From the desk of…‘Oh, My Ma’ma!’

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By Carolyn Knaggs, Commissioner

When I was a little girl, my father used to sing this song to me: “Oh, my Ma’ma—to me she is so wonderful!” While I know he liked the music, I think he sang of a longing for his mother who lived many miles to the north. I did not know my grandmothers very well because of the distances and lack of funds to travel, but I realized that each of these great women had an undeniable imprint on my parents.

In 2 Timothy 1:3-5, Paul, addressing his young apprentice, makes a reference to Timothy’s mother and grandmother: I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

The influence of family is written on the hearts of each of us. As a tribute to my own mother—a grand retired officer, still quite active in her local corps—her life of prayer and dedication is an undeniable truth in my heart. Devotion to the Lord and to ministry in our beloved Army has never faltered. She passed on to my siblings and me a sincere faith that we in turn have passed on to our children.

Speaking from my own “grandmother” status, I see in my grandchildren—Jacob, Lily and Sarah—this same intent to teach the ways of the Lord through our children to these precious little ones. They are singing songs of Jesus and are being read the stories from the Bible (with pictures). By their attendance in worship and Christ-centered activities, they are learning how a child can love the Lord through the influence of other godly men and women. They, too, have little Christian friends with whom they learn and play and pray together. This is a wonderful blessing to my own heart.

This month, when society honors the mothers of our country, I want us to be in prayer for the women of our congregations and communities who do their best to be the light and salt to the children in their homes. Pray that they would find joy and peace in their own lives as they make life happen for their families. Pray that they would find Christian friends and would see a place for themselves and their children at the Army. This is where seeds of love, concern and spiritual formation can transform a household.

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in truth (3 John 1:4). This is a direct reflection of those who have found salvation and are “babes in Christ.” Their eagerness to learn the ways of God brings joy to the person who presented the gospel. This is a verse that we as parents can take to our hearts as we tell our children about the Lord and nurture them in godliness and holiness.

May your children also sing a song of praise to you because of your faithful witness to the love of God.


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