They bring us into the world, give us life, and name us.
They give us a home, and work to make it comfortable and warm and life-giving.
They clean up our messes and help us learn to be less messy.
They try to protect us from threats to our life, to our peace, to our growth, and to our happiness.
They sacrifice for us—giving up what is theirs for our good, for our life, for our flourishing, for our joy.
They forgive us and help us reconcile ourselves to them and to those we’ve hurt; Those we’ve abused; Those we’ve offended.
They heal us. They do the hard work of cleaning our wounds as we kick and scream and plead with them to stop as they’re trying to help us.
They tolerate our disobedience, our waywardness and our rebellion against their authority with patience, and return to us kindness and mercy.
They discipline us for our good—discipline that always hurts them more than it hurts us. They do what break their hearts to do, so that we would learn not to harm ourselves and destroy ourselves.
They point us to God. They show us his kindness and strength. They reveal his character.
They rejoice in us and find deep satisfaction in us. They live to see us flourish; to see us progress; to see us succeed and win and conquer the dragons in our lives—both real and imagined.
They serve us and live to provide the things we really need while at the same time they try to steer us away from the things we think we need, but that may actually harm us and bring us sadness.
They pray for us; interceding before the Father on our behalf—sometimes through eyes flooded with tears because it has become so apparent that we have turned our back on him for a moment or for a season or a lifetime.
They teach and model for us tenderness when tenderness is right.
They teach and model for us forcefulness when forcefulness is right.
They teach and model for us patience when patience is right.
And they teach and model for us insistence when insistence is right.
They teach and model for us righteousness and love and peace and integrity and truth and kindness and self-control and charity because they’re always right.
And they speak the very words of God to us and ask us to follow him. They plead with us to be reconciled to the Father, who sent his son to be broken so that we could be healed.
In these and in so many other ways, they—that is, Christ and mothers—are alike.