Mother’s Day is a day when we celebrate life and life-caregivers. Women who exercise their mom-muscles (on their children, their students, their neighbors, their grandchildren, their step-children, their foster children, their players, you get the idea!) are acting like God. The maternal characteristics come from God, since in Genesis 1, it says, “God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Jesus was a man, and God is our heavenly father, but mothers aren’t “other,” they are made in God’s image, and when they act in their nature, they reflect Him.
Like God, Mothers shield, care, guard, hover, and catch their children.
In a desert land, he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye, like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them aloft.Deuteronomy 32:10
When my son, Aidan, needed stitches and we came home from a costume party to take him to the hospital and I showed up in the ER looking like a lounge singer, it didn’t matter. When I told my husband from a football sideline, “I can tell Josh broke his collarbone. Look how he’s standing,” I was demonstrating the fierceness of God in a maternal expression. Mamas know – and if we know, then God does even more. We can’t hide our pain from Him. All the times your mom asks if you are ok, (and you roll your eyes), she’s acting like Jesus…
Like God, Mothers give life.
Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?” says the LORD. “Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?” says your God.Isaiah 66:9
For a long time I have kept silent, I have been quiet and held myself back. But now, like a woman in childbirth, I cry out, I gasp and pant.Isaiah 42:14
We literally bring into the world new life, but we also breathe life into broken hearts, and new dreams every time we cheer on, pick up, or prop up those we are called to mother, we are acting like Jesus.
Like God, Mothers protect.
Like a bear robbed of her cubs, I will attack them and rip them open; like a lion I will devour them– a wild animal will tear them apart.Hosea 13:8
I had an extended relative who insisted on taking my children one day to the zoo. I knew they weren’t safe, and I ended up chasing them down the highway to the zoo parking lot. I was protecting my children, and I am just a shadow reflection of God. He is wildly protective of His own. All those mama bear moments – when we fiercely fight for the body and soul of our children, we act like Jesus… who fights for us, body and soul.
Like God, Mothers don’t forget their child.
Can a woman forget her nursing child and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.Isaiah 49:15
This is one quality that can frustrate the men in our lives. “Can’t you just forget about them for a while?” he asks on a date night. The answer is… not really. And if we can’t forget our children and we are human, fallible, sinful, how much more a perfect God won’t forget about us.
Like God, Mothers long to gather their children together.
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.Luke 13:34
Our family survived a hurricane, and I can remember in the nights following, I wanted everyone to sleep in our room, where I could “keep an eye” on them. That’s how God is – He likes it when we come together. It’s been His plan since the beginning. He created His people to be in His place, so they could experience His presence and have His peace. It started that way in Genesis and will finish that way in Revelation. When we have those longings, Moms, we are exercising that God-like nature in us.
Like God, Mothers comfort.
As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you.Isaiah 66:13
Our newly adopted son, Tyler, got upset after a failed Monopoly game on vacation in Colorado. Even though he was twelve, I held him as he cried himself to sleep that night, reminding him of how loved he was. A few days later, we were debriefing our favorite moments of the week, most sharing activities unique to vacation, but when it was Tyler’s turn, he said his favorite moment was when I comforted him that night. Mamas comfort, and we are just a dim reflection of God who wants to hold you, to tell you what is true, to remind you He won’t leave you…
These characteristics: shielding, comforting, birthing, protecting, hovering… these are God qualities and they manifest in us, mothers, because we are of Him and from Him. Don’t apologize for it. Don’t ever say, “I’m just being a mom,” or let someone mock you for exercising who you are made to be.
Men: make room in your family for mothers to use their unique gifts. Either the mother of your children, or your own mother, or the mothers you work alongside, or the mothers your daughter will become. Don’t overpower or belittle them, but respect and honor how God literally created them.
Women: demonstrate your femininity towards the children under your roof, or with those you love around you: Step into your maternal nature, the Church can’t afford for you to hold back.