Mother’s Day was established in 1914 by President Woodrow Wilson after years of campaigning by Mrs Anna Jarvis, and it has since been established around the world as a special day to honour mothers.
Becoming a mother is not the same as being a mother. Becoming a mother is a biological process, and it takes only a moment. Being a mother is not so easy, because it is a lifelong commitment for which there is no preparation, no training and often very little help.
One woman’s said, “Before I got married I had 3 theories on how to raise children. Now I have 3 children, and no theories!”
Being a mum or a dad is a tough job. But we ought to honour them, because this is the first commandment that comes with a direct promise…
Exodus 20:12 (ESV Strong's)
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
So today I want to highlight motherhood and the awesome role mums play in our lives…
BEING A MOTHER- THE WORLD’S MOST UNDERPAID JOB
Men, you go out to work and expect to get paid for a job well done. Motherhood has been jointly described as the world’s most underpaid job, or the most highly paid job if you count love and goodwill instead of just money… So check this out…
Salary.com conducted a survey in 2010 that attempted to place a monetary value on the work of a stay-at-home mom. They determined that if mothers were to be paid for their ten most common tasks in the home (laundry machine operator, janitor, van driver, computer operator, housekeeper, day care center teacher, cook, chief executive officer, psychologist, and facilities manager) they would be paid $117,855.86 per annum. The largest piece of the pie came from overtime pay because a man works from 9 to 5, but a woman’s work is never done.
Milton Berle once quipped, “If evolution is real, how come mothers only have 2 hands!”
So mums, I hope you feel honoured by that amount of earning power. Maybe you can demand a raise at home!
But in the meantime, what does God call you to be when you become a mother?
Psalms 127:3 (ESV Strong's)
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.
Mums, you have given birth to and nurtured your children. Some are still doing this, while others have seen them grow into mature, and sometimes not so mature adults. Your mission in life was to grow your children, and “the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.”
But you don’t know what you’re growing! If a farmer grows wheat, he gets wheat. If he plants corn, he doesn’t get cucumbers, he gets corn.
But mums, you could be growing a prime minister, or a doctor, or a pastor, or you could be growing another mum, or a drug dealer or possibly even worse, a lawyer. You have no idea, right?
Yours is the great challenge, and the great joy of seeing potential realised. When a painter begins to put brush to canvas, and when a musician strums a few chords or sings a few notes, there is tremendous expectation. And when the masterpiece unfolds, or a beautiful song evolves, there is a great sense of accomplishment.
Mothers, you are growers and nurturers and you will see rewards as your children grow and mature.
2 Timothy 1:5 (ESV Strong's)
I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.
Timothy was a great leader in the church, and he was brought to faith by the teaching and influence of his mother and grandmother. Teaching your children is an important job mothers have, and we are not talking about sewing or cooking here… mums need to teach their children about life, about love, about success and about faith in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Mums, we honour you for the way you’ve taught us truths about life.
Isaiah 66:13 (ESV Strong's)
As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you;
Whether it’s a skinned knee, a shattered dream or a broken heart, great mums are there to comfort you. Even if they felt their mums never comforted them, great mums still comfort those they love.
Even today at my age my mother is able to advise me, and I listen. Why? Because she has earned the right to speak into my life, and that’s what great mums do!
Proverbs 1:8 (ESV Strong's)
Hear, my son, your father's instruction, and forsake not your mother's teaching,
Mothers, whether you like it or not, tend to have advice on everything. Now we all know the kind of advice mothers give, but I want to share with you a list of things you will likely never hear your mother say…
“Just leave all the lights on...it makes the house look more cheery.”
“Let me smell that shirt—Yeah, it’s good for another week.”
“Go ahead and keep that stray dog, honey. I’ll be glad to feed and walk him every day.”
“I know I said no, but if Timmy’s mom says it’s OK, that’s good enough for me.”
“Come home when you like, the curfew is just a general time to shoot for. It’s not like I’m running a prison around here.”
“I don’t have a tissue with me...just use your sleeve.”
