There seems to be light-hearted remarks about mothers-in-law among some, but my experience has not been able to relate with that. No doubt, some mothers fit negative stereotypes, and then when they become mothers-in-law….
I am also sure many mothers have heard these remarks and might even have gone an extra mile to make sure they are not guilty of being anything like the punching-bag fodder. When you think of your mother-in-law, what comes to mind? Whatever comes to mind, before her mother-in-law status, she was the only mother to your spouse.
As I was thinking about a bulletin article for this Mother’s Day, I looked at Mark 1:29-31, and Jesus’ healing Peter’s mother-in-law of a fever. The emphasis in these 3 verses is on what Jesus did, not on Peter’s mother-in-law, except to say that she was sick with a fever and after being healed, she got up and served them. There is nothing in this reading about any time-separation between her being healed and when she had begun to serve, only that she served them. Was she compelled? Not hardly! This was who she was, so let us think about the women in our families, about who they are.
As I was thinking about this, I thought I would jot down some things that come to my mind when I think of a mother. First, in the Lord’s eyes, He brought her forth from man, thus equal to him in all respects. Her equality was not a matter of doing what he did but serving effectively in the role the Almighty gave her, as he served effectively in the role the Almighty gave him.
Second, in the Lord’s eyes, she is the primary mover of the world. Think about it. While the husband/father leads the family, she cares for the children, and she raises them to be what they should in an adult society. Sadly, many females reject this role because they have bought the lies of Satan, thinking they can have a career and play a significant role in the lives of their children after they pick them up from the baby-sitter. Third, there is no tenderness like there is in a mother. Just ask the husband. Better, yet, as I reflect on my own upbringing, when I got in trouble, it was to mom I went. I knew she could soften the blow-back I would get from dad, and when our girls were at home, this is exactly the role my wife played as well. She did this because she was better at being a buffer than I and she effectively took care of the situation with the right amount of discipline.
Fourth, little boys are taught how to respect women when they learn it from their mother. They learn it from the father, of course, but the learning that comes from a mother is of a different quality. Fifth, who is better at dealing with the issues a little girl experiences than a mother who was once there. I laugh at myself when I think of this now, but I remember saying to our daughters several times, this is what you need to do, so just do it. I was not much on empathy, just buckle down and get it done (learned this from my dad). Don’t ask questions.
Perhaps that works best for boys, maybe some girls, but in my many years, not most girls.
Sixth, in a family with a mother and father, there is balance. Whatever strengths one has, the other enhances it. Whatever failings one has, the other makes up the difference. This is a family after God’s pattern. We don’t want to minimize the contributions of our fathers, but on this Mother’s Day, we want to accentuate a mover and shaker in our family and in this world. There is nothing like a mother (to me). RT