Thursday, May 7, 2009

Mama Mia

Listen, my son, to your father's instruction
and do not forsake your mother's teaching.

-- Proverbs 1:8

He’s considered by many historians to be one of our nation’s greatest presidents. He led the United States through the dark days of the Great Depression, defeated the Axis powers in World War II and won an amazing four presidential elections.

He was Franklin Delano Roosevelt (“FDR”). By the time of his death in 1945, he was the most powerful leader of the world’s greatest military machine. And he was also a bit of a mama’s boy.

FDR’s mother was Sara Roosevelt, described as a “strong-willed widow who wasn't about to give up her hold on her only child.” She made the future president wear a dress until he was five years old. When young Franklin left home to attend Harvard, his mother followed him to college and moved to Boston. And after FDR’s marriage to his fourth cousin, his mother bought the newlyweds a fine home in New York City – and then moved in herself to run the household. It was years later that FDR’s wife Eleanor wrote, ''you were never quite sure when (my mother-in-law) would appear, day or night.''

OK… Maybe Sara Roosevelt took motherhood a bit too far. But FDR obviously would do (and did) almost anything for her. When she died in 1941, the president wore a black armband as a sign to the nation of his deep mourning and affection. Perhaps FDR’s old-fashioned attitude can teach us a thing or two about appreciating our mothers and their irreplaceable roles in our lives.

With the traditional family under attack from “progressive” thinkers, Hollywood celebrities and the so-called cultural elite, it’s God’s Word – the Bible – that once again proves to be our source of truth about the strength and value of motherhood. Where would our society be without strong mothers teaching the next generation to walk in God’s ways? It’s through the examples of good mothers that we learn about compassion, character, work ethic and faith.

King Lemuel wrote these observations in the Old Testament book of Proverbs :

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”

These were words of wisdom and truth centuries ago – and they still are for Christ-followers today. Which only goes to show that FDR was right all along.

So maybe there’s something to be said for being a mama’s boy (or girl).

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