Mother’s Day—a day celebrated annually in the United States on the second Sunday of May. Starting after the death of her beloved mother in 1905, Anna Jarvis conceived of Mother’s Day as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers made for their children. After many years of dedication and a massive letter-writing campaign to newspapers and prominent politicians by Jarvis, President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially establishing the day on the national calendar.
For Christians, motherhood is a divine calling requiring divine mercy and grace. The natural tendency for mothers to protect their children from harm is met with the tension of knowing that their “littles” must eventually be equipped for adult life. Protecting while equipping—a formidable mandate that can only be fulfilled through the power of the Holy Spirit.
So many days, my measure of success was simply keeping my four children alive. Preparing nutritious meals that they would actually eat, diffusing sibling rivalry and outright altercations, helping them navigate their academics while providing social engagement, and seeking opportunities to celebrate their childhood while creating a bank of memories to last a lifetime seemed like an unfeasible task for this mother. Adding the call to “raise them up in the way they should go” was more like a pipedream at the end of the day.
So, what’s a mother to do? A Christian mother should start her day with the right posture: one of prayer and humility. A posture knowing that without God’s help, mothering is in vain. Sure, you might be able to keep your kids alive from one day to the next, but adding the secret sauce of “raising them up in the way they should go” will surely prove to defeat a non-tethered mother. Prayer provides wisdom and wisdom provides discernment. Discernment allows for a framework for children to make wise adult decisions.
As mothers across the nation are honored and celebrated this Mother’s Day, let us not forget the important role and influence mothers have in writing the scrolls of history. Through kindness and discipline, a Christian mother brings the truth of God to her children. She raises her children to not only live through the day, but to live for eternity. She models wisdom and humility through her posture of prayer and forbearance. She often sacrifices her own desires for the good of her family. She shares her faith in God beyond her circumstances. And her children and her children’s children will live in testimony of her dedication and love.
Happy Mother’s Day.