In the middle of the basketball game, I turn away from the TV in disgust. I've watched commercial after commercial of over-sexualized womanhood - image of God cheapened for men's satisfaction - and I can't stand it anymore. Despite our tacit societal gains, the popular western world seems to shrink our feminine worth into the space between our shoulders and our knees. Females are on display everywhere, but I am frustrated and I wonder when we are going to do more than display.
As Mother's Day comes and goes, I think: the world needs less sexualization and more motherhood. Not mother as defined by biology, but mother as women in the world who nurture and shelter, havens of encouragement and purity, islands of peace and unconditional love, pillars of dignity and maturity.
The Apostle Paul discovered the treasure of such a woman on his missionary journeys. In Romans 16:13 he offers appreciation for the mother of Rufus “who has been a mother to me too.” One can only imagine the rest that the persecuted and weary Paul found in the welcome of such a woman, eating at her table, sharing his heart, being prayed for and cared for as only a mother can care.
Each of us can be such mothers in the world if we want to.
We can be welcomers, with our arms wide open to anyone God brings us. "Come and rest, tell me your story."
We can be safe places, listening without judgement, seeing with love-eyes the best in each person.
We can be nurturers, feeding soul and spirit with the mercy and acceptance of God.
We can be testimonies of purity and dignity, free from the need to be approved of and desired by anyone but God alone.
We can be unapologetically mature, voices of reason in the chaos.
We can be peacemakers, tireless advocates for restoration and understanding.
We can be passionate defenders, keeping watch over tender minds and spirits and providing shelter to the vulnerable.
We can be joy-givers, remembering and noticing, taking time to affirm.
Each of us can be such mothers for the world, right now.
But we really must be willing to put away the childish things - attention seeking and the constant self-focus, the foolishness the world breeds - and move on to maturity.
Let's do it, shall we?