My pastor says it all the time, so I guess it’s true: On Mother’s Day, we praise the moms for how awesome they are, but on Father’s Day we tell dads what sorry sons of guns they are and how they need to step it up! When he says that from the pulpit, women in the church smile knowingly and the men shake their heads in agreement.
Why exactly is that? Why are women “the nurturers”? Well, I have a theory that will seem provincial to this world that wants to make gender (and choices about gender) a crazy, mixed-up thing: Women were created by God to nurture, and men were not. However, they were both created to parent.
As my husband and I raised our children, poured into them, and tried to help them understand the dos and don’ts of life, I often forgot about being a child of God myself! Crazy, huh? But before you question such a notion, think about all the times you were just getting through the day and forgetting about “whose” you are. How could I forget the most important thing about raising children? Life happened.
My husband and I were incredible church-goers. We had that particular parenting skill down pat. We were also pew-sitters and aced that as well. It wasn’t until our children were practically adults that we realized those God-created children needed more from us. They needed authentic Christianity.
As it turned out, two of our children chose the road that leads to Jesus and surrendering to him. The other one is a pew-sitter just like we were but only attending church when it’s convenient.
That’s the reality of our story, and I have an idea that it’s not unlike the stories of many Christian families.
So, moms, as we look back on our parenting and make a list of regrets this Mother’s Day, here is an entirely different list as we struggle through a world full of things that make our children stumble, question their faith, and live with anxiety:
#1 Pray specifically for each child, write down those prayers, and shoot those “arrow prayers” all day long. God knows where they’ll land and where they’ll stick.
#2 Use that horrible, mind-numbing, never-far-from-their-fingertips smart phone to call them for a brief chat or encouraging text.
#3 Remind them that they were created in God’s image by acting like it yourself.
#4 Don’t be afraid to confront them when you see them headed down a dangerous road that will lead to heartache, pain, regret, and maybe even death.
Recently my husband drove twelve hours both ways to confront one of our children who was headed down that road. Did it solve everything? No, but it was impactful and unforgettable. And he understands we have not stopped parenting.
So when my pastor says this Mother’s Day that moms get all the accolades and the men get all the shaming on Father’s Day, know those people surrounding you in the pews are not perfect and likely harbor a lot of regret about their parenting as well. But God is so good to mothers and fathers, and he makes all things new.
Parents, now is the time to know Jesus more intimately, discover a new love for his Word, and ask God to move you toward authentic Christianity. Don’t let the evil one get in the way of doing those things.