May 8, 2011
The Noble MotherBy Jeremy Egerer
My mother was born to a single mom in Honduras, a nation embattled by the forces of communism. Her mother, a secretary for a prominent state intelligence official, did the best she could to raise my mom well. But as a single mother, what you can do is never enough, so my mother was raised between her father's loving extended family and her mother, alternating between stability and poverty. The rest, she knew even as a child, was under her Heavenly Father's control.
When the communists began overrunning the country, my mom's world changed. Today, she says she knows their sound well: the marching and shouting of students, the clashes with police, the moments of peace shattered by the sound of gunfire. She remembers how the youth were forcefully taken from their parents, radicalized, and then sent to do acts both immoral and dangerous. Some would never be seen again.
But this turbulence would not last forever. Providence smiled upon my mother around the time she turned ten, when her loving aunt and uncle opened their home to her in San Francisco. Within but a short time, she had left her country behind and entered the City on the Hill, the United States of America.
Although America was different from what my mother had learned in the third world -- our garbage men did not dress like doctors, and Americans were not all wealthy -- she was not disappointed. Learning the language quickly, my mother did well in school, eventually graduating from a major university and looking ahead to a bright future.
In 1979, my mother met my father: a blonde-haired, blue-eyed gentleman and a newly converted but devoted Christian. He had charm, backed with character -- it is not difficult to imagine how he swept my mother off her feet and convinced her to marry him. And a few years later, I was born.
My mother knew she had a choice before her. Her entire life, due to answered prayers and personal strength, was moving upward. Attractive, educated, and determined, she could have done anything she wanted. But when she held me in her arms, something spoke deep within her. She decided that her mission -- her duty to her nation and to her children, as revealed by Scripture -- was to raise Christian patriots.
Knowing well that the public school system did not intend such an outcome for her child, my mother made the brave decision to school me at home. Homeschooling is not free, after all. My father was not wealthy, and my mother could not earn a significant amount even with a side job. Yet she rolled up her sleeves, determined that poverty, should it so affect them, would be well worth the reward of serving God and country.
Now, I have chronicled my youth in fair detail, including how I was quite the drug-addled leftist rebel. But I was not always that way. I still remember my curriculum, from Heritage Christian and Christian Liberty Academy Satellite Schools, and my father exposing the lie of moral relativism and lambasting the modern horrors of fiat currency and dollar inflation. I learned that the Reformation gave way to both the Protestant work ethic and capitalistic power, and also a belief in a lawful universe and scientific exploration. And I still vividly remember reading books about the heroic nobility of Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee, characters practically nonexistent in public school discussion. Such a background made my readoption of conservatism far more natural.
But I did not understand, when I was a child, why my mom was always so tired. Later on, when we learned of her serious thyroid problems -- problems which eventually resulted in cancer -- I realized how devoted she always was to me. I will consider myself lucky if I've received my mother's fortitude in the face of despair, poverty, and physical weakness, and to know what it means to complete a task in the face of overwhelming adversity.
What kind of woman is this, who sacrifices her life for God, country, and family? My mother is a reminder that something noble exists within the woman: a calling, a duty to solidify the very backbone of our society, to sacrifice on a daily basis for something greater than what feminism or self-obsessed consumerism could ever offer.
Of course, men have their indispensable duties as well. I would never suggest that men should give little to their children or that they have less of a role to fulfill. In many ways, these duties between man and woman overlap, and in many others, they remain distinct. But to say that men and women share the same duties would be a great dishonor to the women in our lives, who give uniquely so that their children can succeed, so that countries can be strong, so that children can know the will of God, the path of righteousness, the laws of liberty. And while the Bible teaches that men are to be the leaders in the home, it is within the natural institution of motherhood that women find their greatest power, their influence over nations and peoples, in their influence over the children of today and over the leaders of tomorrow. It takes great mothers to raise a great nation.
To be a mother is not just to have children, just like being a lady isn't just having breasts. Being a mother is rising above your personal inclinations to give when you don't want to give, to raise your children with all your strength. It is a vehicle to cement the values by which a nation's generations fix themselves to one another, connecting a heritage to a future, and making that future bright. It is well evident that the state has failed in fulfilling the mother's duty. If my mother has conferred any lesson to me, it is that we need strong women more than ever, and that the dedicated mother is worth more to our nation than all the public schools in the world.
Though the years have been unkind to classical American patriots such as my mother, and though it at times seems that the war against liberalism has been lost, I can see a glimmer of hope for our country both in myself and on the horizon. At these times, I remember what the dutiful mother has done for us.
I see these glimmers everywhere: the homeschooled children who are now young men and women, with God's Law in one hand and a yellow flag which reads "Don't Tread on Me" in the other. I see them at church and hear about their growing numbers in conventions. I hear fearful leftist murmurs in the papers, in movies, on television, and even at the checkout stand. Leftists deride good mothers. They deride homeschoolers for otherworldly manners, for innocence, and for academic superiority, qualities which one would think any sane parent wants for his children, but which become abominable to leftists when leftism is threatened. And I know that the patriots who stood in their way -- and those who still stand in their way, and those who are stepping forward this very day to stand in the way -- are husbands and wives like my mother and father, who draw that line and say, "Enough! They will not have my children."
Countrymen, the noble mother has been considered dispensable for far too long. Americans need to recognize today and every day forward how important the mother is and what a sacrifice she makes. So I would like to thank each and every dutiful mother who reads this and let her know that her life, though perhaps lacking in glamor and leisure, is well-spent. With such capital she has bought the future, and she has every noble man's highest respect. Thank you, thank you, thank you, and may God's face shine upon you. And happy Mother's Day.
Jeremy Egerer is a recent convert to Christian conservatism from radical liberalism and the editor of the Seattle website www.americanclarity.com.