If you’ve walked through your local grocery or convenience store, you have probably noticed a heavier presence of florals and pastels that lead to a display of cards to celebrate and honor moms on Mother’s Day. If you are like me, you are swarming with thoughts of needing to purchase something for a mom in your life to wondering if your people will even remember since they have forgotten in previous years.
It can be a day of celebration–but it can also be a day of unmet expectations and struggle.
Wherever your thoughts may land as we approach this Mother’s Day, I wanted to offer some simple reminders for you and the moms in your life…
The Ache You Feel is an Opportunity for Redemption
Mother’s Day is a hard and complex day for many. Broken relationships, grief, childlessness, regret, and disappointment can often fill this day that is supposed to be marked by joy and honor.
Whether it is the loss of an earthly mother or the ache for the relationship that was never there, we find ourselves in the tension of holding loss in one hand and hope in the other. Wherever your heart may land this Mother’s Day, there is the promise of redemption through the person and work of Jesus. Paul encourages us that our “losses” are “gains” in the Kingdom of God and in those areas that are marked by hurt and pain, God is meeting and tending to them with grace, mercy, and love.
Your Identity is in Who You Reflect, Not What You Produce
It is really easy to attach our identity to the role of “mom.” From the very beginning we are put into classifications: epidural or natural; home or hospital; nursing or formula; cloth or disposable diapers; cry it out or co-sleep methods. And this is just the first few months of motherhood!
The temptation for us is to attach our identity and worth to the choices we make or how well we achieve the self-determined status of “great mom” in any given moment. But when you look at who you are as a woman, created in the image of God, you don’t find a list of achievements or tasks to be completed–you find that your Creator infuses dignity, purpose, belonging, and worth simply because you are His daughter.
God has made each of us unique, diverse, and gifted us in various ways to reflect and image Him. He is big, multifaceted, creative, and full of wisdom and beauty. We each have unique families of origin, hobbies, and dreams that we hope to use as a platform to reflect God’s glory. We are part of His thread of redemption which means that who we are is rooted in His great narrative for our life and not simply in what we do or achieve.
Limits and Failures Are God’s Reminder of Grace
We feel guilty when we lose our temper over spilled milk or after the 200th time we asked our children to clean up their room. We are filled with anxiety at the thought of a failed grade or a missed assignment because of how it affects their GPA. We lay sleepless, replaying our failures, waking up wound up and determined to protect them from the heaviness of this world.
We take the blessing of shepherding our kids and turn it into a savior-complex that is too weighty for us to hold. This comes into play when we start to believe the lie that we can control, fix, or protect the circumstances around us and our kids and that ultimately we are in control.
God is really good at being God and when we remember that, our heart to love, care for, protect, and guide is a fraction of what God desires for our kids. Some of the biggest truths we can pour into the hearts of our kids is that we point them to the One who their hearts need most, and we do that by modeling that truth ourselves.
When we mess up, there is grace. When we go too far, there is forgiveness. When we overstep and disobey, there is kindness in God’s rebuke and consequences. We show them that the God who has so graciously loved and chased us down each and every day with His love and patience is the same God who is pursuing them.
Motherhood isn’t Limited to Biology
We often think of motherhood in terms of biology, but in the family of God we see Him opening doors of influence, connection, and giftedness to help bring His Kingdom on earth. In Matthew 28, Jesus gives His final words to the disciples, both men and women, to go and make disciples. Through baptism, teaching, and modeling we are able to be a part of God’s mission to bring light in the midst of darkness, and hope in the midst of despair.
You may be in a season of life where you no longer have children at home, or you are waiting to see if the pregnancy test this month will finally show two lines. No matter what your nuclear family looks like right now, you as a believer in Jesus Christ, have the opportunity and command to disciple, care for, and train up others around you.
Your local church family gives you an opportunity to share your gifts, wisdom, and time as you invest and love the next generation of women. Younger generations are craving and longing for spiritual big sisters, moms, and grandmas as they navigate life’s ups and downs.
Who is someone you can take to coffee and be a listening ear for, or someone to invite to come cheer alongside you in the stands at your kids sports game, or a young woman who can serve alongside you on a Sunday morning as you study and teach your Sunday school class?
As the world looks for a moment toward women with celebration and intentionality, I pray that we point them to look to God’s faithfulness and kindness in our lives as we reflect the One who defines, sustains, and propels us forward in both grace and truth.
Posted on May 5, 2023
Jacki C. King is a respected and popular Bible teacher, conference speaker, and ministry leader. She has a passion for seeing women fall in love with Jesus and His Word while challenging them to be on mission in their homes, workplaces, and communities. Jacki is a native Texan who now lives in Central Arkansas with her husband Josh, who is a Lead Pastor, along with their three boys. Jacki holds a bachelor's degree in Biblical Studies and Ministry to Women from Criswell College and a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
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