Strange title, I know. Let me explain...
It was inspired by Matthew 7:6 and some memories of my mom - "Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces."
For a little background info on this verse or the next few paragraphs, check out The Expository Files. In a nutshell, "...Of course, these words of Jesus are allegorical. I doubt that any were literally casting pearls before swine. The meaning is pretty simple to figure out; "Do not persist in offering what is sacred or of value to those who have no appreciation for it, because your gift will not only become contaminated and be despised, your generous efforts could also be rebuffed and perhaps even openly attacked."
The "dogs" and "swine" here stand for the unappreciative and worldly; unappreciative and uncaring men and women who belittle the value of what is offered to them. "That which is holy" would be the meat offered in sacrifice to God. A dog could care less whether it came from the altar or the garbage. The swine have no appreciation for either the beauty nor the value of the pearls under their feet..."
Now that we have the Bible part of it down, let me get on to my mom.
My mom was not really raised in a Christian home and certainly did not have a Christian upbringing or positive experiences from early childhood on into her young adult years. Let me just tell you...it. was. bad. She gave her life to Christ after I was born as did my father. I guess I was somewhere between the ages of 3 and 5. Even then, change came slowly as their walk with the Lord and their convictions grew.
Believe it or not, my mom had more patience with the "bad kids" and the people no one else really wanted to be around rather than the good ol' "churchy" folks. You see, she could relate to those bad kids... those rejects. She was not afraid to go where most would not or mingle with the outcasts. She knew all too well how her lack of Christian influence and lack of God played a role in her life and what a struggle it was for these people to break free from the bondage of sin.
My mom just could not understand how kids (and adults), raised in church and christian homes could squander what they had been given and could care less about God...hence the saying, casting pearls before pigs. And yes, sometimes, she was perhaps a little too blunt about it (to their faces). Yep, my mom was a "what you see is what you get kind of a person". Love her or hate her, but she was, for the most part, always real.
Now, don't go all politically correct on me. I am not calling "church folk" pigs or dogs or anything like that. I am one of those church folks. But I do have to be honest...churches are full of "pretend" people...saints on Sunday and sinners the other 6 days of the week. I should know, sadly, I have been there many times myself. I see people who have been given many opportunities to follow Christ and hear about His saving grace, yet turn their backs on Him... and I can see where my mom was coming from and why she just didn't have much patience for the act of being all churchy-fied and pretend. I thank God for giving me a mother who bluntly pointed out (time and time again) the sad truth of this precious gift that I was squandering.
How she wished she could have had a life and opportunities like mine.
I think about these "pretenders" and I have a deep sadness for them and the gifts they are missing out on or squandering. Like my mom, I have an even deeper sadness for those people who have never heard or have not had the many opportunities to hear about Christ as others have.
With all that being said, I also have a deep, overwhelming sense of thankfulness and appreciation to God for my life, my parents, and my upbringing. I have been up close and personal with the other side through my mom and much of her side of the family. Thinking about how different life could have been for some of my family members just breaks my heart. God....God made all the difference in my parents' lives and ultimately in my own life.
I don't even know why I started writing this...perhaps it started with some memories of my mom and perhaps a little out of my own fear.... fear or worry that my kids or my grandchildren or my great-grandchildren will take being raised in a Christian home for granted and squander their blessings. I read about the Isrealites and the miracles God performed time and time again and yet somehow generation after generation pushed God further and further out of their hearts and minds until they forgot Him completely.
I pray God helps me and my husband to train up our kids in Him. I pray for their spouses and that they will continue to train up their kids and so on from generation to generation. I pray I/we never lose our sight of God and our appreciation and thankfulness for the gifts and family that God has blessed us with. I pray we never become like pigs...not knowing or appreciating what is being offered to us.
Thank you, God! And thank you mom and dad for being that pivotal turning point in our families...thank you for answering God's call...