News from the Tennessee Valley Religion

Rev. John Jude

Happy Mother's Day, 'Bones'

I was 13 and, as my father says, a loner. Then it happened. There she was, thin and beautiful with long, flowing hair. She was simply overwhelming. I fell in love on the spot, and we have been married for 26 wonderful years. I am thankful that God brought her into my life. She is Pamela, my wife, my friend and the mother of our children.

Mother's Day is here, and many will run out for gifts and flowers to express their affections for Mom. I guess I have learned to appreciate what I think is the greatest gift God ever gave me after my salvation. I used to call her "Bones" and didn't really think of what that name could mean until recently.

I recalled in Genesis how, after six days of making everything else, God created man. God noticed that Adam did not have "a suitable helper." God said it wasn't good for man to be alone. So God put Adam to sleep and took a rib from his side and created a helpmate for him. Adam was no longer a loner.

When I reflect on those words, I think of Pamela. The anticipation of the birth of our first son was frightening. Then she went into labor and it was more frightening. The agony she went through on that night was painful to watch. Well, now we have five wonderful sons. Our sons have brought us daughters-in-law.

I am learning what it means to "love your wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her," I had to repent for all the times that I have brought grief to her. I had to repent for all the times that I did not respect her opinion or give her the encouraging word or hug she needed.

I dedicate this column to Pamela. I thank God, too, for my mother, Annie L. Jude, who taught me how to love my wife. I thank him for her mother, Doris J. Conerly, who gave birth to her. I thank God for April and Melinda who have made me a Pa Pa. I thank God for Meika who in a few months will give us this joy again.

I thank God for all mothers who give of themselves daily and are taken for granted. I thank God for single mothers who toil alone. I thank him for those who are raising children who are not their own biologically. I thank God for all of you and pray that this Mother's Day will be special for you.

Bones, I love you. Without you I would probably still be alone, and I am sure I would be a mess because I would be incomplete. I think I know now what to do for you on Mother's Day: Be a better husband.

The Rev. John Jude, pastor of Pleasant Grove Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Athens, is one of several local ministers writing religion columns for THE DAILY. For more information, call Melanie Smith on Tuesdays or Wednesdays at 340-2468.

Rev. John Jude Rev. John Jude

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