Revive Our Hearts Podcast

From a Daughter's Heart

Leslie Basham: As Mother's Day approaches this weekend, we want to know--What do you appreciate about your mom?

Daughter (adolescent): My mom really teaches me a lot about being a godly woman. We do a daily devotion. The way she really helps people is when they are sick, she gives them meals. She's very loving to people, and she visits them in the hospital. She's, like, my hero.

Daughter (teenage): I'm thankful for our mom because she takes time out of her schedule to spend a lot of time with us, and she homeschools us.

Daughter (adult): Well, I really appreciate my mom, first of all, for just expressing the importance of having a personal relationship with the Lord. There are so many times I've seen her just get on her knees and pray and really show that God really does answer prayer.

Leslie Basham: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Friday, May 10.

Our moms nurtured and cared for us. When is the last time you told your mom how much you appreciate her? Mom deserves honor not just because of her hard work and sacrifice, but also because the Bible tells us to honor our parents.

Today we'll hear about the wonderful experience Nancy DeMoss had when she wrote her mother a formal tribute. To start, we're going to hear Nancy read her contribution from the book A Mother's Legacy edited by Barbara Rainey and Ashley Escue. Here's Nancy.

Nancy DeMoss: On November 30, 1957, Arthur DeMoss and Nancy Sossomon exchanged their wedding vows. Within a week, the nineteen-year-old bride was expecting her first child. Within the first five years of their marriage, my parents had six children. (A seventh followed some years later.) Though this was not according to their original plans (they had planned to wait five years to have children!), they gladly embraced each child as a gift from God.

Life was never again to be uneventful for this young Southern girl who had married a man thirteen years her senior. Converted to Christ at the age of twenty-four, Art DeMoss was sold out to the Lord and intended to make every moment of his life count for eternity.

As the firstborn child of this consecrated couple, I have been blessed to bear the name and many of the characteristics of a remarkable woman. My mother's example has shaped how I view my calling as a woman, how I relate to men, and, most importantly, how I relate to my heavenly Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus.

As I was growing up, I didn't realize that my mother's view of her role as a wife and mother was terribly out of sync with our times. In many ways, her life was politically incorrect, since she saw the deceptive, destructive nature of the world's concept of liberated womanhood. Instead she chose to pattern her life after the One who refused to live independently of His heavenly Father and who delighted to do the will of the One who sent Him.

Though she was an extraordinarily gifted woman in her own right, my mother willingly laid down a promising career as a sacred vocalist to be a suitable helper to her husband.

My dad's lifestyle, though exciting and challenging, was also complex and demanding. In the climate of the sixties, where women were encouraged to pursue independence, careers, personal recognition, and self-satisfaction, my mother modeled a different role--one in which a woman adapts to the heart and calling of her husband. Rather than expecting her husband's life to revolve around her needs and interests, her life revolved around her husband's.

Art DeMoss was a visionary. He was always full to the brim with new ideas--whether it was business or in the greatest passion of his life--to reach more people with the Gospel. Whenever he had another dream, my mother was always there to cheer him on, to encourage him and to help make that dream become a reality.

In the early days, my dad dreamed of selling insurance through direct-mail marketing. Mother worked with him at the kitchen table in their apartment to design the ads, write the letters and process the responses. He also dreamed of inviting business and professional men and women to dinner to hear a Gospel presentation--first a small handful, then scores, hundreds and ultimately thousands. My mother maintained the lists of names and addresses and sent out the invitations. The day of each event, she supervised the meal preparation and service, stood by his side to greet the guests (he depended on her incredible gift of remembering names) and stayed up to put the house back together long after the guests had left and the family went to bed.

 

It's important to understand that this helper role was not something my dad demanded of my mother; neither was it a position that she accepted grudgingly or reluctantly. She truly adored this man and found delight in walking through life as his partner and encourager.

Mother gladly managed the domestic affairs of a very active household so he could be free to better fulfill God's call for his life. I know that many women today would consider this lifestyle oppressive. But my mother was far from downtrodden. To the contrary, my dad cherished and highly esteemed the partner that God had placed by his side, and he was delighted to see her maximize her God-given potential and abilities.

In the rough-and-tumble world of business, my father was not without his detractors; but he could always count on my mother being his number one admirer. To this day I can never remember hearing her speak negatively about him to us or to anyone else. It's not that he didn't have some glaring weaknesses (though she sometimes gives that impression!), but rather that she was scarcely conscious of the negatives because of her deep, genuine admiration for him.

 

My dad had many idiosyncrasies that many wives would have considered obsessive or intolerable. For example, he was compulsive about cleanliness, about not being disturbed while sleeping or napping and about eating three meals a day at precisely the same time. He had peculiar dietary restrictions and had little or no aptitude for domestic or mechanical matters. In each of these areas, I remember my mother simply adapting to his ways without making issues out of what are truly insignificant matters in the big picture.

