Summary: Learn how Fathers and Mothers can apply two biblical principles to foster worry-free living for mothers
Happy Mother’s Day, Mothers and Grandmothers!
On Friday night, one of the men at the English Fellowship made this comment: "If I have to give birth, I would rather be a monk." Mothers, you need to know that’s not just one man’s opinion, but I suspect if we were to ask for a show of hands, almost all the men in this room would agree. We simply have no ambition to give birth.
Mother’s Day is a time to honor and thank our Mothers and Grandmothers, if for no other reason than that you gave birth. But there are many other reasons, for your sacrifice, love and perseverance. Several mothers told me to remind the husbands and children that mothers need encouragement and help more than one day each year, on Mother’s Day.
Susan Yates’ book, And Then I Had Children, cited some common challenges of mothers: Low self-esteem, monotony and loneliness, stress from too many demands, lack of time with husband, confusion about discipline of children, need for outside role models, an much more. Mothers not only struggle in the present, but they worry about the future also.
Mother’s will always struggle to take care of self while taking care of their children. Mothers will always experience some confusion about training up their children, since their children do not come with instruction manuals. But mothers do not need to always worry about the future.
Most people struggle with worry, but parents often struggle with worry for themselves and for their children. They worry about their children’s health and safety. They worry about their children’s education and future. They worry that they are not good parents. And mothers generally worry more than fathers.
Worry is uncontrolled and unproductive concern. Worry divides our mind and makes us unstable. Worry hinders our judgment, our confidence and our will. Worry leads to emotional and physical health problem.
I want to introduce two principles to help mothers live worry-free lives. When I sent out an email earlier this week making this promise, I got back reply that read, "OK, I expect to be worry-free by 12:45 PM." That made me worry.
One principle is for the husband or the father. The second principle is for the mother. Let’s begin.
The first principle is for smart husbands: He who loves his wife loves himself. We find this in Ephesians 5:25-33.
There are many ways of stating the principle from this passage. When I counsel couples preparing for marriage, I encourage the man to learn the jingle or mantra, "A happy wife, a happy life."
Smart husbands know this. We take the time, the energy and the effort to please our wives. The Bible tells husbands that our wives are like our bodies. When we don’t take care of our bodies, we carry around a great deal of discomfort. But when we take care of our body, we feel great.
Someone described hell as a place where people are holding 10-foot long spoons trying to feed themselves. And they starve to death because of their selfishness. But in heaven, people are holding 10-foot long spoons feeding each other. And they not only have full stomachs but also live happy lives.
Although that’s not a biblical description of hell and heaven, it makes for a good illustration of our relationship with our spouse. If you are a husband who is trying to please yourself only, you are starving a part of you that only your wife can feed and starving your wife. If you are a husband who is trying to please your wife first, you will find that she will respond by pleasing you. And you will help your wife take the first step toward worry-free living, because she has the confidence that you love her.
Now I’m not suggesting that smart husbands cater to every whim of their wives. You do not love your wife by giving her everything she wants. That’s the stuff of daytime soap operas or evening shows like Joe Millionaire.
The kind of love our wives needs from us are found in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 guides us to love as Christ loves us. You can also express love more specifically to meet the needs of your wife. Simply ask her what you can do to help her know that you love her. Some might say that a gift now and then to appreciate her would communicate. Others might suggest a phone call or a love note now and then. Still others might suggest a comforting touch periodically. You find out from your wife.