Summary: A Mother’s love and faith as a model for us of what God is like and how her influence helps us in our walk with Christ.
A Junior High science teacher lectured on the properties of magnets for an entire class. The next day he gave his students a quiz. The first question read like this: "My name begins with an "M," has six letters, and I pick things up. What am I?" Half the kids in the class wrote, "Mother."
That reminds me of the father who was trying to explain the concept of marriage to his 4-year-old daughter. He got out their wedding album, thinking visual images would help, and explained the entire wedding service to her. When he was finished, he asked if she had any questions. She pointed to a picture of the wedding party and asked, "Daddy, is that when mommy came to work for us?"
Mother’s give a lot for us, don’t they? And often we take it for granted. Mother’s Day was started as a movement among a few Christians following the Civil War to recognize and honor the unsung everyday heroes we call moms.
Today on Mother’s Day, recognizing that mother’s truly are a gift from God. We’re going to look at a mother’s heart, a couple characteristics of mothers that help us understand and know God better.
1. A Mother’s Love
Being a parent now myself, I have a little different perspective on motherhood/parenthood, particularly the love a parent has for their child. I believe one of the primary characteristics of a mother, is a mother’s love. A mother loves her children unconditionally and sacrificially.
A mother loves her child no matter what they do. If you think about it, right from the beginning, children do nothing to deserve love. When they are in the womb they cause discomfort, morning sickness, pain during the many months of pregnancy, and of course they cause a LOT of pain during the delivery (perhaps you like to remind your child of that, do you know how much pain you caused me, I was in 24 hours of labor with you). When they come out they look cute but all they do is eat, poop, sleep, and cry. They require constant attention, feedings every 2-3 hours, sleepless nights. Yet mothers amazingly love them unconditionally. Oh, I’m sure there are those moments, but love is still there. How is it that when our kids are screaming, crying, having a temper tantrum, being rebellious that a mother can still love them? How is it that when they grow up and make poor decisions in their life, perhaps even rejecting their parents advice and perhaps their parents themselves for a time, a mother, with a broken heart, can still love them? Love like that is illogical, it doesn’t make sense, why would someone love without thought of return when the cost is so high. Where does that love come from? It doesn’t come from millions of years of evolution. It comes from God, it is a gift from God. The Bible says we, both female and male, are created in God’s image (Gen. 1:27), and that God is love (1 Jo. 4:8,16). We were hard wired by God to love. I believe the love a mother (or father) has for her child is God’s greatest example of the kind of love God is, and that he has for us. Yes, it is true that sometimes you will see a mother or father who does not love their children unconditionally, perhaps there are strings attached, "if you do this then I will love you," or they remain emotionally distant, but this is really a result of love being twisted by sin in their life, it is not part of God’s design. Being an adoptive parent, I know one of my concerns in adopting Elizabeth, was how I would connect with her, how would we love a child who was not genetically ours. What a dumb thought that was, love is a gift from God, it is not genetic, it is not inherited, it is a gift and a choice. We truly love Elizabeth just as if she came from us, that is a miracle of God’s love.
When the Apostle Paul wanted to help the church at Thessalonica understand Christian love, he used the illustration of a mother with her child. He writes:
1 Thess. 2:7 but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. 8 We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.
Other than Jesus’ death on a cross for us, a mother’s love for her child is the next closest human example of the kind of love God has for us, and the kind of love we are to demonstrate to each other particularly as Christians. I believe you, mothers (and fathers), are the first glimpse we have of God and his unconditional love for us. You are how we form our first thoughts about what God is like. This doesn’t mean you’re perfect, but you send that message whether you intend to or not.