Keeping Mum

By Not Known

Our society and media abound in much sentimental nonsense concerning modern motherhood. Soft-lens photo shoots of fluffy pink scenes give images of contented mothers who spend their days being loved and served by their ever-doting husband and children, while puring themselves out in generous service to family and society.

The reality is that today’s mum is more like a circus juggler. There are meals to be made, in-laws to placate; children to be transported to two or three different schools and music lessons; homework and ECAs to be completed; a career and demanding boss to be satisfied – oh, and at day’s end, here husband awaits. That is, if she has a husband. An increasing number of Singapore mothers juggle children, family and career all alone.

This reality is a sharp contract to the idealised figure of the mother’s day myth. But, it is close to the reality of Biblical motherhood.

Our morning sermons this month include studies of two Old Testament mothers, Sarah and her daughter-in=law, Rebekah. Both had hard lives. Both left the comfort of the family home to follow their husbands. Both faced demanding lives and family conflicts.

Both women had their weaknesses and failures. Sarah’s faith in God failed at a critical point and she enticed her husband to adultery (Gen 16: 1- 3). She then mistreated the child born from the very liaison that she had set up (Gen 16: 4b- 6; 21: 1- 10). For her part, Rebekah played favourites between her twin sons (Gen 25: 28), conspired with Jacob to lie to her husband and to cheat Esau and then helped Jacob to escape justice (Gen 27: 5- 44). It’s no surprise that Jacob was a wilful and sinful son until God’s hand touched him (Gen 28: 10- 22)

Notice how God was at work through these women and their equally frail husbands. God worked in them, despite what they were like. Even more, God worked out his redemptive plan through them. These women and their families are the stepping stones on the path between God’s covenant and promises to Abraham (Gen 12: 1- 3) and their fulfilment in Jesus Christ.

All this is most encouraging. It’s encouraging to to our mums and our families to see and know that God works through people like us. It’s also encouraging to keep our faith in God and lift our hearts to admire him – he really does work for good in all things (Rom 8: 28)