Thoughts On Mother's Day
Now two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. One of them said, “Pardon me, my lord. This woman and I live in the same house, and I had a baby while she was there with me. The third day after my child was born, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one in the house but the two of us.
1 Kings 3:16-18 (NIV)
As you probably know, Mother’s Day is approaching. My heart literally aches for the mom who is estranged from her children, living in a distant city, or had the heartache of saying goodbye through death. Mother’s Day is always a reminder to me that my own mother is looking at the face of Jesus. I miss her and I do not believe that will change until we are united in heaven. Until then, I smile and enjoy the memories of times we shared together. For the woman who longs to be a mother and Mother’s Day is a reminder of waiting for the opportunity to be called “mom”, I want you to know that I will be praying for the comfort only Jesus can give.
As I began to think about writing this devotional for Mother’s Day, the two moms who came to King Solomon to settle a debate came to mind. These women were both prostitutes that lived in the same house and they each had a baby boy. In the middle of the night, one of the ladies rolled over her son and killed him. Her longing to be a mom was so great that she stole the other son from his mom and traded that child for her dead son. We are told that they went to Solomon for wisdom on how to handle their situation. Since they were prostitutes, they had no rights and both were pleading for mercy. Solomon, being wise, came up with a very creative way to discover the real mom. Solomon asked for a sword and was going to cut the living baby in half when the real mom cried out, “NO!” Solomon knew the cry of love for this child had come from the heart of his mother.
Now you may wonder why in the world this story came to my mind on Mother’s Day. I think you may see a little more of a mother’s heart if you look closely at the moms themselves and not at Solomon and his wisdom. As I mentioned before, both women were prostitutes; they had no one to love and the hope of finding lasting love was almost impossible given their profession. Having a child gave these two ladies the life they longed to have by giving them a sense of purpose and self worth. My heart breaks for these women as I truly understand the joy of having a child. However, as a mother myself, I also know children cannot be our life. Children are a gift from God, but they are not God and cannot give life purpose.
I have three grown children and I love them with all my heart. I will go ahead and confess to you—especially since God already knows my heart—that I cannot imagine life without my children. But, if I allow them to be my life, I have a few things to sort out. I was recently faced with this reality when the thought came to my mind that God did not die for me to be a mom; He died for me! God died to restore my relationship with Him and He is to be my life. I love my children with everything in me, but if I really love my children, I will encourage them to be the person God has created them to be and I’m to do the same. I have seen the loneliness and heartache that results when children are the center of a woman’s life. When the time comes for the child to leave home—and they do leave home—the mother is left feeling like her life is over. This is just not true! Life goes on and a mom is always a mom! We just play a different role in their lives as they grow and mature.
Now, back to the two prostitutes in 1 Kings. Both women wanted their children and loved them dearly. But only one woman was willing to give the child up for the sake of his life—even if it meant she would never again hold him or hear him say “mama”. That’s what I call the ultimate expression of a mother’s love.
As I reflect further on this story I am quick to say, “I would have done that—I would have sacrificed my desires to save my child!” But then the Holy Spirit reminds me of the fear I have even when I think about a life without my children. When the fear subsides, I know that by letting them live their own lives I have the freedom to enjoy—really enjoy—my children. The more I understand and embrace who I am and the purpose God died to give me, the more free I am to be the mom God intended me to be and look forward to what is next in my own life.
I will always be a mom. But my role as a mom will change in every season of my children’s lives. I happen to be in the season of life where my children are grown and I must say I have enjoyed each stage of their lives. Do I miss holding them in my lap and tucking them in bed? Absolutely! I will forever cherish those moments! I so enjoy the relationship I now have with my grown children as a mentor and friend, but I will always be their mommy! Not even death will change that! But I’m to go on living the life God desires for me by understanding my children do not determine my self worth nor do they bring value to me. I am God’s child and that alone gives me value!
Further Reading 1 Kings 3:16-28
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