God of Wonders Part Three: Wonder Woman
We are in the midst of a miniseries called God of Wonders. The goal of this short series is to attempt to reclaim the art of wonder in an effort to renew our excitement for God and His creation.
Today we are going to focus in on one very special creature in God’s creation and take a moment to stop and consider the wonder of mothers.
Today marks the 100th anniversary of Woodrow Wilson proclaiming Mother’s Day a national celebration in the United States. And with good reason, for mothers truly are wonderful.
God as the mastermind behind this cosmos blessed the world with his magnificent design of the Mother.
MULTI- (TALENTED, FACETED, DIMENSIONAL, TASKING)
One of the prefixes that we use to describe God is omni. He’s
Likewise, I think one of the most fitting prefixes we can use to describe mothers is multi.
Jane Sellman says “The phrase ‘working mother’ is redundant.”
Consider the wonder of the mother. A father typically leaves the house early in the morning and goes to work, leaves work at work and comes home. While a mother may either leave to go to work or stay home, either way, when she is at home, she is working. And she works multiple jobs.
Usually a mother is:
- a maid, who cleans up after everyone
- a cook or chef, making meals for others (often taking special requests)
- a nurse, taking temperatures, examining scrapes, cuts, and burns, administering proper care
- a launderer
Sometimes a mother is a gardener, a banker, an interior decorator.
If she has more than one child under the age of six, she is:
- a law enforcement officer putting down domestic disputes
- often a referee, a mediator, and
- a firefighter (constantly putting out fires)
And to make the work of a mother even more wonderful, admirable, and awe-inspiring, a mother seems to be able to do many or all of these tasks simultaneously. Mothers are amazing multi-taskers.
Milton Berle expresses the wonder of mothers as Gods wonderful creation in this way, asking “If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?”
Mothers are also obliging: willing or eager to do favors, offer one’s services, etc.
I remember growing up as a child, if I wanted my feet rubbed I didn’t go to dad, I went to mom. If I wanted to hang out with a friend, which meant my parents would have to drive across town and back, I went to my mother. If I wanted a new toy, or a pack of baseball cards, or garbage pail kids, I went to mother, because mother was far more obliging than father.
I noticed this tendency in my own household. If one of my children gets hurt, they almost inevitably ask for a band-aid. Somehow a band-aid makes it all better, whether there is an open wound involving blood or not. If there is blood, I am all about the band-aid. But if there is no blood, which is usually the case, I usually explain that band-aids are for blood. They want one anyway. Daddy isn’t very obliging. We don’t need a band-aid for that; it would be a waste. But I want a band-aid. But mommy knows better. Mommy knows that a band-aid will make it feel better and mommy is much more obliging than daddy.
If I wanted anything, the one to ask was not dad. If I wanted something – anything, the obliging one was my mother.
The only time father was more obliging than mother was when the question was: can I ride my bicycle in the next neighborhood – which meant that I would have to cross a very busy street. Or can I play football? Those were questions that I took to father. Why? Because mothers are typically nurturers, healers. They are protective of their babies. They are therapeutic.
Whether we are talking psychotherapy or physical therapy, any kind of therapy – mothers are generally the great administers of therapy, healing.
Rough day at school? People made fun of you, bully you, hurt your feelings? Who better to come home to than mother?
Emily Dickenson said “[A] mother is one to whom you hurry when you are troubled.”
When you’re sick, who is the most sensitive to your needs, the most caring, concerned, sympathetic, nurturer, but a mother?
A child gets hurt and daddy is twice as close as mommy, but that child is often more likely to run twice the distance to find himself in the therapeutic arms of his mother. Because mothers make everything better; their shoulders are designed by the God of Wonders for receiving the tears of her offspring. Mothers bring healing. They are therapeutic.
Mother are highly influential. Consider the fact that a child learns the most about life in the first two years of his or her life. Who does that child spend the most time with in those first two years? His or her mother. And in most cases it seems historically and statistically a child spends more waking hours with his mother than his father. In our current society with more mothers working, things are shifting and it may be leveling out some, but even so, generally speaking mothers spend a greater amount of time with their children than fathers.
While the purpose of this morning’s message is to stop and consider the wonders of God, specifically his wonderful design in creation, namely mothers, I feel compelled to address the mothers in the room and to take a moment to encourage you with this: you are in a position to be the greatest influence on your child.
If you read the quotes of the great men of renown throughout history, you see the influence of their mothers.
