The Common Good

The Glue of Society: Celebrating Mother's Day

090507-mother-childThank God for mothers! Mother's Day is an opportunity to make life special for them. It is a chance to celebrate family. I thank God for my mother, who died some years ago. There is one thing I regret: for too many years I did not appreciate her enough and took her for granted. She was always there for us. I thank God for my wife. We have been married for 43 years and have eight children. God has blessed us with 41 grandchildren.

Mothers are the backbone of our society and the glue that holds a family together -- their work is vital but often unseen. We all need to show greater appreciation for them. I pity the man who does not have a good wife to take care of him.

My favorite Hasidic saying goes, "God could not be everywhere at once, so he gave each child a mother!" Mothers should be proud to be mothers. It is a God-given task and privilege. Actually, there is a mother's heart in every woman, whether married or single. In the past, motherhood was regarded as the noblest calling of a woman. Today it is too often pushed aside by more "desirable" occupations such as careers, and seen as an inconvenience or even an embarrassment.

A true mother thinks day and night about the well-being of her children, and is the first to praise, comfort, and protect them. She is willing to sacrifice her life for them. The pains of pregnancy and childbirth are borne by the mother, and she continues to carry the child in her heart her whole life.

Motherhood is a mystery. It is something truly divine for which every human heart longs. This is why mothers provide the most powerful influence on a child's life, and are the most important role models for positive change in our society. When anyone is in trouble, or knows that they are dying, the first person they think of is their mother. When children start going wrong ways, a mother's prayer is powerful. Mothers remind us that there is a loving God above us who will take good care of everyone, especially children. Whenever a tragedy occurs -- no matter where in the world this happens -- you will always find mothers both weeping for the dead and bringing comfort and security to the living.

As we seek to improve the education of our children, let us start by taking better care of our mothers. This will enable them to provide better homes for all of us, and ensure the survival of our society. Never before in our history have so many men abandoned the children they fathered. Fathers are vanishing from their children's lives, not just physically, but legally as well. Therefore, congratulations to all single mothers and grandmothers who do their best to raise children on their own. They often struggle under the most difficult circumstances. They are the real heroes of the family -- and not just on Mother's Day.

Johann Christoph Arnold is a pastor and author of 10 books, which are available at www.plough.com.

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