Are you celebrating Mother’s Day? A quick look reveals some interesting things about this special day. For instance, the origin of Mother’s Day goes back to the era of the Ancient Greeks and Romans, but the roots of modern Mother’s Day history can also be traced to the U.K., where a “Mothering Sunday” was celebrated much before the festival saw the light of the day in the U.S. The celebration of Mother’s Day, as it is seen today, is a recent phenomenon and not even a hundred years old. Perhaps a review of its importance would be beneficial.
I have often heard mothers say to their daughters, as they struggle to “train up their children in the way they should go” how grateful they are that they, themselves, are not mothering young children in this culture.
I’m not sure how they are surviving the demands of motherhood in modern society, as mothers today are called upon in ways that those of yesteryear could never have imagined.
At the risk of oversimplifying the role of mothers of times past, there really was a time when motherhood was sought, desired, admired and valued beyond all other roles in society. Mother was the person to whom we looked for guidance, support and core strength. She was at peace with that role and gained personal worth and self-respect in the belief that she was gifting the next generation with that same sense of self-worth and self-respect that, in the end, honors others and creates a society worth living in. While she was rocking the cradle, she was ruling the world. And our nation has been the better for it.
I warmly recall all the everyday things Mama did for home and family without a single word of thanks or appreciation from us. I never thanked her for a clean house, clean clothes, sewed-up jeans, made-up beds, breakfast, dinner or supper every day (and special meals on Sunday after church). Oh, by the way, Mama was a school teacher and had school work to do on top of all the other “Mama stuff” she did, plus help me with my homework. (Did I mention she played piano for church on Sundays?) Oh yeah, before I “manned up,” she also had to listen to my “boo-hoo” episodes.
Motherhood today has, to our great dismay, been relegated to second-class citizenship with all the attendant social disgraces of “not being motivated to achieve,” “not being very intelligent,” “not being disciplined enough to get a real job” and numerous other disdainful opinions. A woman today has little social support for her role as a mother and yet, more responsibilities, demands and pressures are brought to bear on her than ever existed to successfully overcome the challenges inherent in parenting in 2017.
For those who mistakenly view women and mothers as anything less than God’s ideal for mankind, I recently discovered a clearer biblical definition of the original Hebrew meaning relating to God’s creation of woman. Dr. Susan Hyatt provides the following clarification of Genesis 2:18: “And the LORD God said, it is not good that man should be alone; I will make an help meet for him.”
In Genesis 2:18, the word “helpmeet” does not occur. The Hebrew expression ezer kenegdo appears, meaning one who is the same as the other and who surrounds, protects, aids, helps, supports. There is no indication of inferiority or of a secondary position, nor an hierarchical separation of the male and female spheres of responsibility, authority, or social position. The word ezer is used twice in the Old Testament to refer to the female and 14 times to refer to God. For example, in the Psalms, when David says, “The Lord is my Helper,” he uses the word ezer.
Motherhood is, without exception, the most difficult, self-sacrificing, rewarding and gratifying role that humans have ever experienced. “Mother” is our comforter, our healer, our therapist, our strategist, our conscience, our teacher, our counselor, our lifesaver, often our provider and, most assuredly, the hub of the family wheel.
We thank the Lord for you! Happy Mother’s Day!