Happy Mother’s Day!!!
This morning, we’re finishing up our message series, “Bless This Home.” After all, one of the greatest blessings to any home is, of course, mothers.
Think about it, in the beginning, the only need that God withheld was a woman. He initially withheld her to reinforce her value and to allow man, on his own, to realize his need for her. In the beginning, God saved the best for last and created a woman whom Adam named Eve. Eve means “mother of all the living” (Gen. 3:20).
I find it interesting that there isn’t a whole lot in God’s word in terms of direct counsel of how to be a mother. There is advice for fathers not to embitter or discourage their children. Paul was concerned because there weren’t many father-figures in the church. There is a little wisdom that Titus gives to older and younger women, but very little about how to mother specifically.
I think the reason for this is because mothering is just an innate response that women were created with. It’s similar to how God never recorded in His word how to breathe or that we need to eat or drink – it’s just what we do by His design and not by His command.
Women were designed by God with mothering instincts.
Of course, new mothers usually don’t feel that way. Everything is new and uncertain. The baby is crying again and they aren’t hungry or needing changed or wanting held or laid down, but they just won’t stop crying! They have a rash, is it something serious? They’re 10 months old and not walking, is something wrong with them?
Fast forward a few years or to the next child and she’s a pro. She forever has a heart of compassion toward her kids and a fierceness toward any who threaten to harm them. She’s patient, caring, and forever thinking about what is best for her family.
Mothers just can’t help but mother. Not only does she mother her own children, but also their friends, class mates, and pretty much anyone else. Mothering doesn’t stop at age 18, either. In fact, Paul wrote about a man named Rufus and how his mother had become a mother to himself (Romans 16:13). Mothers just can’t help but mother.
The Bible does give us incredible examples of Godly mothers and the tremendous impact that they made on the world. It records their successes as well as their failures. Women like Timothy’s mother and grandmother whom imparted their faith to Timothy, Naomi with Ruth, Hannah who literally dedicated her first child to the Lord, Jochebed hiding baby Moses and then finding a way to save his life, Rebekah mothering two very unique twin boys always in competition with one another, and so many more.
This morning, we look to the example of an unexpected mother chosen for an incredible task. Mary, a teenager chosen to carry, give birth to, and to raise God’s only son.
She was given the opportunity to know Jesus in a way that no one else ever will. From her experiences as Jesus’ mom, we gain insight into God’s design for motherhood and why she was chosen for this task.
The circumstances of Mary’s becoming a mother were far from what she had planned and not how we would even expect God to work (Luke 2). She was engaged, but not yet married. She likely had hopes and dreams and a whole picture of what her family was going to look like with Joseph. God, however, had different plans.
Mary, in her humility and eagerness to serve God, lay down her own plans to take on God’s.
Being a great mother starts with this realization. Ultimately your kiddos are God’s and not yours. He has entrusted them in your care, but they are their own people with their own callings and their own choices to make.
All that you can do is raise them up in the way they should go and be there to encourage them along in their journey.
Becoming a mother may have been picture perfect and well timed for you or it may have been far from how you thought it would happen. No matter how you became a mother or what those circumstances looked like, your child was God’s idea and you are exactly the mom that this child needed.
You may feel like a failure from time to time. You may wonder what God was thinking. You may even have a few regrets.
No matter how you may feel or what you may think, you are exactly the mom that your child needs. You can handle this, you will get through this, you will be an even better mom on the other side of it.
God chose Mary, as unlikely of a mom as she may have been. God knew what He was doing then and He knew what He was doing when He entrusted you with your child as well.
Although Jesus may have been sinless, Mary made her share of motherly mistakes. Can you imagine being entrusted with the savior of the world, God’s only Son, and then literally losing Him?
When Jesus was twelve, Mary went a whole day travelling before realizing that He wasn’t with them. Then, it took three more days for her to finally find Him. (Luke 2)
She had to be scared to death, but after finding Him and disciplining Him, she treasured that moment in her heart seeing Him interact with the teachers of the law.
Even when you screw up and feel like a total failure, God is able to redeem those failures and work them into something good. Perhaps even as quickly as your child is learning and growing, you are also learning how to mother them and growing right along with them.
This is true whether your child is 3, 13, 33, or 63. You are still growing and learning together.
All mothers have had those moments when your child does something so bad, but so cute, that you have to hide your laugh as you discipline them. Like Mary, treasure those moments for a lifetime.
Mary also spurred Jesus on to perform His first public miracle, turning water into wine at a wedding celebration (John 2). Mothers have a way of seeing things in others that they don’t see in themselves. They also have an incredible way of drawing those things out and spurring others on to reach their full potential.
Jesus told Mary that His time had not yet come, but Mary just ignored Him and told the servants to do whatever Jesus asked them to do. Moms have a way of making things happen. What Mom says goes. After all, when Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!
Moms have a way of applying positive pressure to bring out the best in us. They are able to believe in us even when no one else does and even when we don’t believe in ourselves. Don’t be afraid to put that mom-power to use!
There came another time when Jesus offended the Pharisees by healing someone on the Sabbath and they began to plot together to kill Him. Mary, being concerned, figured that it was time to take charge of Jesus and to reign Him back in to safety (Mark 3).
Jesus, in His thirties, rejected her helicopter form of mothering knowing that she was doing it with good intentions, but also knowing that this was His purpose in life.
One of the hardest things for a mother to do is to step back and let their child begin to make their own decisions. This is especially true when you know that their decision is going to cause them pain and hurt. However, part of a mother’s journey with her children is knowing when to let go.
Of course, like any good mother, Mary was also right there for Jesus when He was hurting the most. She was literally there at the foot of the cross when most of His other followers had left Him (John 19).
Whether by their own bad choices or at the hand of others, mothers are always there for their children to comfort them.
Wherever we may find ourselves and no matter what goes on, there is safety and comfort even in just the voice of our mothers. Where mom is, there we are home no matter how much distance may separate us.
Even from the cross, Jesus’ concern was for His mother. She followed Him throughout His ministry. She believed in Him and He knew that she didn’t fully understand what was happening. His response was interesting.
25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
We don’t know for sure, but there is evidence that Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father didn’t believe in Him. We know for sure that His brothers did not initially (John 7:5), but came around at some point.
After the death of Jesus, Mary went on to live with John and to be a mother to him. After all once you are a mother, you are forever a mother. Jesus knew that this was a need in her life and even hanging from the cross, He arranged for that need to be met.
Another thing that moms are great at is persevering. Following the death of Jesus, Mary was right there, now with His brothers as well, and about 120 other believers praying in the upper room. They were there waiting on the gift of the baptism of the Holy Spirit that Jesus had promised.
Even when everyone else has given up on us, moms have a way of enduring impossibilities and believing in fullness of hope for their children.
Mary believed what Jesus had said and clung to that promise. She personally sacrificed so much for Him, but we never once see any sign of remorse for any of it.
God could have brought His salvation in any one of countless ways. However, He chose a mother to be an integral part of that plan. He chose Mary for His Son and He has also chosen you for your child.
Mothers, we love you, we’re grateful for you, and this morning, we honor you as you bless our homes.