On Mother’s Day

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Adam fit the male stereotype. He had a piece of land (Eden), a steady job (gardener), and a good dog (I’m assuming). He may have liked sports, but I’m not sure. Still, God found his life insufficient, pinpointing the problem as loneliness. So God created Eve.

Through the years, many have mistakenly concluded that this means everyone should grow up and get married, though nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus did not marry. Later, Paul lived life as a single man, going so far as to implore others to be like him in this regard if at all possible: undivided devotion to God.

But both Paul and Jesus still witnessed to the fact that it is not good “for man to be alone.” Jesus surrounded himself with a group of friends, some closer than others. And Paul’s various letters display his intricate web of relationships that were so important to him. Christianity does not require marriage at all; neither does it “require” any sort of intimate relationship with others. But it does declare loneliness as “not good” and intimacy as the solution.

Here on Mother’s Day I notice that Eve solved the loneliness dilemma in more ways than hooking up with Adam. In addition to becoming a wife, she became the first mother, and in so doing, unleashed an inevitable course in intimacy for every single human being.

Mothers teach intimacy. They just do. Intimacy is required for a woman to become a mother in the first place, and then intimacy is instantaneous with the baby to whom she gives birth. The horizontal relationship teaches us of God (Trinity), while the vertical enlightens us to our own relationship with God.

If you are lucky enough to be a mother, you understand these lessons on a special level I’m sure. But none of us can escape the concept. Mothers teach us that loneliness is not good just by the nature of their existence. Intimacy appears as God’s answer, and we have mothers to thank today for being our introduction to the idea.

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5 Responses to “On Mother’s Day”

  1. Sandi Says:

    I hate to be the spoiler here, but I would hasten to note that not all mothers know anything about intimacy or any kind of emotional support, so I wouldn’t idealize them too much. I’m happy for anyone who had a good relationship with their mom growing up, but that definitely was not my experience at all. I felt much more emotional support from my father, which leads to my next point: there’s no reason why men should not be just as capable of providing us with examples of intimacy and human relationships. I guess you were just saving that one for Fathers’ Day, huh? 🙂

  2. Al Sturgeon Says:

    🙂

    I, of course, agree. My wife and I were houseparents at a children’s home for a few years, and I could tell some stories on some mothers that would make you nauseous.

    But it’s the biological aspect that I’m talking about. With a scientific exception or two, a female has to be intimate with someone to become a mother. And 99% of the time there’s some original intimacy (biological) between mother and baby (e.g. breastfeeding). And when it comes to breastfeeding, us daddies just don’t have the proper equipment.

    But I’m not disagreeing with your comment – just saying that a mother is nature’s version of teaching “Intimacy 101.”

  3. Sandi Says:

    99% of women do not breastfeed. Far from it. I think the rate is in the majority now, after bottoming out midcentury (or was it the 70s?), but the formula companies push free samples on women to keep them from breastfeeding.

    And let’s not forget that the sex a lot of women have that results in babies cannot accurately be called “intimacy” in any emotional sense of the word. There’s rape, and there’s coerced sex, and there’s mindless sex with someone you don’t love, and on and on and on.

    I guess what I’m saying is that a lot of people get a crappy start in life because their mothers have issues. Either they have negative feelings toward their bodies, or they don’t really want children, or they don’t know the first blessed thing about nurturing a child.

    I know you just wanted to post something positive for mother’s day, so I apologize for arguing with it.

  4. Al Sturgeon Says:

    No apology necessary. And I still don’t disagree.

    Yet it seems that sex remains popular as a rather enjoyable intimate event between a couple of people. That people don’t enjoy it as such is another topic entirely. Neither of us would argue “for” rape or coerced sex. I’m sure we’d agree that sex should be desired by both parties, and if so, there’s “intimacy.” That some misuse sex doesn’t negate its intimate nature.

    And whether women choose to breastfeed or not, their bodies are prepared to offer that intimate experience with their babies.

    I don’t know how comfortable you are with the word “design,” but it seems that the developed female body is designed to (a) have a pleasurable sexual experience, (b) conceive and give birth, and (c) physically bond with her baby.

    This is a simplified definition of motherhood. And all I was trying to say.

  5. juvenal_urbino Says:

    I love momma.

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