Mother’s Day has come and gone. Many times before that special holiday I heard, “Are you ready to be spoiled?” or “I hope your husband has plans to spoil you.” I have heard these innocent comments before. I am sure they are meant to be compliments. After all, mothers work so hard, and a holiday is appropriate to take a moment to show appreciation. However, this year was different. I suddenly recalled all the years of having fantastical expectations for myself. All the times I thought, “Yeah. I better be spoiled this year. I have earned it,” I immediately stopped myself, because I realized that these thougts and expectations can become detrimental to my self-worth as well as to those closest to me. It is certainly not fair that these innocent comments by bystanders (and highlights on Facebook) could put pressure on my husband to go above what is necessary to make me feel appreciated. What are our beloved family members supposed to do? Go into debt because it is the second Sunday of May? And what about the word “spoiled” for that matter? Are we rotten bananas who yearned to be put in a banana split, but instead had to settle for being baked into bread?
If your family has the means to show extravagant appreciation, that is wonderful. Generosity can certainly produce genuine joy and appreciation, but we must remember, that not everyone has the means to do such things for their mother, whatever the circumstances may be. If I am visibly giving into societal-driven entitlement, what am I teaching my kids? That people should feel guilty for not giving them the things they “deserve”? or that maxed out credit cards are no big deal if it is all in the name of building somene up on their special day? I look at my children’s playroom and see the toys that have accumulated over the past 7 years. So many times, I have fantasized about lighting a match to these possessions in the name of teaching my children gratefulness. I wouldn’t call my kids two Veruca Salt clones, but the idea of gratefulness does get lost on them sometimes and their parents certainlly aren’t immune to the concept themselves.
What I have discovered is that I am already spoiled. I am spoiled by a husband who loves me and breaks his back for me. I am spoiled by two healthy, happy kids that continue to impress family members, friends, and even strangers at a restaurant. I am spoiled by the roof over my head, the food in my pantry, the clothes in my closet and a functioning automobile. God has given me everything I want and everything I need. I am spoiled, because I forget about the blood that sets me free, but Jesus doesn’t hold it against me. I am spoiled, because I have never been whipped, beaten, and mocked. I am spoiled, because I don’t have nails driven into my hands. I am spoiled, because I have never been forced to drink sour wine from a dirty sponge. I am spoiled because I have not been hung on a cross left to die. I am spoiled because the veil was torn and I refuse to pass through it.
This world can make us believe that we are hollow and need the external things to feel fulfilled, but God made promises that he has no intention of breaking. We are moldy pieces of fruit, but Jesus can wash us clean, and we can still be bountiful.
For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. 1 Peter 1:18 NLT
They will neither hunger nor thirst…For the Lord in his mercy wll lead them; he will lead them beside cool waters. Isaiah 41:17 NLT
God cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. John 15:2 NLT