MOM, MOM, MOM, MOMMY, MOMMY, MOM...
Haven't all of us mothers been victims of that chant when we just couldn't get to a child as fast as they want us to or maybe when they are up at 6:00 am and ready for pancakes on a day when you hoped to sleep in a bit?
God is our Father. Christ is our Brother and Betrothed. Where is Mom? What is she doing? Let's talk about that.
Motherhood is the ultimate roller coaster, isn't it? Great joy, paralyzing fear, heart-busting pride and nail-biting worry. Or maybe your faith was/is such that you never feared or worried or your child's behavior was such that motherhood was all pride and joy for you. If so, congratulations and please skip the next two paragraphs of this blog to save me the embarrassment of what I am going to confess.
I am so proud of each of my three grown children and everything they have accomplished in their lives. However, in my case, as we struggled through our imperfect human life together, my kids made some mistakes to go along with their awesome successes. But, what did I expect? Look who they have as their mother! I made some doozies myself in my own youth and in trying to raise them.
There was a time when I intended to be a career-focused woman and never have kids. I confess that was in part due to the fact that I didn't think I was cut out for the responsibilities of motherhood. I am sure there were times when my kids (and maybe outsiders looking in on our lives) thought "um, maybe you were right about that."
Oh, yeah, motherhood is often filled with insecurity too.
We frequently hear about God our Father. He is Father to the fatherless. He makes perfect decisions based on perfect love and perfect wisdom and perfect understanding of each of our strengths and weaknesses and His perfect plan for us.
What about Spiritual "Mom," the church? Uh, not so much perfection there. Personally, I have experienced some abusive motherhood from a church at a particular time, if we are talking about a 501c3 organization and it's paid leaders. Maybe you have too.
However, the church is not an 501c3 organization. It is a group of individuals, all of whom make up the body of Christ. Therefore, each one of us (male or female) has a responsibility to take on the role of mother to the other children of God. No member is off the hook on that.
What does a good church/mother do? She feeds and clothes her family. She educates from the scriptures and imparts wisdom from her life experiences. She shows concern for all her children and does not ignore the most demanding in favor of the brightest or most successful. She teaches her children how to think for themselves and how to make good decisions. She lets them fail and fall, but is always there to pick them up and set them back on the right path. She holds them responsible but doesn't hold a grudge.
If you want to understand your role as part of the "church mother," then please read Proverbs 31 and replace the idea that this is the perfect woman with the understanding that this should also be true of Christ and the church, His bride.
Based on Ephesians 5:32, I believe that any guidance to women is also valid guidelines for the church as a whole. I encourage you to try that and see how it changes your perspective on your role as part of the church "Mother." (Eph. 5:15-32)
We all need a Mom. Even an imperfect, struggling Mom who loves her children is better than no Mom.
The church should strive to be a nurturing mother. Mom, Mom,Mom, Mommy, Mommy, Mom, church...are you listening?