Sacrificial Love- Mother’s Day

Sacrificial Love- Mother’s Day

May 11, 2024

Bible Verse

But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. (NIV)  Luke 2:51

After my dad died, it was just my mom and I at home. We relied on each other for strength, especially those first few years. Everything I learned about moms I learned from my mom and later from my wife as we raised our two kids together. I won’t claim to be an expert on moms and their love for their kids. I can only share what I’ve experienced watching a few great moms do what they do: love their kids.

Love Your Kids. It sounds so easy, but it’s the most challenging thing any parent must do. Loving your kids when their newborn eyes light up when they make contact with you is easy. Loving them when they’re crying for no apparent reason at 3 AM or as they grow and hit their defiant stages is much more difficult. But we are called to show God's unconditional love for us through his Son, Jesus Christ. That kind of love takes practice, patience, and grace. It requires forgiving ourselves when we fail and trying repeatedly to get it right. We may never get it right, but we always keep trying.

Don’t Hover. The image of a helicopter parent has become very popular over the last fifteen years. The idea behind it is that parents hover over their children at all times, ready to swoop in to take care of every detail of their kids' lives at a moment’s notice. That might sound like a good idea, but in the long run, helicopter parenting robs our children of the ability to make their own decisions, solve their problems, and develop any form of independence we all want for our kids. While the temptation to swoop in might seem like a good idea, let your kids talk to their teacher about a challenging assignment. Let them speak to their friend who they are arguing with. Guide them in those conversations. Help them plan how best to engage the situation. And debrief with them when they finish. But resist the urge to take care of every problem for your children. Let them experience independence while they are still under your care. That way, they will be better prepared to deal with even more difficult situations independently.

Let Them Fail. An argument against what I just talked about is, “But what if my child fails?” Good! We need failures in our lives sometimes. We need to create an environment where failure is okay and not judged or punished all the time. We learn through failures about ourselves, the situation we find ourselves in, and how to handle failure better in the future. If we never fail, we never learn certain essential lessons. It’s difficult to watch kids fall. But in the long run, it is an experience that all of our kids need. Again, it allows us to help them prepare better in the future and to debrief with them after the failure so that they can learn in a safe environment.

Moms hold an exceptional place in the lives of their children. For the mothers out there, take advantage of that position and celebrate it often! For all of us, love our children with the love of Christ. Through all of us, our kids can learn what unconditional love is all about.

Want to do a deep dive? Check out Family Fire's article A Mother's Hands

Bret Lamsma

Bret Lamsma

Bret Lamsma is the Director of Faith Formation at First Christian Reformed Church in Denver, Colorado. He has also served churches in California and Michigan. He has a passion for youth ministry and intergenerational ministry in the local church. When he isn’t working at church or writing he enjoys hanging out with his wife and 2 children, hiking, woodworking, and watching movies.

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