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MOTHER'S DAY
By Pastor Delbert Young

Mother Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde

Mother's day mother Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde

We all know that being a mother is not easy, but that's about all we say. We may mention a few of the known struggles like cooking, cleaning, washing, transporting children, and taking care of everyone. We never discuss the deepest 'inner struggles' mothers frequently experience and go through.


Mother Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde (Sermon notes) (Listen sermon audio mp3)
Scriptures: Scriptures: Luk 24:39, 40; Joh 20:27; Act 2:23; Isa 53:7; 53:5; Dan 9:24-27; Mar 10:32

A young father was trying to explain the concept of marriage to his 4-year-old daughter. He got out their wedding album, thinking visual images would help, and explained the entire wedding service to her. When he was finished, he asked if she had any questions. She pointed to a picture of the wedding party and asked, "Daddy, is that when mommy came to work for us?" [1]  That is funny, but sometimes we teach our children to think that way about their mother. For example…

A teacher gave her class of second graders a lesson on the "Magnet" and what it does. The next day in a written test, she included this question: My full name has six letters. The first one is M. I pick up things. What am I? When the test papers were turned in, the teacher was astonished to find that almost 50 percent of the students answered the question with the word Mother. [2]

I want to honor our moms today, but I am attempting to say and do it differently than I have in the past. We all know that being a mother is not easy, but that's about all we say. We may mention a few of the known struggles like cooking, cleaning, washing, transporting children, and taking care of everyone. We see it, sort of, as "mom works for us." Add that to how many mothers maintain a full time job. We talk about it being tough to be a mother. However, we never discuss the deepest "inner struggles" mothers frequently experience and "go through."

An enormous part of a woman's dream is to have children, and then, the dream to be able to stay home and raise her children. At least, that is what most women desire. If she is a working mom, she often envies the mother who gets to stay home with her children. She sees that mother and says to herself, "I would give anything if I could stay home with my child/children." At the same time, moms who stay home with their children, look at the well-dressed, distinguished businesswoman and wish they could pursue their personal dreams. They say to themselves, "I would give anything if I could follow my dreams." There is a duality within. One part of the mother desires to give her life totally to her children. The other part desires to reach for personal fulfillment in life. Within every mother is a duality and it becomes a struggle and even a war. If you will, there is a MOMMA JEKYLL AND a MRS. HYDE within a mother.

When a woman gives birth, becoming a mother, something invades her life that changes her forever. She can never be the same. At the birth of a child, not only is there a tiny infant with a new life. There is also a "new life" – transformed life – that takes place in the mother herself. It is the same body and appears to be the same woman. Yet, inside her body now lives a person that even the mother herself has never met. This new person's name is MOMMA. She is the most loving, nurturing, patient, and caring person imaginable. Amazed, everyone around watches the new person miraculously appear.

I watched this happen in my wife. We were but children ourselves when our first-born came into the world. However, I watched that young 17-year-old girl become something I had never before seen her be or knew she could be. Overnight, she became momma. Her world changed. I mean like a night and day change. Neither she nor I were any longer the most important people in her world. The most important person was the tiny life she birthed. Every hope and dream she ever had, she laid down as she transformed before everyone's eyes – her daddy, her mother, her sisters, my mother, my daddy, and everyone. She transformed into MOMMA.

I watched this same phenomenon happen to our daughter. With the birth of her children, she went from "life's about me and what I want" to "life is all about my children." She became a different person that day she gave birth to her first child. It was amazing.

I watched this same occurrence happen with my daughter-in-law. Overnight, before my eyes, she transformed intoMOMMA. I am satisfied that it is a miraculous thing that takes place universally to nearly every woman who gives birth. I am confident that it took place with every mother here. For the first time in your life, there was someone more important than you. Before giving birth, things were somewhat selfish. You ran life by your schedule. Suddenly, there was a new person in your life. You did not want to be selfish anymore. If you were hungry, you fed the child first. The child's schedule was the only schedule that mattered. If it is naptime for an infant, the world must become silent so the baby can sleep and rest. Your dress and clothing are not important, but the baby must be clothed in the best possible. You become extremely patient. You possess a nearly magical touch and voice that only you can give to quiet your upset infant. The woman loves what happened to her and says, "It is wonderful to be a mother! Life is great!"

