This Sunday many of us will gather together to celebrate women in our lives who have nurtured us and taken care of us in spite of ourselves. Mother’s day will be difficult for many. For those who will miss their mother during this season, do not forget that God is a mother to the motherless—for those who miss children they never got to know. Proverbs 31 reveals to us that a mother’s work is selfless and requires very long hours, for this reason it requires recognition: “…her children rise up and bless her; her husband also, and he praises her.” She deserves it!
Being a mother is an act of grace, and our response to grace should be praise. A woman cannot act under this power of grace, unless she has been called to be a mother. Birthing a baby does not make a mother. It is a divine calling. A mother’s work is a journey of self-denial and discipline.
A mother’s work includes being a doctor, a taxi driver, a coach, a nurse, a spiritual advisor, a helpmate, a guidance counselor, and a consoler. We can relate to our proverbial mother who rises early and keeps late hours to get it all done. Whether they praise her or not, she will do it because she has been divinely called to do it. It is a mother’s work. In spite of all her work, the Proverbs 31 sister takes care of herself.
We cannot do this work unless we spend time with God and take care of ourselves. We, too, need grace and care—and we are worth it. Women need to know while they are ministering to their families that they also need care and nurturing. We often find ourselves giving out more than we give to ourselves. A mother’s work makes room for us to have someone to pour into us. Let the children rise up and call us blessed, and let the men in our lives praise us in the gates. They should whether we are pouring into them our taking care of ourselves to take care of them. Every mother deserves to be blessed and to be praised—especially, from mother to son. Life for most of us ain’t no crystal stair.
We cannot smile at the future, like our sister in Proverbs 31, if we do not believe that our call to be a mother is greater than our children and our husbands. Mothers need to know that although they have been called to be mothers, it does not mean that God has not called them to do other works. As the scripture says, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. If our children and husbands truly love us as well as God, they will still call us blessed and praise us in the gates—whether or not we have divine vocations inside and outside of the home.
As the ‘old school’ Enjoli commercial says, “I can bring home the bacon/ Fry it up in a pan/ And never, ever let you forget you’re a man. Because I am a woman” — Enjoli. From one mother to another, we can look good and smell good doing it.
Mothers may feel unappreciated like the mother in Shirley Caesar’s ‘No Charge,’ whose son gave his mother an itemized invoice listing the chores he had completed, including making up his bed, mowing the lawn, and running some errands—along with the amount owed. The mother responded with her own list of tasks she had performed for her son at no charge since his birth. Caesar used this story to remind us of how Jesus died on Calvary at no charge. Jesus’ love is freely given to us. Let us bless our mothers and praise the women in our lives in the gates, because they are worth it. They are images of the grace Jesus showed us on Calvary. Let’s celebrate mothers. Happy Mother’s Day!