A Study in Contrasting Modes of Motherhood

"Here my son, take this musket and never disgrace it; for remember, that I had rather all my sons should fill one honorable grave than that one of them should turn his back to save his life. The door of my cottage is ever open to brave men, but always shut against cowards."
--Sam Houston's mother when he left home to join the army

"He's never hurt anyone; he's a really good kid. Please don't punish him... He's non violent; he's never done anything wrong."
--the mother of the Louisville bank shooter to the 911 dispatcher when she realized what he was about to do

The devouring mother consumes her sons through coddling and over-protection. She doesn't want anything bad ever to happen to her babies, especially their feelings. She calls it love, but it is self-love because she needs them for herself. In her attempt to keep them, she destroys them. She raises sons who take the lives of the innocent rather than dying to protect the innocent.

The virtuous mother cultivates an ethic of self-sacrificial service in her sons by the way she selflessly urges them to own their God-given masculinity. She gives her sons all the freedom and responsibility they can handle, and she refuses to make excuses for them or to let them make excuses for themselves. In doing so, she ensures that her sons will honor her and, if needed, lay down their lives to protect her. 

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