influence.
The many beautiful instances related of great men who have risen from the humblest homes, and of their steadfast devotion to and affection for their faithful though often unlettered mothers, are rich with instruction and encouragement for all mothers.
In every case these mothers will be found to have held their children's love by their unselfish devotion and great love for their children, and the respect they compelled by their elevated moral and religious character.
How beautiful to hear grown children, who are, perhaps, far along the road of life themselves, say in early childhood, and also in mature years, their mothers were their best, their most valued, consoling and helpful counsellors!
Until We Meet Again,