How many mothers remember that initial feeling? The world would be wonderful if it had remained that way. However, eventually there arises ANOTHER CREATURE from within that same body. The woman does not like this other person and wishes she could make her go away. This creature within is nearly the opposite of MOMMA and from time to time takes over. She is MRS. HYDE! The apostle Paul said…

Romans 7:23-24  but I see ANOTHER LAW AT WORK IN THE MEMBERS OF MY BODY, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a PRISONER OF THE LAW of sin at work within my members. What a WRETCHED man [in this case woman] I am!

Usually MOMMA is kind, patient, and loving.  However, occasionally, this other person shows up. Instead of loving being MOMMA, she feels a PRISONER OF THE LAW of motherhood. She feels her mind is exploding. She yells. She screams. She breaks down and cries. She is waging a WAR within. The patient, kind person she desires to be has become edgy and intolerant. In her heart, she is totally dedicated and given to her children, but in her mind she says, "Isn't there a place in MY LIFE for me?" How many have seen that other person – MRS. HYDE – possess your mom's body? Instead of the loving, patient, caring, gentle MOMMA, someone that looks like MOMMA has taken over.

I want to give you a scenario. I think all mothers have experienced days like I will attempt to describe and, to get an idea that is close to reality, we must multiply this scenario day by a thousand days. Let's say a mother has three children. One is an infant who woke fussy, not feeling well and needing holding. If not held, the infant cries and screams. It is easier on everyone for you, MOMMA, to hold the infant. Of course, while you hold the infant, the middle child, a toddler, is destroying your house doing things like writing on the walls with crayons and hiding the telephone in the commode. You speak loud corrective words to the toddler. At times, discipline is required and now the toddler is crying. The oldest child wants your attention too begging and pulling on you wanting to play. You do not want to play because you are holding the infant, scrubbing crayon off the walls, and trying to dry out the telephone. Of course, the laundry has piled and is threatening to take over the house. Your husband has no clean clothes and does not understand why. He says, "All you do is take care of the children. Why can't you keep the clothes washed?" Of course, you need to go grocery shopping because there is no food in the house. Simply loading three children into the automobile is a serious chore, but you trained yourself well. You round all three into the automobile and head for the store. At the grocery store, the infant continues needing holding. The toddler who is riding in the grocery cart is stepping all over the food, throwing food out of the cart as fast as you put it in, and putting stuff into the cart that you do not want. You constantly pick food off the floor or put unwanted stuff back on the shelves. The infant is crying and you find yourself becoming impatient with the toddler. As for the older child, he or she is running up and down the store aisles despite your commands to stop and stay with you. As you chase and eventually capture the older child, you begin feeling MRS. HYDE creeping up within. You are rapidly approachingMOMMA'S "wits end" and relinquishing to MRS. HYDE. The ordeal begins to weigh heavily on you. In these moments, you wonder, "What am I doing?" As you constantly chase, discipline, and hold children, shop for groceries, and wash clothes, you wonder, "Am I losing my mind?" MRS. HYDE is wanting out. You war to maintain your patience and sanity. You finally get out of the store, load everyone back into the automobile, and arrive home where you attempt to unload groceries. Of course, the infant must be held. As you attempt to carry in the groceries and hold the infant, you drop bottles of coke. Ingeniously, with the infant in one arm and groceries in the other, you kick the cokes across the walk into the house. Exhausted and frazzled MOMMA is now warring big time with MRS. HYDE who, at this moment, is winning. You fix lunch and the children remind you, not once, but relentlessly how you promised to take them to the park today. You did promise, so you take them. You try to keep an eye on all three as they play. You keep counting 1-2-3… reminding yourself that you came with three, so you must leave with three. The entire day seems to be a "divide and conquer" conspiracy. It comes time to go. After chasing and arguing with the children to get into the car, as you strap the infant into the car seat, unknown to you, the oldest decides to escape. You look around and the child is gone. Looking frantically around, you see the child running for the swings. You can't take any more! MRS. HYDE is out! Patience is gone. Kindness is gone. You are not even sure if love is in there. MRS. HYDE takes over. The creature – the wretched one – is in control now and everyone pays the price. You ask yourself, "What am I doing?" and even, if just for a moment, hate your life. The loving, caring, gentle, patient MOMMA became a mean, impatient, rude, angry, and frustrated wretched MRS. HYDE. You feel you are literally splitting into two people. On top of all this, there seems to be a condemnation. Because MRS. HYDEis in control, you feel you have failed and the enemy uses this to make things worse.

