“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”
Mother. Every time a child is born—so is a mother. It has often been said that in that one moment when a mother sees her newborn child for the first time, nine months of discomfort and the hours of pain and delivery are completely forgotten. An innate eternal bond is instantly formed that transcends and eclipses all other relationships.
The word “mother” is used nearly 300 times in the Bible, and Strong’s Concordance tells us that the word literally means “an intimate relationship… that bestows benefits on another.”
M-O-T-H-E-R. When thinking about how to describe those benefits bestowed on us by our mothers, this acronym gives us just a glimpse of the depth of who she is.
Mom. The proverbial “first word” of an infant often sounds like “ma” or “mama”. This strong association of that sound with “mother” has persisted in nearly every language on earth. Mum in the United Kingdom. Mam in the Netherlands. Mata in India. Even Mama in Chinese. No matter how big, or fast, or powerful an athlete is, when they look into the camera what do they always say? “Hi mom!” Affection and love poured out in one simple word—”mom”—no matter what the language.
Others. When you really think it through, many mothers work as many as 90 hours a week. Their job description defies logic. A loving hand on a skinned knee. Miles and miles of taxi service. Applause from the 3rd row of the 2nd grade school play. Tears of joy at graduation—whether it is from dance class or college. Dishes…diapers…drama…discipline. Duties all selflessly performed by the person we affectionately call “mother”.
Teacher. Solomon admonishes us to “forsake not your mother’s teaching” (Proverbs 1:8 ESV). He goes on to say that those teachings are “a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck” (Proverbs 1:9 ESV). Life changing lessons taught during late night talks that shape our character for the rest of our lives.
Honor. The first commandment ever given with a promise was “honor your father and mother” (Ephesians 6:2 ESV). Why? “That it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land” (vs 3). The word honor literally means “weighted value”. We are to deeply honor and profoundly value our mothers—and in turn God promises blessings poured out on our lives.
Encourager. Your greatest cheerleader will always be your mom. No matter what. Through thick and thin. Good and bad. Laughter and pain. I am reminded of the instruction Paul gave when he said “encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all” (1 Thessalonians 5:14 ESV). Sounds like what a mom does all of the time!
Relationship. What’s interesting is that of the seven phrases Jesus uttered on the cross, one of them was directed to the person who gently pushed Him into public ministry (John 2), and searched frantically for Him when she thought He was lost (Luke 2). She stood with Him at Calvary when virtually everyone else deserted Him. Jesus acknowledged her, and provided for her, even during His tortuous death on the cross of salvation. “When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son!’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’ And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.” (John 19:26-27 ESV). A relationship begun in a manger… confirmed in a miracle… and declared even in mourning. Mother.
My friend Ann Voskamp eloquently puts it like this: “God said ‘I need someone who can shape a soul and find shoes on Sunday and get grass stains out of Levis. Someone with a heart strong enough for toddler tantrums and teenage testing, yet broken enough to fall on her knees and pray, pray, pray.’ So God made a mother.”
Life didn’t come with a manual—it came with a Mother.
This Mother’s Day, love her. Cherish her. Honor her…that it “may go well you and that you may live long in the land.”
It just might turn your life—and hers—around.