Blessing of Mothers
May I wish all the mothers, including natural and “spiritual” mothers, a blessed Mother’s Day, and ongoing joy in their sacred God-given role.
The books that make up the Bible were written in times when patriarchal societies were the norm. For this reason, there are fewer references to the importance of motherhood compared to that of fatherhood. Although male headship is clearly taught in the Bible, the importance of motherhood is by no means diminished.
Apart from the obvious fact that mothers are given the vital role of childbearing, and the universal fact that children in their early stage of life are much closer to their mothers than their fathers, God has endowed women with characteristics that enable them to exercise parenthood in essential aspects different from those of fathers.
While the Bible depicts God as our Heavenly Father, and there is no mention of a Heavenly Mother, our all-sufficient God sometimes relates to us in ways consistent with motherhood too. When Jesus lamented for Jerusalem, He said “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!” – Matthew 23:37. His passion and concern for God’s people was such that the best analogy was one of a mother’s care. We have all experienced the blessings of our mothers’ love and care expressed in tangible and practical ways.
The Bible also describes motherly love in ways that are found in God Himself:
• God cares for His people like an eagle hovering over her young (Deuteronomy 32:11a)
• God is concerned for His people like a midwife care for the child she has delivered (Psalm 22:9-10)
• God will never forget His children like a mother will not forget their nursing child (Isaiah 49:15)
• God comforts His people like a nursing mother (Isaiah 66:13)
• God experiences the anger of a mother bear who has been robbed of her cubs (Hosea 13:8)
While the fathers’ spiritual headship in their families is very important by the Lord’s design, we have seen in many cases, probably the majority, it is the mother who bears the responsibility of nurturing and exercising day-to-day spiritual leadership towards their young children. What Paul said about Timothy is true for many: “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” – 2Tim 1:5.
Even when mothers are exercising a supportive role to their husbands in the spiritual life of the family, that role of gentle encouragement, practical demonstration, and reminder is so important to make their homes Christ-centered ones. The mothers’ ability of maintaining homes as havens where love is secure and warm is vital for us to live out other aspects of our lives to the full.
To all the mothers, grandmothers and mothers-to-be, spiritual mothers, and mothers who have passed away - we express our heartfelt gratitude, respect and love.
To the children and fathers: The best way of celebrating the mothers in our lives, today and always is to acknowledge them and to relate to them in such a way as to make their motherhood joyful and rewarding.
雖然聖經將神形容為我們的天父，也沒有提到有天上的母親，但我們全能的神也有母性的一面與我們相交，可見母性的重要。當耶穌為耶路撒冷哀悼時，祂說：「耶路撒冷 阿、耶路撒冷 阿、你常殺害先知、又用石頭打死那奉差遣到你這裡來的人．我多次願意聚集你的兒女、好像母雞把小雞聚集在翅膀底下、只是你們不願意。」——馬太福音23：37。祂對神子民的情感和關懷是如此之熱切，以至於最貼切的比喻是母親對兒女的眷愛顧佑。 我們都切身經驗過母親常以行動實際地表達出來的愛和關懷，所帶給我們的祝福。
• 神關心 祂的子民，就像一隻鷹在她雛鷹之上兩翅搧展盤旋（申命記32：11a）