Today I read the section on “mother” in my Bible dictionary.
Here’s a small snippet of what I read:
“Motherly virtues are often extolled: compassion for children (Is. 49:15), comfort of children (Is. 66:13), and sorrow for children (Jeremiah 31:15, quoted in Matthew 2:18)…In addition to the literal sense, the word is often used metaphorically. Israel is compared to an unfaithful mother (Hosea 2:2-5; Isaiah 50:1)…a city is the ‘mother’ of her people (2 Sam. 20:19), Deborah was the ‘mother’ (or deliverer) of Israel…Jesus spoke of His compassion for Jerusalem as being like that of a mother hen for her chicks (Matt. 23:37). Paul compared his ministry to a mother in labor (Gal. 4:19) and a nursing mother (1 Thess. 2:7).”
As I read this, I felt an extreme sadness over the words, ‘unfaithful mother.’ My heart was torn for the children who have had an unfaithful mother that abandoned them.
Then I sat there and pondered motherhood. And I realized– motherhood isn’t what you do, it’s who you are, it’s where you are. It’s not about how well you cook, teach, sing. It’s not about doing a good job keeping house — or even doing the greatest job with discipline. Motherhood is like a state of being — being there. What do your children want from you? They want you. Your love, your laughter, your comforting presence, your compassionate hug, your words of wisdom. Just knowing that you are only a room away makes a child feel safe and secure! It’s who you are, and where you are — not what you do or what you are “good at” that counts.
Phew. This little revelation blew into my heart today like a refreshing wind. Praise God, I can just rest and love and be there. This role of mother isn’t something to attain or get better at. I am here with them; I am their mother.