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Thou Shalt Not Pout

by Joyce Broyles

Broken rules are never more important than broken lives or broken hearts! Good people are soft-hearted, not hardhearted. Dorm mothers at Christian colleges have to remember those two principles to be of serv­ice. Mrs. Ophelia Mullins was just such a lady.

As a new kid on the Kentucky Bible College campus, I did not know all of the unwritten rules, nor did I remember all of those written! I did not have a watch, so once I came in late. Another time I went to a place where I was not supposed to go. And on and on.

After the third broken rule, Mrs. Mullins had me come to visit her at 3 o'clock each afternoon for two weeks for counseling and prayer. Imagine anyone doing that today! This was 1959 and Mrs. Mullins knew my family well. She told me, "We don't want you to ruin your family name."

I learned to respect and appreciate the concern Mrs. Mullins had for me. She was gracious. When I failed to obey, she gave me another chance. She did not throw me away.

Sometimes, trouble helps us learn to obey. Mrs. Mullins was eager to forgive and that forgiveness was complete. She had no prejudices, al­though she knew me well.

As my surrogate mother, Mrs. Mullins absorbed the debts incurred by me. That was not natural, but she was a Christian woman, and had divine help. She repeated her favorite verse to me so often that I can re­cite it now myself. Ephesians 3:20 "To Him who is able to do exceed­ingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us . . ." Without a doubt, she had that power!

Mrs. Mullins helped me understand God's mercy by trying to save me from straying too far from right. She did not hate me because I broke a few rules.

What is most important, Mrs. Mullins helped me learn the eleventh commandment! "Thou shalt not pout!" After being scolded, I would kneel with her and listen to her ask God to help me. How could I be an­gry with her after she had showed how much she cared? How could I go to my room and pout after she had hugged me and told me she loved me?

The warm and loving heart of Mrs. Mullins helped heal my broken heart many times. She made me know I was important and valuable. In return, I knew she was, also. Today (at the time of this writing in 1996), Mrs. Mullins is over ninety years old and rests in a nursing home in Indiana. I went to see her last year, but she did not remember me. Even so, in my heart I know that she helped remove my pouts and gave me a happy heart. Her example played significantly in my present personal expressions.


[For many years Sister Mullins ministered as dorm mother at Southeastern Christian College in Winchester, Ky. Her husband, Frank Mullins Sr., headed the Bible department there, and also preached the gospel far and wide.]


(SKN Note: Sister Mullins lived to be in her mid 90s and went home to be with her Lord while residing at Maple Manor Christian Home in Sellersburg, Indiana).


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Philippians 4:13