My earliest Mother’s Day memories are of my father purchasing flowers for the whole family. The tradition he taught us was that on Mother’s Day you wear a flower to honor your mother: red if she is living, white if you’ve lost her. So my three brothers and I, along with our mother, wore red. My dad wore a white boutonniere.
Over time Mother’s Day changed for me. My inability to conceive a child (which I felt every day) was annually highlighted on that one special Sunday. Mother’s Day was the one Sunday in the year I was tempted (and have been known) to play hooky from church.
I recall feeling it acutely one year, as mothers rose to be honored, and I remained seated alongside an incredible young wife who couldn’t have stood even if she had a child, which she didn’t and never would simply because a debilitating disease had overrun her body. That’s when I began to look beyond my own discomfort to realize how, for so many women Mother’s Day is one date on the calendar they’d just as soon skip.
Jesus had the opportunity to memorialize Mother’s Day. Twice He had golden opportunities to celebrate His own mother in public. Instead, He redefined our reasons to honor women and changed everything for all of us.
On one of those occasions, Jesus was preaching, when a woman in the crowed blurted out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” Instead of celebrating motherhood, Jesus pointed to another reason to celebrate women.
“Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it” (Luke 11:28).
In God’s gracious providence, He gave me a little girl and made me a mother. Looking into her blinking eyes the first day I met her, was the first of many glorious moments. But as much as I love being a mom, I cannot forget the women who share the heartache I felt for so many years.
Maybe instead of celebrating biology—and leaving out so many women—we should take Jesus’ advice on the subject (now there’s an interesting idea!) and celebrate ezers who follow Him and are fulfilling His mandate to be fruitful and multiply by advancing His kingdom in the lives of others. Maybe then, instead of giving young women examples to follow that may be physically beyond their reach or easily lost in this broken world, we’d be showcasing role models every woman can and should follow.
A Blessed Ezers Day to ALL my sisters!
So beautifully expressed, Carolyn! I add a hearty “Amen!” to your idea.
Hi Carolyn, In the last few years our pastor has had all of the women in the congregation stand. He has given tribute to all of the women in the church and the influence they have had on so many lives here at the church. Then the oldest women present receive roses. This year they went to a woman of 91 years of age who has never been married but has been involved in so many lives. I am so glad we celebrated her life and all the input she has given over the years. I agree with your post. Thank you for sharing it.
What a heartening story. I also heard of another church where among the women honored on Mother’s Day, the pastor included a younger single woman who is sacrificially pouring herself into the lives of young girls and making a huge difference for the gospel. I love how these men are thinking!
I never go to Church on Mother’s Day (or on Mothering Sunday as it is called here in the UK). I think the church’s handling of motherhood has obscured my view of Jesus. Sad, isn’t it?
I can’t imagine what it would be like to have women honoured in church for other things.
I had a thought about your use of “Ezer” from Scripture. I notice that you haven't really referenced to the context of this term stated in Genesis, or the MASSIVE qualifier that is left out of most modern translations, (or it is simply mistranslated as “suitable”).
וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים לֹא־טֹוב הֱיֹות הָאָדָם לְבַדֹּו אֶעֱשֶׂהּ־לֹּו עֵזֶר כְּנֶגְדֹּו׃
There are two very big implications of the qualification following “Ezer”: “Kenegdo”. This literally translates as: “as before him”.
For example, in 2 Sam 22:23, it states “All his laws are before me; I have not turned away …
The same Hebrew word is used, (Neged).
In the context of Gen 2, God very clearly gave a commandment to Adam, and IMMEDIATELY afterward, said it was not right for Adam to be alone. Why?
Doesn't the context support the idea that woman was created to help keep Adam accountable to the command that God had given to him?
Isn't this exactly why Adam pointed to Eve and said, “The woman that you gave me, she …”.
If a woman is truly a “helper before” man, to keep them accountable, and to remind them of the command of God for his life, then why is this rarely taught in Christianity today?
Is it the case that women are too scared to be perceived as “naggy”? Is it because men truly do not want this kind of accountability? Is it because women do not really want their husbands to pursue the commandment of God?
If what I am arguing is true, and this IS the reason that God created woman, (as stated in this passage), then are women off the mark in their role in a marriage if they do not understand this simple concept that God determined that man NEEDED an intimate source of accountability?
I pray that God blesses you with His favor and peace as you trust in Him.
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