“I had the meanest mother in the world. While other kids had cokes and potato chips for lunch, I had to eat my vegetable and rice. As you can guess, my dinner was different from the other kids also. But at least I wasn’t alone in my suffering. My sister and two brothers had the same mean mother I did.
“Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.” (Proverbs 19: 18)
My mother insisted upon knowing where we were at all times. You would think we were on a chain gang. She had to know who our friends were and what we were doing and who were we talking to over the telephone. She insisted that if we said we’d be gone one hour or less—no one hour and one minute. I am nearly ashamed to admit it, but she actually struck us. Not once, but each time we did as we pleased. Can you imagine someone actually hitting a child just because he disobeyed and showed disrespect? Now you can begin to see how mean she really was.
“He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” (Proverbs 13:24)
“Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.” (Proverbs 22:15)
“Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.” (Proverbs 23:13)
The worse is yet to come. We had to be in bed by ten each night and up early the next morning. We could not sleep till noon like our friends. So while they slept—my mother had the nerve to break the child labour law. She made us work. We had to wash dishes, make the beds, learn to cook, and all sorts of cruel things. I believe she lay awake at night thinking up mean things to do to us.
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
She always insisted upon our telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth, even if it killed us—and it nearly did. By the time we were teen-agers, she was much wiser and our life became even more unbearable. She embarrassed us to no end by making our dates and friends come to the door to get us and not allowing us to secretly meeting them up outside. I forgot to mention while my friends were dating at the mature age of fifteen and sixteen, my old fashioned mother refused to let me date until age eighteen and nineteen. That is if you dated only to go to a school function. That was twice a year!
“Lying lips are abomination to the Lord: but they that deal truly are His delight.” (Proverbs 12: 22)
My mother was a complete failure as a mother. None of us ever had been arrested for shop-lifting or cheating. Each of my brothers served his time in the service of this country and now holding honest jobs. Whom do we have to blame for the terrible way we turned out. You’re right, our mean mother. Look at the things we missed. We never got to be involved with gang fights, smoke, get drunk and a million and one thing our friends did. She forced us to grow up into God fearing educated honest adults.
“Now, no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” (Hebrews 12:11)
Using this as a background, I’m trying to raise my three children. I stand a little taller, and I am filled with pride my children call me mean. Because you see, I thank God that He gave me the “meanest” mother in the world.
“My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother.” (Proverbs 1:8)
When we think of our mothers,
We draw nearer to God above,
For only God in His greatness
Could fashion a mother’s love.