Choose a good reputation over great riches;
being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold.
Proverbs 22:1, NLT
There’s something far more important for mothers than what you produce or possess. Though you can check off a long list of accomplishments and see all your hands have made, what you are remembered for is your good name. Some people see you out there in the world, but your family sees the heart of who you are. This verse from the book of Proverbs shares the wisdom we moms so often need—that our reputation far outweighs our resources, and to be held in high esteem is better than the world’s measurement of worth.
No matter how much you have in your pocket, your bank account, or your purse, it doesn’t compare to the value of someone, especially your child or spouse, saying you are notable and highly thought of. It is a higher compliment to be respected than it is to be in awe of someone’s talents, wealth, or status.
The saying is true that my mother taught me: “You can’t buy your reputation.” You establish your reputation over time as you make decisions based on your values and faith and as you consider your words and actions toward others. Henry Ford said, “You can’t build up a reputation on what you are going to do.” Isn’t that the truth. We know that good intentions don’t carry us too far down the road. It’s what we have done and are willing to do, not just for ourselves, but for those we are bringing up and influencing, that builds our reputation.
Remember the days when we used to say, “Oh, that’s so and so’s son” or “She’s so and so’s daughter.” We knew a person based on their family name. How are we known? How are we leading our family’s reputation, and how we are remembered by others? It’s great to know that our stature is not based on what others say is important, but on how we prove who we are when we walk through this life God has given us and model his ways to our children. We want to be remembered as a child of God and as a mother trying to honor God and show his love to our children. Nothing is more precious than our children holding us in high esteem. Or friends seeing us as genuine and trustworthy, or a spouse or parent cherishing our character.
Even our children’s friends see us and perhaps recognize something they appreciate in us. A good reputation may come at the price of self-sacrificing or investing in the lives of others, but God always richly rewards us. If you think about the people you respect most, it’s often those who have sacrificed in some way for you.
Respect comes when others see genuine love and wisdom on display. And the generation we are raising will notice if they are looking for it. We get to model this way of life so that respect isn’t lost on those coming behind us. Even your choice to continue on the harder days shows that you honor those in your family when it’s not as easy to hold them in high regard. Let us be those who place our value not in what type of response we get, but in the respect we know we are living out so that others see God in us.
You are . . . Respected
Mom, you are respected for who you are and what you bring to your family. You have helped your children to see that having a desirable reputation is worth creating and holding on to. The high esteem that others have for you shows that a good reputation is more desirable than whatever our hands could hold. Mom, you make it clear that honoring God is your highest purpose, and in doing so you bring out the best in your family.