Be Encouraged, Mom!

I’ve seen a lot of change in my years. Among the biggest changes is how roles in the family are perceived. What doesn’t seem to change, however, is how we manage to universally love and appreciate our mothers no matter how the years may change us or them. Somehow a unique place of honor for our mothers tends to survive no matter what. From the biblical story to our collective experience and personal journey, there are reasons for you to be encouraged, Mom. As we celebrate Mother’s Day and reflect on our own moms, I’d like to affirm the mysteriously permanent value of mothers in our hearts and lives.

Mothers Play A Significant Role In The Biblical Story

Much has been said about the male-dominated culture of biblical times. Given the reality within which the Bible was written and the biblical characters lived, it is striking that mothers are given such a significant role in the Bible’s story of redemption and restoration. This is true from the very beginning. When God pronounced judgment on the serpent following Adam and Eve’s tragic sin, it was the woman’s “seed” (assuming motherhood) that would carry the promise of hope (Gen. 3:14-15). This theme is repeated at numerous points in the story with mothers like Sarah, Hannah, Bathsheba, Mary, and others. In a patriarchal world, it would have been easy for the biblical writers to perceive these women simply as necessary “cogs” in the redemptive “machinery.” They didn’t. Mom, you stand on the shoulders of many maternal heroes in the Bible. That alone should affirm your enormous value.

Mothers Play A Significant Role In Our Collective Experience

We have words to describe what happens between a parent and a child in its early life. Words like “thrive,” “bond,” and “nurse” describe the power of this relationship. We understand rather naturally and sociologically that children need parents and few would argue with the unique and powerful role that moms especially fill in most families. However the traditional roles may be changing in our culture, it’s not likely that this mother/child mystery will ever change. In the midst of the discouragement, frustration, loneliness, and loss that often comes with motherhood, Mom, you are still the one that our collective experience would affirm as the most powerful and significant person in a child’s life. Wow! You really are important!

Mothers Play A Significant Role In Our Personal Journey

As I age I become increasingly aware of the shortcomings and quirkiness of my own family. I also become increasingly grateful for the many good things I “inherited” from my own unique, albeit somewhat dysfunctional, family. There is no perfect family and there is no perfect mother. And yet, somehow we never stop idealizing our mothers and placing them on an emotional pedestal. When the writer of Proverbs 3:15-18 described wisdom as a woman, I have to wonder if he were, to some degree, thinking of his own mother. I suspect many of us would affirm that these words can describe the mother we have known in our own personal journey…

She is more precious than jewels;
nothing you desire compares with her.

Long life is in her right hand;
in her left, riches and honor.

Her ways are pleasant,
and all her path, peaceful.

She is a tree of life to those who embrace her,
and those who hold on to her are happy.

I love the picture to the right because this precious woman could be almost anyone’s mother or grandmother. We see our own mother in this wrinkled, worn and weathered face and she is truly beautiful. Imperfect? Yes. But beautiful nonetheless simply because she is our mother. Somehow, “her ways are pleasant… she is a tree of life to those who embrace her, and those who hold on to her are happy.”

So, be encouraged, Mom! Somehow God has given us the capacity to remember you and the value of mothers in gracious ways. You hold a place of great honor, real value, and genuine beauty for us!

Rick Edwards
Author, Speaker, Bible Teacher

See a list of other articles by Rick Edwards.

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