Summary: Let’s look at Mary as a model of motherhood, and note some of the difficulties and resources she experienced in trying to be a good mother to her family.
MELVIN NEWLAND, MINISTER
CENTRAL CHRISTIAN, BROWNSVILLE, TX
Take your Bibles, please, & turn with me to Luke 1:26-38. This is a passage of Scripture that is normally read at Christmas time. So I’m not sure if this is a Christmas text that we’re using on Mother’s Day, or a Mother’s Day text that we usually use at Christmas. But it will work either time, so please listen as I read Luke 1:26-38.
”In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man name Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her & said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.’
“Mary was greatly troubled at his words & wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child & give birth to a son, & you are to give Him the name Jesus. He will be great & will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, & He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His kingdom will never end.’
“’How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’ The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, & the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, & she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.’
“’I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May it be to me as you have said.’ Then the angel left her.”
A. I can’t think of a time when it is more difficult to be a Christian mother than today.
It seems that virtually everything is pitted against the family.
You send your kids out into a world of drugs & alcohol & gangs & pornography, & you’re almost afraid for them to get beyond the end of the driveway. You would really like to build a wall around your house & protect them from it all.
But then you realize that even though they are safely inside the walls of your house, all kinds of things are coming in. Turn on the TV & they hear language you would just as soon they not hear. They see lifestyles portrayed that you wish they were not exposed to. The world today is pretty much aligned against the family.
We used to feel that schools would reinforce what we’re teaching at home. But that is not necessarily the case now. There are certainly some good Christian educators who are trying to reinforce family values.
But for the most part, when our children go to school, they are taught that the world just evolved by accident; that the Bible is just a collection of myths; that abortion is an acceptable alternative to an unwanted pregnancy. They learn all kinds of worldly & humanistic things that we would just as soon they not learn.
Then, on top of that, society seems to be tearing down the importance of mother-hood. We’re told that women who choose to stay at home with their children are second-class citizens because they “haven’t reached their full potential in life.”
ILL. Tony Campolo says that his wife is a brilliant woman. She has a PHD & is capable of pursuing a very profitable career. But she elected to stay home with her children when they were young. Her decision didn’t bother her at all except when other women would ask, “What do you do?” She would answer, “I’m a homemaker. I stay home & take care of my children & my husband.” They would usually respond with “Oh” & then ignore her from then on.
So Mrs. Campolo came up with this response when she was asked what she did: “I’m socializing two Homo-sapiens in Judeo-Christian values so they’ll appropriate the eschatological values of utopia. What do you do?” They would often blurt out “I’m a doctor” or “I’m a lawyer” & then wander off with a dazed look in their eyes.
With the value of motherhood being demeaned, it seems that a responsibility of the church is to lift up motherhood once again the way God would want it lifted up.
B. Then there is the breakdown of the family. We see more & more marriages breaking
apart, more & more children living with single parents. In fact, it is estimated that by the time a child reaches 18 today, only 2 in 5 will still be living with both biological parents.