A Mother’s Day Reflection on God’s Perfect Love

May 8, 2023

Mother’s Day is this Sunday. Are you ready to celebrate with your mom? I found some entertaining stories in Reader’s Digest to brighten your Mother’s Day. Ian Hammel was visiting with his mom when she noticed he hadn’t lit up a cigarette once. She asked, “Are you trying to kick the habit?”

“No,” he replied, “I’ve got a cold and I can’t smoke when I’m not feeling well.”

“You know,” she observed, “you’d probably live longer if you were sick more often.”

In another story, Karen Whedon was rummaging through her attic and found an old shotgun. Unsure about how to dispose of it, she called her parents. “Take it to the police station,” her mother suggested. After a moment of silence her mother added, “Oh, and Karen? Call first.”

In his book, It Was on Fire When I Lay Down On It, (pp. 100), Robert Fulghum tells about the dilemma ministers face on Mother’s Day. He was approached by a more outspoken woman in the church who said, “I am bringing my Mother to church on Mother’s Day, Reverend, and you can talk about anything you want. But it had better include MOTHER, and it had better be GOOD!” He noted, “She was joking, teasing me, of course. She also meant it!”

I remember calling on an elderly woman, who had the wisdom of years, who was unable to get to church often. She said she would be in church Sunday because she never missed church on Mother’s Day. We enjoyed a wonderful conversation about our mothers. Then I confessed that Mother’s Day was a difficult service because, sadly, sometimes people’s memories are painful. Some have strained or even bad relationships with their mothers. And Mother’s Day becomes a day to go through one’s family duties, play the games, and just get the dinner or phone call over with.

She recommended that I preach about love, because the reason some anticipate Mother’s Day and some dread it is often due to whether or not unconditional love was shared between parent and child.

St. Paul’s words in I Corinthians 13 are an inspiring reminder of the power that unconditional love can have on our lives. Mother’s Day would be a perfect day for everyone if parent and child could share unconditional love that is patient and kind, neither jealous, boastful, arrogant, or rude. How often do we share love that doesn’t insist on its own way, or rejoices in wrong, instead of rejoicing in right? Are we capable of always sharing a love that bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, a love that never ends?

My wife and I agree the most important decision we ever made in our marriage was to follow the First Great Commandment with regards to our love for one another. We read, “Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39). This means we love God first, foremost, and above all else with our whole being. This also acknowledges that our love for one another is often flawed, imperfect, and unconditional. When we love each other through our love for God, we find God redeems our love for each other and helps us to forgive each other when we share flawed love with one another.

We also did the same thing in our love for our children and grandchildren. We not only practiced this, we taught our children, and are now teaching our grandchildren, that this is what we are doing. This has been one of the most important parenting decisions we have made as well.

If we are honest, we recognize that the love we share with others is flawed. This may be the greatest reason God acted on our behalf and sent us our Messiah. Through Jesus Christ, God reveals not only how to love each other, but how much God loves us. Jesus not only preached about loving, but also lived a life of love with all the people he met. He not only healed people, fed people, and forgave them of their sins, he also showed them how to change from their evil ways and how God loves us, unconditionally.

Have you ever thought about God’s place in your marriage and family as you share love with one another? Do you know the difference between the unconditional love of God and how flawed human love without God can be? Who in your life best models loving others through their faith in God and His love? I invite you to find time to talk to this person about love to help celebrate Mother’s Day.