by Mark Bachman
Mark & Cassie Bachman are Missionaries to Turkey

One would think that a mother would love her children more than she loves anyone else in the whole world. Not my mom! Vicky, Jack and I collectively came in third place. How difficult this was to understand as youngsters. Nobody wants the third place ribbons. Everyone strives for supremacy; yet, as hard as we might struggle, we would never achieve it. You see, God took first place in my mom’s life. Other moms did not seem to care what God thought. They loved their kids first. They were going to give their kids anything they wanted. There were no strict rules in their homes, and, of course, no spankings.

It wouldn’t be so bad to take a second seat to God, but even this could not be our lot. There was someone else in my mother’s life who held this position: Dad. Dad was always right and what he had to say was law. However difficult this may be to believe, we didn’t even get an equal say! It surely seemed rough on us then. Now that I have left home, however, my perspective has changed. I see other kids who were given the love that should have been for God. Now they want to be their own gods, even if it causes them to hurt their mothers who loved  them  first. After  all, it was she

who put them in this exalted place. I meet others who were reared in homes where they were more important to mom than her relationship with their dad. Many of these are from broken homes and love neither mom nor dad.      I guess my mother knew that if she would love God first, He would multiply her potential for loving me, and if she loved Dad second, she could double the love we could receive. We would never have to choose between the love of one parent from the other. I realize now that I received many times greater love in third place than any child ever received who came in first. To be sure, third place love may be the best love of all!

Is it any wonder that when I examine the love in my heart, I find that I love God more than I love any human. Is it any wonder that no one can compete with my dad for that second place spot. Is it any wonder that no one in the whole world has taken third place from my mom. Maybe third place love is the sweetest to my heart — for it was this love in my mom that taught me to love the God that I love and the dad that I love. Is it any wonder that I married a girl, just like the girl that married dear old Dad!