This Sunday most of us will be celebrating our mothers. Churches will give flowers to moms and gifts to the oldest and youngest mothers. Families will gather together for dinner, and some Moms will actually get a day off, or at least one meal!
What will you be doing for Mother’s Day? If you still have your mom, I hope you will be spending time with her or at least, if she doesn’t live close by, that you will speak to her by telephone. By the way, you probably still have time to get a card in the mail! Very few weeks go by when I don’t think about telephoning my mother to update her on our lives, my kids, etc. Then I remember that she is in heaven and that my cell phone doesn’t reach that far.
Mom wasn’t perfect. She fell short in some areas but excelled in others. She worked hard for our family and struggled to please everyone, especially those who were relentlessly hard to please. Whatever you needed, Mom would do her best to help you, in spite of her pain or fatigue. Unfortunately, she was unable to please everyone, and that gave her much sadness.
Historically, many Mother’s Day sermons have used Proverbs 31 as their text, extolling the virtues of that industrious woman. Unfortunately, there are only a few of us who actually measure up to the description found in that passage. (Hint: I’m not one of them.) In fact, I would venture that many women dislike that passage because it makes them feel inadequate. We tend to read this bit of scripture and think that in order to be an effective wife and mother we have to do everything listed there, and if we don’t, we are failures.
Who wouldn’t want their value to be more than rubies? Who wouldn’t want her family to cherish her and to “call her blessed”? We work hard to provide for our family members, but in this fast-paced society, we find ourselves over-scheduled, over-committed, and overworked, with little time for them. And we still feel like we haven’t achieved all that our ancestor did to earn her a place in the Bible.
The Apostle Paul told the Colossians: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23-24). I used to look at this verse and feel ashamed because I wasn’t able to do everything that was laid out in front of me, thinking that God, like others, was disappointed in me. But then one day, as I read the Bible and prayed, I realized that this verse didn’t bring condemnation but rather freedom from it. You see, “human masters” might be hard to please, but God knows who we are and what we are able to do in the situation where he has placed us.
Likewise, when reading Proverbs 31, we read through all of the great things that this woman of faith accomplished but often fail to read all the way through to the end of the passage. It is there we find the most important way to be a godly woman. “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (verse 30).
This is where we must find our value, my friends, in the fear of the Lord, in our relationship with God. It is good to be a hard worker and to accomplish many things, but our value isn’t found in what we accomplish or what we obtain, but in the One whom we worship and serve.
For those of you who are mothers, have a happy Mother’s Day. My prayer is that your children will call you blessed for all you do for them, but most of all, my prayer is that you will find comfort and peace in the presence of God in your life.