Q: What advice do you have for a new mother? I didn't grow up in a stable home, and I don't want to make the same mistakes my mother made, even if they weren't always her fault. -- Mrs. V. McK.
A: Tomorrow is Mother's Day across our country, a time when we should not only honor our mothers, but also thank God for all they've meant to us.
Perhaps your mother wasn't perfect, but she still gave you life and took care of you when you could not take care of yourself.
One of the Ten Commandments declares, "Honor your father and your mother, ... so that... it may go well with you" (Deuteronomy 5:16).
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How can you be a better mother? First, love your children -- and let them know you love them. They are a responsibility God has entrusted to you and your husband, but they also are a God-given gift, to be loved, treasured and enjoyed.
One of the ways you love them is by teaching them about life.
The Bible says, "My son ... do not forsake your mother's teaching" (Proverbs 6:20).
Then don't be afraid to say "No" when your children do wrong, and to back it up with appropriate discipline (but not in anger).
Be sure you and your husband agree, however; children are very adept at playing off one parent against the other! Always letting a child have his or her own way may seem like the loving thing to do at the time, but in reality it's a sure recipe for problems later on.
Finally, put Christ at the center of your family -- and your life. Read the Bible and pray with your children; help them realize why church is important; let them see Christ in your relationship with each other.
May God bless you -- and every mother -- on this special day.
Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 877-2-GRAHAM, or visit the website for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: www.billygraham.org.