Soon, much of the world will be celebrating Mother's Day. I was inspired to write after receiving an e-mail from Nicole Johnson, who wrote about her new book, The Invisible Woman. She has a wonderful perspective on motherhood.
If you're in a Bible study with women and you want to get a good laugh, use this verse. . .
"Her children arise and call her blessed" Proverbs 31:26
Most of us don't experience our children rising up and calling us blessed. We know God has blessed us, but, our kids may not notice these blessings. They miss some things. They probably won't notice the great dinner you put on the table each night, won't think about all the heavy bags of groceries and laundry baskets of dirty clothes you carry or the hours you sat with them at the doctor's office when they were sick.
Let's face it, we moms do 'behind-the-scene' work that doesn't get a lot of applause.
I think one of the hardest duties of a mother is to do what is best and right, rather than what will win your child's approval. We see our children as a reflection of ourselves. We don't want them to make mistakes and suffer, and yet that is often the only way they can become self-sufficient adults. We are often afraid to let our child fail, because then, we feel we have failed.
If you've ever been to Europe and have seen the huge, magnificent cathedrals, you learn that those who have built these structures have spent their entire life working on something they will never see completed. Their names aren't carved on the stones they've laid; we don't even know their names. You might even say they were 'invisible' and yet, they were totally devoted to their task.
We as mothers can feel invisible - the worker, the craftsman behind the scene. But take heart, God sees everything! God knows everything! If you are confident in God's sovereignty, and His willingness to "work all things together for good", Romans 8:28, you have no need to lie awake at night worrying about your children. Instead, understand that you are helping to build something that you may never see completed in your life time, and trust the outcome to the Lord. I like to think of parenting as
...work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ."
I Thessalonians 1:3
When we see raising children as doing Gods' work, our attitude will change.
I've done some research on 'Mother's Day' and have found that honoring motherhood is rooted in antiquity. Ancient societies celebrated goddesses and symbols of motherhood rather than actual people. Then Roman religious and cultural traditions in Europe and England gave way to the spread of Christianity. Early Christians used this day to honor the Virgin Mary and the church in which they were baptized which was called the "Mother Church".
In the 17th century a clerical decree in England broadened the focus to include real mothers and called it "Mothering Day." The first English settlers in America discontinued the tradition, but in time, America would re-invent Mother's Day.
A woman by the name of Anna M. Jarvis fought long and hard to establish a day to celebrate mothers. She started her campaign in West Virginia in 1908, but it was a man, God bless him, President Woodrow Wilson who succeeded in declaring the second Sunday of May as "Mother's Day." Today, over seventy countries in the world celebrate a form of Mother's Day.
I believe that carrying and bearing a child, holding that tiny infant - so totally dependent on you - is one of God's greatest blessings. I'm not sure I have the words to describe the emotion, but, speaking for myself, when I held my newborn babies, I felt a completeness, a euphoric love that nothing else in life will ever provide. Most of you who are mothers, and fathers too, will know what I mean by the "fresh from the womb" odor that permeates a newborn. It's a distinctive odor belonging only to a newborn infant.
Because of this infant time with your baby, you are able to withstand the difficult teen years. By then your love is so cemented, and you just hang in there.
Becoming an adoptive parent has a beauty and thrill of its own. Whether this child is an infant, or much older, God gives us a parent's heart to love, protect and nurture. Two of my five children are adopted and even though I missed the precious time of carrying them and their infancy, I feel they are mine, given to me by God, and that makes them very special.
I know that Mother's Day has become highly commercialized. So what? This puts people to work, companies make money and pay taxes - capitalism at work. If you begrudge Hallmark cards making money or growers having a market for their flowers, make your own card and pick your own flowers.
It has often been said that "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world." That is an amazing statement! We moms may often feel invisible and under-appreciated, but God has given us great power.
Love to my children - Kraig, Steve, Gerry, Jill and Krislyn - all grown now, and still growing, all very special in their own way. I praise the Lord for allowing me to be your mom.
Bobbe Van Hise
- Over the past few years my blog has been visited by people from all over the world. Very few know me, or of me, they simply are looking information concerning the Bible and discover my blog. After many years of intense study and teaching, I've come to believe we are vulnerable to misguided and incorrect teaching if we don't understand for ourselves the teaching of God's Word. My 'hot buttons' are - grace, sovereignty, exhortations and sanctification. If you understand these basic principles of Scripture, and apply them to daily life, you will understand what it means to have peace, joy and absolute security in any circumstance.