6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: A Mother’s Day message on loving over the long haul.

Dakota Community Church

May 11, 2008

A Legacy of Love

What do you do with these Hallmark holidays?

It is mother’s day and so some of us will be going out to dinner or getting together at someone’s home to honor our mom’s. It is a special day for many that is looked forward to, a day for thanking and being thanked, a day of recognition and appreciation.

Over the years I have come to realize that not very many of us live in the “Leave it to Beaver” type world of perfect harmony and half hour problem solving that these special days often seem to insist upon.

Right here this morning, alongside those who are enjoying all the good things that this day represents, right here even in this tiny slice of the Body of Christ; there will be all sorts of emotional upheaval because of everything negative that this day forces to the surface.

Some will be feeling sadness because their mom’s are no longer here to celebrate with.

Some will be painfully aware of division and brokenness, of old wounds that seem slow to heal.

Still others will be wrestling with anger and maybe even rage over wrongs suffered and unacknowledged.

It is tempting for me as your pastor to just ignore the whole event and just say it is the invention of greeting card salesmen; in fact that’s exactly what I did the first few years I was in the ministry.

It’s tempting to fall back on old clichés where those for whom this is not a joyous occasion are concerned. To tell them to just “Suck it up” to say “Life is tough for all of us.” And to cheerfully point out that “We can’t do anything about the past.”

That isn’t entirely true though. While we can’t change the actual events of the past, we can change how they affect us now. We can allow the Spirit of God to bring healing and comfort and even peace into this fundamental part of life. We can even reach the place where life’s worst blows are turned into tools of ministry to help others who are suffering.

Each of us here this morning has received a legacy of some sort from our mother’s.

As you think about the legacy that has been passed on to you by your mother, how would you describe it?

Is your mom’s legacy one of faith, of hurt, of brokenness, of joy, of insecurity, of religion, of fear, of victimization, of judgmentalism; or of something else?

Now I want you to think about the legacy you are building and passing on. (If you are not a mom here this morning think of it in terms of how others who are close to you are being affected by your presence in their lives.)

I want to challenge each one here today and especially the mom’s to commit themselves to passing on a legacy of love. You can do a lot of great things with your life, but becoming a world class lover may be the greatest possible achievement anyone can strive for.

I am talking this morning about loving them for a lifetime.

I am talking about loving them in every stage of life.

Ephesians 5:1-2

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Christian love is sacrificial love. We are to love as Christ loved, or you could say in the same way that Christ loved, giving himself up for us. That’s what Christians do and that’s what good mothers do.

I have decided to break this message down into three parts because I think these three phases of a child’s life require different things of mom’s and I have noticed that some mom’s do a great job in one phase of their children’s lives only to completely blow it in another phase.

As I grow older I must tell you that I see an ever expanding need for grace. As a younger man I felt I knew far more about what was right and what was wrong, what constituted good parenting and what constituted poor parenting. The truth is that different children have different needs and are guided effectively in different ways.

Being a mom requires walking with God, it requires prayerful decision making, and while books and tapes and preachers and grandparents may all offer helpful advice, you need to hear and follow your heart as it seeks to stay in tune with God’s heart. Sometimes you will have to graciously hear and not take the advice of someone screaming that their way is the only way.

Take the issue of education. At one time I would have said my way was the right way, all three of my sons went through the public school system. I don’t see it like that anymore. Some children will thrive and love the home school method; others will feel cheated by it. Some children do best in a Christian school setting surrounded by others of like faith and others will excel in the public system. I think the needs of each child are different to the point that all the children of one family may not be best served by the same form of education.

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