From the moment you give birth and even in the womb (Judges 16:17), you are influencing and teaching your child the ways of life. What and how you teach them will greatly affect their own desire to follow the ways of the Most High and Christ – what a huge responsibility!! It is natural that a mother wants only the very best for her children. But the scriptures are cold, bold and nothing short of truthful and remind us that we too can fall short!
Ezekiel 16:44: “44 Behold, every one that useth proverbs shall use this proverb against thee, saying, As is the mother, so is her daughter.”
When my children were very young, it was so gratifying to see them soak up all that I would teach them – the Hebrew characters, the Lord’s Prayer, names of the 12 tribes and the holy convocations. They would repeat everything without hesitation and excitement. And when they would recite it in front of the congregation, I was beaming with pride, smiling ear to ear.
Oh, how cute it was to see my daughters slip on my high-heel shoes and try to walk around in them while holding one of my purses. And I especially liked when my youngest daughter would watch me look in the mirror to see if my outfit was OK and say, “Mommy, spin around, spin around, Mommy.” The wider the dress opened when I turned, the prettier the dress was in her eyes.
But life moves on and in a blink of an eye your little children become adolescents. Then the aftermath of all your teaching of the good and, unfortunately, even the bad will really start to show. It’s almost unbelievable how much your children observe your every move and mimic so much of it. The teenage years helped me see crystal clear why our righteous elders will receive a double honor (I Timothy 5:17); it is exhausting and labor intensive work to be a constant good example. But these years also made clear why the scriptures say that those that lead in evil will be recompensed with evil (Revelations 13:10; Isaiah 5:20). When I ponder upon my imperfections, I can’t help but to think about the wrongs my children may have learned from me also. I know I have taught them much good, but I don’t always admit or see the negative I may have passed along too.
2 Corinthians 13:4-6: “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”
Ask yourself the hard questions to determine what you may need to fix. Have I talked back? Have I ignored righteous counsel? Have I worn appropriate apparel in public and at home? Have I followed my own instincts instead of the righteousness of the commandments? Have I given alms? Have I fasted and prayed? Have I spoken when silence was required? Have I nagged? Have I been slothful with my works for the Lord? Have I been doubtful? Have I led my household instead of followed my head? Have I been openly depressed? Have I been angry? Have I been impatient? Have I failed to understand? Have I read my scriptures regularly? Have I exercised the true meaning of charity? The list can go on and on.
Self-examination should not bring your spirit down, nor should it discourage you. Self-examination should give you hope to make yourself right. The first step in repentance is to recognize what is wrong, correct it and repeat it not. Fuel your desire to be the best mother for your daughters by achieving the fruits of a Proverbs 31 woman. Let it be known at the gates that you and your daughters are:
“Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.” 1 Timothy 5:10.
Let it be said “as is the mother, so is her daughter” because we are righteous women of the Lord!