Strength. When you think of that word, what comes to mind?
Is it physical strength, the kind that conjures up images of toned abs and marathon runners?
Is it mental strength, the kind that’s required to undergo an intense interrogation or to fight a lifelong battle with an autoimmune disease?
Is it emotional strength, the kind it takes to rear a child, to mother during the ups and downs, all to watch your world spread their wings and leave the nest?
Or is it a spiritual strength, the kind of relationship with Jesus that can weather the strongest of storms and steady our souls during the most uncertain times?
Mothers are some of the strongest people I know. The physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual fortitude required during all ages and stages of child-rearing is tremendous. And in today’s unprecedented times, it seems the amount of strength required has increased exponentially.
Caring for the mental and emotional wellbeing of their children, explaining a pandemic and navigating their anxieties and emotions.
Caring for the physical needs of their children (and often others) around the clock, with no school day to provide a short break from the ongoing work.
Balancing work responsibilities with 24/7 parenting responsibilities.
Continuing their child’s education from home.
Worrying about their grown children and grandchildren, wishing so badly they could wrap their arms around them.
Doing all of this in isolation, without the physical assistance of their communities, extended families, and friends.
Mothering is hard; it’s the longest and most rewarding marathon many of us will ever run. And as such, it requires women to be strong.
Yet in Christian circles, being strong is often considered wrong.
Too often, Christian women are associated with weakness rather than strength.
Sometimes religion has taught us to hide rather than to rise. It is true that we are called to be meek, but not weak. Meek is best defined as strength under control. Both Moses and Jesus were meek, but not weak. The meek know their strength comes from God. Esther was meek, but she was no weakling. The meek are also the humble because they understand that their strength comes from a higher power. The meek know how and when to fight, but they are not looking for one.
This life requires strength. As we live longer, life gets harder, and will require much more strength than you or I can muster on our own.
But here is the good news: we are not on our own! After describing how we interact in relationships, Paul begins Ephesians 6:10-18 with “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power” (v. 10).
Relationships require strength. Mothering requires strength. But whenever I try to love or even like someone in my own strength, I am doomed to fail. We have a very limited human capacity for the type of strength we need each day. This is why we tap into the strength and power of our Lord. Another version simply says it this way, “God is strong, and he wants you strong” (MSG).
God knows we are not strong so He makes us strong. David tapped into this source of strength when he was a worshipping shepherd. Our God is almighty to make us mighty. Our Father is all-powerful to give His daughters power.
He will give you the strength you need for today.
He will give you the strength you need for tomorrow.
He will give you the strength you need to repair your relationship. To rest. To trust. To be brave. To fight. To mother. And yes, to mother during a pandemic.
The Lord is our strength. Mothers, though your souls may grow weary, take comfort and find strength in the love of your heavenly Father. Walk confidently and hold your heads high as daughters of the King.
Spend time in Scripture.
Praise His name.
Keep a cheerful heart.
Choose your words wisely.
Live in harmony with your God.
This Mother’s Day, let’s see and celebrate the incredible women in our lives for who they are, and for being strong. Let’s acknowledge their tremendous love for their families, for their Savior. And let’s give praise to the Lord Almighty for His unwavering faithfulness to be our source of strength, no matter the trials this life may bring.