Mother’s Day 2022

This year for Mother’s Day I thought I would delve into just a little bit of history before going all the way back into ancient history with some Biblical thoughts.

Mother’s Day is a holiday honoring motherhood that is observed in different forms throughout the world. The American incarnation of Mother’s Day was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 and became an official U.S. holiday in 1914. Jarvis would later denounce the holiday’s commercialization and spent the latter part of her life trying to remove it from the calendar. While dates and celebrations vary, Mother’s Day traditionally involves presenting moms with flowers, cards and other gifts.

Celebrations of mothers and motherhood can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who held festivals in honor of the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele, but the clearest modern precedent for Mother’s Day is the early religious church festival known as “Mothering Sunday.” Once a major tradition in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe, this celebration fell on the fourth Sunday in Lent and was originally seen as a time when the faithful would return to their “mother church”—the main church in the vicinity of their home—for a special service.

Over time the Mothering Sunday tradition shifted into a more secular holiday, and children would present their mothers with flowers and other tokens of appreciation. This custom eventually faded in popularity before merging with the American Mother’s Day in the 1930s and 1940s.

The origins of Mother’s Day as celebrated in the United States date back to the 19th century. In the years before the Civil War, Ann Reeves Jarvis of West Virginia helped start “Mothers’ Day Work Clubs” to teach local women how to properly care for their children.

pd anna jarvis

The official Mother’s Day holiday arose in the 1900s as a result of the efforts of Anna Jarvis, daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis. Following her mother’s 1905 death, Anna Jarvis conceived of Mother’s Day as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers made for their children. Anna Jarvis had originally conceived of Mother’s Day as a day of personal celebration between mothers and families. Her version of the day involved wearing a white carnation as a badge and visiting one’s mother or attending church services. But once Mother’s Day became a national holiday, it was not long before florists, card companies and other merchants capitalized on its popularity.

While Jarvis had initially worked with the floral industry to help raise Mother’s Day’s profile, by 1920 she had become disgusted with how the holiday had been commercialized. She outwardly denounced the transformation and urged people to stop buying Mother’s Day flowers, cards and candies.

In the United States, Mother’s Day continues to be celebrated by presenting mothers and other women with gifts and flowers, and it has become one of the biggest holidays for consumer spending. Families also celebrate by giving mothers a day off from activities like cooking or other household chores.1

From a Christian and spiritual perspective we can appreciate Mother’s Day, not just because of the gracious and blessed gift that we share in having godly mother’s, but in the knowledge that in our first mother, Eve, we have the promise of eternal redemption and relationship with God Almighty, our Creator.

Many today are giving messages about the honors due our mothers who raised us and nurtured us and I join in that sentiment, but would rather look back at the unfolding promise afforded us through our first, recorded mother.

We all know that Eve was tempted by the serpent to doubt God and to satisfy her longing for that which God said they shouldn’t have. We know she in turn tempted Adam, who in an effort to please his help-mate, decided to disobey and take no heed to God’s command. We all know the story but I want to concentrate not on the blame to one party or the other, but on God’s overall plan to bring TRUE and total redemption to His creation based on Agape love and not on force of will.

pd redemption

First you must understand that none of what happened in the garden took God by surprise. He didn’t set the first recorded man and woman to fail, but He DID create mankind for the purpose of loving them and in turn them loving Him out of choice and desire and not out of coercion. If you think about it, God in His wisdom gave man the choice to love Him when He gave them the choice, the free will to obey Him or not.

God in His Omniscience knew that man would eventually fall in his choices. But, to make those choices worthwhile, He had a plan from the very beginning so that His creation would not be without hope.

While the rest of the world, religious and secular, blame Eve for bringing sin into the world, I choose to look at the promise God made to her to bring the possibility of redemption, by CHOICE and free will to the world! He knew she would sin. He knew Adam would sin. Yet because God IS Love, He prepared a way ahead of time without having to force mankind to love Him, which of course, wouldn’t be love at all then.

Enter now the promise and the means through which all mothers take a part:

So the LORD God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, And you shall eat dust All the days of your life. And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”

To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.” – Genesis 3:14-16.

This curse to the serpent to make it enemies with the woman was not a literal confrontation to be waged in the garden. It was a prediction AND a promise to mankind that though there will be a life and death struggle between the enemy, the adversary of mankind and the human family borne through woman, there would be an ultimate victory on the side of mankind!

