(Photo: CJ Rapp)
Watching the NFL draft on television I was overwhelmed with the love and adoration tough athletes showed for their moms. Time after time, NFL hopefuls talked about how grateful they were for the love they received and the sacrifices made on their behalf by their moms. I am certain their moms would do it all over again to see their child succeed. There is something unique about the relationship between a mother and a child. As a mom, I appreciate ESPN and the NFL Network covering these precious stories of a mother's love, especially right before Mother's Day.
The job of mom is not always appreciated. As a young mother I will never forget being asked at social events what I did for a living. The response was always the same, "Oh, you're just a mom" as if my position was less important than doctor, lawyer, or accountant. The phrase just a mom caused me to wonder how God sees the role of mom. Picking up my Bible I turned to this passage in Luke 1:
26 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."
You will be with child… Of all the ways Jesus could have appeared on planet earth he came as a baby. Harmless and helpless, baby Jesus would need a mother to care for his needs. Isn't it encouraging to know that God honors the role of mom? Of all the relationships Jesus had in his thirty three years, his mom was a consistent presence. She was there at every significant moment of his life and ministry from his first miracle to his last breath. God chose Mary to be his mom.
As a mom I find Mary's story encouraging. Most believe she was a teen mom. Her husband Joseph was a carpenter. The last time we read about him in Scripture Jesus was a young boy, this may mean Mary raised her family alone. I'm not sure, but I can imagine money was tight as carpentry work today is not always consistent and the pay not the highest. I do know raising a large family on a small salary is challenging in any day and age. Jesus wasn't her only child although he was the sinless child. Kids will be kids, so imagine the family dynamic when the kids were fighting or something was broken and his brothers or sisters tried to blame him. I'm sure she constantly asked the Lord for wisdom.
As a mom, in the midst of all of her struggles and joy was this simple truth Emmanuel God with us was with her. He saw every need, relational, physical, emotional, and financial. He saw her tears of frustration, he laughed with her, he watched her discipline her children, and he watched her love. I'm sure she did her best to be a good mom for each of her children. God never stepped in and said Mary, you aren't a good enough mom, you need to be perfect. She was after all the woman chosen to parent Jesus and his siblings.
Moms do the best they can. I'm sure there will be days when we look back wishing we could have done better and praying God makes up for our shortcomings.
Honor your mom this weekend. Tell a story about how she influenced your life. Give her a hug. Tell her you love her and appreciate her just because she is your mom. Thank her for the advice she gave you, or for simply being there for you.
For those of you, who share in the sisterhood of motherhood, know your role is one God honors.
Trust the instincts you have to nurture, love, comfort, and care for your child are qualities that reflect the tenderness and character of God. They are good enough in His sight.
For those of you feeling ill-equipped as a mom, remember he chose a young teenager (Mary) to be the mother of his son. She had no more experience than you did when you became a mom. She simply depended upon God saying, "I am the Lord's servant may it be to me as you have said." Because God is with you he can help you become the best mom you can be! Take heart knowing he can work through a willing and surrendered heart.
Remember, you were chosen by God to be mom to your children. You have something they need to fulfill their life purpose and be all God intends them to be. Trust in his strength and wisdom; enjoy being a mom.
Happy Mother's Day!
CJ Rapp is a women's minister, author and founder of Trash the Lies conferences.