By Rev. Kenneth W. Hagin
It’s been said that a mother’s heart is the child’s classroom. I thank God for all that my mom, Mrs. Oretha Hagin, has taught me through the years. She is a portrait of a godly mother, and I’m proud to be her son.
I want to share a few things I learned from my mother that have influenced me greatly. I trust that as you read this, you, too, can reflect and remember things your own mother taught you. And I pray that all parents can learn from my mom’s example and impart these same truths to their children.
Mom taught me the importance of having a relationship with God. She told me, “Son, without God, you’re nothing. Oh, you may run fast. And you may make good grades and do a lot of things. But He’s everything you need. You’re nothing without Him.” There isn’t anything more important for a mother to teach her children than to teach them how to have a relationship with God.
Mom taught me how to endure. She told me and my sister to never quit—no matter what. Growing up, we endured some hard times, but through my mom’s example of endurance, we learned to keep going even in the hard times.
I witnessed my mom’s constant devotion to and love for my dad. There were many hardships in those early years of Dad’s ministry after he stopped pastoring in 1949. My mom never complained. Instead, she learned to endure the hard times. Everything in our lives and ministries today came from those small beginnings. Now we can testify to the truth that obedience has its rewards! If we will obey God and endure hardship like a good soldier (2 Timothy 2:3), there will be ample reward.
From the beginning of their marriage, Mom and Dad consecrated themselves to do the will of God. I learned from their example. I learned that you do whatever needs to be done to obey God—no matter what the cost.
Mom taught me something else about endurance. She never magnified the sacrifice. She told us, “Don’t magnify the sacrifice; only magnify God’s grace.” She would tells us kids, “It’s not as bad as it looks. God is our Source, and if we will endure, we will find victory on the other side of this black cloud.”
Mom taught me to be faithful. I have tried to emulate her faithfulness the best way I know how. If I start anything, I strive to be faithful to complete it. If I give my word, I am faithful to keep it. Mom taught us to be faithful to our word and to be faithful to God and His Word.
It took a lot of prayer on her part to raise me. Mom stayed at home and Dad traveled and preached the Gospel. Mom spent many lonely hours and was responsible for many duties and decisions that that she had to make by herself, but she always said, “The God Who calls is the God Who will fulfill our every dream and meet our every need.” Sometimes as we’d sit around the breakfast table, I’d say, “I wish Dad was here.” She would tell me, “Son, look to God. The God Who called him is the God Who will ease the pain in your heart.”
Mom taught me to minister to the needs of others. Even when we didn’t have enough, she still gave to others who were more needy than we were. Mom welcomed everyone to our house. If parents were looking for their kids, the first place they called was the Hagin house! The kids in the neighborhood liked to hang out at our home, but Mom didn’t mind; she was so kind and generous to everyone.
Mom taught me the difference between right and wrong and taught me to make proper decisions. She also taught me about the God-kind of love — a love that has influenced my life immeasurably.
Many people know and talk about my dad’s faith. But I am here today as a result of my mother’s faith. She believed that by teaching me all that she taught, she would never have to shed tears over a wayward son. No, I haven’t done everything right. Yes, I’ve messed up at times, and I’ve done some things in the past that I shouldn’t have done. But God is forgiving, and the words of my mom always came to me in my time of need. God has been faithful to answer the prayers she prayed over the years.
These are just a few of the things I have learned from my mom. I pray that these are truths you can use to teach your own children and others as well. And I believe that if you will teach your children these same godly principles, you will see good results in the end.