My mother's teachings came in the form of advices mainly from the word of God. But the most powerful teaching and advice came from her example. Of all her teachings that she taught me, from example is the most important and most powerful teaching.
The Power Of Example
During the summer of 1974, one missionary came to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. This missionary knocked on doors and tried to set up home Bible studies. One of those Bible studies was held at my parents' home. As a result of those Bible studies two families were baptized. My mother and my father and another couple were baptized. They started meeting in my home and a few weeks later the missionary who baptized my mother and my father had to go back to the United States.
The Power of Family in Mexico
One of the things in Mexico and in all Latin America is the power that the family has over one. Usually if one wants to start something new, the family has to approve. In the same way, when one starts reading the Bible and visits a church, the family will question you. They will ask you if you are thinking on changing the religion that you learned from your parents. They will remind you that if you change your religion you will be breaking the family tradition, etc.
My Mother's Family Tradition
My mother received plenty of warnings before she was baptized. My grandparents told her not to do it. They told her if you do it you will suffer the consequences. If you do it, your children will suffer the consequences, too. My aunts and uncles also had plenty to say, but my mother was determined to do what she had read in the Bible. My mother was baptized when I was three years old. My mother did not listen to her relatives and only had ears for the word of God.
The Powerful Example that Stuck With Me
After my mother was baptized my family experienced something very difficult called rejection. We lived on a dead-end street and my grandparents lived about five houses away from us. It was by force that we had to walk by their house. When my mother would greet her parents, they would not say a word. They did not acknowledge that she existed. When I would say “good morning grandpa”, they would say nothing and went about their business. It was like if we were dead, like if we did not exist. My mother urged us to continue greeting them even if they did not answer to our greeting.
My mother was the one who suffered the most because my grandparents did not speak to her, but also because she had to see her children being ignored. During all this time of rejection, I never saw or heard my mother say that she would quit being a Christian because of the rejection. On the contrary, my mother was eager to teach us new stories about the Bible. She was eager to get ready (her six children then) to go to church on Sunday. She was very happy to be in the family of Christ, even if she had lost her earthy family.
Every time I think of my mother, one thing comes to my mind “endurance” to the end. She did not give up. She did not let anything move her from her new found faith. By her example, we lived and we saw what being a Christian is all about. She could have told us a lot of things, but the power of example is what remains with me and my brothers and sisters. We need to be ready to teach by our example, Paul urged us: “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” (Ephesians 4:1). The teaching you will leave for your children is the teaching of example.