Honoring Mothers

I can still remember the huge smile on my face when my mom told me she wanted a funny mother-son dance at our wedding. We both had smiles after our performance, watching people react to the news that it was her idea. It was something that my friends and family quickly attributed to my goofy nature, but the reality of the dance being her idea was further evidence that I am my mother’s son.

This Sunday, mothers around the nation will be honored with cards, flowers, meals, and stories. Honoring our mothers (and fathers) is a command stated numerous times throughout the Old and New Testament, and they are certainly deserving of more than one praise-filled day. Additionally, emphasizing the importance of motherhood is something that cannot be understated in a culture that is increasingly riddled with absent fathers.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, out of the 12 million single parent households in 2016, more than 80% were headed by single mothers. Today, more than 17 million U.S. children are being raised without a father. Faith and I just had the privilege of taking a cruise for our fourth anniversary, and the people at our dinner table of multiple generations were no exception to this tragic reality. There were six people at our table; two of us had fathers who were around for half or less of our childhood, and three of us had fathers who were never present at all. Faith was the only one who had a consistent, present father in her childhood.

 

The good news is that we have a Heavenly Father who is not hindered or defeated by the sins and foolishness of His disobedient children. He is not only our Father, but the Almighty Creator, who created humans in His image – both male and female – and provided incredible mothers to raise children in the love of Christ. We just started a new sermon series on Timothy, a young church leader whose sincere faith Paul traces back to not only Timothy’s mother, but to his grandmother as well (2 Tim. 1:5). Personally, as a young man in ministry, I find solace in Timothy’s story. While I had several men step in to invest in me, I’ve also had several women do the same. I’ve had more “church moms” than I can count, and each one of them has had a meaningful impact on my life. Some of my closest colleagues are strong women and mothers who inspire me with their leadership and faith, and I’m extremely grateful for them.

Over the last 13 years, I’ve been able to speak with students who are one of the fatherless millions. I can sympathize with them, and we can both share stories about the amazing moms in our lives. Then, once again, my mom brings a smile to my face.

We hope you can join us this Sunday morning as we honor our mothers, and the spiritual mothers in our midst.

 

Jeff Harding

Youth Minister

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