First, I’d like to acknowledge all of those women who find Mother’s Day a time of mourning. Those women who, through circumstances out of their control, have no children of their own.
And secondly, I’m going to edge out on a limb to declare that don’t believe one needs to have a child, biological or adopted, to be a mother. And here is my reasoning.
I hate being put in a box.
Most people do. For example, I did a google search for the qualities of a mother. Apparently, mothers are loving and nurturing. They feed their children not only the food their bodies need, and the nurturing their hearts require, but the instruction that invigorates life-long learning as well.
What a load of rubbish
Not all mothers do these things. Some women have the ability to produce children without the slightest stirring of “motherly” intent. Whilst other women radiate these qualities without having produced, nurtured or had anything to do with children.
We need to redefine the Mother Box.
The way I see it, the universal qualities that are applied to mothers; comforting, nurturing, teaching, providing, protecting with a hidden hint of savage, are not latent qualities waiting for baby hormones to awaken them. Rather, they are innate qualities in most women irrespective of having children from the womb, under foot, or of the heart.
Whilst most women strive and achieve these goals raising their children (read my experience here). I believe that one does not have to be a mother to be demonstrate mother-like qualities.
The childless queen
I recently finished reading Esther. If you don’t know her story, check it out here. But in short, she was a Jewish girl who had been adopted by her uncle living in the Persian capital, Susa, and became a Queen.
Esther had been blessed with beauty and planted in the palace for God’s purpose. She had been prompted politically by her uncle and taught technicalities by the chief eunuch, but taking the God given opportunity to rise to fame and influence was totally on her.
When Israel faced annihilation, she “Mothered Up” and went into battle on behalf of her people, bravely working through her own cunning plan to bring about victory.
But wait, there’s more
What about the others who demonstrated their caring, nurturing, protective natures minus children?
Deborah, a judge and mediator of Israel co-led an army of 10 000 men to fight an oppressive foreign king who threatened her people.
Rahab in true mother style, came up with a plan to save her family. She bravely defied her own people, lied to soldiers, and harboured spies to protect her household from an invading nation.
Ruth left her country and her family to travel to a land that despised her, so that she could care and provide for her mother-in-law. Whist it was Naomi’s cunning plan that won the day, it was Ruth’s bravery, dedication and loyalty that snagged the victory.
Each of these women had a fierce passion for their family, biological and adopted. They each Mothered Up when the uglies hit the fan. Ruth cared beyond logic, Esther loved with great passion, Deborah fought without flinching, and Rahab stood without breaking. Yet all were without children.
You may disagree. These may have just been exceptional women raised for a time such as theirs. But as I look around today, I see a plethora of exceptional women with and without children. I had to ask the question, does one have to have children to, Mother Up?
I honestly believe that each of us are created in the image of God; male and female. And the qualities of God embedded in His children find relevance in different expressions of His creation. Within women we find the mother-heart of God; mediator, nurturer, comforter, fierce protector and passionate lover. Why then would we have to wait to have children for these qualities to awaken?
Why would a loving God who knows that some of his daughters will not bear children due to consequence rather than choice, bar them from bearing the characteristics we were created to demonstrate? The same characteristics we identify with “mothering”.
Happy Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day is a day to honour the women who bore, raised, put up with, and fought for us. Without a mother-type (biological, adopted, or of heart) in our life, we wouldn’t have life or a glimpse of the mother-heart of God. With all of my heart I praise Him for mums, especially mine. And I pray daily that I can Mother Up in all the right areas for my two boys.
But I’d also like to acknowledge those women who have what it takes to Mother Up, regardless of their child status. To those who care beyond logic, love with great passion, fight without flinching and stand without breaking. To those who carry compassion, grace and mercy, balanced by a hint of hidden savage, I wish you a happy Mother’s Day as well.