When my kids were in preschool and proclaimed that they love me, I often ask them, “Why? Why do you love me?” I’m always amused by how hard they try to answer this simple but loaded question. Their heartfelt answers range from “Because you love me, teach me, take care of me, buy things for me etc…” to which I will cheekily ask, “Does this mean if I don’t take care of you or buy you things, you won’t love your Mummy anymore?” The confusion on their faces is a sight to behold, as they wrestle to articulate the purity of their love. Oftentimes, the conversation will end with a whiny protest, “I don’t know Mum…”, or an embarrassed but comforting hug and kiss. As they grow older, they become more articulate and say, “Because YOU love me first”. They have also learnt to give me a taste of my own medicine by asking, “Why do YOU love us?”
1. Creation is Product of Love
The first woman bore the name Eve, which literally translates as “the mother of all living” (Genesis 3:20). A mother feels that life force stirring inside her long before the father sets eyes on his child. God the Creator fashions us inside the womb (Psalm 139:13-14) and all mothers have the privilege of identifying with Him in that process of creation.
The mothers amongst us would appreciate how difficult it is to conceive and bear a foetus to full term. There is a conscious act of wanting and then protecting that fragile life inside of us, allowing it to share our nourishment, feeling the life grow, enduring and even looking forward to the painful childbirth that is to come. The act of creation is a deliberate and purposeful one by God, even if not always by men. Our very existence is borne out of God’s love and desire for us to love Him in return. Indeed we love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
Whatever our life experiences are, we must know that each one of us are very much loved and wanted by God. For Christian mothers, it is the recognition that our children are gifts from the Lord (Psalm 127:3-5) that we treasure our little ones so unreservedly.
2. The Power of Unconditional and Sacrificial Love
God’s love is an unconditional love — demonstrating patience and kindness… keeping no records of wrong, always trusting, always hoping, always persevering (1 Corinthians 13: 4-7). Jesus himself demonstrated this love in the flesh, a sacrificial love that was never dependent on the disciples’ response. The compelling nature and power of God’s love is in giving us free will, the choice to make decisions and still loving us when we are imperfect.
Jesus’ ministry on earth demonstrates to us how we as Christian mothers care, teach, train, guide, discipline and also disciple our children. Nonetheless, our love must not tie them to our apron strings.
As our children grow up, they must decide for themselves how to respond to our love and instructions. We must allow them to become strong independent adults, able to disciple others, and to also leave us when they start their own families (Genesis 1:28, 2:24, Matthew 28:19).
The power of the Christian mother’s love comes from our efforts to train them in the ways of the Lord and thereafter, the ability to let them go so as to fulfill their plan and purpose in life as directed by the Lord.
3. Love that Brings Us Home
Isaiah 66:13 “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.”
God likens His faithfulness to that of a mother who is always ready to offer a place of refuge and safety; and her comfort brings indescribable joy to the weary child. No matter how our children live their lives, we will always need to be that sanctuary where our children can seek godly wisdom and receive unconditional love and forgiveness. The love a Christian mother offers is akin to God’s redemptive love. It is this love upon which we build our homes, homes of grace, comfort, and joy, homes that remind our children to yearn for the heavenly home that our loving Father has called us to.
By Mrs Linda Leong (YCKC Bulletin 10&11 May 2014)