Mother’s Day is filled with a mix of emotions and it can often be confusing to know how to approach it. From grief, to anger, to sweet celebration we can find ourselves wondering how to approach such a sensitive day with both tenderness and honor.
In my book, The Calling of Eve, I learned so much from the beginning pages of God’s narrative and his creation of the first mother Eve. We learn from Eve’s creation in chapter 2 that she is made in the image of God alongside Adam. They are unique to the rest of creation and in their uniqueness God says that “it is very good.” We also see that she is distinctly made from man. She is formed from the rib instead of the ground. The Hebrew word used for her formation is similar to the word ‘built or fashioned’ instead of the word used for Adam’s creation which means ‘to form’ like a potter and clay. Yet in her distinction, we also see an overarching celebration of sameness and purpose in Adam’s response to God giving him a helper.
The first words of humanity written down for us is Adam’s song and celebration “bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh.” Yahweh, the relational and all powerful God, gives the creation mandate to both man and woman to be fruitful and multiply, to rule and reign, and to cultivate the Earth, but for Eve she had a unique part in this mandate. She is named Eve in Genesis 3:20 with the literal translation of her name meaning “mother of life.” She would carry life for 9 months. She would experience the pain, struggle, and work to birth life into the world, and she would ultimately be one of the first to feel the deep grief that comes with the loss of life.
As women, like Eve, who are made in the image of God, our purpose and design goes much deeper than pregnancy tracking, toddler tantrums, or getting our children to the finish line of adulthood. As women we get to reflect God and help to bring life to those around us.
Bringing and being life means that we are women who fight for the life of the unborn to the last breaths at the end of each life with both grace and truth. We give generously, we volunteer our time, and we pray fervently for the protection of life, all life.
We chase down those who are caught in lies and overwhelming fear and who are marked by death, shame, and regret because of their past choices and walk beside them with healing and champion the hope of forgiveness and grace.
We share life with children who come from broken homes and families and who spend their days in DPS offices and court rooms or orphanages. We see them as little image bearers who statistically will find themselves in the pits of addiction, unplanned pregnancies, and prostitution if not reminded of the power of redemption.
We bring life to coworkers who hold the physical scars and the emotional wounds of abuse or the heaviness of life with a listening ear and a comforting shoulder.
We bring life to the college aged Target cashier who’s battling depression and the weight of endless expectations while trying to figure out her identity and what is true by looking her in the eye with a smile and reminding her that she matters.
We bring life to the single mom who is working two jobs and feeling like a failure by taking a home cooked meal and some flowers to remind her she’s doing a great job and she’s beautiful.
We bring life to the woman battling cancer and give her dignity and worth despite how different her body may look. We are life givers who reflect, build, and breathe life into a hurting, dark, and hard planet as bosses, teachers, employees, wives, daughters, church members, TJ MAXX shoppers, and neighbors.
We see examples of this all throughout Scripture through women (some mothers some not) like Hannah, Mary the mother of Jesus, Priscilla, and Dorcas who reflected the goodness, sacrifice, care, and compassion of God through their unique gifts and circumstances.
This Mother’s Day let’s celebrate the biological moms, foster and adoptive moms, and spiritual mothers who are inviting others into the life that comes through a relationship with the God of the universe who bends down to build and breathe life into the souls of men and women all across the world.
Jacki C. King is a respected and popular Bible teacher, conference speaker, and ministry leader. She has a passion for seeing women fall in love with Jesus and His Word while challenging them to be on mission in their homes, workplaces, and communities. This article was originally published at churchanswers.com on May 6. Thom S. Rainer serves as president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. Among his greatest joys are his family: his wife Nellie Jo; three sons, Sam, Art, and Jess; and seven grandchildren. Dr. Rainer can be found on Twitter @ThomRainer and at facebook.com/Thom.S.Rainer