Hid In A Gender series
Mother’s Day might be sad for you – I lost my mother earlier this year and just recently her sister, my favourite Auntie, whose birthday was generally a day or two either side of Mother’s Day. For these reasons this Mother's Day is a particularly hard one for me.
Perhaps it’s hard for you too, for other reasons. You weren’t able to become a mother, you’ve lost a child or there is some other deep grief that Mother’s Day brings up for you. Or maybe you made the choice to not biologically bear children. Let me encourage you, no matter what your circumstance, you still have influence as a woman in your world as a beautiful mother figure. This Mother’s day, be kind to yourself and treat yourself to something special because during the year, you share you and your gifts with others who desperately need them.
Let me offer some keys to consider coming up to that special day that we learn from science (and from God’s Word), about how to be a special ‘Mother’. You can hear more about these Mother’s Day topics on https://www.96three.com.au/listen-to-96three/podcasts/
Key # 1 Is forgive and let go of bitterness.*
Forgiveness is the first key as it’s such an important aspect of any relationship; whether it be in marriage, families, with colleagues or your mates. Recent research has shown that Christian women rehabilitating from substance-abuse in a 24/7 rehab centre, after three months were up, showed significant improvement in mental health and cognition as they let go of bitterness and revenge. The good news is that depression and anxiety were significantly reduced with corresponding higher self-esteem and closeness with God. Pretty good hey? God says it this way:
‘Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.’ Ephesians 4:32 NIV
Key # 2 Honour and respect, rather than demeaning and dishonouring the men in your life.*
This involves communication. A couple I’ve been working with for just over a year began with very low happiness ratings for their marriage. Around zero! It’s now around 7.5 and higher for both. What made the difference you ask? Better communication. Listening with empathy. Date nights where they listened and focussed on one another.
In Ephesians 5, God tells husbands to nourish and cherish their wives – The Message version puts it this way, ‘husbands, go all out for your wives’. Remember though girls, we don’t get away with just complaining about our husbands, we are to do something too. To honour and respect the role men play. You may not always respect their actions; however, they still need respect for the role they carry. For 20 years I tried to tell my husband what he was doing wrong. This does not work! I was disrespecting and dishonouring him. So why not this Mother’s Day, if you are reading this, you begin the change process. Start honouring and respecting that man. And if your relationship needs help or if you need help, do what you need to do to begin the change process in you.
Key # 3 Recognise your influence.
If we look at the Bible, we can see women who influenced negatively or positively. Let’s learn from their examples to do it the right way. To influence beautifully.
Delilah set out to bring Samson down and eventually she did. That’s negative influence. But God still had his way when Samson killed more Philistines in his death than when he lived. (Judges 16). Then there’s Eve the mother of humankind. She believed Satan’s lies and influenced Adam to eat of the fruit. The rest is history. Sin came into the world and we’re all affected as a consequence (Genesis 3). Sarah, the wife of Abraham, was impatient for God’s future for Abraham to be the father and herself, the mother of nations. So she enlisted Hager, her maidservant. Ishmael became the result which led to all sorts of problems, one of which was Sarah’s jealousy (Genesis 11).
Let’s look at some positive female influences of the Bible:
Mary of Bethany was sister to Martha and Lazarus. She poured expensive perfume onto the feet of Jesus and then dried them with her hair. What a beautiful act of worship (Matthew 26). Ruth shows us faithful influence – to Naomi her mother-in-law and to the God of Israel. Ruth so impressed Boaz that he married her and produced the lineage to King David and our Saviour, Jesus (Ruth 1). I must not forget Esther, who in the face of danger to her own life, influenced her husband, the king, showing us courage, prayer, fasting and leadership (Esther 5).
Let me encourage you. You are an influencer whether you understand the importance of that or not. You are. And you can influence positively this Mother’s Day and beyond. It’s about making a choice. Today, influence those around you positively. You can do the right thing even if the wrong thing is being done to you.* Remember, if you need support, reach out to someone who can assist you.
‘Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.’ Romans 15:13 NKJV
Happy Mother’s Day for 2023!
Love and Blessings,
*Forgiving, communicating and having influence, does not include being a door mat or taking abuse. It’s important to forgive with the help of God as well as getting help, if you need to, in order to be safe and find your voice.
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