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A Tribute to Mothers 05/09/2008

I am inspired beyond my ability to adequately express how much I admire mothers. There is no more beautiful sight on this earth than a mother tenderly holding a child, comforting them and, when necessary, correcting them. I praise God for their devotion and tenacity as they care for their children. Going to a grocery store is a big ordeal for a mother with small children. She must carefully unload them from the car, transfer them to a cart and keep them under control while loving them with every act. Managing a home and family requires more organizational skill than most people realize. School, sports, church and other extracurricular activities demand every ounce of their energy and love.

I do not think there are many people who regard a mother's role lightly, and if they do, may God help them to repent immediately. One of the most heart touching experiences was shared by my pastor a few years ago. A greeting card company offered prisoners free cards to send on Mother's Day. More than 1,200 were requested. It was obvious that those in trouble still appreciated their memories of mother. It went over so well, the prison decided to make the same offer on Father's Day in the same prison with the same inmates. Not one card was requested.

The revelation of such a response may not be shocking in light of what we observe in our society, but it should break our hearts. We are seeing the results of absent fathers who are, perhaps, expressing the absence of a father in their own lives.

Women, whether single or married, are attempting to take up the slack. It is impossible for them to fill both roles as effectively, but God knows they give it their all.

I have been blessed to observe firsthand six inspirational mothers:

My birth mother, Myra: It had to be painful for her to place me in a foster home when she felt she was unable to properly care for me. When she later reclaimed me and kept me for 10 years, she did a remarkable job considering all the difficulties we faced. She made mistakes, but she never blamed others. She was the greatest forgiver I have ever known. She inspired me to learn how to communicate clearly and effectively, to be a prolific reader, to study history and to care about others less fortunate than we were -- and we were dirt poor! I think she is responsible for my ability to look beyond my pain and see opportunity. She always reminded that there was a God who would be the personal father to me when I didn't have one in the family.

My foster mom, Katie Hale: Pastor and Mrs. Hale influenced and inspired me beyond imagination. She believed in me when others thought I was too shy or too withdrawn to be effective. She was the one who put her hand on my shoulder and walked with me down that church aisle as I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. It would be impossible for a boy to have a greater encourager.

My wife, Betty: Undoubtedly, Betty is the greatest mother I will ever know. Her consistency, love and compassion for our own three children, as well as others, continually reveals the greatness of God. I cannot imagine a mother being more focused on what is best for her entire family. She is the greatest human strength in my life. Many people consider me to be the strong force in our family because of my outgoing personality and gifts that God has bestowed upon my life. In reality, Betty is far stronger. She is uncompromising and filled with unwavering conviction, yet able to understand the weaknesses and needs of others. I lean on her. I frequently say, "If you think I stand tall, it is because I stand on the shoulders of a woman only 5 feet 3 inches tall." She lifts me up.

Our children are beautiful examples of God's grace. They love the Lord with all their heart. Our oldest daughter, Rhonda, said, "Growing up, all I ever wanted to be was a mother. She was my hero, so that's what I wanted to be." Our son, Randy, said, "When I looked for a wife, I looked for someone who would be a great mother. Now I have both -- a wonderful mother and an incredible wife, because she is also a wonderful mother." And Robin, our youngest, wrote, "Thank you for always being an example of God's love for us and living out the Word in everyday life. My desire is to instill the same in my own family. They all love Jesus and have made him first in their lives. So, thanks to you and Dad for planting the seed that continues to grow through your children and grandchildren."

What a wonderful testimony of the influence of a Godly mother!

Our daughters, Rhonda and Robin: They are a marvel to behold. How on this earth could women be such perfect models of what a mother is supposed to be? Betty says, "I can't even approach them -- they are awesome."

Our daughter-in-law, Debbie: She is indescribably effective as a mother of four. She handles the pressures and responsibilities with humor, grace and composure that makes us proud that she is family.

For me to be able to observe the lives of these women, who have served in this role so unselfishly, is one of the greatest blessings of my life. Let me affirm every mother reading this message: You are a blessing. You may evaluate yourself with a tough standard of measure. You may even wonder if you are doing a good job or if you were ever effective. Trust me, you are. I thank God for you and I wish that you could feel the comfort of His arms around you, pulling you close to His heart and letting you know that on this earth, you may actually be the greatest expression of His heart and His character known to humanity. May you feel as special as you truly are on this special day.

Thank God for mothers.

Author: James Robison

Word Count: 1030

About the author: James Robison is the founder and president of LIFE Outreach International, a Christian media ministry and mission relief organization. He and his wife, Betty, host of the television program Life Today; He has authored numerous books, including The Soul of a Nation, The Absolutes: Freedom's Only Hope and True Prosperity.

Media Contact: Randy Robison, editor at . Photo available upon request. Reprint rights granted with attribution for complete, unedited article. Revisions allowed only with approval.