Dear Mother, Mother to be, Sister and Sister to be
I did make a promise that after addressing the roles of The Father, The Son, and The husband we would one day look into the roles of Sons and Brothers. Looks like we are almost there. But first off let’s start off with the women in their lives. Shall we?
Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh. (Gen 2:24 RSV)
The Word of God states in very clear terms that a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh. This verse begins with a conjunctive adverb ‘therefore’ which begs the question what happened before this statement to warrant this consequence or response?
The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper fit for him. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh; and the rib which the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” (Gen 2:20-23 RSV)
So man is lonely and without a ‘suitable helper’. God looks upon man and in His kindness and wisdom makes a suitable helper for him. This is done while man is in a deep sleep ??. I would want to talk about men and sleep right here, but then I would be digressing; so moving on very very swiftly! Man awakes from his deep sleep and beholds, a woman stands right before him! A creature of beauty and awe, and immediately without being prompted or pre- planning he exclaims:
“This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”
And this, this wonder of creation right here becomes the reason ‘a man leaves his father and mother . . .’
Apparently there must be a different version of Scripture in many cultures of the world including mine that reads the reverse:
‘a woman shall leave her father and mother and cling to her husband and his relatives especially his mother and sisters and they will all become one ??’ (pun intended)
Otherwise how do you explain the fact that in most cultures it is women who leave their father and mother and are joined to their husband and his family? And don’t get me started on the clingy, domineering, emotionally dependent, manipulative mothers and sisters of such husbands.
Dear mother (by the grace of God I fall in this category), mother to be and future mother of a son, I have come to break the news to you this morning that your son, soon to be son and future son is not your Father, he is not your Husband and he is not your Saviour! He is only yours to raise up in the ways of God but not to keep. He belongs to another, just like you belong to your husband.
Take a cue from Hannah. If there ever was a woman with a right to cling to, to have and to hold her son it would be her. What, having prayed and pleaded with God for a child under the provocation and irritation by her co-wife Peninnah and even misunderstood by Eli the priest as a drunken woman. But what did she do? As soon as the boy was ‘weaned’ (no, not after six months of exclusive breastfeeding ??) she presented him to the Lord and left him in the house of the Lord to minister there! Talk about knowing your place as a mother!
Mother, your place is not to raise up an ‘ideal husband’ for yourself in your son. Neither is it to raise up an ‘alternative husband’ for yourself God forbid if anything were to happen to your husband, or between you and your husband. NO! Your place and work dear mother is to raise up a son who fears God above all else and a husband for your future daughter in law. And this means as you raise up your son, you don’t get confused about his position in your life and neither do you get emotionally tied up with him. Imagine Mary the mother of Jesus, Lord have mercy! If there ever was a woman I greatly admire in scripture it has to be her: She raised up a sacrifice, the ultimate sacrifice. I doubt she clearly understood this from the onset, but it would seem that as the days went by she clearly got to know her place and her role which she gracefully fitted right in. So don’t worry if you’ve been confused on your role in the life of your son, we are all learning on the job. Important thing is not to repeat mistakes or continue in them once we know what is the right path to follow. Which reminds me, dear mother, one way not to get all messed up in your relationship with your son is to ask the Lord to show you what His purpose is for your son. Then you can work together with the Lord to raise your son up for that purpose not for your own selfish reasons.
And as relates to marriage (if that is the path God has for your son) you are bringing up a son who is able to leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and you are growing yourself to let go of such a son peacefully and joyfully.
Sisters belt up, it’s your turn.
Dear sister, sister to be and future sister I have breaking news for you as well. Your brother is not your Father, he is not your boyfriend or husband, he is not your Savior and he is definitely not your child! Please please, stop being a terrorist to every woman in his life! Stop sabotaging his relationships left, right and center! Be it male relationships and worse still relationships with the opposite sex.
You are a sister, period! I do not have the privilege of having a brother, even though when I was growing up I prayed day and night for one. When my mother was pregnant with our last born sister, we prayed so hard that it would be a boy. We even got a name for him; then it was a girl, a fourth girl! Therefore most of my knowledge about sisters and their brothers is from the experiences of others, my family and friends.
Being a sister means you are a friend to your brother with boundaries. These are emotional boundaries as well as physical boundaries. Because you see, sister’s can elevate brothers to such a high pedestal such that every man who comes into their life is measured by that standard. The opposite is also true. Sisters can elevate themselves to such a high pedestal in the lives of their brothers such that every woman who comes into the life of their brother is measured by themselves J J how ironical!
Have you heard or experienced sisters who scare the life out of every potential friend or even marriage partner to their brother? Who literally come as part of the husband package into the marriage? Lord have mercy!
Dear sisters, let God be your Father and Jesus Christ your big brother as well as Saviour. Don’t confuse the role of Christ in your life with that of your brother. Ok? Good
Now let’s look at some sisters from the Bible and see what we can learn from them, shall we. The dynamic duo of Mary and Martha the sisters of Lazarus must be some of the most famous sisters in the Bible. But there is another sister about whom a lot of more has been written, her name is Miriam the prophetess the sister of Moses and Aaron the children of Amram and Jochebed. This is the Miriam who followed her brother Moses in a basket along the Nile and later approached the Princess to get her own mother as the nurse for the child. Well, one day her and her older brother decided to come down on Moses because of the woman he married ???. But in all honesty the issue was jealousy and a jostling for positions. The Lord dealt with Miriam very decisively and conclusively!
In conclusion, Dear mothers and Dear sisters,
. . . whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Phi 4:8 RSV)
Specifically as concerns your sons and brothers. Think about such things, practice them and become them in Jesus name. Amen!