As I write my posts a couple weeks in advance, I try to look ahead to special events and annual holiday observances. However, this year’s Mother’s Day has already come and gone – I failed to address it in advance. Not by intention. Truth be told, I think every day should be Mother’s Day.
In our extended family we now have 10 women who are mothers: My wife, four daughters, one daughter-in-law, three granddaughters and a granddaughter-in-law. As I observe each of these ladies in action, I can’t help but marvel in admiration, how devoted they are to those God has entrusted to their care.
A mom’s mission begins about nine months before baby is ready to make its initial public appearance. Being a male, there’s no way I can understand or relate to the childbearing process. The excitement and anticipation are great, I know, but so are the discomfort and pain. What makes it all worthwhile is the magical moment when the doctor or nurse declares, “It’s a boy!” or “It’s a girl!” and the contractions come to an end. But then the real work begins.
The roles of mother and father are equally important, but they’re not the same. Moms have unique relationships with their children, as they should. After all, they did get that nine-month head start on dad. When a child falls and suffers a scratch, they typically cry, “I want my mommy!” When cameras pan the sidelines of college football games, players often turn and shout, “Hi, Mom!” Some dads might wonder, “What am I, chopped liver?”
In today’s society, the responsibilities of motherhood in many cases are greater than ever. In the vast majority of single-parent homes, it’s the mother who carries the load, serving as housekeeper, chef, breadwinner, money manager, chauffeur, nurse and many other duties. I frankly don’t know how single moms do it.
We could talk about the tragedy of broken homes and why an intact family with both mother and father present is preferable. As Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 tells us, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up….” This is true for practically any pursuit, whether starting a business, undertaking a project – or raising a family. But that doesn’t diminish in the slightest the invaluable role of being a mother.
We see many positive references to motherhood in the Bible. Eve was the first mother and experienced great sorrow with her first two sons, Cain and Abel, the former becoming a murderer and the latter his victim. But she had a third son, Seth, who apparently lived a good, long life and established a long line of descendants.
The Old Testament book of Genesis also gives us the stories of women like Sarah, Rachel, Rebecca and Hannah, who prayed many years for children before God fulfilled their desires. The first chapter in the New Testament tells us about Mary, the first person to receive the announcement that she would become the earthly mother of the promised Messiah. Her cousin Elizabeth, another woman who was barren until her later years, became the mother of the child who became John the Baptist, the herald of Jesus Christ.
In the Scriptures we see the mission of motherhood as being much more than managing the household and nurturing their offspring. Mothers also help to lay the spiritual foundation for their children. As the apostle Paul acknowledged to his protégé, Timothy, “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also” (2 Timothy 1:5).
The apostle also referred to the role of mothers as he described the process of teaching and discipling young believers: “…we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us” (1 Thessalonians 2:7-8).
I hope every mother reading this enjoyed celebrating Mother’s Day and that fathers honored their wives appropriately. But the moms in our lives deserve such recognition every day of the year, not just a single appointed holiday. We couldn’t do without them!
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Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly published, ”Marketplace Ambassadors”; “Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace”; “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” A weekly business meditation he edits, “Monday Manna,” is translated into more than 20 languages and sent via email around the world by CBMC International. The address for his blog is www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.