My mom does not put family first. Here’s what she said.
“Jordan, I love you. I cannot love you any more than I do. But I love Jesus more. And if I ever have to choose between you and Jesus, I choose Jesus.”
I don’t remember the context of why she made this comment to me. As a matter of fact, I don’t believe there was a context. Mom has a way of just blurting out the most important concepts to her family, leaving us to scramble for contextual clues or precipitating circumstances. She said these words to me the first time (but not the last time) when I was in middle school. After reflecting upon my childhood, I would have to say that these 4 sentences were the healthiest words my mother ever gave me.
Hal Runkel, director of Scream Free Parenting*, says that children need to know their space and their place. Their space is their area of freedom where they have ownership. Their place is the boundary that denotes where their authority and freedom ends. My mother trusted me and gave me my space, but with these words she also put me in my place.
I knew then that Mom loved me. She still does. I believed her when she said that she cannot love me any more than she did. But having witnessed her character, her passion for the Lord, and the values of her life, I also knew that she really did love Jesus more than me. I knew that if I put her in a position to compromise on her values, to turn a blind eye toward disobedience against God, or to condone any life choice that did not coincide with her understanding of Jesus revealed through Scripture, my mother would love me enough to not adapt to my beliefs and my choices. I knew what to expect. If forced to make a choice, she would choose Jesus over me. I could not count on holding my mother hostage emotionally for her to enable my unhealthy life.
I cannot help but to wonder how deeply these words have impacted my life. My mother did not put family first. Thank God for that!
What was the healthiest thing your mother said to/did for you? Please join in the conversation!