In The Name of Love
By Susan Coltrane-Dunn
When I was growing up I hated the rules that my mother had for me. Every day after school I was not allowed to play until my homework was done and if it wasn't done right, I had to do it over again. I had chores that had to be done everyday.
I remember telling my mom that I would never raise my children the way she was raising me, and she told me that I would. Well, she knew what she was talking about because, to a certain extent, I am.
I have two girls that are almost grown now and will soon be moving on with their own lives and someday having their own children. I hope that God is pleased with the way I have raised them and that when they leave home they will carry with them what their father and I have taught them. Mainly, to always put God first in their lives.
My mom was the type of person who lived a God-fearing life. She would tell me that she may not always see what I am doing but God would be watching me. She taught me to love others no matter what they think of me and to help those that are in need. She always told me that I would have to answer to God for whatever I did and I have never forgotten that. She taught me right from wrong, and taught me that when you do something wrong there are consequences. She also taught me that when you do the right thing you will feel good about yourself and it would please God.
A motherís love is forever strong and it never changes. My mother has always been there for me when I have needed her, through the good times and the bad, and I have always tried to be there for her when as well.
Now that I have children of my own I will be forever grateful for the way I was raised. My mother has no idea how much of an inspiration she has been to me. I owe her so much. I am so very thankful to her, but it was through my children that I learnt how to be thankful for her.
I couldn't understand why you needed rules for your children when I was growing up. At the time, I thought it was stupid. It made me think that my mother didn't love or trust me. I thought she didn't want me to have any fun.
My children have since showed me why my mother felt she needed to raise me the way she did. I also have to say that I am thankful for my children, because they made me thankful for my mother.
My mother raised me the only way she knew how Ė with love. I see now that she protected and cared for me because she loved me, and only wanted what was best for me, even though I didn't believe that at the time. Back then I believed my parents were the meanest parents that ever lived, but before I knew it, I had my own children and I was doing and saying the same things Mom had said to me.
If my mother had not raised me the way she did, I don't think I would be where I am today, or be the person I am today. I didn't realize the powerful impact her upbringing would have on me later in life.
It took having my own children to realize what my mother meant when she said, "One day you will thank me." She was teaching me and preparing me for that long path that lay ahead of me.
As a child I hated having to obey my mother and father, and if I disobeyed I got punished. Now I am sure I deserved every punishment I received.
I look at my mother differently now. With Christ in my life, I see her as a great example of a caring mom. God has surely given me someone to aspire to.
When I think of my mother, I think of sacrifice. She gave so much and received so little in return. Sometimes my mother would go without just so I could have something I wanted, but didnít need. As I look back and realize the sleep she lost many nights tending to my needs, I see the proof of how much she truly loved me.
My mother asked me if I hated her for the way she raised me, and I told her that I did when I was growing up, but I don't anymore and now I understand why she did the things she did. I told her she showed me she loved me by the way I was raised. My mother was my teacher and protector.
When the time comes for Jesus to call my mom home, her love will still live on, in me. I pray that when my children have children of their own they will look back and understand why a mother does what she does for her children. There is only one word Ö Love.
Susan Coltrane-Dunn is a mother of two beautiful girls and wife of a wonderful Christian man. She lives in Virginia, and has always loved to write, but has become even more serious about her work in the last two years ago. You may contact Susan through the Letters page of this magazine.
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