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Mother’s Day is an everyday celebration, not just a once-a-year event for us at The Marriage Foundation. We take very seriously the humongous responsibilities mothers have. My friends know that what propelled me to save marriages once I discovered how to do so, more than anything else, was discovering how children from broken homes statistically and universally have so much catching up to do. Fathers are the protectors of their wives and family, but mothers are the heart of the family, more connected, by nature itself, to the nurturing qualities of unconditional love. Mothers are the first example of unconditional love for children and true mothers never let down their children, ever in their lives.
I once heard a story that illustrates the depth of love that a mother has for her children. It takes place in a land where it is customary for a newlywed wife to come into the husband’s home so she can be taught by her mother-in-law how to be a good wife. In this tradition, there are many happy husbands. But life is not always by script. In this story, the wife was the jealous type. She wanted to control her husband and was very jealous of her mother-in-law, that her new husband would love his mother more than he loved her.
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She complained to her husband after a short time that his mother was constantly showing her up, thinking that she could not even cook properly for her new husband and she would be much happier if he told her. The poor son! But out of love for his wife, he spoke to his mother. Before he could even start speaking his mother said, “Don’t worry, my son, I understand, and I will not interfere.” The relieved son told his wife and was startled when her response was that it was not enough. She told him that his mother must not live in their home with them, that she would still be underfoot.
Because there was an ‘in-law’ apartment on their grounds he was going to speak with his mom. But once again she knew what he was going to say and offered to live there. After a while, the selfish wife told her husband that his mother was still too close and that she needed her to move out of there. The son, with tears, told his mother that he found a “nicer” place for her, still in the neighborhood, and, again, the loving mother acted like she was so happy about the move. As you already guessed, that was still not enough. The daughter-in-law wanted her far away. The dutiful husband complied and moved her to a neighborhood further away. But the crazily jealous wife badgered her poor husband day and night that his mother haunted her.
The exasperated husband couldn’t take it. “What would you have me do??” She said, “I want you to cut out her heart and bring it to me, still beating.” He fainted. But she would not let it go. Finally, he went to his mother, cut out her heart, and started running back to his wife. As his eyes were filled with tears, he missed his step and fell to the ground, dropping his mother’s heart.
As he reached for the still-beating heart of his mother, he heard her voice “Are you okay my son?”
Mothers so routinely put their children ahead of themselves that it is a given. This is the quality of women that men seek when they get married, too. This is why a wife who cultivates that same unconditional love for her husband that is natural for her children, can count on her husband feeling like he is the luckiest man in the world.
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I met with so many wives who didn’t know this, so messed up is our education for marriage. But when they practiced it, they saw wonderful changes in their marriage. Mother, you are nothing less than Divine, a gift of God’s for your children and your husband. We honor you. We adore you. We love you.
Have a blessed Mother’s Day!
The Marriage Foundation Team