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What Does Mom Want?
Mothers, take a deep breath and relax-my text today isn't Proverbs 31.
Today, I'm not preaching on what it means to be an excellent wife and mother,
instead, my primary audience is the children, not the mothers. Not everyone
in this audience is a mother, but everyone has or had a mother, so we are
looking at this holiday from the perspective of the child-not the mother.
Moms, when you're knee deep in dirty diapers, spilled oatmeal and bedtime
stories, I'm sure it is easy to be so overwhelmed by motherhood that there
is no time left to think about what you want FOR your children or FROM
your children when they are grown. But from the time the nurse hands you
that messy bundle of joy in the hospital, one thing is for certain-there
will be a time when your children will leave home. Our helpless, fragile
children grow up to become students, husbands, wives, doctors, mechanics,
police officers and military personnel. The day will come when parents
grow to depend upon those who once depended on us. That is the cycle of
Did you know that the first time the word "Mother" is mentioned in the
bible it referred to the time when a child leaves home? Genesis 2:24 says,
"For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall
cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh." (NASB) Of course
the subject of this text is the celebration of marriage, not the grief
of the empty nest, nevertheless, motherhood is not mentioned until this
verse. I suppose at this point in the sermon I could say things like, "enjoy
your children while you have them because they'll be gone soon," or "stop
and smell the roses while you can," etc. But that's not where I'm going
with this. Instead, I want to explore these two questions, "What do Mothers
want FOR their children"" And "What do they want FROM their children?"
I sent out a few emails to women that I respect and asked them these
two questions. Because I chose godly women, I wasn't surprised by spiritual
depth of their answers, though their passion and clarity did catch me a
bit off guard. None of them treated this question lightly, it was something
they had obviously spent time thinking about were happy to tell me what
What do Mother's want FOR their children? This is an emotion-drenched
question. Mothers, by and large, want the best for their children. They
want them to have choices and they want them to make good choices.
There is a sense in which the ultimate job of parenting is giving our
children choices. The hospitals along the Mexico-USA border in San Diego
deliver hundreds of babies to Mexican Nationals every year. Dr. Jorge Arce,
an OB who practices in Chula Vista delivers about 100 of them every year.
He said, "They drop in to the emergency room, they deliver and they leave."
When they leave they take two precious things with them-their newborn child
and their child's American birth certificate. According to Dr. Arce, most
of the families he helps, as you might imagine, don't take any financial
responsibility for the delivery of their child.
But not all the Mexican Nationals who deliver their babies across the
border are poor. Many of them take full financial responsibility for their
medical bills, but still choose to come across the border to deliver-people
like Dr. Gabriela Nicolas. She had her first contractions while she was
watching a movie. Nicolas, a psychologist, could have easily gone to her
local hospital in Tijuana, Mexico to have the child, but chose instead
to drive to a Suburban hospital in the US, where she gave birth within
12 hours. Why would she do it? One reason could be the quality of the care.
Lauren Mack, from the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services said,
"Those who have the ability to pay utilize the medical care in the United
States because it's high quality compared to what's available to them in
Mexico." Is that the reason Dr. Nicolas gave birth in the U.S.? No, she
said, "I wanted him to have more choices." She has no desire to move to
the U.S., but she wants her child to have that choice. (http://www.freshministry.org/illustrations.html)
Why do Mothers travel across the border when they are in labor? That's
self-evident, isn't it? They want to provide a better life for their child-they
want to give them choices. But mothers want more than choices for their
children; they also want them to make good choices. Proverbs 10:1 says,
"A wise son makes a father glad, But a foolish son is a grief to his mother."
(NASB) In general, mothers want their children to make good choices. They
want them to be healthy and happy-both of which to some extent are choices.
They want them to marry well and have good family lives-to be loved-to
love. They want them to live life to the fullest and look forward to each
new day. Mothers want their children to be free of emotional scars and
bondage and to drink deeply of love and joy. These things, they expressed
to me with passion. They definitely want these things FOR their children,
but the godly mothers that counseled me in preparation for this sermon
wanted me to tell you something else.
One mother wrote to me, "I want her to love the Lord and walk in His
will. If she is out of His will, I want her to be miserable. I want for
her to know that she is special because of the sacrifice that Christ made
FOR HER. I want her to seek Him first in every decision." Another one wrote,
"I would not shelter him from suffering. In the few extreme instances that
have known true suffering I have never been closer to God, never more
protected, and never more loved by Him." I didn't ask these mothers how
they pray for their children-I wish I would have, that question would have
provided us with rich insight, but one mother answered that unasked question
anyway, she wrote, "I don't pray for riches or fancy houses for my child.
I know if one is walking with God - He will provide everything."
What is so important that mothers are willing for their children to
be miserable, if necessary, or suffer if needed, or do without things if
need be? They want their children to be close to God and love His church.
How's your relationship with God? Your mother cares about that-that is
the number one thing she wants for you-yes she wants you to be healthy
and happy, but more than that, she wants you to walk with the Lord.
But what does she want FROM you? I read three things over and over,
usually the same words-time, love and respect. That's all she wants. She
wants some of your time. She wants your love. And she wants your respect.
Before Elisha began his role as prophet, he went home to kiss his mother
goodbye. (1 Kings 19:20) I have never been the kind of Pastor that says
do as I say, not as I do. I try to live the kind of life that is a solid
sermon illustration. I know, that as I sinner, I fall short, but at the
same time, I am conscious that you are watching me to see how I live. Just
as it was important for me to be at my Son's graduation from boot camp,
it was important for me to spend a week with my Mom and Dad a few weeks
ago-something I try to do every year. With everything they've done for
me, they've earned my time, and I give it to them. Proverbs 23:22 says,
"Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother
when she is old." (NIV) Your mother wants your time. She's earned it. Whether
you're still living at home or you're all grown up-if she is still alive,
give it to her.
She also wants your love. Something I trust she has. However you communicate
your love, make sure she knows you love her. But she wants more. She wants
Ephes. 6:2 says, "Honor your father and mother." ( NASB) and Leviticus
19:3 says, "Each of you must respect his mother and father, and you must
observe my Sabbaths. I am the Lord your God." (NIV) My father and I have
something in common, neither of us will tolerate our children showing a
hint of disrespect for their mothers. Your mothers want your respect. More
than likely, it is something they've earned.
On a day like today, the real meaning of Mother's Day can be lost in
sentimentality. What do your mothers want FOR you? Among other things,
they want you to walk with the Lord. What do they want FROM you? Your time,
love and respect-that's all.
Perhaps the best Mother's Day gift you could give is to let her know,
that because of her example, it is easy for you to follow God-then give
her some of your time and show her how much you love and respect her.