Mothers can bring out the worst or the best in their children. You might say, “Well the child has to cooperate too”. Agreed. But, the godly authoritative figures have a tremendous and favorable role in partnering with the Holy Spirit, not to enhance the sinful nature but the godly nature. The world out there throws trash at every human being, and if mothers don’t take the time, energy, love and effort to be women of grace to their precious ones; first emotionally, and then in other areas; hopes are shattered. Dreams crumble. Failures and misery are welcomed without understanding.
Mary knew Jesus was capable of far more than mere “man mannerisms”. Entire Israel was awaiting their Messiah. She knew her Son is, but she couldn’t make sense of it. Time has passed by, and thirty years have gone by. Yet, she didn’t disbelieve the truth; that she carried the One who made her. She didn’t minimize the encounter of her virgin conception.
Some mothers too, have waited long. They have prayed, believed and cried out to God for the change and shift in their children’s lives. You might say, “Our children are nowhere near Jesus”. Here, the divine Savior’s mother played a role. Even without a great understanding mom like Mary, Jesus would have still laid down His life for us. But God, before creation, chose a woman like Mary for His only begotten Son. That shows the heart of God for every mother. As each year passed by she knew her son was born for greatness. Her Son alone was able to do what she requested.
When the wine ran out, Mary was frantic. It’s natural; isn’t it? If she has to immediately run to her son, you and I can be assured that this woman, this mother, knew from the depth of her heart that only Jesus could do anything about it. Not the wine-makers, nor any other attendee of the wedding, none. Have you been a mother who has requested your children to help you with chores? Who has asked them to do what they alone can do and learn?
So Mary told Jesus, “They ran out of wine”. Like any other child, he subtly said a no. Maybe he was polite. But Mary didn’t argue back. She turned to the servants and said, “Do whatever He says” and she left that place. I wish mothers like me had a place to relate, like, “she kept on saying until he turned water into wine”, “she shouted at him”, “she advised him about his divine authority”, “she vented at him”, “she assumed that he wouldn’t do it and hence, she wanted to tell him another way”. We mothers immediately want results from our grown-up children. We stretch when they are young, but when they are grown up, we lay aside every fruit of patience and gentleness. We have believed so firmly that our gentleness isn’t going to improve our children in any manner.
No, Mary didn’t argue with her Son. Mary didn’t provoke her Son. Mary trusted God with her Son.
Maybe you have children, who you know, are capable to take greater responsibilities. But they don’t meet your understanding or expectations. But can you, mother, stop being argumentative and overly assuming? Can you trust God and give them their time to do things, in their unique ways? Can you understand that they might not be thinking like you, and that’s okay? Can you receive the grace that was upon Mary’s life, and know your child will rise to do what God wants from them? Can you stop centralizing your advice on cultural and experiential knowledge alone? Can you, mother, be led by the Holy Spirit and leave control?
Heard of Rebecca? Such a godly woman, full of wisdom. What eventually happened to her is appalling. She was so partial, that she failed to understand crookedness and deception isn’t the solution to fulfilling God’s purposes in Esau’s or Jacob’s lives. Esau was so aggressive because of this one aspect of his mother. She did play a role in ruining his personality. He married women that gave his parents a terrible time. When he realized his mistake, he married an Ishmaelite woman, thinking she would bring peace. In both these areas, we see a confused man, because his mother was biased toward the younger one. She thought her ‘control’ in this matter was supreme than God’s constant guidance and intervention. Ultimately, the son she favored had to stay away from her for more than 14 years. Esau had to take care of her and Isaac.
Jochebed, the mother of Moses, feared none but God. She saw the child was “beautiful” (the very same expression God had when He saw the creation was good), that she did not let him be killed. Moses was an angry man, but I am assuming this mother continued to pray and speak life over him. Aaron and Miriam could easily believe Moses when he got back. Their mother’s confession of Moses’ calling could have been one of the greatest reasons.
Augustine of Hippo (known as Saint Augustine) was a womanizer and a wayward son. His mother’s relentless prayers and approach of love and kindness, in time, led Him to encounter the saving grace of Jesus. “A child of these many tears cannot perish” was what a man of God told her when she wailed out to God for him. Her prayer was followed with actions of immense love to see the best in her son. She was sure to never be the reason to bring out the worst in him. Mothers, your arguments and nagging can bring the nastiest behavior out of your children. They might lose their sense of judgment and decision-making. This can lead them to be ruthless and brash in life. So wait, wait with them, and don’t provoke them. If you mothers see ‘weaknesses’, ‘flaws’ and ‘evil’ in your teenage child or grown-up children, don’t make it harder and miserable for them. Because, they cannot be tamed at such an age with your advice, yelling, shouting and severances. Seek God’s help to bring a new practice for them, a practice that will help them overcome their sinful habits. Be mothers who are thankful for your children every single time. Be mothers who see them as God sees them, precious and marvelous.
So mothers, let us be that woman. That woman whom our children can be fearless with. That mother, who don’t regularly highlight their weaknesses and failures. That woman, who trusts God than her efforts. That woman, who believes her role isn’t to pester and provoke; but to be calm, gentle and loving. Because this generation is entangled in so many things. They need mothers who are women after God’s own heart; not after their husband’s heart, after their in-law’s hearts. Not after money, fame and extravagance. They need a mother who sees the brilliance of God in them. Even when they fail and fall; they need mothers who can pick them up, and love them back with immense grace.
You may fail because before being a mother, you were first a single- woman and then a wife. Take your vulnerabilities to God. Let His strength quench your ego- of not wanting to apologize and change for the sake of your children.
Long for your child to have a godly character shaped only by God and not by you. If you want to be the center of their lives, they will fall apart. But if you make Jesus the center of your life, water will turn to wine.
Augustine wrote, “I cannot adequately tell of the love my mother had for me, or how she still travailed for me in the spirit with a far keener anguish than when she bore me in the flesh.” If Monica (St. Augustine’s mother) was like the rest of us, she probably wondered if she had done something wrong—if her parenting might have been in part to blame for her younger son’s rejection of her faith.
Without letting any pain, accusations, or trauma dictate her life, she (Monica) strived for her valuable son to know Jesus by giving up her right to control his life.
To the children; your mothers are your precious gifts from God. They are worth more than zillion good friends. They are worth more than any gifts and your perceptions. Maybe they wouldn’t say “sorry”. But they would realize their wrong. Their sorry means, ‘bringing you a lemon juice’, ‘ironing your party wear’, ‘making your bed the next morning’, ‘buying you your favorite sweet’, ‘giving you a back hug’… etc. They might never know how to articulate it sophistically, but will be silently praying, “God please help my child to let this go, and forgive me’!’ They might not be as great as Mary, but they were seen to be worthy by God to be your dear mother. Forgive them daily for their flaws, and be like Jesus who cared for his mother in deep agony. They may not be as good-looking and ambitious as your friends’ mom, but they would be the only ones to see that you stay beautiful and wonderful all your life. Love them even when they don’t understand much of what is in your heart. If your mother isn’t godly, be willing to surrender to God for healing. Maybe your mother did bring out the worst in you, and now, trying her best to do the opposite. Maybe you have tried it all, and nothing works. Don’t give up praying and seeking God daily for her. Maybe you needed to cut off for a time of restoration of your emotional health. But, don’t close the day without genuinely praying for the change in your mother’s heart and reconciliation.
And, maybe, your mother is no more. But, all that God blessed her with, she has passed it to you. You are gifted by God to be His reflection.
Echo of His Voice