Last weekend I was with a friend who is a mom to three boys. They were all attending a birthday party together and the boys were having a great time enjoying the carnival-themed games and food of the party. There were corn dogs, popcorn, cake pops, nachos and cheese, and of course, birthday cake and ice cream.
The sons were enjoying all their carb-laden treats while their mom, who was going to be running in a race that evening was eating very lightly because she and knew better than to indulge in heavy foods before a race. She pulled out her banana that would serve as her lunch, when one of the boys saw her peeling the fruit and asked,
“Can I have part of your banana, Mom?”
Knowing it was all she was going to eat, the rest of us watching sympathized with her and wouldn’t have blamed her if she had denied him, but she rose with a sweet spirit , went to the kitchen and got a knife and sliced off part for her son.
What makes a mom sacrifice in big and little ways for her children? It’s her mother’s heart. When you become a mother your heart changes; it becomes mush! You love your child unlike you ever knew possible. God makes our soft heart, enabling us to give and give. Our protective heart fixes problems by finding solutions, and our giving heart suddenly likes the burned toast, the chicken wing, and the most uncomfortable seat in the living room.
We make sacrifices that other people may not understand. A career is set aside to raise the child. Monetary advances are unimportant. Self-time is on the back burner. Personal desires are squelched while the children are home.
But there is a danger with our heart – after years of that kind of motherly love, it’s oftentimes hard not to keep responding in the same ways when they grow up. Though they are adults, when we see them struggling, we have the desire to jump in and provide for them, fix a problem they’re facing, or try to divert a trial in their life.
I have had that desire recently while seeing needs in my girls’ lives. But before following through on my motherly instinct, the Lord stopped me, reminding me that it’s no longer my place to provide, protect or fix their problems. How thankful I was to learn later of how they turned to the Lord in their time of need. This hard time made them desperate for God’s comfort – the Real comfort that could help, provide and fix their problem. Had I stepped in, they would never have seen what God would do for them. It was a reminder that I needed!
When they come to visit, I’ll still give them the last piece of pie or my seat on the porch swing, but I’ll not be too quick to jump in to rescue them from the hard times that our wise God has sent to refine them. God is more than enough – it’s a lesson we both need to learn.
When is it the hardest for you to not rescue your adult children?