MOTHER’S DAY: Honoring God’s indispensable gift

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (BP) — “God couldn’t be everywhere, so He made mothers.” While not theologically accurate, this old Jewish saying describes beautifully the significant role mothers have in our lives.

Motherhood is one of God’s greatest gifts to humanity. A loving, committed mother is an indispensable person in our development. Just imagine a world without mothers. It would be a sterile place indeed. Mothers instill powerful social and nurturing characteristics in each generation. It is principally from their mothers that children learn the virtues of sacrifice, sharing, valuing others, compassion, community and a host of other interpersonal values and skills that enable humans to live together in peace.

Biologically, women are designed for self-sacrifice. When pregnant, a woman’s body focuses its primary attention to nurturing that new, growing life developing within her. Her body will automatically prioritize the needs of her unborn baby. And this inherent gift for self-sacrifice isn’t only biological. After her children are born, a mother will continue to sacrifice herself for the needs of her children. She will do whatever she can to assure her children have what they need.

Mothers are also designed by God to nurture. There is just no greater nurturing power on the planet than a mother. When the apostle Paul was describing his love for the church at Thessalonica, he used the metaphor of a mother’s love to describe how deeply he cared for the Thessalonians. He reminded them that he was like a “gentle” mother who “tenderly cares for her own children” (1 Thessalonians 2:7). When God described His love for Israel, He did so with a motherhood metaphor. He told Israel that He would comfort them like a mother comforts her children (Isaiah 66:13).

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