Over the weekend I finished the latest books of my favorite Christian fiction author, Francine Rivers. (Actually, hers is the only fiction I read.) Her Mother’s Hope and Her Daughter’s Dream, the two books that make up Francine’s Marta’s Legacy series, were definitely worth the time it took me to read them. From the inside cover of Her Mother’s Hope, this “sweeping and lyrical two-book saga… explores the depths of grace and forgiveness in one of life’s fiercest bonds–the love between mother and daughter.”
I’ve mentioned before not only the great blessing it is for a mother to have daughters but also the great responsibility it is to model before them the type of women they ought to be. These things I am conscientious of. However, as I read through this “deeply moving story about the silent sorrows that can tear a family apart,” I realized that this is another facet of mothering daughters (and sons) which must also be given careful attention.
Although I have been blessed to have a regret-free relationship with my own mother (not because of lack of mistakes but because of no lack of openness and reconciliation), I realize that this isn’t the case for all women. Even within my own family lines, I have been made aware of hurts between mothers and their children that have made a definite–even if minor–impact on the lives and relationships of the hurt ones. No one is perfect, and by nature it seems to be those whom we love the most that we hurt the most. Hurt feelings and misunderstandings are going to happen within a family. There is no way around it. But in the absence of a desire to make things right–and certainly in the absence of grace and forgiveness–these silent sorrows have the power to transform a life and a family for the worse.
It is my desire as a mother (and as a daughter, wife, and friend) that as I continue to grow in Christ-likeness I would not only minimize the occurrences of hurt and misunderstanding in my relationships but that I would also have the wisdom to perceive the effects of my words and attitudes and actions on others so that I might seek both reconciliation and change. I pray that I would in no way inadvertently bruise the tender hearts of the daughters and son whom I dearly love but instead that their hearts would be strengthened by the love and the grace and forgiveness which abounds within our walls because of Christ within us.