Do Not Forsake Your Mother’s Teaching

Dr. Elizabeth Hood with her grandsons, Nathan and Noah



Mother’s Day is Tomorrow. As I think back to my mother, I remember a time when in the throes of a terminal illness, she asked if she could watch our young sons, alone! I was terrified and felt like I was between a rock and a hard place. Even though my mom had cancer and was terminally ill, she still was the grandmother to Nathan and Noah and deserved every right to be with the boys. If I said yes, my fear was that our very active and aggressive children would knock her over. My mother wanted time alone with her two grandsons.  Yes, she was frail.  Yes, she knew she was dying, but she still wanted time alone with her grandsons.img164

In a split second, my choice was clear: yes, the boys could get to know their grandmother and she could interact with her grandchildren without her son and daughter – in law meddling in her business. As things turned out, the boys calmed down around their grandmother and they spent a couple of hours together.

The Wisdom Writer tells us in Proverbs 6 that we should “Keep our father’s commandment, and do not forsake you mother’s teaching. Both my mother and father are dead. I think about both of them all of the time. Regardless if the situation is work related or purely for fun, I think about my mother and father and the lessons they imparted upon me. Catching me day dreaming in the middle of homework, my mom would say, “Focus, black man, focus!” I think about her concern that I would never learn the verb to be. My mother was great about writing a letter to inform someone of her displeasure. At this stage of my life, I write about five letters a day to congratulate and thank people. In addition to her work as a teacher, counselor, vice-principal, high school principal and tenure professor at Wayne State University, my mother was active in several community projects and served on several boards. Like my mother, I serve as a director and trustee for three boards. My mother wrote a weekly column for the Michigan Chronicle Newspaper. I have just published two books and in the process of trying to determine what the next book should be.

I have my father’s name, but I also have my mother’s DNA. I thank God for both of my parents.

Proverbs 6: 20        My child, keep your father’s commandment, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. [1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What lessons have you learned from your mother?
  2. If you could talk with your mother today, what would you say to her?


Prayer: Lord, I thank you for my mother. I thank you for her care, concern and most of all, love. For those times, I disappointed and hurt my mother, have mercy on me! For any time, I was rude and insulted my mother, have mercy! For those days when I made life difficult for my mother, have mercy upon me. Lord, I thank you for my mother. Lord, I celebrate my mother. Lord, I give thanks for my mother. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.


Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

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[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Pr 6:20). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.