I hate when I hear people say, “Stop judging,” or “You aren’t supposed to judge.” Occasionally, this statement just shows a lack of understanding on their part, but usually, it is revealing a major double standard. We all judge. Every. single. one. of. us. From the moment we get up in the morning, until the moment we go to bed at night, we are casting estimations and judgments on the people and situations around us. Scripture never says to avoid all judging. God simply asks us to judge fairly and with a just measure.
As we come to another Mother’s Day, I would encourage you to stop and think about your standards and expectations for others. My dear friend just lost a baby today. She has already had to bury two babies in the past year. Both boys. Both beautiful and very much loved. I had the privilege of being present at the birth of one of them – nearly 17 weeks and perfect in every way. I have no doubt in my mind that these children made her a mother, but certainly not in the way that she would have chosen.
Most people would be quick to voice their sadness and dismay at the thought of these little lives lost. No one would disagree that she deserves to grieve.
This was her eighth loss. Yup, eighth. She also has five living children. Yup, five. Okay, so this is where you to begin to rethink your first assessment, right?
Why would she do this to herself?
Why go through it over and over again?
It’s her own fault. She should have seen it coming.
She already has a handful of other children.
Who wants more than five children anyhow? Two is plenty!
God is obviously saying, “no.” Give up!
Surprisingly, as someone who has only lost four children to miscarriage, I can feel the sting of these statements. People will say these things…out loud! Not just to each other, but, yes, directly to the mother.
This mother’s day is going to be horribly difficult for my sweet friend. Not only does she have to grieve the loss of her precious little one and all of the dreams, hopes, and plans that she had for them, but she will also have to do it silently. No one will “get it.” Why bother sharing?
On Sunday, our churches will be filled with the happy celebration of the children that we hold in our arms. Because, after all, that is what makes one a Mother, right? We will talk of the blessing of having our “quiver full” and being surrounded by sweet pint-sized voices. We will speak lovingly of dirty, chubby little fingers and the sound of tiny feet running to us for a hug. We will talk of the blessing of investing in our children, even as we watch the hand prints on the window getting bigger and bigger.
Is there anything wrong with that? Absolutely not! Should we be less happy to pacify those who do not have what we do? Absolutely not! My point is simply this: Be careful of passing a judgement that you would not want someone to pass on you. As the Scripture says:
For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Matthew 7:2
Would you want someone else to tell you how many children you should have? What exactly is the “magic” number? Would you want someone else to tell you how much you can handle? What the story of your life should look like? Do you want someone else to decide what God will is for you? How far He may have you go? How much He may ask you to endure?
Just take a moment to consider, before you cast your verdict upon someone this Mother’s Day. Instead of sharing your opinions, try sharing your hugs. That quiet mom of five may be suffering in silence.
Original material by Holly M. Besser, ©2016. May not be used or re-printed without permission. bp7105-06-16