Abraham Lincoln said “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”
“My mother is my root, my foundation. She planted the seed that I base my life on, and that is the belief that the ability to achieve starts in your mind.” —Michael Jordan
“My mother was a reader, and she read to us. She read us Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde when I was six and my brother was eight; I never forgot it.” —Stephen King
Think about that for a minute. Stephen King’s mother was a reader and she read Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to him when he was six. What did he grow up to do?
In today’s culture, however, mothers, there is a world of competition out there. There is a plethora of others vying to be the most influential person in your children’s lives.
Remember: time is influence. Even if we aren’t being intentional about influencing our children we are influencing unintentionally. As I’ve said before, so much of what is learned is caught not taught. They pick up on what is said and done. Again, time is influence. Whoever is spending the most time with our children is likely to have the most influence on them.
If they are spending time with Hannah Montanna, or Miley Cirus, or Lizzy McGuire and whoever else is on Netflix and the Disney Channel, our children are open to their influence (whether that is good or bad).
In light of that, mothers I want to challenge you to be intentional with your influence. Recognize your potential to be the most influential person in your children’s lives.
Remember Stephen King’s mother. What you are doing with your six year old today has the potential to change the trajectory of his or her future and the lives of millions.
If mothers are highly influential, it follows that mothers tend to be a child’s educator. In our culture here in America, we send our children off to school to learn math, science, history, English, art, etc. And I’m not downplaying the importance of those disciplines, but the most important things our children learn are learned in the home.
“Mama was my greatest teacher, a teacher of compassion, love and fearlessness. If love is sweet as a flower, then my mother is that sweet flower of love.” —Stevie Wonder
My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute my success in life to the moral, intellectual, and physical education I received from her.” — George Washington
Mothers are educators. While the school system does a great job educating our children in those subjects I mentioned and our Sunday school teachers do a great job teaching our children to know and love God, as parents our job is to be the primary educators of our children and mothers, so much of that power lies in your hands.
“Kids don’t stay with you if you do it right. It’s the one job where, the better you are, the more surely you won’t be needed in the long run.” —Barbara Kingsolver
Our job as parents is to prepare our children to be adults, something the public school system doesn’t fully accomplish. And mothers, you play an extraordinary role in that educational process. You are truly wonderful.
Mothers are reliable, they are devoted!
Edgar Allen Poe:
“Because I feel that, in the Heavens above
The angels, whispering to one another,
Can find, among their burning terms of love
None so devotional as that of ‘Mother’”
Mothers are devoted. In the unfortunate case that a parent chooses to leave a family, statistically speaking, it is rarely the mother. Rarely do mothers abandon their families, abandon their children. Under these unfortunate circumstances, it is usually a father who leaves.
Why is that? I’m inclined to think that in a general sense, mothers, as God’s wonderful creation are wired in such a way that they are sincerely obligated, deeply connected.
I don’t know if it’s a matter of having been so invested in their child’s life: carrying him for 9 months before giving birth, the pain involved in giving birth, so it’s a matter of “After all this work, I’m too invested; I’ve come this far, I’m not leaving now” or if there really is a supernatural emotional connection of having been that child’s life source, connected first by the umbilical cord, and then in many cases, nursing the infant. I’m not sure. But whatever the case, mothers are generally very reliable.
You can always count on mom to be there. Friends fail. Fathers bail, but mothers seem to be there for you, always. Devoted, reliable.
Sophia Loren: “When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.”
I have shared with you several sayings and quotes this morning about mothers and their influence, but I would like to end with one that is very fitting, one that most of you are probably familiar with.
Here at NCF we believe that the Bible is true, authoritative, and divinely inspired. And what follows is an inspired utterance that originated with a mother:
Proverbs 31 1 The sayings of King Lemuel—an inspired utterance his mother taught him.
2 Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb!
Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers!
3 Do not spend your strength[a] on women,
your vigor on those who ruin kings.
4 It is not for kings, Lemuel—
it is not for kings to drink wine,
not for rulers to crave beer,
5 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed,
and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.
6 Let beer be for those who are perishing,
wine for those who are in anguish!
7 Let them drink and forget their poverty
and remember their misery no more.
8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
9 Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character
10 [b]A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Multi- (talented, faceted, dimensional, tasking)
Let’s worship the God of Wonders and praise him for his beautiful creation, the woman who is truly wonderful. For today we honor mothers, the true Wonder Woman.