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— Daughters & Their Mothers
by Barbara Smith
Mothers are women who give life to children or who care for children, and daughters are the female children of the women who give them life. Sounds simple, huh?
Mothers know better; daughters will too, eventually!
Mother-daughter relationships are never easy; simple sometimes, but, they are never easy. When we combine the two distinct gene pools of a man and a woman, add in their past history, factor in the disappearance of protective cultural norms, then multiply that equation by modern-day pressures, is it any wonder the problems among the generations of females in this nation erupt even in the Church?
Our daughters are delicate bundles of delights and dilemmas. Most of our beloved daughters relish their mother's instruction. Some, though, are brimming with spice and sugar, and a few seem equipped with extra pepper and salt! While many daughters flourish in the most intimate relationships between human beings, a mother and her child, some continue a running debate about every practice or principle their moms propose. Some young women lead their moms to faith in the Savior, and many more are the exquisite instruments through which God makes their moms' faith in Christ real.
Mothers also are delicate bundles. We help our daughters pack the "bags" they will carry for their lives. Sometimes moms will pass along only burdens; sometimes they pass along mixed bags of burdens and blessings; and some dear souls help their daughters leave their baggage so they can move along unencumbered, going from strength to strength.
No mother ever did — or does — her job 100% right — that's why few mothers are totally comfortable with the hoopla surrounding the second Sunday in May. Even Mary didn't trust her own wisdom. Her last words are the most succinct advice on mothering ever written: "Do whatever he tells you." (John 2:5)
Christians sometimes avoid Mary because some folks have elevated her to a position that Scripture simply does not support. Nevertheless, Scripture does mention her. Who was she?
Looking back at us with studied serenity from a Renaissance portrait, she seems so above the daily crush that does us in. What could she know of disobedient children, depression, depleted bank accounts and the other disappointments that define our lives today? When we read the Bible accounts of her life, though, we see this woman lived with some stress, stress that we often discount. Mary lived without luxury and lived with many heartaches.