Living in America’s heartland, I thought I’d heard about every redneck joke that’s ever been told, but I was amused recently by a couple about the mothers of rednecks.
You know a man is a redneck if his mother keeps a spit can on the ironing board.
You know a man is a redneck if his mother has been in a fistfight at a high school sporting event.
In rural America, we love, admire and respect our mothers. We operate on the basic premise that “if Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” So, we work really hard to make sure Mama is happy.
One of the most beautiful tributes to a great mother is in Proverbs 31. The passage was written from the point of view of a father to a son, sharing wisdom about the value of a good wife and mother, telling him that she is more precious than jewels. I thought I might share it with you.
“The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will not lack anything good. She rewards him with good, not evil all the days of her life. … She rises while it is still night and provides food for her household. … Her hands reach out to the poor, and she extends her hands to the needy. She is not afraid for her household when it snows, for all in her household are doubly clothed. … She opens her mouth with wisdom and loving instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the activities of her household and is never idle. Her sons rise up and call her blessed. Her husband also praises her, saying ‘many women are capable, but you surpass them all.’ Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised.”
Someone once said that becoming a mother, even considering the pain of childbirth, isn’t nearly as difficult as being a mother. It means changing dirty diapers, scrubbing dirty faces, washing muddy clothes, kissing away hurts, mending broken hearts, and wiping away lots of tears. It means dealing with disappointment and delight. Over and over again.
For everything your mother has done for you, I’d advise going right over to the ironing board and giving her a hug. But, for goodness sakes, careful with that spit can.
Roger Alford offers words of encouragement to residents of America’s heartland. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.