Today we are honoring mothers. They should be honored for lots of reasons, most of which are pretty obvious. A mom is someone who puts herself on hold to bring life to someone else. She’s someone who loves unconditionally and forgives repeatedly. She sacrifices more than anyone around her knows. She experienced more pain bringing you into the world than you can ever know. They’re servants and role models at the same time. In short, we celebrate moms because they show us what Jesus is like. Every Mother’s Day card highlights attributes of God’s character. If you think about it, the very beginning of the Bible highlights the need of women and mothers to reflect God’s image completely.
During creation, God called everything He made good. The only thing He noted as “not good” was the fact that man was alone, not complimented by the feminine qualities of the image of God. As we fast forward through the scriptures we see that God commands us to “honor our fathers and mothers” which is accompanied by a promise of long life. It’s good to be nice to your parents, but why did God beat this in “the top 10”? Of note, the first three commandments deal with how we relate to God and the last six deal with how we relate to man. He uses the 4th commandment to illustrate the transition and to help us honor that our fellow man are image bearers of God. What I believe is being illustrated here is that, mother and father are the clearest image of God we are given, and honoring them is the pathway to honoring Him.
God feels so strongly about mothers, that He commands that she be honored as a way to please the Lord.
Let’s revisit those Mother’s Day card tropes.
A mom is someone who puts herself on hold to bring life to her children.
Consider Jesus in the garden, true he was preparing for the crucifixion, but what he was grappling with was birthing a people to be alive spiritually. In agony, he prayed that if possible this cup would be passed from him, but qualified “not my will, but yours be done.” His own comfort set aside, he suffered tremendous agony to birth our salvation.
A mom loves unconditionally.
You probably know some of these stories, or are struggling through it yourself; a child, gone astray and even spiteful, none the less, loved dearly by their mother. Countless lives have been changed and saved by the fervent prayer of faithful mothers. While we were still yet sinners (Romans 5:8-10) he died for us, and while we were his enemies, hating him, he loved us completely anyway.
A mom serves and leads at the same time.
Jesus washes his disciples feet on the night he was betrayed. He didn’t do it to guilt his disciples into doing favors for him, but simply to sacrificially serve and show how the kingdom works. He lovingly washed the filthy feet of his friend that he knew would later that night betray him for money. He didn’t exclude him from being served, he didn’t didn’t expect them to reciprocate immediately. He demonstrated that leadership starts with service to all, regardless of their attitude towards the servant.
Moms are important to God. Jesus stopped and addressed mothers on the road to Golgotha, and administrated the care of his own mother while suffering the cross. He values moms, because he chooses to show himself through moms everyday. A British author in the nineteenth century coined the phrase “be careful how you live, you may be the only bible some people ever read”. A mother is the embodiment of that idea.
If this has pricked your heart, it maybe because you have lost your mother, it maybe that you have a bruised relationships with your mother, or it maybe that you have lost a child (born or unborn). Please know that the pain you feel is real, and is important to God. That pain is a natural one, but connected to a supernatural pain. When we are pained by the loss of the mother child relationship, we are also connecting with the grief of the separation with God. This separation isn’t necessary, thanks to Jesus. If you have felt the pain of that separation, today could be the day of healing. Today you can be one with God who’s image you have been longing for.