By Barrington H. Brennen, Pastor, Counseling Psychologist and Marriage and Family Therapist
This article is dedicated to our mothers. On Mother's Day in May of each year millions of Christians in the western world will go to church on Saturday or Sunday to honor their mothers in special services and concerts. [ See dates around the world ]
Many will host family dinners, church, and community banquets. Countless sermons will be preached and many poems will be recited to express love and appreciation for mothers. The Adventist churches will have special services Sabbath morning in which a mother of the year for each church will be honored. In the afternoon, during the Youth Hour, there will be exciting programs featuring acrostics, songs, poems, drama to honor mothers. Sunday-keeping churches will be packed also. Children will honor their mothers with lots of music, inspirational messages, red or white flowers, and lots of hugs and kisses. We truly how love and appreciation for our mothers.
Mothers affect every aspect of our lives. From birth to the grave, our mother’s influence is special. Thus, we have created certain images of mother over the years of our lives as evoked in this poem: "Images of Mother."
Images of Mother
- 4 years of age - My Mommy can do anything.
- 8 years of age - My Mom knows a lot! A whole lot!
- 12 years of age - My Mother doesn't really know quite everything.
- 14 years of age - Naturally, Mother doesn't know that, either!
- 16 years of age - Mother? She's hopelessly old-fashioned!
- 18 years of age - That old woman? She's way out of date!
- 25 years of age - Well, she might know a little bit about it!
- 35 years of age - Before we decide, let's get Mom's opinion.
- 45 years of age - Wonder what Mom would have thought about it!
- 65 years of age - Wish I could talk it over with Mom!
There were four clergymen who were discussing the merits of the various translations of the Bible. One liked the King James Version best because of its simple beautiful English. Another liked theAmerican Revised Version best because it is more literal and comes nearer the original Hebrew and Greek.
Still another liked Moffatt's translation best because of its up to date vocabulary. The fourth minister was silent. When asked to express his opinion, he replied, "I like my mother's translation best."
The other three expressed surprise. They did no know that his mother had translated the Bible. "Yes, she did," he replied. She translated it into life, and it was the most convincing translation I ever saw."
Sometimes we think that Mom is invincible or a miracle worker. We credit so much strength to her. However, Mom does have limits. No matter how wise, creative, and loving she is, there are some things she still cannot do. Note this poem, written by a mother explaining a mother’s limitation. It is entitled "Reflections of a mother." Author Unknown
REFLECTIONS OF MOTHER
- I gave you life, but cannot live it for you.
- I can teach you things, but I cannot make you learn.
- I can give you directions, but I cannot be there to lead you.
- I can allow you freedom, but I cannot account for it.
- I can take you to church, but I cannot make you believe.
- I can teach you right from wrong, but I cannot always decide for you.
- I can buy you beautiful clothes, but I cannot make you beautiful inside.
- I can offer you advice, but I cannot accept it for you.
- I can give you love, but I cannot force it upon you.
- I can teach you to share, but I cannot make you unselfish.
- I can teach you respect, but I cannot force you to show honor.
- I can advise you about friends, but cannot choose them for you.
- I can advise you about sex, but I cannot keep you pure.
- I can tell you the facts of life, but I can't build your reputation.
- I can tell you about drinking, but I can't say "no" for you.
- I can warn you about drugs but I can't prevent you from using them.
- I can tell you about lofty goals, but I can't achieve them for you.
- I can teach you about kindness, but I can't force you to be gracious.
- I can warn you about sins, but I cannot make you moral
- I can love you as a child, but I cannot place you in God's family.
- I can pray for you, but I cannot make you walk with God.
- I can teach you about Jesus, but I cannot make Jesus your Lord.
- I can tell you how to live, but I cannot give you eternal life.
- I can love you with unconditional love all of my life . . . and I will!!!
- Always, Mom
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I found this poem to be true and tender. You can read it in your churches on Saturday or Sunday. It is written by Joe Bosch, is a Methodist living in the United States. It is entitled "Mother’s Day."
The gentle touch of a hand that expresses great love.
A grateful smile for the gift of a child from above.
Each mother with child, through adoption, or birth,
Understands God's value placed on each child's worth.
That's why mothers endure with patience and pain,
As they pray that their children know spiritual gain.
When your mother says, "No", it's for your own good.
As you grow older, this will be, by you, understood.
She changed your dirty diapers which assaulted her nose.
You didn't produce the fragrance of a sweet-smelling rose.
She soothes your pain and kisses away your tears,
And comforts you throughout all of your years.
Sometimes she seems mean and you think she's unfair,
When she prepares you for life in the world that's out there.
She's older than you, and she's made mistakes of her own.
That's why she'll protect you until you're fully grown.
You will one day be free to make your own choice.
Until then heed the wisdom of your mother's loving voice.
My mother is gone, and I can't hug her today,
Go hug your mom and say, "Happy Mother's Day".
Remember, "Mom’s the Word."