By Angela Wittman
|My mother, Marsha Somers, in the mid 1970's|
I've been thinking about the values I was taught as a child and the example my mother set before me who passed away from an aggressive form of cancer 21 years ago. I think the lessons she tried to impart were based upon her Christian upbringing, and while she had strayed from the church, she didn't stray too far from Christian morals.
If there is any wisdom mom would want to impart to her granddaughters, great-granddaughters and nieces, it would be to seek the Lord first in your life and then pattern your life after women in the Bible and other authentic Christian women found throughout history.
So, while mom wasn't perfect, (she had a famous Scottish temper), she did find peace, love and forgiveness at the cross of Christ before her death. I still marvel at the change that came over her as her heart softened and her mind was renewed with the Word of God. I also remember how accepting she was when we found out she had advanced cancer that could not be treated. After her diagnosis, we stopped at McDonald's for coffee and while I went inside for the order, she stayed in the car and made her peace with God. We didn't say much on the drive home, but we knew life would never be the same for both of us. She had always been the strong one, the caregiver, and I was her youngest child, plus the only daughter in the family. I depended on her even after my marriage and the births of my sons, and she was always there to lend a helping hand or a shoulder for me to cry on.
I remember when feminism was at it's peak in the mid 1970's and I was certainly under its influence with feminist role models on television and in the movies who were strong, and I thought, beautiful. As you can see from the above photo, my mother was every inch the fashionable lady and exuded self-confidence. But, believe it or not, she was not only opposed to feminism, it appalled her. I remember her admonishing me to not be like "those women on television who were burning their bras" and seeking to be just like men. She taught me to marry a man who would take care of and protect me, which I did. And while mom had strong opinions about morality and social issues, (she was opposed to abortion and homosexuality), she didn't vote. I once asked her why she wasn't registered to vote and her response was my father voted for the family.
So, dear reader, take another look at what passes today for femininity and then compare it to your mother and let's tell the next generation how to be real women of strength, beauty and moral character.
Proverbs 31:10-31 (KJV)
10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
14 She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.