Oh, What Manner of Love

• Jacqui Parker • September 22, 2020

I read a blog post* about being the mom of boys where the author quoted the movie The Otherhood (Netflix) saying, “Being the mother of a son is like someone breaking up with you really slowly.” She went on to share, “…when I’ve spoken about this topic and repeated the quote, you can hear an instant, primal wave of audible gasps and yelps of pain coming from the audience. Those are the mothers of boys.”

My youngest son turned eighteen this month. Eighteen. My youngest son. How did that happen? Where did the time go? A week or so ago he texted me after work, “I’m going to hang out with Voils after work.” I replied OK. He told me when he got home that night that he had already started typing a text telling me what they were doing and where they were going, and he was caught off guard by my simple “OK”. Then he realized, I’m eighteen and things are changing. Yep, they’re changing. Changing in a way that sometimes breaks this momma’s heart – like someone breaking up with you really slowly.

But, not truly, because it’s the goal. It’s the goal of moms to raise children to leave, and as I watch these young men that live in my house, I think that they’re just about ready. My oldest son has a chair in my living room where he piles his stuff. There was a time it would have driven my crazy, but, for now, I don’t mind. It won’t be long before all his stuff is gone – like someone breaking up with you really slowly.

This is the way the earthly world works. We are supposed to pour out our love, our wisdom, our common sense on these little people until one day they’re grown and ready to be independent. We’re doing it (or did it). Our parents did it. Our grand-parents and on and on. It’s the plan. But, for our heavenly Father, guess what, that’s not the plan.

He will not let your foot slip –
he who watches over you will not slumber
Psalms 121:3

I love the picture that passage paints in this momma’s mind. I remember little boys who needed help – who needed a hand to hold – who needed to feel safe while they were sleeping. What a beautiful picture of our Father God. He does not prepare us for independence. He constantly reminds us of our dependence. He wants us to grow in maturity, but that maturity will remind us daily that we can do nothing apart from Him.

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5

I don’t think it can be made any plainer. Jesus says apart from me you can do nothing. Sure, we can eat and drink. We can work and play. We can buy and sell. But is that all we want from life? Is that all I want for my children? No! I want them to laugh and cry. Love and be loved. I want them to have meaning and purpose. I want them to have the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These are the things that bring beauty, strength, and resilience while living in this world.

These are the gifts we receive when we accept our wickedness and complete inability to have them in our independence. When we turn to Jesus and say, “What a wretched man am I. I need and accept the gift of Jesus’ blood spilled on by behalf. I lay down my self-reliance, and repent of my past. God, forgive me my sins. Let your Spirit inhabit me. Help me to daily sacrifice my independence to take up my cross and follow you.”

There is no one else who deserves our full dependence but God. He will watch over you like a precious child because you are one. You will face trials and tribulations in this world. He has told us so, but the greater you rely on Him, the better your response will be. Sometimes He chooses to snatch you away from trouble. Sometimes He orders your steps away from it. But, many times He allows you to walk right into it to remind you that you can count on Him. You are dependent on Him, and, in the end, your reward of eternity with Him will outshine every tear, every heartache, every pain of this world. He loves you even more than this momma loves her boys, and I cannot even begin to fathom what that truly means.

* mamamia.com.au/mia-freedman-family