Sunday, May 13, 2012

Wonder Woman

Show her respect--praise her in public
for what she has done. 

-- Proverbs 31:31

He's considered by many historians to be one of our nation's greatest presidents. He led America through the dark days of the Great Depression, defeated the Axis powers in World War II and won a remarkable 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 to run the household! It was years later that FDR's wife, Eleanor, wrote, '' 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 to symbolize his deep mourning and affection. Perhaps FDR's old-fashioned attitudes can teach us a thing or two about appreciating our mothers and their irreplaceable roles in our lives.

But is that wishful thinking? With the traditional family under constant 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 the source of truth about the strength and value of motherhood and the qualities God holds in esteem for women. 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.

We can read King Lemuel's observations about the topic 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."

Centuries ago--and still today--Proverbs exalts the ideal woman who conveys strength, dignity, wisdom, faithfulness, generosity and trustworthiness through her life's example. It's these priceless qualities that the Scriptures proclaim are more valuable than rubies.

Yes, FDR let his mother play an oversize role in his adult years. But from a biblical perspective, maybe there are at least a few times when being a mama's boy (or girl) isn't such a bad thing.

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