I. The “mother” and 3-year-old child are stopped at the intersection awaiting the light to change before crossing the street. “Mother” is focused on her iPhone, texting and checking Facebook. Innocence and future dreams are on the verge of being destroyed as the 3-year-old ventures farther and farther away from the “mother.” The child is now near the edge of the curb as cars are turning. “Mother” doesn’t notice.
II. “Mother” sits in the restaurant booth with her beautiful 8-month-old daughter. She plays with the daughter perhaps in a manner similar to the dolls she left behind during her own childhood. The baby laughs and reaches for the face of the “mother.” Not heeding the warning from her male companion, “mother” sits the 8-month-old child on the table, trusting the child’s ability to sit up. “Mother” focuses on her phone or some other thing only to experience a loud THUD followed by immediate S-C-R-E-A-M-S of the 8-month-old child who has fallen off the table into the booth seat while hitting her head. The reaction of “mother” is not of alarm, nor does “mother” appear upset by her own actions that may have factored into the child’s fall. Instead, “mother” says to the 8-month-old child, “Oh, you’ll be all right,” as she holds the child with one hand and continues to check her phone with the other.
III. “Mother” was sexually abused as a child by a relative. She grew up in a single-parent household headed by her “mother.” The relationship between these two is love-hate, for she blames her own “mother”–to some extent–for the hurts she’s experienced in life. Now, she has her own children. Blaming men and her “mother” for her character flaws, she, too, finds herself heading a single-parent home. “Mother” leaves her child/children at home alone unattended. She craves the attention of men so much–though she never admits it–that she fails to see that her child/children are being impacted by all the friends and uncles she brings over. “Mother” appears quite distraught and shocked when the same abuse that she experienced as a child has now happened to her child/children.
IV. “Mother” submits nude photos of herself to various individuals via her mobile phone and E-mail account. Her unassuming 11-year-old daughter discovers the photographs and questions her. “Mother” attempts to minimize the impact of these photos. The daughter reminds the “mother” that such photos are distasteful and not something she would expect her mother to do. The “mother” responds by telling the 11-year-old daughter, “Get the fuck out of my house and go live with your Dad,” just as she is putting the 11-year-old child and her older sister out into the Chicago cold. “Mother” is stressed yet innocent when the police and children’s Dad arrive.
Each of these represents common, everyday scenarios we all see and/or hear about all the time. In fact, we know many of these “mothers.” Here’s another key piece to consider: “mother” in each scenario is Christian and attends church regularly or somewhat regularly. She is liked seemingly among many other parishioners and pastors.
I am tired of this type of “mother.” As a result, I am sounding the alarm in Jesus’ name. Yes, I know there is a root-cause to all behavior we deem negative, and it’s a spiritual root. However, the Lord has not given me the capacity nor the grace to simply overlook that which needs to be addressed and called out.
Christians, allow the Lord’s Word to strengthen you so that your (our) walk reflects the Spirit of Love, which is God, as consistently as possible. The reflection of Love (God) allows us to exemplify Him. It is through our walk with Christ that “mother” may see another path for her own life. It is through our walk with Christ, also, that we are strengthened to address “mother” directly–in Love–about the demons that plague her and the impact being made on others around her. We have to help “mother” by not turning away as though all is well. Likewise, we have to help “mother” by not participating in her current pattern of behavior.
Let’s be honest; some of you current mothers were this “mother” not too long ago. Are you willing to give back by sharing what you’ve learned along the way? Have you embraced the concept of iron sharpening iron (Proverbs 27:17)?
Here’s a question: Where’s “father”? We’ll address that soon enough.