Out of the Mouths of Parents

Chic Broersma

READ : Ephesians 3:14-18

“Pay close attention, friend, to what your father tells you; never forget what you learned at your mother’s knee.” (Prov. 1:8 The Message)

Lewis Smedes wrote, “Other kids sang: ‘Jesus loves me, this I know; for the Bible tells me so.’ I might have sung: ‘Jesus loves me, this I know, for my mother told me so.’”

It was true of my mom also. But in addition, my mother also quoted time-honored cultural proverbs to me and my siblings. If I didn’t want to run an errand in the rain, Mom would remind, “You’re not made of sugar.” When I carried on as if my minor ailments were life-threatening, “You don’t die so quick.” When fudging a bit on hoeing the raspberries, I heard, “Anything worth doing is worth doing well.” My attempts at skirting responsibilities were met with, “You made your bed, now you’re going to have to sleep in it.” Sound familiar?

Though the poet Maya Angelou didn’t grow up in Vriesland, Michigan, as I did, her comment is apt: “In those homely sayings was couched the collective wisdom of generations.”

The danger today is that our children hear only the catchy lines of advertising. Share some proverbial wisdom with your kids or grandkids. Better still, tell them Jesus loves them.


Lord, thank you for wise parents and grandparents. Help me be one too. Amen.