Honouring our mothers
As we celebrate Mother's Day, Pastor Denis reflects on the true meaning of motherhood and the role mothers play in our lives and in society
It’s Mothering Sunday this month, a time when we pay special tribute to mothers across the nation.
I was reflecting on motherhood and how important it is to celebrate and remember the crucial role that loving, wise mothers can play in shaping who we become. My own mother taught me to value and respect women in my actions and attitudes, and I’m so grateful to her for instilling this in me.
A mother’s role is to safeguard, protect, to watch over, to care for, to save from, to nurse. That’s a big job description! Mothers are at the heart of providing the love, support and protection we need as children, and a mother’s love can be fierce.
Most of us associate these characteristics with motherhood, and desire to have a loving mother. We gravitate towards mother figures and we admire a good mother.
Various types of mothers
Motherhood comes in different guises.
In addition to birth mothers and step-mothers, there are foster or adoptive mothers, who take on a child to parent. Godmothers are chosen to have a supportive or adoptive role.
A mother-in-law gains a son or daughter through marriage. My mother-in-law is a prophetic, wise and generous woman who gave practical and financial support to us, especially in the early years of our marriage and when we were buying our first car.
Finally, there is the church mother, who is adopted as a mother by the church family.
In short, mothers aren’t just those who have given birth to children. They’re also those who have nurtured and raised the children of others. There are many women who have never borne children, yet never have an empty heart or home.
A title of honour
‘Mother’ is also a title that’s been given to female leaders, such as the Nanny of the Maroons, an 18th century leader of the enslaved Africans on the Island of Jamaica, who is considered a mother of Jamaica. Or Mother Teresa, who was called the Mother of the needy. Or Rosa Parks, who was called the mother of the civil rights movement.
In the Bible, we find Eve, the mother of the human race (Genesis 3:20), Hannah, the praying mother of Samuel and Mary, the faithful and obedient mother of Jesus.
A commandment and promise
In Exodus 20:12, we are given the commandment: ‘Honour your father and your mother …’. This is the first commandment to the Israelites that also came with a promise (Eph 6:2). It is a promise of blessing and prosperity: "… so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.’
Motherhood can be tough, especially with the current challenges of home-schooling and working, or of experiencing the agony of losing a child. Let’s use Mother’s Day this year as an opportunity to think about ways that we can lift up the mothers and mother figures in our lives as often as we can, and to remember those who are grieving the loss of their mothers.
Join us for our special Mother’s Day Celebration Service on Sunday 14 March at 11.30am. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for Zoom details.