Written by Carol Beaver, Church Advocate, Legacy Coalition
Now that Easter is behind us, the stores are ramping up to take advantage of the following commercial holiday. Sunday, May 8th, is officially Mother’s Day here in the US.
Hallmark and Day Spring have cards for every kind of mother, grandmother, aunt, or good friend to celebrate the day. The florists and the grocery stores display fresh flowers and plants to give to Mom on this special day. Restaurants are booked weeks ahead for Mother’s Day dining.
But why do we celebrate mothers?
On the surface, the answer is simple: we wouldn’t be here without the mom who birthed us.
We also celebrate Motherhood as one of the roles the Lord assigned to women. Children are a heritage from the Lord. The fruit of the womb is a reward.
In Titus, Paul says women are expected to love their husbands and children. They are to be pure-minded and self-controlled; they should care for their home, and they are kind and dutiful toward their husbands.
I grew up innocent, even perhaps naïve, assuming everyone’s family was a version of mine. Over my lifetime, the changes in roles and responsibilities in the family have been overwhelming at times. Those changes are having a significant impact on our culture and our families.
When I was a child, the ladies whispered about pregnancies like it was a dark secret, especially if it wasn’t “timely.” However, they were excited when the baby came and focused on the new mom. They made sure the new mother had everything she needed.
Numerous adjectives describe moms today. Some of them trouble us. However, as I reflect on this topic, my thoughts go to the different kinds of moms in our world. Stepmoms become more than caretakers; they become another loving presence in a child’s life. Grandmas (and Grandpas) begin again when they take on the responsibility for raising their grandchildren when something falls apart.
I don’t particularly like the appellation “Single Mom,” but I became one. However, I eventually became a bonus grandmother, and I love being Mimi to my daughter’s two girls and her second husband’s two sons. I am blessed.
We live in a world complicated by sin, as it has been since Adam and Eve chose the forbidden fruit. My heart hurts as I look around our world today. Then I am reminded that the wise man Solomon said, “There is nothing new under the sun.”
Our world has not lived up to its potential. God knew we wouldn’t, and so He made a plan. We anticipate the fruition of His plan, even as we struggle through difficult times in our families and our world.
What are some of the defining characteristics of a “mother?”
Every mom is a unique creation with the daunting task of raising a child in a way that pleases God.
Ideally, the mom is part of a family that joins her in performing the many roles of being a mother. These include being a protector, disciplinarian, unconditional love giver, teacher, mentor, role model, demonstrator of God’s love… This list goes on and on and differs with each family.
“Mom” is a person of power and humility, joy and sorrow, comfort and fear, a full heart and a broken heart, responsibility and lack of control, and profound love and frequent frustration.
Mom is a role model for her daughters and then for her grandchildren. She honors her own mother. She teaches what she learned from her own mother passing on her faith stories, recipes, household hints, as well as a wealth of family stories. The stories are the best part. Stories can be handed down through the generations to instruct and build a sense of family.
We have a God-given and challenging task to participate in honoring our mothers and/or those who were “like a mother” to us, even as we humbly hope to celebrate with our families.
We are now the reservoir of family history. Let’s use this Mother’s Day to celebrate our heritage and share some stories from our lives and the lives of our parents and grandparents.
I just love it when one of my adult grandchildren says, “Tell me about the story when you didn’t know how to ride a bike.” “Do you remember when I was curious about the pretty ornament on your tree, and I dropped it to see if it was plastic, and it wasn’t?”
Many who are part of our Legacy Coalition group no longer have our mothers here on earth. Others live far away as life has moved us apart. Many of us are the mother of the mother of our grandchildren. (That’s a bit scary, isn’t it.)
So, this Mother’s Day, celebrate all the moms that are in your lineage and share their stories and your stories.
Celebrate how God has worked in your families, even when things weren’t the way you wished they were. Be thankful for all the motherly lights God has put on your path whether you call them Mom or not.
Many of us who were once girls, had a special adult woman who listened to what we didn’t tell our moms. Thank them, too, if they are still around.
Editor’s Note: Also remember those who this day of celebration is instead one of grief, sorrow, or longing. Let’s show the love of Jesus on this day as on all days, celebrating with those who celebrate, helping carry the burdens and sorrows of those who grieve and long.