Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The Value of a Mother

Who can count the value of motherhood? What an impossible task!
During this time of celebration we want to do two things:
1) Try to communicate our gratitude…. Impossible!
2) Try to support moms in the promised pain of Genesis 3:16

To all the moms out there I say, “You do not have to be super mom. It is still the work of the Lord. The Proverbs 31 woman is a checklist like I Corinthians 13 on “love”. Trust God to see you through day by day. Ultimately, He blesses through the circumstances of your life and you will be blessed by leaning on Him.

I hold up as an example Sarah Edwards, the unknown, beloved wife of famous theologian and pastor, Jonathan.

Sarah had a hard life. Much of it is recounted in a wonderful book entitled “Marriage to a Difficult Man- The Uncommon Union of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards”, written by Elisabeth D. Dodds.

The mother of 11 children, Sarah had the typical puritan wife’s role of hard work at home and support of a husband who spent a lot of his energy to ministry (I’m not condoning that, by the way. I need to be a great helper to my wife and children).

In the book, there is a reference to a study done by A.E. Winship comparing a family named ‘Jukes” and the Edwards family. The ‘Jukes’ (anonymously named to protect the family) were a notorious band of renegades who cost the state of New York 1.2 million dollars in welfare and custodial charges. They all originated from one immigrant who settled in that area in 1720 and produced a ‘tribe of idleness, ignorance, and vulgarity”.
Only 20 of the 1200 Jukes had ever had gainful employment!

Compare that to the legacy of Sarah Edwards. Her humble reliance on God allowed her to be a vessel of greatness to God’s kingdom. Of the 1400 Edwards linked to Sarah, the family produced:
13 college presidents
65 professors
100 lawyers (including a dean of an outstanding law school)
30 judges
66 physicians and a dean of a medical school
80 holders of public office including,
3 US senators
Mayors of 3 large cities
3 state governors
a vice president of the US
a controller of the US treasury.
Along with 135 authors and hundreds of missionaries!

Mr. Winship commented: “Much of the capacity and talent, intensity and character, of more than 1400 of the Edward’s family is due to Mrs. Edwards.”
My prayer is that our moms will see the fruit of this hard, frustrating, and beautiful labor of love!
Bless you!

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