Mother’s Day: Mother and Daughter Duo: Rhonda and Kaley C0-Authors
As a little girl, I looked up to my mother. I can recall sitting on the couch beside her, her admiring her. She was pretty, smart, and was … a mother. I wanted to be like her. As I grew older and got into my teens, I began to feel like we didn’t communicate. We didn’t have a lot in common, or at least I thought so. There was a communication barrier there I failed to understand.
Now that she is gone, I understand her better because she wrote a lot, and I was able to get a peek inside her mind. And I know I’m a lot like her.
Mother’s Day receives mixed reviews. Some of you may have had great mothers, and you enjoy honoring her. Others had a difficult childhood and may try not to repeat the mistakes your mother made. I remember Mother’s day as painful after I lost my mother. Plus those of you with difficult children may find this season painful.
My heart goes out to all of you who might be hurting.
Today I’d like to give young mothers some guidance on doing well, overcoming obstacles and feeling confident in this important job.
I’m reminded of what Paul said to I Timothy: He obviously believed Timothy’s mother and grandmother impacted his life. “For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother, Lois, and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.”
My guests are Rhonda Rhea and her daughter Kaley. They are the authors of Turtles in the Road, an inspirational humorous romance that’s just releasing. They are both TV personalities for Christian Television Network’s KNLJ in mid-Missouri. Rhonda is also a nationally-known speaker, humor columnist and author of 11 other books, including Fix-Her-Upper, a soon-releasing nonfiction project coauthored with Beth Duewel. Rhonda is married to her pastor/husband, Richie Rhea, and they have five grown children. Kaley works at Missouri Baptist University and she and Rhonda both live in the St. Louis area.
Dr. James Dobson wrote a book called, Parenting isn’t for Cowards. What a true statement. What an incredible feeling to hold your first baby in your arms. It’s a miracle! You examine all the fingers and fingernails. And the sweet little feet. I was a registered nurse and I checked all their reflexes. Such an experience. I had five children and I found it overwhelming each time. But I also felt the weight of reasonability. You know that your choices will profoundly impact the baby’s future.
I took psychology classes as part of my nursing, and it was impossible not to notice how many things get blamed on parents. There’s so much to think about.
I can recall wanting the very best for each baby, but I was taken aback by how different each child was. With my first two children, I said I had opposites, and then as I kept having children, they were different too. How many opposites are there? They have different needs and respond differently to every situation. I was intensely aware that I needed godly guidance. I had a disabled child, and after all the experience I had, I needed the Lord’s help.
Deuteronomy 6:7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
What a command! That verse is enough to make you nervous.
Melissa Spoelstra wrote a book called T0tal Family Makeover, and she’s here to share with us.
Someone actually advocates fighting? Wow. You’ll love their answers.
“The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable.” James 3:17
When you got married, you probably had stars in your eyes and romance in your heart. Many of us didn’t think much about the happily ever after part, but I grew up thinking peaceable meant hardly any conflict. Here’s a story about that.
We’ve all heard of the Victorian Age, and you probably have bad feelings about that time period. Well, Queen Victoria and her husband Albert were believers. That might surprise you, but they deliberately chose to set an example for the nation.
Victoria grew up in a home without a father. Her English father died when she was an infant, and her mother wasn’t particularly wise about getting along with people. Because her mother hoped to be regent when her daughter ascended the throne.
Victoria thought that no conflict was the goal in marriage. And she was queen. So when she married the man she loved, Prince Albert, she was in charge. And she gave him nothing to do. Plus the British constitution had no role for the prince consort. Well, it wasn’t long before Albert was quite frustrated.
The good news is that Albert was a strong believer, and he set a goal of ministering to his wife/family and the people of Britain. Their beginning was rocky. Victoria would get upset and scream. She was famed for her temper, but he was gentle and firm.
Not authentic, but it represents what actually went on. There’s a story told about Albert locking himself into a room. When she knocked he would ask who is there. If she said the queen. He wouldn’t allow her in. After a couple of years, he was able to convince her he had a better way. And together they built an incredible marriage which was the envy of Europe.
Family Internet Safety begins with living unselfishly. You might wonder how I put that together. Let me explain.
Several years ago, my husband and I took a trip with my oldest daughter. At the time, she was young enough that either my husband or I carried her a lot. During that journey, the weather was much cooler than I anticipated, and I didn’t pack warm outerwear. While out visiting the sites, and a lady walked up and said, “She needs to be wearing a sweater.”
I immediately rubbed my arms to generate some warmth and said, “Yes, it’s chilly today.”
But when I turned to look at the woman who spoke, she wasn’t staring at me. She had focused on my daughter who sat in my husband’s arms. How embarrassing! First, I’d made the mistake of leaving warm clothing behind. Secondly, a lady was worried about my daughter, and I assumed she was talking about me.
At that moment, I got an idea of how self-centered I was. I should have been thinking about how the cold might impact my daughter.
Scripture teaches us to be ‘other-centered.’ That is, God doesn’t want us to live to meet our own needs. Instead, he wants us to consider the other person, and as parents, we should be considering our children in every decision we make. I believe that’s one of the biggest benefits parents receive. If we go about our job the right way, we become more mature because our focus goes to our children. Other-centered thinking is healthy.
Of course, Jesus is the ultimate example of unselfishness. Even though he was God, he came to lay down his life for us. The humility there still jars my thinking every time I ponder it. God chose to put aside all his prerogatives to allow himself to suffer and die. How much more should I be doing the same thing?
As parents, the internet and any device connected to the web offers our children a portal into pornography. Boys and girls can see images they are not old enough to view. Many become addicted, and that includes women. This practice is so damaging to marriages, families, and children.
Mike Genung has a ministry to families in this area, and he’s going to give us a few tips on Family Internet Safety.
You may have heard that joke if the mother’s not happy, nobody’s happy. How true! The wife, the mother creates the atmosphere of the home, and a peaceful ambiance provides the best place for everyone to thrive. Katheryn von Bora, also known as Katie Luther, the wife of the Reformer, gave us a fabulous example. She created a boarding house in Luther’s former monastery, and she purchased farms to provide for her family, staff, needy beggars, and students. In the context of the dinner table, Luther discussed Scripture around the dinner table, passing along a legacy of his faith. Students later published these as ‘table talk’ giving insight to the next generation. What what an impact she had. How can our lives have such an influence?
The Bible gives a description of a Godly woman in Titus 2:5. “. . .self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.” How interesting God mentions us ‘working at home.’ Today that’s not popular. Our culture demands we have some separate profession because just being a wife and mother is beneath us. Certainly the lady in Proverbs thirty-one had several, but she worked out of her home. “She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” Women have varied gifts, but God designed us as nurturers to play a key role in the lives of our husbands and children. Who else should we trust to raise our offspring?
Pat Ennis is my guest today. She directs the Home Economics Department at Southwestern Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Her book, God is My Strength, deals with many issues wives and mothers face today. Listen to her insights on creating a peaceful and nurturing atmosphere in your home.