Happy Mother’s Day

The month of May is special because women across the nation are honored and celebrated for their unrelenting devotion to the family. If we had the opportunity to look behind the walls of households in any area of the country, we would see women cooking, cleaning, cuddling, encouraging, teaching, comforting, providing for and praying for the next generation. In Proverbs 1:8, mothers are depicted as teachers. God encourages us to not forsake our mother’s teaching if our desire is to make wise choices in our lives. The subject of motherhood is prominent in the Bible. In the book of Ruth, we can read about two great women, Naomi and Ruth. According to the text, Naomi, the elder woman, moves to a foreign land with her husband. Ten years later, her husband dies and shortly thereafter her two sons die. After the unexpected deaths of her loved ones, Naomi goes into a state of despair. She felt like “the Lord’s hand had gone out against her.”

Naomi’s motherly instinct causes her to encourage her two daughters-in-law to leave her and go back to their homelands in hopes that they would find happiness. Ruth, one of her daughters-in-law, was determined to stay with Naomi. She refuses to leave her mother-in-law and the two women transition to Bethlehem. While in Bethlehem, Naomi nurtures Ruth as a mother would do. In chapter 3, she instructs Ruth on how to behave when it comes to courting a prospective husband. Ruth abides by Naomi’s teaching and gains favor from a prominent man in the city named Boaz. After Boaz buys Naomi’s property and gets married to Ruth, both women are restored from despair to happiness. Their story illustrates how women can not only support each other, but overcome tremendous challenges and eventually achieve their heart’s desire.

Now that I am a mom, I understand some of the challenges associated with motherhood. There were no “How to be the Perfect Mother” books. We are all somewhat ill equipped for motherhood, yet we do our best in raising our children. There may be some of you who had mothers who did not give their best effort in their relationship with you. If you had to grow up in a less than nurturing environment or if you are having to deal with the void of not having a supportive mother, I pray that you will find the strength to forgive her and the peace to move forward with your life. God can provide it to you if you ask for His help and guidance. I thank God for blessing me with a mother who instilled good qualities in me. My mother continues to be a wonderful influence in my life and I have learned to appreciate her style of teaching over the years. Often times, we don’t realize how fortunate we are to have women in our lives to nurture and guide us into womanhood. Sadly, we forget to show them how much they mean to us. As we see from the story of Ruth and Naomi, other women besides our biological mothers can also influence our lives in a very positive way. It is my hope that as Christian women, we will all seek to be role models to those young women and girls out there who really need an example. Let’s try to be positive teachers at all times, because the future women of the world are watching and depending upon us.

Outside of this great holiday in mid-May, regrettably, many mothers tend to feel unappreciated for their efforts. From the time of conception to birth and beyond, mothers are more than willing to sacrifice themselves for the sake of their children. Many mothers have suffered through weeks of morning sickness, hair loss exacerbated by hormonal fluctuations, swelling limbs, pregnancy induced high blood-pressure and/or diabetes, voluntary weight gain, loss of brain cells, and the excruciating pain of labor and delivery to give life to our precious bundles of joy. We willingly accept sleepless nights, uncontrollable crying, endless diaper changes, painful breast-feeding, and late night lullabies to comfort our infants who eventually grow into curious toddlers, then, opinionated teen-agers without complaint. For all of the tireless hours of dedication, most mothers receive no “thank you” or compensation of any kind. Today, mothers can take consolation in knowing that each of us has a specific and divine purpose in God’s plan. The Lord sees you toiling everyday, and even when it feels like no one is aware of our efforts, we can be assured that God knows our good works. To all mothers, adoptive mothers, grandmothers, foster mothers, god-mothers, mothers-to-be, and women who desire to become mothers…we say, THANK YOU!