Happy Mother’s Day to all who have served as a mother in any way. Your role is God-ordained, and it is part of the fabric of the tapestry of life being woven around us every day. No less so with the role of fathers. Together, mothers and fathers give our society stability and structure which ensure the endurance of our nation. When the family falls apart, the nation falls apart — history confirms this fact. The roles of mothers and fathers are equally important. But not all mothers have given birth. There are mothers who have adopted, or who have fostered, or who have attained custody through the sadness of family tragedy. These all deserve the same recognition as birth mothers. Then there are mothers who are serving both roles. Single mothers act as both mother and father (the same being true of single dads). While this is not ideal, ladies who work hard to provide for their children physically and spiritually by themselves are to be commended. We salute all who have provided the role of mother in any way to the precious lives of young people. Thank you.
I want to share with you some of my memories of my mother to help you try to perceive the importance of motherhood. When we contemplate the effect of mothers from the perspectives of sons, daughters, and fathers, then we can begin to understand the significance that God designed into this role which is so central to strong, healthy families. I might be able to help you see what having a Godly mother has done for me as a son, but you might have a different perspective as a daughter or as the husband of a Godly mother. Together all of these perspectives reveal the different ways in which mothers make the world a livable place.
The first influence of my mother that I see in my own life is her gentleness. My mother never had a cross word for anyone. She was a gentle soul who would truly “weep with those that weep” (Rom. 12:15). As a rambunctious little boy who loved to play ball and romp through the woods, it was a common occurrence for me to come home with a skinned knee or elbow. She was always ready to receive me with a gentle hug and kiss, and medicine or band-aid. I truly believe there is as much healing power in a mother’s kisses as there is in antibiotic ointment.
My mother also taught me about submission. She was intelligent and capable and received a scholarship to attend college to study the secretarial sciences. She could have pursued a career and been successful in the business world, I have no doubt. She chose, however, to get married and start a family. She saw in my father a man who would, like Abraham, “command his children and his household after him” (Exo. 18:19), and she determined this was what mattered in life. She used her skills to teach my siblings and me, and she never once voiced disappointment with the way her life turned out. She supported my father through thick and thin, and by this she laid up her treasures in heaven. As a son, I learned how a Godly wife supports her husband’s God-given responsibilities in the home and the church by being in submission to him without being inferior to him.
Another skill that my mother modeled for her children was the ability to balance life’s affairs. A preacher is always “on-call,” and because of this, a preacher’s wife must be flexible. When congregational emergencies happen in the middle of the night, or when a Bible study extends into the wee hours of the morning, the preacher’s wife has to be able to balance the needs of the entire household. Meals have to be adjusted, school still has to be attended, and sleep is still needed, but my mother always handled these things with grace and aplomb. At different times throughout my childhood, my mother worked outside the home as a public school bus driver, an EMT, and a loan officer at a bank. Nothing ever came before of the spiritual needs of her family though, and I never remember a single complaint issuing from her lips.
One of the most important lessons I learned from my mother was the skill of endurance. On top of the struggles and trials of rearing four children within seven years of each other, and having to manage a short-tempered preacher, she was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 35. She fought this battle for nearly ten years before she received the diagnosis that it was in remission. Then it reared its ugly head again in a more aggressive state, which would ultimately take her life at the age of 45. I remember in the last days of her life, the only response she could give you was a smile, but it was always a smile.
These are things that I think of when I think of my own mother. Your memories and perspectives will be different, but what we can know is that God made mothers to be providers. They provide nourishment and love to their children, they provide support and satisfaction to their husbands, and they provide an example to be emulated. Thank you to all the Godly mothers out there. We love you and we wouldn’t be here without you!