By Nick France
The May issue of the Knightly News historically honors motherhood, however with the passing of Pope John Paul II, the focus of the issue was reflecting on his pontificate. Even though it’s a month later, we must pay tribute to what I feel to be the most important job that God has ever created in the history of mankind; “motherhood.”
To do this properly I must first tell you a story. This is a story of a village and a man who lived a very long time ago.
There once was a village, and in this village there was a spring. Now this spring was as pure and pristine as any spring ever was. The reason it was so pure, clean and pristine was because this spring had a keeper to assure its purity. Milton was the keeper of the spring, and it was his job to keep the spring clean and pure. Milton did his job very well.
This beautiful spring was quite vital, as it formed a brook and flowed throughout the village. The spring was the village’s only source of water and without it, the village would cease to exist. So everyday Milton would tend to the spring, making sure nothing contaminated it.
As time progressed, the village grew and attracted many new businesses and residents. One day the city planners said, “We need to grow our economy and we must cut back on spending to do this.” They realized that Milton was making $5,000 per year and thought that if they cut Milton’s job they could put that money back into the city budget. So that’s exactly what they did, they cut Milton’s job, saved the $5,000, grew the economy, and watched the village flourish.
Needless to say, without the keeper of the spring, the spring began to show the results of neglect. The water began to turn yellow and become polluted. It was no longer the vital source of nutrients and nourishment it once was that caused the village to thrive with abundant life. Not long after, the water filled with bacteria and devastation ensued. The town then came to realize just how significant the keeper of the spring’s position really was.
The parallel I want to make here is that mothers are our keeper of the spring. On the outside their job may seem to be an ordinary position, but when she is cast aside or underestimated and overlooked, all of culture suffers; it gets polluted, if you will. Mothers are the filters of society, keeping her family pure and free from garbage. In fact, as stated earlier, I believe the role of motherhood to be the most important job in society. If we ask what a mother’s role in society is, we can answer it by saying her role is to raise and shape eternal humanity in the image of God. I’d say that’s pretty important, wouldn’t you?
So why is it that our culture no longer sees it this way? Have we become a culture of “motherhood mediocrity,” and if so, how did we get there?
I do believe we’ve had a cultural shift, a shift from a God-centered culture to a Darwinist culture; a self actualized culture that puts itself before all others, at any cost. The effectiveness of a person’s life is not based upon how holy or Godlike you are, but rather how self-centered or self-actualized you are. We seem to be bread to be selfish, and kids have become an obstacle to our self-realization.
Who suffers from this? Society as a whole suffers, but none more than the children. In our God-less culture, children are under attack at great measures. We have an entire industry to not conceive them. If we do conceive, we have an industry to keep them from coming to term. If they do come to term, we have an entire industry to raise them by someone else. And if they get raised, they may get abused, suffer from incest, get hijacked, abducted or worse. How did that happen?
I think back to the memories of my childhood, and I always remember Mom being there. There to teach, to protect, to love and to nurture. In fact, all the moms were there. It didn’t matter whose home you entered; the mother of the home was always there.
My wife recently entered the workforce after 15 years of being a stay-at-home mom. It was a difficult transition for her, to say the least. Her children were, and still are, the center of her universe, and contemplating someone else having a more significant role in their lives was not acceptable. But seeing they were all in school anyway, and the time in someone else's care minimal, she forged ahead. Although she still struggles with no longer being a stay-at-home mom, it’s working out for her. It’s not working and being a mom that's a problem, many women make it work. The important factor is the significance and commitment one places on the role of motherhood. Let’s face it, times are different and we must adapt, but not at the cost of diminishing the role of motherhood.
How does society see motherhood and the experiences that come with it? I can tell you the world saw very little value in my wife’s commitment to motherhood, until her new employer saw the wisdom in it, that is. I see that as a shame. It’s quite sad to say that our culture doesn’t see how honorable and vital motherhood is. When a woman makes a commitment to the role of motherhood, and does it with all her love, she is sustaining society at its very core. She is responsible for all the accomplishments of all the sons and daughters who ever became what we’ve all become accustomed to understand what successful and Godly people to be.
A woman said to Jesus, “Blessed is the womb who bore you.” An angel said to Mary, “blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.”
Why don’t we honor motherhood? Why don’t we bring Grandma to career day as a role model? "Look kids she’s holy, she’s honorable and she raised a generation." We don’t honor mothers and we don’t cultivate motherhood. Plato said in 300BC, “Whatever a culture honors, it cultivates.” Motherhood is a holy life and one we should honor as such.
Men, we must ensure honor is given to mothers. If fathers don’t honor mothers for their commitment to motherhood and for being a good mother, then who will? This is our duty, and one that we should take on with pride.
The greatest memory of any child will never be how pretty, successful, rich or self realized their mom was, but rather how loving, committed, holy and nurturing she was.
So please, even though I’m a month late, would you please join me in a toast?
Here’s to motherhood, here’s to the keeper of the spring!