The word “seed” in both cases actually have dual meanings in the original Hebrew. Much like the English word “sheep” can mean one or many, so it is with the word, “seed.” The enemy can have many offspring in the form of demons and those who outright reject God to do evil by serving the kingdom of darkness and the woman can have many descendants who will wage war against evil and finally the One True Descendant, Jesus Christ who is promised the ultimate victory for all of mankind! (Romans 16:20; Revelation 12:9-10).

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Consider this; the devil will cripple mankind by “striking or bruising its head,” yet Christ, will “strike, bruise and crush the head” of the enemy of mankind which will deliver the final blow. Think of this; a serpents venom, his poison is in his head. In this case it came from the words causing doubt. You crush the head of the serpent and it dies and is no longer able to spew its venom! Might seem figurative but it is a GREAT analogy!

Now understand this, God cursed the serpent due to his role in deceiving Eve. But God did NOT curse Eve. Though I will admit in this day and age there are many women who feel that the pain and struggle of childbirth is a curse, it was actually a promise to Eve that future generations AND the promised redemption would arise from her kind. Mankind with the ability to freely love its Creator is made possible through the efforts of woman giving birth to the Redeemer!

How much greater an honor to womanhood and especially motherhood than this! However it was not without consequences. The turmoil and struggle that would occur between man and woman and what we see so evident in this age was in regard to the man’s ruling and authority over the woman. The circumstances concerning man-woman relationships specifically and all relationships in general had fallen prey to the upside-down chaos that resulted from Adam’s sin. Notice I state this concerning Adam’s sin, for there was never meant in the beginning to be this type of strain within this type of relationship. The consequences for women also included suffering great pain in childbirth. So, the only means of fulfilling God’s promise to crush the serpent’s head with the heel of someone born of a woman was through the child-bearing sufferings of a woman.

But – as to a woman’s role to her husband, I can’t say it any better than a paragraph I found during my studies:

The woman’s penalty was not in bearing children but in the pain attached to giving birth. “Yet he will dominate you” does not warrant the enslavement of women as chattel. Woman is also created in the image of God and has the honored role of giving birth by which the blessing for all humanity is realized (Genesis 1:26–28). The Lord’s pronouncement predicts the future rivalry between the sexes for dominance, a rivalry resulting from the sinful condition of the man and woman. These words are not an exhortation directed to the man to dominate his wife. Hebrew law recognized the vulnerability of women and required special deference to them (Exodus 22:22; Deuteronomy 25:5–10). The NT explicitly commands husbands to love and honor their wives (Ephesians 5:25; Colossians 3:19; 1 Peter 3:7), and Christian husbands and wives observe their spiritual equality (Galatians 3:28) while carrying out their respective God-given roles.2 (Scripture highlights mine).

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So in closing I hope you can see the honoring of Mothers and how we as Christians are motivated is truly a matter of spiritual perspective. If you remember back to the circumstance when the angel Gabriel came to Mary the first time, this is what Luke recorded:

And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” – Luke 1:28.

This was to be the beginning of the fulfillment of the promise to Eve. This was the moment when motherhood truly became blessed and honored.

Today, when you celebrate this day with your family, I hope that along with all the grand and gracious things that you remember your mothers doing for you, you will also remember the mother who was chosen to present to the world, the greatest gift any mother can give. This is not to worship Mary in any way, for she WAS a mother like any other, but she WAS blessed and honored to be the bearer to mankind the gift of the Redeemer. Every mother who raises their kids to know the truth, to honor God the Father, through Jesus Christ is following in the footsteps, not of the first recorded mother, but of the most honored and blessed of mothers. This is why mothers everywhere can be honored and blessed on this special day that is set aside for her!

Happy AND Blessed Mother’s Day!! Thank you mothers everywhere!

1 History of Mother’s Day;
2 Ted Cabal et al., The Apologetics Study Bible: Real Questions, Straight Answers, Stronger Faith (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2007), 10–11.

About Roland Ledoux

Pastor of Oasis Bible Ministry, an outreach ministry of intercessory prayer, encouragement and exhortation of the Word of God and author of the ministry blog, For The Love of God. I live in Delta, Colorado with my beautiful wife of 50+ years and a beautiful yellow lab whom we affectionately call Bella.
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