How many of you know that, when facing choices in your life, many times your mother’s advice comes to mind. So mums, be careful what you advise your children, because they take it all in, even if they don’t appear to act upon it.
Proverbs 31:26 (ESV Strong's)
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
Mothers, you have wisdom. It might be worldly wisdom from beneath, or it might be godly wisdom from above.
When your mother asks, "Do you want a piece of advice?" it's a mere formality. It doesn't matter if you answer yes or no. You're going to get it anyway.
— ERMA BOMBECK
Many great people, from Abraham Lincoln to Michael Jordon to Liza Minnelli attribute their success to advice their mums gave them.
Great mums realise that they don’t own their children, they steward them. Many of you older mums are at this point right now. You bring children up the best you can, maybe teach them all about the Lord, but at some point you need to let them go, and they make their own choices, many of which you may not agree with.
I don’t agree with all the decisions my kids make, but I make sure that it never diminishes how much I love them. One of the fallacies of our modern world is that people say if you love me you’ll let me. Listen, you can love someone and still disagree with them.
Mothers, you need to be releasers, and release them to the Lord. Samuel’s mother, who had waited so long for a child, prayer so fervently for a child, when she had her first she dedicated him to God…
1 Samuel 1:27-28 (ESV Strong's)
For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord.”
My mother did exactly this. As is typical of me, I was rushing ahead of time into the world at only 6 months, and the doctors told my mum that her waters had broken, and she needed to go home and that I would be born dead unless she remained perfectly still for 3 months. But that night God spoke to her audibly and told her that her womb was healed. When the doctor came in to his horror she was bouncing on the bed, and she told him God had healed her.
I was eventually born normally, and she dedicated my life to the service of God, and here I am!
Mothers, many of your hearts are breaking for kids gone astray, kids who have rejected Christ. 2 things, first stop blaming yourself. At some point your children make their own decision, and it’s not your fault. But secondly, never stop praying and believing for your children!
A mother’s prayer has saved many a soul, so whatever you do, never give up on your children. Never stop praying for your children…
1 John 5:14-15 (ESV Strong's)
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
Mothers, your prayers are powerful and I know myself, when I was rebelling against my parents, I believe it was the prayers of my mother that kept me from harm and brought me back to God.
Prayer of mothers protects their children, just like Mt Pinatubo in 1991 in the eruption, where mothers saved children by laying over them, so your prayers protect your children.
8. BELIEVER- THE ROLE OF A MOTHER
And finally, never stop believing for your children.
Galatians 6:9 (ESV Strong's)
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Mums want to believe in you, whether you believe in you or not. They see the good in their children, even if no one else does.
For example, Hitler’s mum Klara took him to church and wanted him to be a civil servant. Napoleon’s mum was married at 13 and accompanied him into exile on the island of Elba. Osama Bin Laden’s mum wanted him to stop fighting the west and come home to Saudi like a good boy. Donald Trump described his mum as smart as hell and he said he's had trouble finding women to marry who compared to his her!
I read about Ted Bundy’s mother Louise, who loved her son so much that she refused to believe he was a killer, until a series of death row confessions of 36 murders put the matter beyond doubt. These mums saw the best in their children even when others saw them as tyrants and killers.
Mums believe in us when others give up on us. Mums always want the best for their kids and grandkids, as I bet every mum in this room does.
So mothers, don’t give up on your kids, no matter how bad you might think they have become. One of the greatest church fathers in history owed his ministry and life to his mother’s faithfulness…
St Augustine’s mother was a godly woman who lived around 350AD. She loved her wayward son, and the young Augustine lived with a girl and had an illegitimate child, then followed this by joining a heretical sect for 9 long years. He refused to listen to her, and she was so distraught she prayed and prayed and God gave her a dream that settled her heart, and then a mother's faith checked in.
A short time after the dream Augustine came to Christ, and became one of the most significant church fathers of his generation! He was once lost, but then through a mother's faith and love, he was found.
