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Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Meaning of Mother's Day


I like Mother’s Day.  Sometimes my birthday is on Mother’s Day, though I wasn’t born on Mother’s Day, nor did it fall on Mother’s Day this year.  (Thanks to those of you who wished me a Happy Birthday, by the way.)  If you have a great mother, or are the husband or parent of a woman who is a great mother, I hope you realize how precious the gift you have is.  I hope that mother knows that you realize how precious she is.  If you aren’t sure, turn off your computer and go call her right now!

For some of us, Mother’s Day is about memories of mom stored in our hearts from days gone by.  I have come to appreciate the fact that nobody is perfect, and many mothers struggle over whether they have been a good mother or not.  But the important thing to me is not whether a woman serves the role perfectly; it is about whether she has tried her best, mistakes and all.  Expecting perfection of any human being is foolish.  Choosing to cherish the good is wisdom.

Over the years, my perspectives on Mother’s Day has changed.  I think motherhood is a great thing, and should be celebrated.  

However, I am also aware that not all women are mothers, and for them the day can be very difficult, especially if they have wanted to be, or if they never were married and felt like they never had the chance.  The day can also be hard for mothers who have lost their spouses in recent years, or children who face the day for the first time without mom.  For those individuals, your gift of a smile or a simple phone call can mean a lot.

Divorce impacts Mother’s Day as well.  Sometimes children are turned against a parent, and when that happens to be the mother, then today is a day of heartache instead of a day of celebration. 

Mothers of the divorced grieve as they watch grandchildren torn between two homes, and perhaps question the values being taught in one home or the other.  For the divorced dad of small children, spending the day surrounded by smiling families when his children are at their moms, becomes a very lonely day.  

Yet, I would suggest that there is something very special and very intentional in the design of family God has built into nature.  As I occasionally like to say, God could have chosen to make us like amoebas, who make new amoebas simply by dividing in half.

Instead, God chose to place us in families, which Paul says in Ephesians 3:14-15 is designed after the fatherhood of God.  Imperfect though many families are and the difficulties involved in being a truly great parent, the design is a marvelous thing in which we have the privilege of participating.  

Someday, when we see God face to face, we will understand fully what family was really intended to be like.  

Until that day, tell your mom you love her…or celebrate by reflecting on a few special memories or photos if she is no longer here.  Happy Mother’s Day 

At the same time, a single friend of mine decided she wanted to be a mother, and adopted two children who needed a mother…and that has been, as far as I can tell, a great combination.

to all of you…even if it is a hard day to celebrate this year.

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