Giving Garlands and Pendants
Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.
– Proverbs 1:8-9
This past week I saw a video that talked about millennial speech patterns. Of course, it irritated me because I do some of the things it said are not good. But the goal of the video wasn’t to make me feel bad, it was to help me sound not, “like a toddler who doesn’t know how to speak.” The goal was to lay a garland of knowledge on my head, not to beat me on the brow.
This is the goal of all wisdom. Mothers should work hard to set garlands upon the heads of their children and to ensure that others are able to see that their children are wise. But this is the end result, not the beginning.
Mothers need a long-view when it comes to child-rearing. It cannot be tomorrow, or next week, or even next year. It must be decades long. They should be training the child not just for the beginning of adulthood but for the whole of it. A child should know how to walk wisely into marriage, child-bearing and child-rearing, and old age because their mother taught them the wise things of the Lord.
Part of the joy of seeing one’s children grow is seeing the reward of the hard work and suffering that has gone into raising them. It is seeing the garlands and pendants being given to the child for their steadfastness and godliness. And so, mothers must stay motivated to do the hard work in the moment. They are not working for the now but for the later.