“But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
— Titus 2: 1-5
I received two e-mails that brought back so many warm memories for me.
The first one talked about how few young women today even know what an apron is. In years past, women had few dresses and relied on aprons to keep their dresses clean. It was much easier to wash than a dress.
I remember both of my grandmothers wearing aprons. I can still close my eyes and see them drying their hands on their apron as they hurry about the kitchen preparing a meal for their family.
I see one of them sitting down for a brief moment and fanning herself with her apron because she didn’t have an air conditioner and had just spent hours in the kitchen. I see one of them spitting on the hem of the apron and cleaning my dirty face.
For both of them their aprons were synonymous of who they were and just remembering an apron brings back so many happy memories.
Recently I learned another use for my grandmother’s apron. Mom told me how my grandmother would gather me in her apron when I was a baby and held me close to her when I had colic. Her apron was a warm cocoon of protection that comforted me when I was sick.
Both of my grandmothers loved me very much and wanted the very best for all of their grandchildren. One of the ways they showed that love was through the many wonderful meals they fixed for their families. Oh to taste once more homemade noodles and chicken or rice pudding that no one will ever imitate. Sometimes I wish for that simpler time when women wore aprons.
I also wish for the simpler time described in the second e-mail. It was a time when most mothers didn’t have to work and were waiting at home when their kids got home from school.
There were also no cell phones on which to call and check on your child. Instead mothers simply stuck their heads outside the door and called their children home. Most of the time our friends would be at our house playing in the back yard.
Friends were always welcomed at our house and a snack was almost always available. In fact, many of my brother’s friends would simply help themselves and could often be found searching the refrigerator. I often wondered how my mother could plan for these unexpected raids, but there always seemed to be enough to go around for her two children or most of the neighborhood. Our house was a sanctuary for so many kids.
I talked about my own mother and grandmothers and how much I have learned from them, however there are more lessons to be learned from several of the mothers in the Bible like Hannah and Mary.
In the story of Hannah was a woman who desired a child more than anything. After her son Samuel was born she gave him to the Lord and left him at the temple. Still she remembered him and made clothes to take to him on her yearly visits to the temple. (1 Samuel 2:18-20).
God blessed her for her sacrifice by giving her other children. Her son grew up and became a great leader for Israel.
The story of Mary also tells of a young woman who made great sacrifices. She bore the savior of the world. I have often wondered what it was like for her as she watched Jesus take his first steps knowing that he didn’t belong to her, but to the entire world.
Though I speak to women today I pray that men too can remember their own mothers and other women who influenced their lives. Unfortunately there are those who don’t have fond memories of their mothers or have lost their mothers to death. In those circumstances, older women can step in to nurture, care for, and guide them.
For me, this is a great gift from God that fills a void in my life. I am so thankful for those special people God brought into my life. Thank God for how he uses women (especially mothers and grandmothers) as an example of true love and sacrifice.