I shared this during our worship service today. We didn’t make Mother’s Day the focus of the entire service but we did take some time to recognize mothers and pray for them.
Today is Mother’s Day so we celebrate mothers! And mothers are worth celebrating! Motherhood has been a topic of discussion recently because of Time magazine’s cover for the May 21, 2012 edition.
Motherhood is a high and sacred calling! It is noble and glorious. But any mother here will tell that the level of glory will vary from one day to the next. Can I get an “amen,” mothers! For instance, one mother said that some of her days are entirely taken up with the grand exercise of wiping: wiping faces, wiping noses, wiping bottoms, wiping the table, wiping the counter, and anything else that needs wiping. Motherhood is not for those who need immediate results. Dorothy Patterson wrote in a chapter titled, “The High Calling of Wife and Mother in Biblical Perspective” in Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood, “Motherhood is both a demanding and a rewarding profession. Unfortunately, the reward often comes much later in life, but a prime characteristic of the good mother is unselfishness; she can wait for the final realization of her rewards. No one—not teacher, preacher, or psychologist—has the same opportunity to mold minds, nurture bodies, and develop potential usefulness like a mother” (Dorothy Patterson, “The High Calling of Wife and Mother in Biblical Perspective” in Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood, 370).
I recognize that there are also women in the shadows today; today is an especially hard day. Mother’s Day “is simply a reminder of unfulfilled longings, longings that are good” for some women. There are women who, like Hannah in the Old Testament, experience brokenhearted barrenness but unlike Hannah, have yet to experience the extraordinary privilege of maternity (1 Samuel 1-2; cf. Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood, 369). If this is you this morning, know this: God has not abandoned you. We pray that God will grant you the experience of maternity according to His will.
Mothers are perhaps the single most influential people in the world. Still, they are not women of steel. Mothers physically struggle with exhaustion as they try to juggle the demands of motherhood and life; they struggle emotionally with sorrow, anxiety, guilt, discouragement, and feelings of being a failure in their grand task. Mothers, I want to remind you today that God uses you, even as you struggle and stumble along the way, in ways that you can never fathom. You do not cease to amaze us! You will leave a lasting imprint in your children. “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her” (Proverbs 31:28).
If you’re a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, please stand. Our ushers are going to give you a gift, Nancy Leigh Demoss’s booklet, Biblical Portrait of Womanhood. Nancy Leigh Demoss is a trusted advocate for Biblical femininity. Biblical femininity undergirds Biblical motherhood. This booklet will guide you through a series of questions that ask whether you are building up and tearing down those around you. We hope that this gift will strengthen you in your journey as you pursue Biblical femininity and Biblical motherhood. The generations that come after you are in your debt.
Please join me in a word of prayer.
Our Heavenly Father,
A mother’s heart is so accessible to many of us that You used it as an analogy for the comfort of Your people in Isaiah 66:13, “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you.”
This morning we set aside an all too brief period of time to recognize and pray for mothers. They are divinely ordained heart-nurturers and life-shapers of the next generation. This is a task that requires much of these women. In fact, it requires more than they possess in themselves. We pray for a rich bestowal of your grace upon these women. Your grace is sufficient for them in their weakness. May they be women after your heart.
We pray for aspiring mothers. We intercede on their behalf, that, according to your will, You would affirmatively answer their heart-felt and heart-broken to be fruitful. May they one day have the testimony of Psalm 113:9, “He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children.”
Father, grant these mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers perseverance in this high calling of motherhood. As they spend themselves for their children may they look to You as their portion; may they run to Christ for their identity and sufficiency on the many days when they are beside themselves and bear the crushing weight of insufficiency. May they commit themselves afresh and anew to this sacred vocation of motherhood in the strength and grace that You richly bestow upon your people.
This we pray, our Father, in your Son’s name. Amen.