Tell me if this happens at your house.
- You circle Mother’s Day on your husband’s calendar with red ink.
- You leave a note with the URL for your favorite florist on the bathroom sink, along with the number for rush deliveries, just in case.
- For weeks, you tell your children that Mother’s Day is “Mommy’s special day” and have them rehearse the name of your favorite restaurant so they can drop hints to Daddy.
Then Mother’s Day comes. You still have to make breakfast. The kids don’t dress themselves. The flowers don’t arrive, and your husband takes the family through the drive-through on your way home from church. The result? You spend the day stewing. You are miserable, and so is your family.
Maybe that’s not how it works for you. Maybe you are celebrated exactly how you want to be each Mother’s Day. But for most, this holiday can often be a major disappointment.
And you know what? Our husband and kids aren’t to blame.
Thinking we’re the center of the universe, even if it’s only for a day, misses a major point—namely, that we are not the center of the universe. We are a part of a family, an important part, yes, but we’re not so important that we’ve earned the right to demand adoration, affection, and a pass on serving others.
Here are some biblical truths that I need to be reminded of as Mother’s Day approaches. I hope they are helpful for you, too.
1. Humility is a twenty-four hour calling.
Matthew 23:12 doesn’t leave much room for tooting our own horn or demanding that our family toot it for us. It says, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
This lifestyle of humility defines us as followers of Christ. It isn’t something we switch on and off. Mother’s Day is just like every other day in that it offers an opportunity to humble yourself and therefore live like Christ.
2. Motherhood is not a burden. It’s a gift!
Psalm 127:3 says, “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.” If you are blessed enough to have children, your gift has already been delivered.
When you live out the gospel in your home, you are protesting sin. When you ask for and freely give forgiveness with your family, you are protesting bitterness. When you elevate God’s Word at the breakfast table, you are protesting the lies the enemy is screaming in the public sphere.
What an opportunity!
What a privilege!
What a gift.
3. Remember who you serve.
I know that your kids probably don’t send thank-you notes very often, and your husband doesn’t always notice all the things you do to keep the plates spinning. But the truth is you don’t work for their approval.
Colossians 3:23–24 says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”
There is not a single act of service done in Christ’s name that He does not notice. He pays particular attention to you, even keeping meticulous records of your life (Ps. 56:8–9). God does not take for granted what is done in love.
When we expect others to fulfill our need for affirmation, a root of idolatry is revealed. God sees you. God loves you. God rewards those who faithfully serve Him. You will only find yourself fulfilled when you are working to please your Creator.
4. Service is our mission.
In John 13:12–14 we read, “When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, ‘Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.’”
Serving your family demonstrates Christ to them and to families who are crumbling because they don’t know how to serve each other. Psalm 100:2 urges us to “serve the LORD with gladness!” Losing sight of this mission, even for a day, won’t make for a happy heart or a happy family.
Serve, momma, and keep on serving. Today. Every day. Our mission is to love others sacrificially. It’s a full-time job that starts at home.
If you still feel like you can’t go on without a thank-you this Mother’s Day, may I sincerely thank you?
Thanks for being a great mom! Thanks for doing the heavy lifting required to teach your kids about Jesus and for parenting according to God’s plan, even when it’s countercultural. Thanks for modeling service every day of every year, even when you don’t feel like it. And this Mother’s Day, thanks for finding practical ways to live like it’s not about you so that the people around you know it’s all about Him.