She Meddles Not: In Praise of a Non-Meddlesome Mom

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

Proverbs 31:26

I could go right down the Proverbs 31 line and apply each virtue to Mom. It would be easy. That’s actually how this post started (See me later for that draft., Mom).

But one bit of wisdom Mom’s shared with me is: Short and sweet, Girl.

So I’m trying that this year. Short and sweet; just one more reason I praise my mom.

Mom Doesn’t Meddle

Meddling means interfering. Not minding your own business. Being what Mom told us kids not to be growing up: a buttinsky.

Meddling isn’t mentioned much in the Bible. But one time that jumps to mind is 1 Peter 4:15. Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler. Yes, a meddler. Peter lists it right there with murderer and thief as behaviors that rightfully bring suffering upon us.

Minding one’s business isn’t listed among the virtues hailed in Proverbs 31. But it’s between the lines. Because children don’t rise up and call a meddling mom blessed (31:28). And because meddling neither allows us to laugh at the days to come (31:25), nor is it wise (31:26).

Mom uses her words with restraint (Proverbs 17:27) and knows that holding her tongue is wise (Proverbs 10:19).

When I share my struggles with Mom her MO is to: 1. listen well, 2. purse her lips, 3. nod her head, then possibly ask, 4. Want my advice, Babe?

Such restraint. What wisdom. What a gift from my non-meddlesome mom.

Not Meddling Does Not Mean Un-Involved

Which is not at all to say Mom’s hands-off or uninvolved. In fact, those words couldn’t be further from the truth. Mom is in our lives in so many daily caring ways.

Ducks in garden pond
“Lucky Ducks,” mom wrote.

Hardly a day goes by without a happy text or punny picture. Yesterday it was “Two Canadian guests at our lakeside property. Lucky ducks,” -in their flooded garden puddle.

During garden season, we await mom’s twice-weekly, post-farmer’s market calls:

Hi Babe, here’s what we’ve got. Then she lists what’s left- radishes, peas, lettuce, asparagus. Just tell me what you want and we’ll bring it.

But Mom doesn’t force anything on us or ask why we don’t take her turnips (a private matter between Jim and me).

A person convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.

Mother and daughter adults

That’s actually a quote from my Jim’s grandma. But Mom knows it. Because she doesn’t advise when we we don’t want advice. That said, she has given me some pretty wise advice.

You’ve heard how Mark Twain said something like, “My Father was an amazing man. The older I got, the smarter he got.” That’s how I feel about my mom. The older I get, the wiser she gets.

Mom dispensed it yesterday, when she dropped off the first run of rhubarb and the subject turned to my own mothering. I asked. She offered:

Give the last word. Choose your battles. Let it be. Trust God and pray.

My Mom Is Beautiful

Charm is deceptive and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. And one big way we can “see” that someone fears the Lord is when she follows Jesus.

Do you remember the exchange in Luke 12 when a man in the crowd tried to get Jesus to meddle? Spoiler alert: Jesus didn’t take the bait.

Instead, he said, Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?”

Beautiful people look like Jesus.

And like my non-meddlesome Mom.

Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before.

1 Thessalonians 4:11

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