If you have spent most of your life trying to measure up to the Proverbs 31 woman, you can pretty well add me to the list of “I-don’t-measure-up”. I seem to never get by the verse 15 “she gets up while it’s still dark”. I think I can count on one hand when I have gotten up before dark on purpose. The impression of this mother is family-focused, cooks well, hard-working, beautiful and keeps house amazingly tidy. I don’t think she would have liked me much if she ever walked into my house.
This is why I love that the Bible gives us stories of other mothers. Mothers that weren’t perfect; Mothers that questioned God; Mothers that were once barren and a mother that stayed when the rest of the world left.
Mary – Mother of Jesus
She was engaged to a man named Joseph at an early age (some say 12 or 13) but all that was about to change from a visit from an angel – Gabriel. She heard the most incredible news that she was going to have a child and he was going to be the Son of the Highest. Can you imagine the task that was just given to her? Gabriel didn’t tell her, “Well, see Mary this son that you are going to carry, birth and mother will one day be beaten, bruised and nailed to a cross for all the world”. How many of you would have agreed to that? Not me. Mary only asked how, how will this be. Gabriel gave her the answer and Mary not only said yes, she said:
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Luke 1:38
I don’t want to talk about the disgrace she was given as an unwed mother or that she almost lost Joseph while she was carrying Jesus. I want to talk about her strength and obedience as she mothered. She was the only person to be with Jesus his entire life – from birth to death. She gave birth to a baby and watched him die as a Savior. Still, she willing submitted to God’s plan. She was young, poor and a female which at that time were not good characteristics to have. People would see her as unusable by God for anything major, like carrying the Messiah! But God chose Mary for one of the most important acts of obedience He has every asked of anyone.
As a mother she changed his dirty diapers, comforted him while he was teething, taught him how to walk and talk. Can you imagine hearing Jesus saying “Mommy” for the first time?
Fast forward 33 years later and she is now at His Crucifixion. It is impossible to imagine how Mary felt as she watched her son tortured and killed. Jesus had been her baby, the boy she educated, the young man she was proud of. Yet, while dying on the cross, her son was concerned for her.
When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home. John 19:26-27
He knew her sacrifice that she made and wanted to make sure she was taken care of.
She never left his side as a child and never left him as he was crucified.
Mary is real motherhood.
So do you get up before dark? Tell me why.
What does the story of Mary show you as a mother?