Let's read that entire passage from Romans 7 that I referenced a moment ago.

Romans 7:15-23  I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is goodBUT I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do - this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, WAGING WAR AGAINST THE LAW OF MY MIND AND MAKING ME A PRISONER of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?

How many of you mothers think that the apostle Paul might have been a woman? There is a polarity in motherhood. It is a North Pole and South Pole thing. Mom loves what she does, but then depression and anger come. That creature – MRS. HYDE - shows up. Robert Louis Stevenson's book, Jekyll and Hyde, begins with this: "I stood already committed to the profound duplicity of life, that humankind is not truly one but two. And that these polar twins should be continuously struggling. One of these polar twins, who was the Mr. Hyde character, bore the stamp of the lower elements in my soul."MOMMA does not like the MRS. HYDE in her. She realizes that it brings up the "lower elements of her soul."

Nancy Ortberg is a teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church. I got much of this lesson from a teaching by her. In her lesson, she shared a personal story. I want to share it with you. "A couple of weeks ago I did the "mom" thing. I had been, what I thought, was a good mom for the day. I rode bikes, read stories, and fixed meals. I patted myself on the back and thought, Okay. I'm done. It's six o'clock. It's my time. And this little voice from the basement called out, "Mom." I did what most moms would do. I ignored it three or four times hoping he would forget it. It's worked before. But it didn't; he was persistent. I finally said, "What?" knowing I wasn't going to move. "Come down in the basement. I want to show you something." "Oh, Honey, I don't want to come down in the basement. You bring it up here." "I can't bring it up here." "Oh, sure you can. Just grab it and bring it up the stairs." "I can't, Mom, it's too heavy." "Johnny, I really don't want to come down the stairs right now. I'll see it later." "I need you to see it now." By this time the anger started, and I went to the top of the stairs. I said, "Johnny, I do not want to come downstairs. I will do it later." "I really want you to see it now, Mom." I stormed down the stairs, and I said, "What do you want? I am busy." His little face turned around, and he had big tears in his eyes. Behind him was the screen of our old computer and in huge block letters it said, "I love Mom." I had a chance to connect with my child, and I blew it. I inflicted pain instead. I don't like that, and I want that out of my life."

I want to close by saying that I have tried to relay to everyone the intense pressure that a woman has to be a MOMMA, a wife, and a woman. You struggle to be the best MOMMA, wife, and woman you can be. When MRS. HYDE shows up, you feel you failed. You see yourself not only as a "bad" mom. You see yourself as a bad wife and bad woman. You beat yourself emotionally. Being a mother and a wife takes so much work and so much time you feel there's no time left for being a woman. We husbands and children need to give you a little time just to be a woman. That is the best way to honor mother. Don't just do it today. Do it every day. Let her have a little time to enjoy being a woman. If we will, MRS. HYDEwill not appear as often.

I want to speak for the rest of us. We honor you today. Thank you for all you do for everyone. Thank you for laying your life down and even if MRS. HYDE slips out, we all know that MOMMA will win the war.  MOMMA will always be there and we are honoring her today. Would all our mothers stand and allow us to love and praise you for just a moment?  WE HONOR OUR MOTHERS.

 


[1]  Sermon Central, Tony Silveira, Happy Mothers Day

[2]  Sermon Central, Tony Silveira, Happy Mothers Day

 

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