The Hand that Rocks the Cradle
by Peter Black
When considering spiritual formation, we consider the influence of our primary nurturers, and therefore the importance of our influence on the young.
Perhaps for most of us our mothers were our primary nurturers and care-givers. Risking generalization, our mothers—
• Spent the greater amount of time with us during our formative years
• Set the tone and ambience of the house and home
• Shaped the family’s relational environment
• Spiritually guided and taught us, since women have often been more inclined towards faith, spirituality and prayer.
Over time we’ve heard testimonies of prodigals who came to Christ as adults, attributing their salvation and life-transformation to a mother’s or grandmother’s prayers! (Notable example: John Newton, author of “Amazing Grace.”)
“For The Hand That Rocks the Cradle – is the Hand that Rules the World”
That title of a poem by Wm. Ross Wallace (1819 – 1881) itself became an adage and still bears validity. The first verse*:
Blessings on the hand of women!
Angels guard its strength and grace,
In the palace, cottage, hovel,
Oh, no matter where the place;
Would that never storms assailed it,
Rainbows ever gently curled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.
We should honour our mothers and respect all women!
It has been said that if you were to take the women out of most North American churches, there wouldn’t be many people left. And, were it not for women, not much would get done.
We must not diminish or ignore the role and influence of fathers, though.
Positive change is coming, as increasingly more dads engage in hands-on, day-to-day parenting and household operation. With qualification, this should generally be welcomed. Two of my three sons are married with children. They are hands-on engaged in home-life, in values development. and in their children’s interests and sporting activities.
They too can ‘rule’; that is, significantly influence their children (and by extension, the world) for the better, through nurturing and contributing towards their children’s emotional well-being, character formation and spiritual development. Moms, would you encourage that?
Whether the “hand that rocks the cradle” be that of a mom or dad, we all need grace, and are called to share the life and love of our Lord in whom grace is found.
May grace, mercy and peace bless the world through cooperative faith-filled and wholesome parenting.
* The full text is contained in:
Northrop, H.D. Beautiful Gems of Thought and Sentiment.
Boston, MA: The Colins-Patten Co., 1890. [Courtesy: PotW.org]