When I first came to receive Jesus as Lord into my heart, I told the girls that they didn’t need to celebrate Mother’s Day. I told them this because it’s a forced event set out by the world that doesn’t know God. Jesus doesn’t force us to love Him. It’s a willing action from a thankful heart to hear and do what He says to honor Him. I wanted the girls to do the same – if they wanted to give me a Mother’s Day card or something special to show me their love, they could. But I didn’t want them to feel compelled to do it because a day on the calendar told them it was what they were to do.
The Lord Jesus said to me when I was new in the Lord was – “Don’t teach them how to love you. Teach them how to love Me!” It was a sobering thought – opposite to the world’s ideas. Most people want others to love them. It’s a practice pushed everywhere – self-love, self-promotion, self, self, and more self, positive thoughts, positive reflections all centered around yourself, to feel good about self! But it is not helpful to be full of self before the Almighty God. Humility is valued.
I had tried to teach my children that having a relationship with Jesus and loving Him above everything else is the most crucial aspiration to have. He is our protection above all the storms and troubles of life. I can’t help my children all the time. And there is a greater war that I can’t win – the battle over sin and the tactics of the Devil to make me fall. I must continue my relationship with Jesus just as firmly as I started. It’s that relationship where I sit with Christ every day and read His Word for myself, learning and growing in what righteousness looks like in the real world. I walk out of that room and take the knowledge I’ve learned with me to show it to the world, to show my children, and progress down this path until my life here is over.
It might not always be a popular message, my reflection of Christ. Or one my children won’t to easily comply with. But it’s my duty. I am not teaching others to love me, but Christ, and to follow eternal life, rather than short-term gains here.
One of the last things Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount to the crowds gathered to hear Him was –
“So in everything do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12).
This morning, after I read this Scripture, I started thinking about what it is that I don’t like people doing to me. And the first thing that came to my mind was “selfishness.” Then I listed a few more in my journal –
- Thinking yourself better than others (Philippians 2:3)
- The proud, arrogant
I could have kept going but soon realized I was listing the characteristics of our human nature – the human nature that needs to submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and be “reckoned dead!” (Romans 6:11) And just like this Mother’s Day message where I have told you I didn’t want my children to feel compelled to buy me a card or give me flowers, Jesus doesn’t want us to feel obligated to obey Him – He wants You to see it from His point of view and love Him for His incredible love for us! Jesus laid down His life for us. And as mothers, we do it every day. We lay down our lives for the well-being of our children. But above it all, we must remember. Our job isn’t to get our children to love us, but to love the higher calling – to love and willingly obey the Lord of their Life – Jesus Christ!
The natural person, if they keep living to please “self,” God will not raise them on the Last Day to eternal life, but to face destruction. It is a sobering warning, but one we must heed and understand. (Galatians 6:8).
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds. - Psalm 73:26-28 NIV
“Self” is a big enemy, and the Devil is right there to justify our needs to “look out for self!” But, on the end day, self can’t save our souls, the price was too high for us to pay, and Jesus did it for us. In my song, “A Soul’s Worth,” it talks about the incredible sacrifice of Christ, and ends with the lyrics –
“Teach me to get them to love You
In this world, for it is nothing
Teach me to take no praise
For it’s by Your grace
The gospel of Jesus Christ” – Lyrics, “A Soul’s Worth by Josephine Mary Schmidt.
So, on Mother’s Day, a day when we could think – “It’s all about us!” Let us remember life is about pleasing Jesus and loving Him by representing Him to others, especially our children, teaching them to love Christ above our desire and need to be loved by them.
But before closing, my mind thinks of Proverbs 31:28-30 –
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
This post talks about a woman who fears and has her confidence in the Lord. And this woman should be praised and highly valued in her household. I want to encourage you. God sees, but we are not to force this praise. God’s Word declares that she “is to be praised.” But let our words and actions bring this praise, not a day on a calendar! Let our children learn to value the godly woman who deserves respect and praise continually.
This world will praise every mother on Mother’s Day, regardless. Many will go into church establishments and have their photos taken. And again, regardless of how they are acting in their households. But it is the godly woman who fears the Lord that God will make sure gets praised. God might not do it this day, but He will. So be blessed today as you soldier on doing the work of the Lord, if not silently, bringing Christ’s sweet-smelling aroma to your children.