Believe the best, forgive the rest.

Little Pitchers and Guilt

May 19, 2024 by Neva Bodin

Little Pitchers and Guilt

By Neva Bodin

When our oldest was three, she was full of questions about everything. And, probably after the tenth time of my saying, “I don’t know, we’ll have to ask God,” she declared, “When I get to heaven, I’m going to ask the PANTS off God!”

On a short vacation to Yellowstone in a small, borrowed, camper, we passed some cabins at a fancy lodge where we treated ourselves to supper. I made a remark about the cost. Standing in line in the dining room, a prosperous-looking older couple engaged our four-year-old daughter in conversation.

“Are you staying in the cabins?” they asked.

“Oh, no,” she replied. “We can’t afford it.”

Remember the proverb: “Little pitchers have big ears?”

Can we imagine what motherhood must have been like for Eve? She couldn’t hire a nanny, ask her mother, or get a temporary babysitter. And, because each child had a choice to be naughty or nice, and no chance of Santa blacklisting them yet, they were as varied in nature as our children.

In Genesis 3:20 it says, “Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.”

Whew! A tall order. And the first example.

Eve set the tone for mothers to come, mothers who may make wrong decisions in their roles. She must have felt great sorrow when one son murdered the other. Did she blame herself?

I bought a book many years ago: Motherhood: The Guilt That Keeps On Giving, Barnhill, 2006. It’s a somewhat humorous look at all the feelings, confusion, and conflicting information we have regarding motherhood. Motherhood can be a guilt trip for many. Even for the first mother of all.

Eve taught her children about God and His love. Of her son Seth and grandson Enosh, the Bible says, “at that time people first began to worship the Lord by name.” (Genesis 4:26) And Enosh was the great-great-grandfather of Enoch, who “lived 365 years, walking in close fellowship with God.” (Genesis 5:23-24.)

Mothering depends on many factors such as our temperament, our prior experiences, and our children’s temperament. Children can choose whether or not to follow our guidance.

We celebrated Mother’s Day not long ago. It may have not been happy for all mothers. We must take all our joys, guilt, and sorrows over being a mother, or having a mother, to God in prayer. And watch what we say in front of those little ears.