My mother was a believer for me too! She believed that the Lord would use me, even when I was wandering far from His ways, and she prayed and believed even when it hurt and when she was discouraged!
We said before that what mums do is worth $117,855 a year, but in reality it is worth far more than that. Here’s a poem I love, written by Harland Howard and once sung by Tammy Winette…
My little girl came into the kitchen this evenin',
While I was fixin' supper,
And she handed me a piece of paper she'd been writin' on,
And after wipin' my hands on my apron,
I read it - and this is what it said:
For mowin' the yard - five dollars,
And for makin' my own bed this week - one dollar,
And for goin' to the store - fifty cents,
An' playin' with little sister, while you went to the store - twenty-five cents,
Takin' out the trash - one dollar,
Gettin' a good report card - five dollars,
And for rakin' the yard - two dollars,
Total owed - fourteen dollars and seventy-five cents.
Well, I looked at her standin' there expectantly,
And a thousand mem'ries flashed through my mind,
So I picked up the pen, turnin' the paper over,
This is what I wrote:
For the nine months I carried you,
Growin' inside me - NO CHARGE,
For the nights I've sat up with you,
Doctored you, prayed for you - NO CHARGE,
For the toys, food and clothes.
And for wiping your nose, there's NO CHARGE,
When you add it all up.
The full cost of my love is NO CHARGE.
Well, when she finished readin',
She had great big old tears in her eyes,
And she looked up at me and said,
"Mama, I sure do love you."
Then she took the pen,
And in great big letters,
She wrote: "PAID IN FULL."
When you add it all up,
The cost of real love is - NO CHARGE
We can learn that lesson from Jesus. He laid His life down for you and for me, and the cost of real love was simply this… NO CHARGE.
You can’t buy salvation, and you can’t earn it. This Mother’s Day and every day, Jesus love and sacrifice is freely given… NO CHARGE.
MOTHERHOOD.. A TOUGH BUT POWERFUL GIG
So mums, we salute you today and recognise the tough job you have been doing selflessly.
Lord Shaftesbury was correct in his famous utterance, “Give me a generation of Christian mothers, and I will undertake to change the whole face of society in twelve months.”
Billy Graham said, “If we had more Christian mothers, we would have less delinquency, less immorality, less ungodliness, and fewer broken homes. Every mother owes it to her children to accept Christ as her personal Savior, so that she may be the influence for good in the lives of those whom Christ has graciously given to her.”
Whether you are a mum today, or a child, you can have the opportunity to accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour. It’s a gift, it’s at no charge, but it’s a life changing event.
Mums, you need Jesus to be the mother you should be. And some of you children, you’ve broken you mum’s heart long enough! It’s time to ask Jesus into your life, it’s time to make your mother’s prayers be answered!
I asked the Lord for something special for mums today, something we could pray for you, something that would mean a lot in your life. I asked the Lord for a verse that would encourage every mother on this special day. Something that would say, “Hey mum, keep believing, don’t give up on your kids.. Your sacrifice and hard work will be rewarded.”
Mothers I would ask you to stand. Now, remain standing if you are tired and weary, because this is what the Lord has laid on my heart for you…
Isaiah 40:11 (ESV Strong's)
He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.
Some of you mums have been struggling, overwhelmed by life, fearful and worried for your kids. Maybe your children have been letting you down and breaking your heart, maybe you’ve been trying to juggle work, family, church and everything else. You’ve kept all the balls in the air, you’ve had your heart broken a time of two, but you haven’t given up. However, you get tired and weary and let me tell you that, right now, Jesus loves you and knows how you feel. His arms are outstretched to you and he says,
Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV Strong's)
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
When you come to Him you don’t get a free pass, you don’t get everything for nothing. You still have burdens, you still face struggles, but the difference is it’s a yoke that fits. You can pull a far greater weight if your burden fits well, and nothing is rubbing or painful.
This morning, Mother’s Day, Jesus calls to all mums and say, “Come.” If you’re burdened, if you’re weary, if you’re fearful, come and let Jesus carry the burden for you.