I recently heard from another pastor that a big part of the word “mothers” is “others,” which makes sense because mothers always think about others. But then another pastor pointed out that if you take the “s” off of mothers, and put it at the beginning, you get the word “smother,” which, depending on who you ask, can also sometimes seem valid, especially if you would have asked us in our teenage years.
Moms don't usually try to smother their children. They want to protect us, but sometimes we misunderstand their efforts.
Jesus felt the same way for the Jewish people. Just days before He was crucified, Jesus said:
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her. How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! (Matthew 23:37)
Jesus longed for them to believe, but they weren’t willing. From the cross, Jesus prayed:
Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. (Luke 23:34 ESV)
You see, I think that Jesus has unceasing anguish (Romans 9:2) for every unbeliever, as long as they remain in unbelief, just as God desires for everyone to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4).
Mother knows best, right? Well that’s what Nina Keneally, a 63 year old mom of two from Bushwick (Brooklyn), NY believes. Convinced that you sometimes just need the advice of a “mom,” she has started a new online business for those times, as her site puts it, “When you need a mom... just not YOUR mom.”
She calls her site NeedAMom, and as ABC reports, “She paid for a sponsored post last week in the Bushwick Daily and has been bombarded with inquires ever since.”
She says her target customers are young adult professionals, many of whom do have loving mothers and fathers, but feel they may not necessarily understand their children’s unique concerns or circumstances.
One woman, she said, simply wants Keneally to sit with her while she cleans out her closet and offer "non-judgmental" advice on what to keep and what to toss. "My mother would just die if she knew," the potential client wrote in her inquiry to Keneally. "Would you be interested in chatting with me while I work and keeping me on task for a couple hours?"
So you can have the non-judgmental ear of an experienced mom all for the one low price of $40 per hour!
How is it that in our increasingly “connected” society, we often feel so “disconnected” from a personal community of support and encouragement—to the point that we might feel we have to pay to get the ear and advise of an older, more experienced, concerned person? Our connectedness isn't making us more connected at all. In fact, our connectedness can make us feel downright isolated.
The more time we spend connected on our devices, the less time we are spending developing meaningful and supportive relationships … even with our own parents and families.
So where can you go to develop the fulfilling, supportive, personal relationships we all long for and need? We can start in a community of believers—the church. There is a reason why the church is so often referred to as the “family of God.” There we have access to countless brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers who are all too ready to befriend and mentor.
Put down your devices, put your money back in your wallet, and head back to church.
“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25).
“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit” ( Ephesians 2:19-22).
“The insect world may have found its ‘Mom of the Year’ in the female Stegodyphus lineatus,” reports Walt Bonner for Fox News. “It’s a desert spider that feeds herself to her young shortly after they’re hatched”—a practice which is known as matriphagy:
Found in the semi-arid regions of Israel and other parts of the Mediterranean basin as well as throughout the Near East and Asia Minor, the female Stegodyphus spins her webs in shrubbery. … Inside the web, she creates a silk disc that contains 70 to 80 eggs, while her intestine tissues begin to dissolve. When the “spiderlings” hatch, she pierces the silk disc, allowing the babies to emerge. …
“At this time a liquid has already accumulated in her gut, allowing her to start regurgitating to her young,” said Mor Salomon of the Israel Cohen Institute for Biological Control. “While she regurgitates, the process in her intestine intensifies and the liquid formed probably travels back through her intestinal tube to her mouth where she secretes it for her young.”
The babies crawl all over her head, trying to get at the liquid that is leaking from her face. She makes no attempt to escape as her young eventually pierce her soft abdomen with their mouths before feasting on the liquefied guts inside. This process takes a few hours, at the end of which their mom (otherwise known as “dinner”) is officially dead.
In the end, the mother has given all but 4 percent of her body mass to her young, who leave her heart alone. Thanks, kids!
“Stegodyphus is not the only spider genus showing matriphagy,” Salomon added. “All species in the family Eresidae (to which Stegodyphus belong) show matriphagy and there are other spider families in which it is also involved.”
To see a picture of this morbid mommy, click the link to source above. The report by Salomon and her colleagues can be found in the April Journal of Arachnology.
In the bug realm, this practice of matriphagy may be all well and good, but in the human realm, not so much. Here, when children eat their mothers alive, we have a different name for it—it’s call co-dependency—and it can be just as messy. This is what happens when a mother loses herself in her children. allowing them to consume her very being (not to mention all her earthly resources). Sometimes, mom needs to say, “I must leave something for me!”
"So I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well. If I love you more, will you love me less?" 2 Corinthians 12:15).