This weekend is Mother’s Day.
So, let’s be honest: It’s OK to feel what you feel.
Happy. Mad. Sad. Glad. And every emotion in between - God made you, you - and God made you to feel what you feel. Own it and see it as a gift from God.
And, to clear the air: Mother’s Day is not a Christian, religious, or even faith-based holiday.
In other words, you will not find Jesus celebrating Mother’s Day in the Gospels. Search the Scriptures and this kind of day isn’t anywhere to be found in the Hebrew Religion or Early Church.
Now, I’m not anti-Mother’s Day. I will be calling my mom and mother-in-law this weekend. My kids will be making cards for them. And, the boys and I will be treating Beth to a day full of love to honor her for how much she gives to us.
However, when it comes to loving and living like Jesus, I want to level the playing field because not every person who wants to be a mom is a mom. I also know that everybody doesn’t have a positive mom-experience. And (I've heard from some moms) that as wonderful motherhood can be, it’s one of the most difficult and challenging experiences of their lives. It’s exhausting. It’s overwhelming. There is no instruction book. It's all on-the-job training.
It’s certainly safe to say that without the Holy Spirit’s help (from the Christian perspective), it’s impossible to have a mom or be a mom.
I’ll just let that thought sit with you today.
So, here are three things about Mother's Day that will help all of us love and live more like Jesus: Remember, Dream, and Celebrate.
When Jesus remembers what might have been, Jesus wept (John 11:35).
Sometimes crying it out ourselves or allowing others around us to cry out their memories is how we can love and live more like Jesus.
For those who are grieving the loss of a mom or child, sad about not being a mom, or angry about not having a mom when you needed one… The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18). You can love others like Jesus by taking some time to remember the people you gave life to and know that God is not far - in fact, nothing can separate us from the love of God that is found in Jesus (Romans 8:38-39).
Believe it or not, God is always looking at what is ahead. God’s plans are not always our plans (Isaiah 55:8-9) - but it doesn’t mean that God doesn’t have a plan (Jeremiah 29:11).
Sometimes dreaming about what is on God’s mind with others is how we can love and live more like Jesus.
For those who are dreaming of motherhood… Dreaming about being a mom who gives life to other people is a God-dream! Remember that after God made humanity, people were blessed and God said, “Be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28).
Don’t lose God’s dream that He has given to you. Place the dream you have into God’s hands and entrust your plan to His… remember God’s plan is always better than our own (even when it doesn’t seem like it).
Those who are/have been foster children or adopted/have been adopted… you may not know who your mom was. You may even assume that your mom was an evil person. Being adopted myself, when I fall into this kind of thinking, I have learned that more often than not, it’s my own fear of being completely loved and totally accepted that is clouding my mind and messing with my heart. In those moments, I’m reminded of Isaiah 43:1: “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine”.
Keep dreaming and remember that “the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).
For those who have mom’s alive today… for those who have children today… for all mom-like people who give us life… we celebrate you. The Psalm writer says: give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever (Psalm 107:1).
One way to celebrate moms and mom-like people today is to thank them for teaching you about God’s love for you. For taking you to church. For helping introduce you to Jesus. For showing you a glimpse of what God’s love looks like as mom gives, and gives, and then gives more life to you.
I think it might be safe to say that we all have someone who is a mom or has been mom-like to us. These are people to celebrate well today. Indeed, God’s love through them lasts forever.
The OSLC ministry team is a growing collection of women and men who live as a family on mission, leading the OSLC family in connecting an unchanging God with a changing world by loving God, loving people, and living like Jesus.