Happy Mothers’ Day

A couple of years ago, I wrote a tribute to my mother in the May issue. She continues to be an inspiration and a blessing to me and my family. There is another “mother” to whom I wish to pay honor, my wife, June.

She was an entering freshman. I was a transferring senior. Her daddy had told her not to marry the first guy she met. At registration we both were called into the Dean’s office for an entrance interview. I was the first guy she met. He said he was glad to see her, I echoed his remark. He said he hoped to get to know her better, I echoed the remark. By that time, the Dean was not happy with my participation. When June’s interview ended, he said he was delighted to have her on campus. I agreed. The Dean threatened me that I if I did not refrain from being so impertinent, I would not even get into the college.

Three days later, I asked June out on a date. We went door-to-door soul-winning and capped it off at What-A-Burger. Three weeks later I asked her to marry me. Four months later we were married in a little country church. She was a teenage bride.

It did not take long for June to become a teenage mother. Rachel was our first child. I was pastoring my first church in Crowley, Louisiana. We were so poor that the people in the church on food stamps brought us boxes of groceries. We lived in a house trailer and drove a car my parents had given us. June cared for our first little gift from God with tremendous love.

Four years later, Rebekah came along. Rebekah had her days and nights mixed up. For six weeks June was up when I went to sleep and she tried to sleep while I was out of the house. We were a struggling young couple with incredible dreams and not much else.

For fifteen years I saw June teach the girls about Jesus. She prayed with them, read to them and played with them. She instilled truth and love. She poured her life into them. Although she rarely resorted to corporeal punishment, she unashamedly wept over them. The part the girls hated most was when June made them kiss to make up after a disagreement. I watched a mother with an incomparable love seek to prepare her daughters to be women of God.

When we least expected another child, Nathan appeared. He is our late in life blessing. Born in fetal distress, I saw my wife willing to give him up if that was our Father’s will. Through His mercy, we have our son today. June has home-schooled him, played ball and tickle fought with him, and inculcated a code of manners reminiscent of the 19UP>th century. June prays over him, reads scripture to him and has loved him to Jesus.

As I have watched my wife for almost thirty years, it has been a testimony of God’s sovereign grace to see what He has done. She continues to pray over our daughters and now a son-in-law. She continues to invest her life in Nathan, saying, “He is little only once.” She has been a mother without peer as far as I am concerned. Proverbs 31: 28b says that a virtuous woman will be praised by her husband. I am doing nothing more than my scriptural duty, but it is truly an inexplicable blessing to have a wife who has been such a tremendous mother to my children.

Men, if you have a dear wife who has borne your children, you need to let her know how special she is. Bless her, for her role has no equal on this earth.

Happy Mother’s Day, June!

Executive Director Emeritus
Jim Richards
Southern Baptists of Texas Convention
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