Happy Mother’s Day Weekend! On Mother’s Day our Mothers need more than a day off from the norm. They need an encouraging word not often received. ♦
Been thinking about mothers. I had a mother for 6 decades and have been married to the mother of our 3 children for over 4 decades. I’ve now watched my daughter and 2 daughters-in-law as mothers of 10 of our grandchildren for just over 1 decade.
It is from these various vantage points that I now consciously note and comment on the specialness of Mothers.
Mothers/Women are amazing. Beautiful and delicate like flowers; loving and nurturing like…Mothers, actually. An extension of Man since creation, intended for good and blessing, women are helpers to men, as lovers and wise, nurturing counsel. And they are wonderful as mothers to their children.
But there is something more about Mothers.
Mothers are Love
Why do children cry out for their Mommy when they get hurt? Why do soldiers cry out for their Mother when they lay dying on the battlefield? Mothers are life-giving, care-giving, love-giving, and hope-giving. They are the most tangible physical example of God’s love that we might experience on this earth.
In many ways, Mothers are Love demonstrated in human form.
Not God in the flesh, but in many circumstances, simply Love personified. Like the classic 1 Corinthians 13 passage in the New Testament defining agape love or love in its highest form, one might consider substituting Love with Moms:
[Moms] are patient, kind, not envious, boastful, not dishonoring or self-seeking, not easily angered, keep no record of wrongs, do not delight in evil but rejoice with the truth. [Moms] protect, trust, hope and persevere.
Of course, this aspiring Love is perfect love, as God is perfect Love. And while none of us are perfect, there’s something about a Mother that surely gives perfect love a run for the money.
Other Key Attributes of Mothers
The Bible further highlights some other key attributes of Mothers:
- Mothers provide life-giving teaching – “My child, obey your father’s command and follow your mother’s teaching…Bind them always on your heart; fasten them around your neck. When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you. For this command is a lamp, this teaching is a light, and correction and instruction are the way to life…” (Proverbs 6:20-23)
- Mothers have amazing compassion – “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne?” (Isaiah 49:15)
- Mothers of children are happy – “He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children.” (Psalm 113:9)
- Mothers of children have been given a gift from God– “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him” (Psalm 127:3)
- Mothers are to be respected and honored – “Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.” (1 Timothy 5:2)
- Mothers are instruments of God – “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” (Psalm 139:13)
- Mothers are actually to be revered – “Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and you shall keep my Sabbaths: I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 19:3)
Now if you’re like many Mothers I know, you may be feeling sometimes that perhaps you’re not teaching very well, or are not always very compassionate, or sometimes you’re just tired, or angry, or sad, and not feeling very worthy, or respected, let alone revered.
I’d encourage you to go easy on yourself and accept being the gift that you are to your children and family. You’re still “Mom” and, in our minds, you are the closest thing to a living saint that we know.
Mother-Haunted / God-Haunted
Let’s take it a step further. Oswald Chambers makes an interesting linkage between mothers and spiritual peace. He uses a peculiar mother image in describing how we should be responding to God. In his devotional My Utmost for His Highest 1 (June 2), he suggests that we should be haunted by God just as we are mother-haunted.
He cites the Psalmist (25:12) ‘What man is he that fears the Lord?’ stating that the “abiding consciousness of life is to be God, not thinking about Him.” That is, the “whole of our life inside and out is to be absolutely haunted by the presence of God.” He then adds that “A child’s consciousness is so mother-haunted that although the child is not consciously thinking of its mother, yet when calamity arises, the relationship that abides is that of the mother.”
Yes, a heavy but profound thought.
Chambers points out that we are therefore “to live and move and have our being in God, to look at everything in relation to God, because the abiding consciousness of God pushes itself to the front all the time.”
And you just thought you loved your Mommy.
Our Mother, God’s Gift
Chambers presses further:
If we are haunted by God, nothing else can get in, no cares, no tribulation, no anxieties…. How can we dare be so utterly unbelieving when God is round about us? To be haunted by God is to have an effective barricade against all the onslaughts of the enemy.
“His soul shall dwell at ease.” (Psalm 25:13). In tribulation, misunderstanding, slander, in the midst of all these things, if our life is hid with Christ in God, He will keep us at ease.
And I will press the point that as we are naturally Mother-haunted (or Mother-conscious if that’s easier to grasp), our Mother, as human saint, living or passed, loving while even broken and flawed, is a gift and blessed pointer to our Heavenly God who loves us even more with life-giving care and hope and peace for all of our days.
So Happy Mother’s Day. May your Mother get the day off but so much more. May you express your love to your Mother in heartfelt ways so that she will cherish and sense all that you cherish in her.
Are you loving God like you love your Mother?
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
1 My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers, Dodd, Mead & Company, New York, 1935, June 2nd, p. 154.