Telling the Truth in love: Mothers are not always ‘Good’!
The idea of mother’s day is noble. We all like to forget the bad experiences in our homes and for a day in the year think about the goodness of our mothers. Indeed mothers should be remembered and thought of positively. If the United States Supreme Court allows Gay Marriage, mothers will be fathers and fathers will be mothers. The idea of mothers day will be, dead? But let us not pretend that mothers are always good. There are mothers who are not so good and mother’s day should also point that out.
One reason the Bible is my favorite book is because it tells the truth in love. The God we worship is all GOOD. Good in that he does not put a mask to try to convince us that He is who He is not. He makes a presentation of actuality without leaving any bones in the closet! When the Bible was written, those who were inspired to write it told us the whole truth. This is an important lesson this mother’s day.
The case is that of an important and well to do family: the patriarchs of the promise. Abraham and his wife Sarah were an old couple without child. There are those who like to remove the Old Testament families from the reality of life. They claim that the Old Testament men and women were somehow supper human. Others like to spiritualize everything removing any humanity from the people in the Old Testament. The Bible however refuses to do that and it is us who impute into it spiritual connotations that are not divinely instituted.
Abraham and Sarah had a maid. They had been promised a child by God but it was not coming soon enough. Sarah wanted it to happen sooner than later. This made her want to help God. Therefore she advised her husband to have a child through the maid. She actually told her husband to have an affair with the maid! Of course Abraham should have known better but it must be he was also checking this girl out and was wondering when his wife Sarah would suggest the idea. It wasn’t as if he was coerced into sleeping with Hagar. No, no, no he wanted to sleep with her. Therefore when Sarah suggested it, he did not like say, “I do not think that is a good idea.” This is what he should have said but, you know, Hagar was not a bad looking maid!
After the child is born, Sarah, like any women would, became jealous. You see, Hagar now could claim importance. “You cannot even provide your husband with an heir ha ha ha.” Well Sarah was not very happy and what followed is a tragedy that is shocking even today: a man is forced to chase away his own son from his house. And what is heartbreaking is that Hagar was sent out of the house with only food for a day! Can you believe that? Spiritualizers would like to cover up for Sarah and Abraham. But the bible does not. It says that the poor girl finds herself in the desert with a child! Imagine that. If God did not come to her rescue, she and her child would have been dead. Basically Sarah could not stand this girl and Abraham was not man enough to stand against this injustice. Maybe Sarah wanted her dead! We do not know. Albeit it is said that God tells Abraham to send her away. I have a problem believing that God would order such an injustice then declare it unjust by rescuing Hagar and Ishmael. Complicated but true, this Sarah lady did not help her husband. (Genesis 16-21)
Isaac the son of Abraham had issues too. His home was not free of stuff. Isaac called his son Esau who was the first born to bless him. The mother Rebecca listened from behind the door, and given her love for her son Jacob, she decides to draw her card. Parents usually take sides in the home and mothers play an important role of either showing love to the children equally or favoring others. “Jacob, your father thinks he is very smart.” She told her favorite son. “He wants to bless Esau. We are not going to let that happen.” She made the stew her husband had asked Esau to make for him before the blessing was pronounced. She knew what the old blind man loved. She clothed Jacob with sheep skin so that the blind father may feel the skin and think it was his son Esau who was hairy! Before you know it, the old blind man had been tricked by his wife to blessing Jacob! This mother was dangerous! She tricked her husband. Spiritualizers say, oh God loved Jacob that is why. Nonsense, the mother and her son schemed to twist the old blind man. And because of her action her son latter pays the price.
Years later, Jacob is desperate for a wife, he goes to his people. He has his eyes set on Rachel. The uncle tells him, “Fine, seven years of labor will be her dowry.” The guy works for seven years. The day of the wedding, her father sneaks the elder sister Leah at night into Jacob’s tent. She is veiled so he can’t see! (Remember his blind father). He breaks her and claims her. In the morning he realizes what his father in-law has done. He goes to him mad. “How can you do this to me, man?” He screams at his father in-law! His father in law just smiles. “Listen buddy how about another seven years and you can have the love of your life. But you cannot get lid of this one. She is yours son.” He had forgotten what he and his mother did to Esau (though God loved Jacob before he was born); we are responsible for the wrong! (Genesis 25-30)
Mothers are the pillars of the home. When my mother wanted stuff done she made very unpleasant food. My father would start complaining. This was her chance to make a point as to why the food did not have cabbage. “Your cows broke into the shamba. I told you many times to fix it with your sons. That is why there is no cabbage. Enjoy ugali with chai.” He would look at us. The next day, the fence would be fixed. She is Rested now and though it is Christ for her, for me it is constant memories!
Mothers make or break the home. We men pretend to be in control. To all mothers who read my articles, thanks for being you! Keep giving those guys a hard time! To help them man up! Just don’t set your sons up like Ishmael: behold the hatred in Palestine. Baraka.
Teddy Njoroge Kamau (PhD) HTBluff Associates. An EMG Consortium #HTBluff. Diaspora Messenger Columnist