Research is clear: dads matter for children. But no research is even necessary to know that moms matter. Of course they do. In fact, all women matter.
I’ve got three older sisters, no brothers. And, I was the youngest—so you know what that means. First, I wasn’t even aware we had a bathroom until I was sixteen. After all, it was always occupied. And second, I was treated like a real-live baby doll for almost all of my younger years—only with four mothers.
Today I joke about how brutal my childhood was, but it’s just that: a joke. And given that today I live in a house with 3 daughters, no sons, and a neutered dog, I’m even more thankful for the home that I grew up in. And today, just two days before we celebrate God’s wonderful gift of mothers, is an appropriate day to explain why.
My life has been fully blessed with mothers—my grandmothers: both amazing, committed, and faithful women; a mother-in-law who is passionate about truth, helpful to our family and loves my children well; and of course, my mother. It’s hard to know even where to begin. She has faithfully prayed for me and my sisters, and now our families, all of our lives. She sacrificed for us, served the churches that she and my dad have attended, remained faithful to my dad, taught school, and even spent 12 years rescuing babies and ministering to women and men facing unexpected pregnancies as the director of a Christian pregnancy care center, easily one of the toughest jobs on the planet.
And of course, there’s my wife. My Georgia friend Craig often says to me, “Son, you outkicked your punt coverage when you married her.” He’s right (although so did he). Not only does she do the everyday mothering stuff so well, she leads a dynamic children’s education program at our church, has become a student of church history, and is one of the most ferocious readers that I know. And most of all, she brings life wherever she is—to people, to rooms, to our home, to my kids, and to me.
And all of this reminds me of something we all need to remember: not everyone looks forward to mother’s day. Not everyone is blessed to have the right kind of mothers in their life. And not everyone who wants to be a mother, is—for different reasons. For many women, today is a reminder of those reasons and so we ought to be mindful that it’s not only mothers that are God’s great gifts to us; women are.
Women are, in fact, proof that God is kind, creative, and good to us.
Much is said and written these days about women’s roles. Some want to convince us that there’s no difference between women and men, and to suggest otherwise is sexist misogyny. In many ways, as Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse recently told me, the sexual revolution was built on the lie that men and women are fully interchangeable—a terrible and observably false idea that has had very bad consequences.
Now others tell us, including some well-meaning and misguided Christians, that women have no place outside the home, that they should be subservient to men. Even recently we’ve learned of abuse and corruption from extreme proponents of this position.
Both of these positions are misguided, and while much work remains to be done on a proper understanding of women and men, Christians have a deeper resource than current cultural ideas or their extreme reactions, and that’s God’s created design. In the Garden we see that both men and women bear God’s image and are given authority and dominion to steward the earth. They do this individually, and they do it together through marriage.
Look, I’m no expert in these things, but I’m convinced there’s strength to women, and among the most notable is what I’ve seen in my wife: women bring life to the world. In every way: from bringing children into the world, to imaginative thought, to bearing other’s burdens in horrific times, to their smiles; and they do it as daughters, as wives, as mothers, as women. I know men can bring life too in some of these ways, but women just do it, well, differently (and often better).
So on Mother’s Day, honor the mothers. And be sure to remember those who don’t look forward to Mother’s Day. Let’s be thankful that God loves diversity, complementarity, and difference. And because of that, He gave us women.
— by John Stonestreet
Stonestreet is the Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview and is heard on Breakpoint. Copyright© 2015 Prison Fellowship Ministries. Reprinted with permission. BreakPoint is a ministry of Prison Fellowship Ministries.