“Mama’s Mirror”

May is the month in which we acknowledge the mothers in our lives. Mother’s Day can be a time for celebrating strong and enduring love, or it can be a painful reminder of loss or mistreatment and a broken relationship.

The role of motherhood is one that can be both very challenging and incredibly rewarding. It’s constant; it can feel unrelenting; it can be very frustrating and extremely satisfying—all at once! And it is one young girls often are not well trained for.

One very important role a mother plays is being a mirror to her children. God’s intention is that mothers reflect to their children who they are in Him, consistently valued and loved. Children learn their identity and sense of personhood from how they see themselves reflected in “Mama’s Mirror.” Our view of life and self is initially set by what we see in that mirror.

When mama hasn’t had her own sense of value and worth mirrored through God’s Word, she will project a “marred mirror” to her own children. And they, in turn, will often pass the same on to their children. The good news is that each of us has the opportunity, no matter how marred the mirror was that originally turned to us, to allow Jesus to heal the distortions so they do not become generational.

A mother’s role is somewhat different with sons and daughters, but, for both, the relationship with mama sets the stage for how adult relationships will be developed and maintained. Sons are generally encouraged to be more separate, more independent, and autonomous. But women connect with daughters in a special way, through sharing the same gender, being able to identify more with the developmental stages, needs, and feelings during their growth and development.

Here are some special gifts that can be given to daughters through the reflection in Mama’s Mirror:

1. The gift of nurturance – This emotional and physical nourishment and care given in motherhood translates into consistent, sensitive, responsive mothering, often putting the child’s needs above the mother’s. It helps the young daughter develop into a woman who is cooperative and comfortable with her femininity.

2. The gift of loving their fathers well – Watching a mother respect and honor her husband communicates a powerful message, teaching a daughter how to relate to men in an appropriate, godly way. The quality of the parents’ marriage sends a potent message to both sons and daughters. And, how single, divorced, or widowed mothers talk about their children’s father and how they handle current adult relationships speaks volumes to the children who are listening and watching.

3. The gift of training for motherhood – In the most mundane, everyday activities of mothering, women are training their daughters and shaping their attitudes about mothering and life in general. One young woman said of her mother, “She taught me that motherhood was the highest calling a woman could have. Not that this was the only important thing a woman did with her life, mind you. But that it was a rich and wonderful calling. My mother lived a full life, but she always gave me the sense that she enjoyed me, too. And that made an enormous difference in my life.”

4. The gift of a mother’s blessing – We see many instances of inheritance and blessings in the Old Testament. In our lives today, we pass on an inheritance to all our children, not just the eldest. The blessing we give them is part of that inheritance. We can bless them through touch, through communicating value to them, and making an enduring commitment to them. But the most powerful of all is the spoken blessing.

How can we speak blessing to our children?

Never assume your child knows you love him or her. Openly speak love as you do loving things for and with your child. Speak that love as you discipline and correct as well.
Communicate that you value your children, that they are important to you, that they have value in your heart, in the family, and in the Kingdom.
Make sure that value is communicated as separate from behavior in order to reflect the grace God has toward us. We are loved and valued for who we are and whose we are. Our behavior might need to change and be different, but value itself should never be based on a child’s performance.

So, again we say, “Happy Mother’s Day” to all the biological, adoptive, and spiritual mothers! Mama, let your mirror reflect God’s love, mercy, and grace! It’s never too late in this life to begin communicating blessing to your children, evehttp://www.clemons-counseling.com/n when they are grown! Its impact is immeasurable!

( FROM: Sylvia Clemons – Mama’s Mirror: How moms reflect God’s love – UPCI Family Ministries family@upci.org )

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