Mother Teresa was a tiny woman who transformed a continent. Taking a vow of poverty and answering the call within the call she began a movement of nuns who cared for those dying of Leprosy and AIDS. This feisty woman knew how to live the Golden Rule in daily life. This is what she said,
“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”
― Mother Teresa
Be a Mom that Changes the World
As a mom, you may never win a Nobel Peace Prize for feeding your children waffles for breakfast, but you can transform the next generation by following Jesus’ example and living your life by the Golden Rule. Even though Mother Teresa did not have biological children, she impacted the next generation by the simple truths of her life. Her life was lived sacrificially.
The Golden Rule can be found in Matthew 7:12 where Jesus said “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets”. This Scripture has been called the Golden Rule because it is a summary of the Sermon Jesus gave on the mount and it is found in the teachings of many cultures. It is a standard that has helped form the moral code of society.
Rule 1: LOVE
Love is an active expression of your commitment to lay your life down for someone else. It is constant affection and unconditional regard. You are called to love your child as you would like to be loved. Sometimes you will feel the feelings associated with love… and sometimes you won’t. However, the biblical meaning of agape love is not based on emotion. You must love your child enough to disciple them in God’s ways, bringing truth to bear on every area of life.
Rule 2: Compassion
Compassion is recognizing the suffering of others and taking action to help. Teaching your child to have empathy towards another child’s pain is so important for their moral development. One way you can teach this is by taking time to be compassionate for how your child is feeling.
A wrinkle in your child’s sock will feel like nothing to you, but it may really bother them as they wear their tennis shoes. I made so many mistakes as a mom, by not recognizing and allowing my children to feel things. I would try to talk them out of their feelings and reason with them why they should feel differently.
It’s a tricky thing to validate your child’s feelings, and yet teach them about the bigger picture of the needs of children in other nations. A real change came for my daughter Sarah at age 12 when she and her older sisters traveled with Wayne and I and my mom to Brazil to adopt our sons Dre and Zeke. Being able to see poverty first hand and opening our home to boys that had been orphans for most of their lives changed my daughter from being an egocentric adolescent to care about the needs of others.
Ask yourself this question. Do you, as a mom, live a life of compassion that reaches across social economic and racial barriers? If you live a radical life of compassion, your children will see compassion in action.
Rule 3: Forgiveness
Forgiveness is a conscious choice to pardon the actions of someone who has hurt you. Although everyone’s natural instinct is to self-protect, forgiveness is a a gift of mercy and grace to someone else who has wronged you. Forgiveness is not a feeling, forgiveness is a choice. Forgiveness is an act of your will to extend to others what was extended to you by Jesus when He died for your sins. Forgiveness is motivated out of your obedience and love of God.
You can teach your child forgiveness by being a forgiving person. Do you hold grudges? Does your anger or bitterness towards your spouse provide an undercurrent in the house that everyone can feel? Forgiveness is not forgetting or sweeping things under the rug. Forgiveness is costly.
Be a mom of outstanding Character
If you are a woman who loves Jesus fiercely, you will obey His commands. His rule for you life will compel you to walk in love, compassion and forgiveness every day of your life. If you walk in this way, day in and day out, your children will learn the Golden Rule directly from you. Even if your kid’s don’t seem to be “getting it” make the Golden Rule a standard of your life anyway. In the end, it’s between you and God anyway.
Learn more of Sue’s story, Sue Detweiler Doesn’t Bottle Healing Rain – She Pours It
Sue Detweiler, mom of 6, author of 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Mom believes that it is possible to take down the super-mom facade long enough to transform the hidden places of a mom’s heart. Sue admits that she like most moms, has moments where her own unresolved issues come to the surface. What do we do with our own imperfections? Join Sue as she blogs about becoming a Life-Giving Mom by replacing your worst with God’s best. You can connect with Sue at http://www.suedetweiler.com/.
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