I love my dad. My dad is a pastor. He taught me about Jesus. Every night after dinner, he read Bible stories to us as children. Every Sunday, he stood in front of church and told me about the wonders of God’s love. He taught me catechism and helped me memorize Bible verses. My dad taught me about Jesus.
My mom showed me Jesus.
She showed me Jesus every Sunday as she got seven little kids ready for church all by herself. She showed me Jesus as she sat alone in the pew trying to listen, while simultaneously wiping our noses, keeping us still, and helping us find our place in the hymnal. Keeping seven kids still in church is like herding cats.
My mom showed me Jesus by not letting me run amok in my sinful nature. She showed me his love as she spanked me with the paddle. (My mom didn’t have much kick to her spankings so she cut off the rubber string and ball from a paddle ball racket and used that.) My mom showed me Jesus by giving me a hug after every spanking.
My mom showed me Jesus as she bandaged my wounds and kissed my booboos. She showed me Jesus as she prayed with me every night, “Jesus Savior wash away… Now I lay me down to sleep… God bless mommy and daddy…” She showed me Jesus as she hugged me when I was afraid and told me Jesus was with me.
Our modern world expects so much of mothers. They need to be supermoms who keep up with all the creative crafts and meals they see on Pinterest. They have to make sure their kids have gluten-free and organic diets. They have to be taxi drivers making sure their kids get to every soccer practice, ballet rehearsal and spelling bee. They have to clean up messes and pick up shoes. And in our modern society, oftentimes, they also have to work a part-time or full-time job as well.
When they struggle – when the gluten-free and organic diet gets replaced with McDonald’s and Pizza Hut, when they have to say no to ballet or soccer because there is no time, when the house is a mess and they are too tired to move – guilt crushes their souls.
Mom, allow me to show you Jesus. He has forgiven all your failings as a mother. He is with you. He is watching over your children. He works through even your imperfect efforts to raise your children. You don’t have to be supermom.
Don’t think you have to give your children the perfect childhood. Just show them Jesus. That is the greatest gift you could ever give them.
This Sunday is Mother’s Day. For one day a year, our mothers and grandmothers are sainted. We gush about the importance of motherhood and praise their virtues. No matter what issues we have with our moms, for one day a year, we push them aside and tearfully muse about how wonderful they are.
Actually, though, neither of my parents are perfect. I love them dearly, but like me they are flawed severely by sin. On this Mother’s Day, I am not going to wax poetic about the virtues of motherhood. I am not going to elevate my mother to sainthood. Rather I am going to thank God for her because she gave me what was most important.
She showed me Jesus.