Mother’s Day is normally regarded as a time for celebration of the life of a mother who provided a caring and nurturing influence in your life. Mothers are always special and should always be considered to be special because of their role. To be a mother, however, does not mean perfection in their performance, nor does it mean that there were not significant flaws within the family relationship. Certainly no one can claim to be perfect, but we know that there have been families where a person who became a mother and a parent were hardly qualified to be in that role. In those circumstances, a mother learns to grow into the role and does the best that she can do in raising her child, or she will resent the role and present all of her negativity towards the child. The negativity would be demonstrated by abuse and/or neglect, a lack of care and a lack of responsibility. One can never truly know how this can affect the child of such a parent, and only God’s intervention can offset the mother who refuses to accept her God-given role.
While Mother’s Day is not the time to confront a mother over her imperfections, it would be a mistake to assume that everyone who hears the greetings and sermons pertaining to Mother’s Day will have the same feelings of gratitude and appreciation for their mother. There are many families (more than we want to believe) where the mother-child relationship was extremely dysfunctional. If there was an abusive relationship between a mother or father and the child, there is no cause for celebration of the relationship; in fact, there is likely a lifetime of healing that needs to take place. Forgiveness, beyond any reasoning or understanding, is something that the son or daughter needs to experience. The sad part of all of this is that, in the healing and forgiveness over the hurt and sadness, the mother may be already deceased. Only God can promote healing in these circumstances.
It occurred to me to write this as I thought about the importance of being compassionate to others as we pass along the Mother’s Day greetings. God wants us to remain compassionate in our dealings with others, and while Mother’s Day is a reason to celebrate the life and the godly role of a nurturing and caring mother, please be aware that not everyone may see Mother’s Day in a positive light. If you know someone in your life that has been through an abusive relationship, please make it a point to keep he or she in prayer and to rely upon the strength of God to endure and promote healing.
Originally posted May 9, 2009 on melvingaines.blogspot.com (Psalm 37:4 – Melvin Gaines).