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A Mother’s Teaching

Proverbs 1:8,9 Hear, my child, your father’s instruction, and do not reject your mother’s teaching; for they are a fair garland for your head, and pendants for your neck. (NRSV)

The things that our parents taught us tend to remain with us for the rest of our lives. But mothers and fathers have quite different roles in the rearing of children. Today, we’re going to focus on the mums.

I was scrolling through Facebook recently, as you do, when a black and white photo taken in the early 1960’s came up which (metaphorically speaking) almost made me fall off my chair. It was of a small group of piano accordion players – yep, you heard right – with a woman standing off to the right. That woman was my mother, a music teacher back in the day, who founded and conducted an accordion orchestra.

It brought back such fond memories for me, and set me to thinking about all the things my parents taught me.

My father (as was often the case) was the disciplinarian in the house. As an engineer, he gave me a great appreciation for logical thinking. Mum though, as a music teacher, was more the artistic, more the emotional teacher to me. And oddly enough, that’s exactly what the Bible teaches:

Proverbs 1:8,9 Hear, my child, your father’s instruction, and do not reject your mother’s teaching; for they are a fair garland for your head, and pendants for your neck. (NRSV)

Do you notice the sequencing in that little Hebrew couplet? The father’s instruction equates to the garland around your head – figuratively, the logical, disciplined side of your makeup.

The mother’s instruction though, is likened to a pendant around your neck. In other words, hers is the heart-teaching – the emotional intelligence that we need to develop. The whole logic thing was always very easy for me. The emotional stuff though … not so much. Thanks for persisting, Mum.

Do not reject your mother’s teaching, it is a pendant for your neck.

That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.

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