Though their backgrounds were quite different, my mother supported my father by upholding the standards he established for our home. I realize now that they could not have had identical views on every issue, but rarely were we conscious of any disagreements about our family's basic values and practices.

My mother considered it the highest honor to be Mrs. Arthur DeMoss. By her example she taught me to be attentive and tuned to the needs of the men in my sphere of influence, to respect and honor them and to joyfully serve them and place their needs ahead of my own.

My mother imparted to me a vision of a woman being a cheerleader for the men in her life. Her example has caused me to look for ways, even as a single woman, to be an encourager and to accentuate the godly qualities in the lives of pastors, Christian leaders, and the men I serve alongside in ministry. It has given me the wisdom to counsel women with difficult husbands, to make allowances for their husbands' rough edges and to verbalize only his positive qualities to others.

Above all her model has led me to reverence, honor and joyously obey the Lord Jesus, the supreme love of my life. I long to be attentive to Him, to serve Him, to fulfill His wishes, to be by His side and to let others know of my deep admiration for Him. These longings were first planted in my heart from the heart of my mother.

Leslie Basham: That's Nancy DeMoss reminding us to love and treasure our mothers. Nancy has been reading from a book A Mother's Legacy. Nancy wrote a chapter giving her appreciation to her mom. Other contributors include Vonette Bright, Dotty McDowell and Elisa Morgan. The book was put together by Barbara Rainey and her daughter Ashley Escue, and if you would like a copy you can give us a call at 1-800-569-5959. We have it available for a suggested donation of $13.

As you think about honoring your mother today, let me encourage you to call our tribute line. We have a special toll-free number set up for you to call and give a verbal tribute to your mom. We may use it on a future broadcast and hope you'll take some time to honor your mom in this unique way. The special toll-free number is 1-888-387-8682.

Nancy's back to tell us about a book that has helped her thinking on the importance of honoring our fathers and mothers.

Nancy DeMoss: I was so thankful when Barbara Rainey and her daughter, Ashley Escue, contacted me and asked if I would be willing to write a chapter for a book they were compiling called A Mother's Legacy. It was really a privilege for me to write this piece about my own mother. Actually, the process of writing that chapter had begun some years earlier when I was challenged to write a tribute to my mother.

Dennis Rainey, Barbara's husband, and also the executive director of FamilyLife, has written a book called The Tribute and the Promise. I can still remember the first time I read that book. If you'd asked me prior to that point if I honored my parents, I would have said, "yes." I'd grown up knowing that the Scripture teaches how important it is to honor our parents; but as I read this book, The Tribute and the Promise, God began to open my eyes to some ways that I had not honored my parents.

I have to say it wasn't exactly an easy book to read. There were some points of repentance, but God used that book in a significant way--probably as much as any book I've read next to the Bible within the last several years--to influence and impact my life in this very practical area of my relationship with my parents.

My dad has been with the Lord for many years; but after reading Dennis's book The Tribute and the Promise, I did take time to write a tribute to my mother. I presented it to her on Christmas Day and, with the whole family assembled, read this special tribute to her. God did something very special in my life as a result of reading that book and then taking the time to actually write a tribute. Over the last several years, everywhere I have gone, I said to people that anyone who has ever had a parent--and that would include most of us--needs to read this book The Tribute and the Promise.

I had the privilege of growing up in a godly home with parents who really did love the Lord and each other and loved us as children. But I know that for some of you when you think of parents and relationship with your parents--just that whole thought brings up a lot of hurt and pain. Your parents may not have been there for you or your parents may have been abusive or may not have known how to express love to you. Regardless of what kind of home you came from, regardless of what kind of relationship you've had with your parents, I can promise you that reading this book will be an enriching and challenging experience in your walk with the Lord and in your relationship with your parents.

Your parents may not even be living any longer, but there are still ways you can honor them. I want to encourage every person listening to me to get a copy of this book, The Tribute and the Promise, to read it and then to put it into practice. The Scripture says that if we honor our parents, God will bless our lives; and if we don't honor our parents, there are some blessings that we will never experience. Regardless of how easy or hard it may be, learn to honor your parents, even as I've had the privilege of doing today in honoring my mother, a remarkable woman--and as you do, God will bless you.

Leslie Basham: To get a copy of The Tribute and the Promise, just call us at 1-800-569-5959. We hope you have a great weekend and can join us again on Monday when Nancy will describe 39 birthday gifts. Find out more on the next Revive Our Hearts. 

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss is a ministry partnership of Life Action Ministries.

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