I love Mother's Day.
I have such high esteem for the position of motherhood. What could possibly be more important than to be God's tool of the forming of a human soul?
Moms have been through it all. Changing diapers, comforting nightmares, caring for the sick, meeting with the principal, sitting through painful recitals, baking birthday cakes, washing clothes.
Not only that, you've been God's primary instrument to shape a biblical worldview and morality inside your son or daughter. It's a task that requires an abundance of love and patience, mercy and forgiveness.
I just don't think we give you enough credit. That's why I love a national day where we recognize the role of Mom.
But Mom ... you have to read this: being appreciated cannot be your goal.
Children should absolutely honor and appreciate their mother (Exodus 20:12). However, if being appreciated becomes the thing that you live for, you'll chase appreciation with hyper-vigilant eyes in every situation, location, and relationship.
That will cause damage to both you and your child.
I've Never Heard This
I'm the father of four grown children, and I can't recall a day when one of my sons came bursting through the door and said to my wife Luella, "Mom, on the bus ride home, I was thinking about how much you have done for me over the years. You've been with me and for me from the very first moment of my life until now. I was flooded with gratitude and I just couldn't wait to get home and say thank you!"
I never had to console my sobbing daughter with this conversation: "What's wrong, dear?" "Oh, I was just thinking about you and Mom and how unthankful I've been. I feel so guilty that I haven't appreciated you more, and I've committed myself to demonstrating that I appreciate you every day!"
If this ever happens to you, erect stones as a lasting memorial or light an eternal flame!
On the contrary, the trend for children, especially as they grow older, is to be much more filled with self-orientation and self-interest than to be filled with an awareness and appreciation of others.
So Mom, while it is right and good to be appreciated, don't expect that your child will be naturally inclined to express constant appreciation.
Without even knowing it, you may have entered into an unspoken "I serve, you appreciate" contract with your child. Every time you serve and your sacrifice goes unnoticed, your heart will be tempted with discouragement, anger, and bitterness towards the person God has called you to nurture and love.
That's not healthy for either of you.
Instead, find your identity, purpose and strength in motherhood vertically from the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Not horizontally from your child.