A gracious woman retains honor
REV. RUBY ANN DARLING
Published: May 09, 2013
A gracious woman retaineth honor; and strong men retain riches. – Proverbs 11:16
How powerful are the words of our text today in light of the imminent global celebration of Mother’s Day. Abraham Washington and Abraham Lincoln in paying tribute to their mothers said “All that I am, I owe it to my mother. All that I am or ever hope to be I owe it to my angel mother.” These same sentiments were uttered at a post-graduation function by Franklyn Bosfield, Anthony Robinson, Dario Newbold and Nikita Williamson. These three young Bahamian men and young woman majored in the field of architecture at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, better known as Florida A&M University or FAMU. Each one spoke with pride of the sacrifices their mothers made in their upbringing and achievement being a part of the Class of 2013.
Also you will notice in our text that specifics are given to both sexes — male/man, female/woman. I am not ready to go there with some of you as to the equality movement, for if I am one of the only kind, and you don’t have what I have, how in the land of fairy tale can you and I be 50/50. God so designed it that a woman can be gracious and strong, but tongues wag when a man is referred to as strong and gracious.
The Concise Oxford English Dictionary describes the adjective gracious as courteous, kind, pleasant and showing elegance and politeness, and things being as they are one would attribute these qualities to the fairer sex. Buddha said that “wherever there is light, there is shadow; wherever there is length, there is shortness; wherever there is white, there is black. Just like these, as the self-nature of things cannot exist alone, they are called non-substantial.”
Because mankind has been so disobedient to guidelines as set down by Holy Scriptures and words of wisdom running parallel by great philosophers of the past, the multiplicity of problems in our land and indeed this global village, stem from the lack of adherence to the words of our text — gracious women and strong men.
As you travel here and there within the boundaries of our land and beyond, doesn’t it make you sad many times to see the plight of children at the hands of mothers who have strayed far from the admonition, train up a child in the way he should go and when he is young he will not depart from it.
Mothers have a very powerful role to play in the success of their children, their children and their children’s children. In many instances, we do not pass on the faith and values of our parents to our children. We want them to believe that the mode of life was always an everyday happening, and there was no such thing as achievement and success by climbing up the rough side of the mountain.
It is truthful to say that as women who seek to daily live lives pleasing to God, family and country; there are times when although gracious, a tinge of despondence seeps in because the strong arm of encouragement is withheld. Such was the case as I spoke with my friend of many years, Eleanor Johnson by marriage, but really of the Neilly/Roberts extraction of Abaco. As we shared on the telephone and she put me on hold to answer another call, she was excited because someone on the line wanted to speak to me — someone who did not know me and vice versa.
It was not coincidence but an act of God. Eleanor told her that she was speaking to her friend Ruby Ann Darling and the lady on the other end, Leattar Sands, said that she could not believe it because she was right then reading an article of March 7 on the subject forgiveness. She was so excited as she told me that she just happened to pick up an old newspaper and read the column and it was such a blessing to her. On the other hand, I was just about to call it quits from writing, but her encouragement to continue, as there are many who may not say, but are receiving a blessing each and every week.
Even in times of conflict and difficulties, lack of respect, trials and tribulations, the woman who shines with being kind, honest, courteous, comforting and yes, elegant, God comes through with saving grace and mercy.
Yes, Eleanor and Leattar, you have indeed been gracious women this week in speaking kind words and commendations. Indeed down through the years, there have been so many gracious women in our lives — women who may not have owned a Cadillac but nevertheless were worthy of praise and for the sake of praise to Almighty God, I include my dear deceased mother, Florence Louise Edgecombe Cooper.
Yes, Abraham Lincoln and others, gracious mothers are also the force behind strong men — men who are rich in values, family life, Christian upbringing, community builders, role models, faithful providers and brothers’ keepers. When these qualities of our text, gracious women and strong men, are downplayed, neglected and thrown by the wayside of degradation, then terror rules and roams the land night and day without any fear of rule of the land.
I pray to God in His divine mercy that hearts would be changed to graciousness, peace, love and understanding within our borders and beyond when the winds of adversity sweep over the earth. God give us Christian homes — homes where the mother is caring, strives to show others your way is best. Homes where the Lord is an honored guest; God, give us Christian homes.
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