by Wayne Geiger
In 1908, a lady by the name of Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia, desiring to honor the memory of her mother, observed the first Mother’s Day--on her own. Liking the idea so much, she began to lobby across the nation to get the whole country to be alerted to the need for an official Mother’s Day. Six years later, Congress affirmed the idea and got the signature of President Woodrow Wilson in 1914. Mother’s Day always falls on the second Sunday in May.
God created both the man and the woman in His image to reflect His character. That means, both genders reflect the heart of God. When we were young and fell off the bike, it was dad who said gruffly, “rub some dirt on it and get back on.” It was mom who ran over, picked us up, dried our tears, put a band aid on it, gave us a hug and told us to try again and that they would be right by our side.
Moms give us a glimpse of the tenderness of God:
The Bible uses words like tender, compassionate, loving, and merciful to describe God. We see these qualities, most often, in our moms. From our moms were learned what it meant to love and to forgive.
Someone has noted that the creation of the woman was something like this: When the Lord created the woman, an angel stood by and marveled. “Lord, you are taking a lot of time on this one.” “Yes,” the Lord replied, “this creature is intricate and complicated. She is tough and tender. She will need replaceable parts, need to be able to operate on minimal sleep and coffee. She will need great strength and patience and have a lap that can hold three children at one time. She will need a kiss that can cure everything from a scraped knee to a broken heart and have six pairs of hands." The angel was astounded. "Six pairs of hands!” “Yes, the Lord replied, “but it's not the hands that are the problem. It's the two pairs of eyes that mothers will need! They will need to see through closed doors and always know what’s going on in the other room. They will also need eyes in the backs of their heads to know what’s going on behind them. Their children will be dumbfounded.”
The Angel said, "This is a special creation! “Ah, yes,” the Lord continued, “she is so close to my own heart. She will be able to heal herself when she is sick, operate on little sleep, feed a family of six on a pound of hamburger, and juggle 19 different things all at the same time.”
Suddenly the angel blurted out, “Oh, but Lord, there is something wrong with her.” He pointed to the woman and said, “It leaks.” The Lord smiled and said, “That’s not a leak. It’s a tear. Although the mother’s hide is incredibly tough, her heart is equally as tender. As a mom, she will endure much heartache, but in the end, she will say, ‘it was worth it.’”
Mothers show us the tenderness of God. I have the wonderful pleasure of having two amazing women in my life. Growing up, my mom was an incredible woman of strength, talent, and tenderness and always ensured that my sister and I were raised properly. She sacrificed much for our benefit. I know without a doubt that I am the man I am today because of the influence of my mom.
My wife is an incredible woman as well. She loves unconditionally and serves endlessly and sacrificially. She is constantly putting the needs of our family above her own wants and desires. She is an incredible woman of strength and love and is the glue that holds our family together. I would not be who I am today without her influence.
Moms have typically carried the spiritual mantle in the family:
In many churches, it is the women who serve as teachers and who are passionate about the helping ministries of the church. They work in the nursery, children’s programs, and look to meet needs through the ladies’ ministries. In many churches, if it were not for the women, the church would not survive.
A great preacher of old, Dr. G. Campbell Morgan, had four sons who all became preachers. One day, a visitor came into the living room where all the four brothers were sitting and playfully asked, “so, with all the preachers in the family, who is the greatest?” Without blinking an eye, one of them replied, “our mother.”
I am so thankful for the investment of many woman who serve the Lord and His church sacrificially on a regular basis. They are truly carrying the torch and molding a future generation to serve the Lord. They do this with incredible strength, wisdom, and grace.
Mothers deserve to be honored:
Thomas Edison is considered to be one of the greatest inventors in history. He was the youngest of seven children and was not the best student in school. His teacher thought that he was disruptive and perhaps unstable and unteachable. Edison’s mother, who saw beneath the surface, saw his inner strength and intelligence and decided to teach him at home.
He would later say, "My mother was the making of me. She was so true, so sure of me; and I felt I had something to live for, someone I must not disappoint." It is true that Edison invented the light bulb, but it was his mother who provided the foundation and arena for his great creativity.
For some of us, Mother’s Day is a positive experience. My childhood involved warm memories, pleasant experiences, and smiles. For others, like my wife, there is sorrow and pain. Her experience growing up was not pleasant. Mother’s Day is somewhat difficult for her.
We never know where people are. For some, Mother’s Day brings up memories of a painful experience. Perhaps a mom who left too soon, or the heartbreak of a child. I’ll never forget a conversation where I asked a woman, “how many children do you have?” She said, “three at home and one in heaven.” Moms never stop being moms and may be carrying around incredible pain and sorrow and mask it with a smile.
Also, there are women who would like to be mothers, but it just hasn’t happened. Never ask a couple, “so, when are you guys going to have kids?” It may be, that they have tried, but it just hasn’t happened. But they smile awkwardly and go on. I know several couples who fall into this category. There is much pain below the surface.
Many of these women choose to be “spiritual mothers” and love on other people’s children. Over the years, we have been incredibly blessed by many women who have loved and invested their lives into our children and children at church. Although they had no physical children of their own, they had many children and leave behind an incredible legacy.
You’ve heard it said that when Jesus was on the cross, we were on His mind. This is true. But there was something else on his mind. Listen to these words from John 19:
“When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom he loved [John] 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 into his own household.”
During Jesus’s greatest struggle, He made provisions for His mother. Jesus, the very Son of God, cared for his mother with His dying breath. It is right for us to honor moms. Moms are special.
I love the story of the teacher who was trying to teach one of the students about fractions. She asked, “Suppose your mother baked a pie and there were six of you—your parents, you, and three brothers. How much of the pie would you get?” The boy thought for a moment and said excitedly, “one-fifth.” The teacher said, “I’m sorry, that’s not correct. There are six of you so that would be one-sixth.” The boy blurted back, “it would be one-fifth in my family. You don’t know my mother. She would say she didn’t want any pie.”
Dr. Wayne Geiger is the Pastor of First Baptist Grain Valley, an Adjunct Associate Professor of Speech, and freelance writer.