DEAR REV. GRAHAM: I really want to be a good mother but I'm not sure I know how. My parents were divorced when I was young, and to be honest, my mother wasn't a very good example. What kind of mother does God want me to be? —E.L.
Dear E.L.: Tomorrow is Mother's Day, and I hope we'll all pause to thank God for the gift of our mothers, and for all we learned from them. Even if they failed in some ways, they still gave us life and provided for us. We wouldn't be here without them!
How can you be the mother God wants you to be? First, see your children as a gift from God — a valuable gift to be loved and cherished and protected. Thank God every day for them, and ask Him for wisdom as you raise them. The Bible says, "Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him" (Psalm 127:3).
Then be a good example to them. What will they learn from watching you deal with others? What will they remember about your patience and integrity and priorities? What we are often speaks louder than what we say.
Most of all, be an example to them of faith in Christ. I often think of the influence Timothy's mother and grandmother had on his faith in Christ. That faith, Paul wrote, "first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice. ... From infancy you have known the holy Scriptures" (2 Timothy 1:5; 3:15). Get a children's Bible storybook and read it to them regularly, and teach them to pray.
In addition, love your children — and let them know you love them. This doesn't mean you always let them have their own way; sometimes love says, "No." But no matter what we face, our love will see us through.