Modern Motherhood

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

Mother's Day. In some parts of the world society rushes to celebrate its mothers. It wants to say "thank you." Mothers may receive flowers, candy, and cards and get taken out to a meal on that day.

I am a mother and I love it. At the same time, I see this day as an opportunity to contemplate my own concept of motherhood. And I ask myself questions: What are the things that I would want my children to remember about me? What do I remember about my own mother that I'll never forget? A meal? Washed clothes? A consoling word?

Ours is a time of change on many fronts. The roles of mothers-and fathers-are no longer as clearly defined as before. Fathers of today are sharing the responsibilities of caring for the family and the home, sometimes staying home and taking care of their children while mothers work. Modern fathers don't mind cooking, and modern mothers don't mind fixing things around the house.

I first was acquainted as a teenager with the concept that God is Love and that He is both Father and Mother of us all. Up to then I had believed God to be a punishing autocrat and was afraid of Him. In proportion as these new concepts of God, taught in Christian Science, grew stronger in my thinking, I became free from many fears. I was on my way to tasting the sweet joy of freedom that comes in knowing oneself as a child of God. I had begun a journey in learning to understand that God is, in the words of the woman who discovered Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, "incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love" (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 465). I began to feel the mothering of this God.

When I had children of my own, what I had learned from this concept of God helped in raising them. Today, fulfilling my responsibilities as mother of grown children has meant embodying day by day, with an ever-growing strength and certainty, the qualities implied by that description of God.

For example, I see increasingly that divine Love cannot be separated from Principle, nor can Soul be separated from Life, and so on. The parental qualities we reflect from God are by nature "incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite." They have no boundaries of locality or time or physical strength. Because we fully reflect God, we express all His qualities-the wisdom of Mind, the constancy of Spirit, the nurturing of Soul. Also the stability of Principle, the vigor of Life, the faithfulness of Truth. And the light of Love.

As I learn more about the motherhood of God, I see my role as increasingly to help my children feel the divine ever presence, the same power that I found so liberating when I first found it. God nurtures not only me but my children as well. And how comforting it is to know that this mothering will always stay with them! As I endeavor to express those qualities that I understand to represent God's mothering, I feel I'm being the best mother I can be.

It's interesting that the more I do this for the benefit of my children, the more mothered I feel myself. This makes me think of Christ Jesus. He fully expressed the freedom and strength that were his divine birthright. I look to him as a model for the freedom I want my children to have. This helps me to stop interfering in their lives. It encourages me to rest in the assurance that they live in the presence of God. Divine love cuddles their hearts and brings them peace, moment by moment. I am confident that trusting them to God is indeed the best way for me to be a good mother. In striving for this trust, I gain inspiration from the following Bible promise of God: "As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem" (Isaiah 66:13). To nurture this same trust in my children is my most precious goal.

What, then, is my personal wish for Mother's Day? It is to be remembered as the mother who, by her own living, keeps on gently reminding her children-and others-of Life's holy beauty, of God's power at hand, which comes from knowing His mothering.

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