In May, we celebrate Mother’s Day. What makes a mother worth celebrating? Some men have to be reminded that there is a difference between being a sperm donor and being a real father. By the same token there are some mothers who need to be reminded that there is a difference between being the womb provider and being a real mother.
The most celebrated mother in history is probably Mary, the mother of Jesus. She is revered as a mother almost universally by Christians and Muslims. I think there are some characteristics of Mary that certainly mark her as an example to follow.
First, she saw her son Jesus as a special gift of God, not as a sinful creature that had to be forced to conform. She must have understood that she was loved by God just as she was. She could pass this love on to her child, letting him express his own nature as well.
Second, knowing her own worth, she did not have to live through her child. She was not just an incubation chamber. As a result, she was revered as a teacher in the church long after Jesus’ death.
We know that children will mimic the behavior of those they see, especially when they are young. We know enough about Mary to know she modeled the behaviors we see in Jesus. Whenever we see someone who is particularly loving, we can give thanks for whoever taught them how to love. This month we give thanks for all women who have taught us how to love. They are all real mothers.