Mother’s Day is tomorrow. Here are five things I’m grateful for.
This is her first Mother’s Day—kind of. We celebrated last year, but Hudson wasn’t born until July. I’ve never seen anyone love anything as much as Julie loves Hudson. And I’ve never seen two people happier than when the two of them are playing together. Motherhood looks good on her. If it’s possible to love her more, seeing Julie as a mom, I do.
Hudson brought home his first Mother’s Day present a few days ago—a painting of a blue bird made out of his footprint. It’s WAY better than whatever I’ll give Julie on Sunday. He’s bringing the best out in both me and my wife. I hope we’re finding ways to bring the best out in him.
Church moms are the best moms. And the moms at Central Baptist Church are the best kind of church moms. We have all kinds of moms here with children of all kinds of ages, and they’re raising their children in all kinds of ways, but they have a few things in common.
First, they all understand the value of having a Christian community to partner with them in the care of their children. In a world where so many are struggling to make it on their own–to do life by themselves–the community of care I witness each day at Central encourages me.
Second, our moms don’t let busy schedules crowd God out of their children’s lives. In the middle of soccer and baseball and Scouts and recitals and school plays, our families continue to make God a priority. As a church leader, that humbles me.
And third, I see our moms reinforcing in their children the idea that each one of them is sacred because they bear God’s image, and I am inspired by their example. I’m grateful for all the moms at Central Baptist.
I’m grateful for my mom. She has new name now—Granda—a combination of Grandma and Linda. I’m grateful that she loves Hudson as much as I do. I’m grateful that she’s teaching Hudson to love the Braves as much as she taught me to. I’m grateful that she’s close by to help! I’m grateful that she’s always willing to. And I’m grateful for all the things she’s done to teach me how to be a parent. Every time I do something to encourage our new son, I’m conscious that it’s just an echo of something she’s done to encourage me.
A CHURCH THAT VALUES WOMEN
And, finally, this Mother’s Day, I’m grateful for a church that values the contributions of women. We’re living through a time when men in positions of power are being exposed for all the ways they have consistently devalued, debased, abused and dismissed the women around them. This is happening in all spheres of influence and leadership—politics, business, education, entertainment, and even in our churches.
Not all churches believe that women can contribute and lead in all the ways men can. Some even continue to teach antiquated ideas about the inferiority of women and continue to encourage women to submit to the authority of men in ways that have proven to create unhealthy–and even unsafe—cultures for them.
Central is different, though. Twenty-five years ago, drawing on an even longer history of inclusiveness, brave men and women in our church rejected such teaching as antithetical to the gospel and incompatible with the person of Jesus Christ.
Because of the courage of leaders like our own Joel Richardson, women in our church–and in Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) churches all over the country–will gather for worship this Mother’s Day to be celebrated as full partners in the lives of their families; as people equally gifted and capable to lead in all areas of life and ministry; and as people whose strong voices have equal standing to guide us confidently into the future.
If there’s one thing I’m most grateful for this year on Mother’s Day, it’s that my mom and my wife and our church daughters have places like Central where they can experience and live into, without restraint or limitation, the growing presence of Christ in them.
Happy Mother’s Day.