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The Ministry of Motherhood

The Ministry of Motherhood

I have always been a big fan of a classic television show from the seventies. There was a great deal of vice to overlook, but the poignancy and comedy of M*A*S*H resonated with me. Although the backdrop for the show was the Korean War, it often dealt with topics with which we can resonate.

A particular scene stands out around Mother’s Day. One character, Frank, is not well liked and he is at a very low time in his life. His misery has placed him on the edge of doing violence to himself and those around him.  Radar, the company clerk, enters the scene and tells Frank he is wanted on the phone. From Korea, Radar has called the United States and reached Frank’s mother. Frank spills his emotions to his listening mother and is comforted. Someone said, “Nice work, Radar, that phone call couldn’t have come at a better time.”

Radar replied, “I figured sometimes a guy’s just gotta talk to his mom.”

There is a bond between mothers and sons that, as a father, I admire and wish to promote. Life sometimes forces a mother to be both mother and father. Sometimes a father is forced to be both father and mother.  But a child who has both is truly blessed.

I am twice blessed. I have a great mother and my wife is a great mother. It’s so much easier to succeed in being a good father when the children have a great mother. I resonate with a couple of verses found in Proverbs 31. There is much said in this chapter, but I want to settle in on verses 28 and 29, “Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”

I have heard men say of their wives, “She completes me.” I do know this: my bride has gifts I lack. We are better together than we are on our own. That is true in our parenting as well. I treasure her in her role as mother and she excels at it.

In 2008 I lost a good friend in a plane crash. He was flying to Texas to be with his mother to celebrate Mother’s Day. The last sermon Forrest preached was on motherhood. In his final text, Forrest showed he knew and respected the role: “The ministry of being a mom is one of the toughest assignments God ever gave anybody! She has to be as insightful as a psychologist, tough as a Marine Corp drill instructor, and gentle as a nurse. She has to be a labor and management negotiator, a teacher, an electrician, a plumber and a carpenter. It requires an endless supply of energy, a massive amount of patience, an iron will, and recognition of the fact that if she ever gets sick, she has to get well before the end of the school day.”

On this month when we celebrate mothers, I want to uphold all the wonderful, godly mothers I have known in my life. But I especially want to acknowledge the best two – my mother and my wife.

By: Dave Trouten is the married father of two teenage boys and a Division Chair & Professor of Communication at Kingswood University.

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