If death had not entered a home, Mother’s Day might not have been established. Very often the good angel of mercy changes our mourning into a song of joy.
Over a hundred years ago a letter was dropped in a mail box in Philadelphia, which started the movement for Mother’s Day. In 1906 a mother died. Her devoted daughter, Miss Anna Jarvis, felt the loneliness of the approaching first anniversary of her mother’s passing and invited a friend to spend the day with her. The historic day was Sunday, May 9, 1907. On that day Miss Jarvis told her friend of her desire to dedicate a day to all mothers before the next anniversary of her mother’s death. She interested many people and organizations in the observance of the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. Miss Jarvis wrote thousands of letters to influential men in all walks of life and pleaded for the observance of the day.
State after state adopted the day and in May 1913 a resolution passed the United States Senate and the House of Representatives to make the second Sunday in May a national holiday dedicated to the memory of “The best mother in the world, your mother.” The movement has spread throughout the United States and is generally observed in England and has reached other countries.
Good mothers make good homes. Good homes make the foundation of this country. The proper observance of Mother’s Day should turn our thoughts with a new devotion to God and help to build better characters and better homes. Homes where strong men and women will grow.
How we need strong leaders today in these years of constant crisis! Have you ever noticed that God has a way, in a decisive time, of bringing forth a leader in the hour of need? Where are these leaders? In order for these strong leaders to grow, our homes must have certain qualities:
HOMES WHERE LOVE GIVES SECURITY.
The first quality is the profound sense of togetherness and love. It gives children the strength that comes from the security of love. It may seem strange to speak of strength and love in the same breath. In our modern world we are conditioned to think of love as sentimentality. What has love to do with courage, strength, and ruggedness? It has everything to do with it.
Great, bold, strong, courageous young people come from homes where there is love. They know they are loved, respected, and honored. This builds their self-respect. Love builds their confidence.
HOMES THAT STIMULATE SELF RELIANCE.
In order to develop homes for the training of strong leaders, teaching the power of self-reliance is a must. They must learn to stand strong and confront difficulties and overcome them. They must learn responsible self-sufficiency.
This approach to life is what we must recapture in America, if we are to develop homes for the training of strong leaders
Theodore Roosevelt trained his children for self-reliance. He dressed them in old clothes and took them for a hike. He would make a rather rugged game of it. Each one was stationed at a considerable distance from the other, and then was told to hike straight forward for a couple of miles. He was not to side step any difficulty. If he came to a stream, he must swim it. If he came to a swampy place, he must wade it. If he came to a steep hill, he must climb it. But in any event, he must conquer obstacles; he must master difficulties and keep on pressing forward toward his goal.
That is the sort of training that is needed by youth today. They do not need coddling—that is not love. Love is not indulgence or sentiment. Love is not emotion. Love is a will to do the best for the highest good for the one you love.
A wise parent trains his child in hardiness, adventure, self-reliance, and independence.
HOMES WHICH GIVE A SENSE OF VOCATION.
A good home gives an awareness and assurance that their life has significance for the heavenly Father who created him. There is some work waiting for them in this world. They have a purpose.
It does not kindle false dreams or burdens the child with impossible ambitions. Neither does it encourage him in superficial status-seeking or confuse pedestals with reality. Not every child can be president of the United States, Secretary of State, or head of a big corporation. This is not the path to self-fulfillment.
To every parent there comes the sudden realization of responsibility. It is now their privilege to mold this new life and shape it for the fulfillment of its highest destiny. Only God can see the latent possibilities in any child, but every parent has a right to dream dreams and to see visions of what their child, with God’s help, can become and prepare them to be the leaders for whom the world is now waiting.
HOMES WHICH PASS ON THE GREAT TRADITION OF FAITH.
The clash of ideologies in the world today is so serious that no parent can evade their responsibility or try to shift it to someone else. When have your children heard you read God’s Word in your home? When have they heard your voice lifted in prayer or felt deep and heartfelt devotion, as they have sat beside you in worship in your church? When have you helped your growing children to understand the majesty of your faith?
If we make our children centers of creative love, teach them strong self-reliance, instill vocational aspirations and pass on our deep abiding faith, they will become strong leaders of tomorrow.
I’m in this with you,
~ Mary Ann Blount