Editor’s note: There’s no doubt about it, mothers play a significant role in contributing to human flourishing. In honor’s of Mother’s Day, the IFWE blog is focusing this week on the work of moms (and those who support them!).
Mother’s Day is accompanied by certain predictable rituals: breakfast in bed, homemade cards, brunch, flowers, and many other activities.
Of the 4.7 billion greeting cards Americans purchase annually, 133 million will be purchased for our mothers this weekend. As we slow down and take time to thank our mothers, we know that these small tokens of our appreciation could never come close to showing our full gratitude for what our mothers do for us.
I am reminded of this verse (Psalm 139:13-16):
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
As a mother myself, my appreciation for what the lifetime job of being a mother entails is profound. What our mothers do for us starts before we are even fully formed: they nurture us, protect us, and, most importantly, they pray for us.
I find as I get older that I never stop needing my mother. The relationship between mother and child changes over time, but it is no less important. I don’t run to her when I fall and scrape my knee, but I do seek her prayer, her friendship, her counsel, and the wisdom of her years. She still plays an important role in fixing my scrapes and bruises, and as we age, the type of scrapes and bruises we get change, too. The role of a mother remains steadfast.
As I juggle the role of wife, mother, and employee, I have a deep appreciation for the hours I get to spend with my children. The formative years are so important, and I find that I am praying for people I won’t meet for years or perhaps ever: my children’s spouses (should God call them to marry), their children (should God grant them), and their grandchildren.
I have no idea what God has in store for my children, nor does any mother. I do know that each night when I put my kids to bed, and I encourage them to pray in their own words, that I am overcome with joy, love, and intense thankfulness.
When my little son prays to Jesus and says, “You are the most awesome God, ever!” I am aware in that moment of what a great honor it is to shepherd this child in the ways of the Lord. I am deeply humbled, and I am often certain that I am unqualified for the job. I feel confident that all of our mothers felt this way. Praise God that he is in charge! The role of mother first and foremost is to be faithful to the Lord.
We are not all called to be mothers, but we are all here because of our mothers. The gift of family is a beautiful one and something that we should not take for granted. It is the institution where we are raised and grow into the people God has created us to be. And moms that help families to flourish ultimately help societies to flourish. Anna Arnold writes,
…family is part of our calling. Being faithful to this calling and attending to the details of family life—loving, supporting, reminding, guiding, listening, disciplining, forgiving, helping, and just plain being there—matters. When we don’t attend to these things or when our ability to do these things is impaired, flourishing doesn’t happen.
As you reflect on family and the God-given role of mother, join me in thanking and showing deep gratitude for the work of our mothers, which begins in the womb. It doesn’t matter if you are 4 or 54, the sweet gestures, time spent, and prayers offered are the best show of gratitude for our mothers.
Editor’s note: Read more from Anne about our call to flourish in her booklet, Be Fruitful and Multiply: Why Economics is Necessary for Making God-Pleasing Decisions.