Motherhood: A Sacred Gift
Motherhood is a gift from God. Mothers bring life into the world, mitigating the curse of death resulting from sin. In this mitigation there is great hope. Ultimately, that hope dawned in the birth of Jesus Christ to the virgin mother, Mary. Though Mother’s Day is not a sacred holiday — even if it were, most Baptists do not follow a liturgical calendar — this annual holiday gives us an occasion to consider the sacred gift that is motherhood.
This sacred gift is not without its challenges — as any mother I know would quickly point out! These challenges certainly spring from the same sin of death that motherhood mitigates. In addition to the obvious challenges of motherhood, such as the pain of labor, is the significant challenge of becoming a mother.
In days gone by, miscarriages were silently grieved and rarely mentioned to anyone. In recent years, couples are more open to sharing their grief with others, making us all the more aware of the significant pain that comes with infertility and other challenges. Yet, all of these challenges trace back to those fateful words in Genesis 3.16: “I will intensify your labor pains; you will bear children with painful effort.” The regular appearance of barren women testifies to this painful struggle.
But these challenges are nothing new to modern motherhood. Think of the very first mother who not only faced the challenge of bickering children, but of fratricide. From the very beginning, motherhood has been both a sacred calling and a serious challenge. In the Bible, there are examples of barren women who desire children (Sarah and Hannah), disenfranchised mothers (Hagar), faithless mothers (Lot’s wife) and faithful mothers (Hannah), mothers who show favoritism to one of her children (Rebekah), and mothers who love other children as their own (Pharaoh’s daughter). We can’t read very far without encountering a mother and observing both the joys and challenges of motherhood.
On this Mother’s Day, we pray that God will bless and strengthen the mothers of this assembly and encourage those who long for motherhood. This great gift comes from God alone who controls the womb and who equips and enables mothers to remain faithful in that sacred trust.