Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

9.18.2009

The Art of Family: Mothers


“A daughter is a mother's gender partner, her closest ally in the family confederacy, an extension of her self. And mothers are their daughters' role model, their biological and emotional road map, the arbiter of all their relationships.” ~Victoria Secunda

There is something wonderful that has happened to my relationship with my mother as I have grown older: it has deepened and grown sweeter. She doesn’t have to spank me or rescind privileges anymore—just knowing that I have hurt her hurts me deeply too. And now, rather than simply observing her clean the house, wash the dishes, teach the children, run errands, make dinner, and smoothly handle crises, I am learning from her and doing it along with her.
Many is the time, though, that I wish that I could do more for her. My mother is my father’s helpmeet and she is shaping the lives of her children as she teaches them. She is doing this, though, in a world that asks, “What’s your career again?” and smirks to hear that she is a homemaker. She is doing it by putting others first and herself last in a universe that people think revolves around them. Tenneva Jordan described all of our mothers when she said, “A mother is a person who, seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.”
The truth is, though, that our mothers all face discouragement, times of stress, and disheartening setbacks. They unceasingly persevere through the day-to-day hum-drum routine because of their love, but they are also the object of much attack from Satan, who would love to derail these women who control the future generations. What can we do?
The answer is simple: be to our mothers what Ruth was to Naomi. Granted, Naomi wasn’t Ruth’s real mother, nor was Ruth Naomi’s real daughter. But when I read of their precious relationship in Scripture, I somehow forget that insignificant fact, so mother-daughter-esque is their relationship.
Naomi was facing an unknown future, and she was so discouraged that “she said to [the people], ‘Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. (Ruth 1:20)” Ever selfless, she even urged Ruth to leave her and have a better life, but Ruth knew better. In one of those moments of history that I would give anything to have observed, Ruth grippingly declared her love and devotion to her mother-in-law. Her words were so passionate that many use this expression of daughterly love in their wedding ceremony.

“Entreat me not to leave you,
Or to turn back from following after you;
For wherever you go, I will go;
And wherever you lodge, I will lodge;
Your people shall be my people,
And your God, my God.
Where you die, I will die,
And there will I be buried.
The LORD do so to me, and more also,
If anything but death parts you and me. (Ruth 1:16-17)"
Ruth soon found herself a traveling companion, a grain-scrounger, and a daughter-in-submission to Naomi. I hope you just had the same epiphany I did--that Ruth's joy-giving, long-revered actions sound shockingly like what any daughter could do in 2009. We can all confide in and submit to our mothers, run errands, make dinner, and say “I love you." Small, yes, but if we do it with a prayer on our heart and love on our face, I think the message will come through. After all, Ruth’s patient servanthood helped to transform Naomi from a disheartened, bitter woman to a joyful one who was blessed by all who knew her. An unexpected twist, though, is that we ourselves will be blessed, whether it is by learning homemaking from the best teacher or by finding Boaz in a grainfield. (-:
Ruth 4:14-15 says, “Then the women said to Naomi, "Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a close relative; and may his name be famous in Israel! And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him." We may not be able to give our mothers seven sons, but we can give ourselves with a smile and say, “Just call me Ruth.”

3 comments:

  1. A great post, Lauren! I appreciated the further exploration into the character and heart of the Biblical Ruth - I have much to live up to. ;) There certainly can be a precious tie between a mother and daughter and I am blessed as I witness that between you and your mom. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am going to get my cup of tea right now to read more. This is so inspirational and even though I didn't get this from my mom, and she lives 2000 miles away, I think there are ways I can serve her. For sure it encourages me as a mom! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ruthie--I'm so glad you see that relationship between Mama and I, and I definitely see that mutual respect and love between you and your mom. Have you ever read Jonathan Edwards' sermon on Ruth? It was a fascinating new (ironic, eh? =) take on her.
    Kirsti--your comment put a smile on my face! I'm so glad you enjoyed the post, and I love to hear from those who read the blog! Enjoy your tea!

    ReplyDelete

We love comments like we love sunshine and chocolate and chubby babies!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin