Friday, June 3, 2016

When am I a Mother?

~Erin Blair

Ah Mother’s Day….a day of giving flowers and jewelry and recognizing those of us women who are mothers. It is a nice day to get recognition for something that we do every day. But something happened to me on Mother’s Day this year that left me puzzled. After worship services Sunday morning, I told a sweet elderly lady in the congregation, “Happy Mother’s Day! Are there any plans your children have made for you this afternoon?” She told me about the lunch her son has prepared and such. But then she pated my ever-growing belly and says with the kindest smile on her face: “Well, we’ll get to tell you ‘happy Mother’s Day’ next year!” I was shocked. I just stood there in the foyer of the building speechless as I watched her walk to her car. I stood there silent as I felt my son rolling around and giving me a strong karate chop above my belly button. This made me think…….and wonder…when am I a mother?

“And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.” Gen. 3:20

This is the first time in scripture someone is given the title “mother.” But wait, at this point in time she had not given birth to a child yet. In fact, it isn’t until chapter 4 when we even are learn that Adam and Eve conceived a son. So she is given the title of “mother” before she gave birth.

“And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.” Luke 1:36

“And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; …” Luke 1:41

“And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.” Luke 1:43-44

In these passages, we see that Elisabeth had not yet given birth to a son, who we know later to be John. Did this mean she has a child already even though that child was only six months along in development in the womb (v. 36)? I certainly think so! What about verse 43 where Elisabeth calls Mary “..the mother of my Lord…?” But wait, Mary hadn’t given birth yet. So was Elisabeth mistaken? Was Mary not a mother yet?

When we think of a mother, we think of a woman who provides for and takes care of her children (Prov. 31:15, 27, 28). She prays for her children and teaches them about God. What about in the womb? What about a child that is only a few weeks old from conception? Or a few days old after being conceived? Is that not a child?

“For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” Psalm 139:13-16

I am sure we all agree that life begins at conception and becomes a living soul. When a child is in the womb, does the woman who carries that child not provide for that child? Doesn’t she protect that child and nurture him or her until it is time for that sweet baby to join the outside world? What about praying for the child in her belly and talking to the baby about God even before they take their first gulp of air?

I am so thankful for my amazing husband who made Mother’s Day a big to-do for me and acknowledging that I am a mother, but since our son can’t do much for me this year, “daddy will have to do it for him.” I am thankful for my sweet sisters-in-law who helped my husband cook lunch and prepare a nice Mother’s Day for me. I am thankful for the many family members who constantly pray for our son and my husband and I as we make our “game plan” to raise our son to be a man of God.

But as I stood there in the foyer and reflected on that comment, I began to think about how we, even in the church, view when motherhood begins, or what qualifies a woman as a “mother.” Are our views the same as God’s views? What qualifies a mother in our minds and when does that start? Does it start when, after that final push and we hear our child’s first cry and hold them in our arms? Or does it start when that baby is conceived and becomes a living soul?

Erin resides in Ben Wheeler TX with her husband, Jordan and is awaiting the birth of their first child, Judah Rae Blair. Erin has been involved with preparing and organizing the work of the church since she was a teenager by teaching all ages of Bibles classes, helping prepare and organize Ladies Days, Prom Alternatives, Youth Rallies and VBS.  She is currently works as a paralegal for a law firm. She and her husband also spend their time enjoying their garden, dogs, rabbits, chickens, ducks, quail…etc.  Life is never dull at her house. 

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