Today is Mother’s Day and this morning I want to celebrate by talking to women, mothers and their families. Mothers are a blessing! There is no question about this. Unfortunately, mothers can often be underappreciated, do thankless jobs, be taken for granted, bossed around, and definitely underpaid for their work.
In a letter written to newspaper columnist Ann Landers a mother wrote, “I’m so tired of all those ignorant people who come up to my husband and ask him if his wife has a full-time job or if she's ‘just a house-wife.’ . . . Here's my job description. I'm a wife, mother, friend, confidant, personal advisor, lover, referee, peacemaker, housekeeper, laundress, chauffeur, interior decorator, gardener, painter, wall paperer, dog groomer, veterinarian, manicurist, barber, seamstress, appointment manager, financial planner, bookkeeper, money manager, personal secretary, teacher, disciplinarian, entertainer, psychoanalyst, nurse, diagnostician, public relations expert, dietitian and nutritionist, baker, chef, fashion coordinator and letter writer for both sides of the family.
I am also a travel agent, speech therapist, plumber and automobile maintenance and repair expert.”
According to the most recent salary.com figures (2018) that average stay home mother salary (if paid for her work) would be $162,581 a year if she were paid fair market value for the tasks she performs at home. That is up from 119,500 in 2009.
Needless to say, a mother is worth far more than she is actually credited for. Today I want to spend a little time looking at a few biblical statements on a few topics concerning motherhood. I am not a woman or a mother, so I am certainly not going to preach about how to be a mother or woman, I am just going to reflect on some passages that speak of the joys of motherhood and that celebrate you.
Men and children I do not want you tuning out because there will be some relevant scriptures for you as well.
THE BLESSINGS OF MOTHERHOOD
in Genesis 1:28 God tells the man and woman to be fruitful and multiply and to fill the earth. This was one of the first commands God gave to Adam and Eve. He delights in the multiplication of his children. Women you are privileged and blessed by God in this process. God has given you the unique blessing of childbirth. And it is only God could create such a miracle of life through a mother.
Psalm 113:9 says, “He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the Lord!” It is here that we see that only God can bring about the miracle of life and mothering through the woman. Have you ever thought about the wondrous miracle of life? I have and I am taken back every time I think about it.
THE PAINS OF MOTHERHOOD
As much of a blessing childbearing is it is also a painful experience or so I have heard. According to Genesis 3:16 God says in response to Eve’s rebellion against God “I will certainly multiply your pain in childbearing.” Many of you women may say or have said, “Nice, thank you Eve!” you experience the pains of childbirth.
According to theologian D.A. Carson, “The sentence on Eve blighted her calling as mother. To be a joyful mother of children was the hope of every OT woman (Ps. 113:9), but the pain of childbirth was a constant reminder of the first mother’s sin.” As so it is today.
But not only is pain in childbirth the consequence of sin, it continues Genesis 3:16 continues to say, “Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” Some have suggested that this was the beginning of the “battle of the sexes”. Some interpret this to mean that the two will strive for control and neither will live in the best interest of the other. Thus the “pain” of motherhood is the physical pain of childbearing and in the spiritual and emotional disunity of the husband and wife resulting from the the fall.
MOTHERS WITHOUT CHILDREN
There are women, maybe even here today, that may have never experienced the joy of childbirth as a result of a miscarriage, the choice to remain childless or infertility. Even if you have no children this does not mean you cannot be or are not a mother. Of course, adoption is always an option, but I want to speak on a spiritual level. If you are childless, I would encourage you to know that you can still be a mother. In Romans 16:13 Paul greets Rufus and his mother and says, “Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord; also his mother, who has been a mother to me as well.” It seems to me that although Rufus’ mother was not Paul’s actual mother, she has treated him and loved him like he was her own child. We do not know anything about Paul’s mother, yet we do know that he had a spiritual mother in Rufus’ mom. She may have attended to him like a son, prayed for him as a mother does, and quite possibly taken him under her wing as a mother would to her own child.
So, childless mothers I want to encourage you to become a spiritual mother or grandmother to those who have been abandoned and left to fend for themselves, those who have had mothers who have passed away, or a girl young or woman who does not have a mother who is walking with the Lord (mentorship). Never ever think that since you are childless that you could never be a mother or grandmother.
RESPONSIBILITY OF FATHERS
OK men, it’s time to wake up! Men, we need to look at Eph. 5:25 – 33… What does that first sentence say? “HUSBANDS LOVE YOUR WIVES AS CHRIST LOVES THE CHURCH…”
I remember a quote on the pastor’s wall at the church I started my ministry in NY that read, “The best thing a father can do for his children is love their mother.” Men, we have a responsibility to love our wives. How? As Christ loved the Church. This means to love sacrificially. This also means that You are willing to give your own life for her and I believe this means that you do the following… support her, protect her, hold her in high regards (respect) and work with her in raising your children.
John Piper writes about Proverb 6:20, It does not say, "Fathers instruct, and mothers change diapers." It does not say, ‘Fathers work at the office and so have no responsibility to teach their children.’ It says fathers instruct, and mothers teach. Parenting is a shared responsibility. Men love your wives, treat them with kindness, respect, and dignity. This is not a hard job, but it is what Jesus tells us to do.
RESPONSIBILITY OF CHILDREN
Ok children, it’s your turn. Exodus 20:12, the fifth commandment says, “Honor your father and mother, that your days will be long.” You are commanded to treat your mother with honor and respect and in so you will receive a blessed promise “That your days may be long” or a life that is filled with God’s presence and favor.
Children it not only makes your mothers happy when you obey and honor her, it also pleases God. Colossians 3:20 says,” Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. A child who dishonors his parents brings shame to them and causes great pain.
Throughout history parents were to be honored. According to Exodus 21:15 – 17 “Whoever strikes his father or his mother shall be put to death. “Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found in possession of him, shall be put to death. “Whoever curses[a] his father or his mother shall be put to death. Children, note… if a child had the audacity to strike his parents he was to be put to death. Parents maybe you can remind your child that next time they dishonor you :)
HAPPY MOTHERS DAY
Mothers you are greatly appreciated and loved. Thank you for all you do. I pray that each of you takes the responsibility of mothering seriously and that you realize you may not see the rewards of all your hard work today, but if you are faithful to God and serve him in all things you are doing more for your child than you can ever imagine.
Moms pray for your children, love your children, be a godly role model to your children, and raise them to fear the Lord and worship Him. You have a unique calling and we (your children, husbands, and brothers will commit to praying for you and honoring you on this blessed day.
Men, love your wives as Christ loved the church.
Children, honor, respect, and love you mothers, because they deserve it and God commands it.
 Ann Landers, May 1988, quoted in Mom, You're Incredible, by Linda Weber, Focus on the Family, 1994, pp. 23-24
Carson, D. A. (1994). New Bible commentary : 21st century edition. Rev. ed. of: The new Bible commentary. 3rd ed. / edited by D. Guthrie, J.A. Motyer. 1970. (4th ed.) (Ge 3:9). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press.
Jeff has been in full-time ministry for thirty years. He currently serves as Executive Director at Anchor House Ministry at SeaPort Manatee in Palmetto, FL and he is a part-time Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Southside in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored A Lent Devotional (A Spiritual Journey to Lent) an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). All three are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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