Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cause I'm your mother!

     Leviticus 23.22 gives the law about leaving the corners and gleanings for the poor and the strangers and then gives as the reason, I am the LORD your God.  As I thought about it, the tone and placement of this phrase in the verse reminded me of the reason my mom would sometimes give for doing something she had told me to do.  She would say, "Because I'm your mother."   I had always just thought of it as a cop out for a rule that didn't really have a good reason or had one she was too busy to give. However reading through Leviticus this time is changing my thoughts on that.
     This expression first occurs in Exodus 6.8. 'I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I [am] the L
ORD your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.   It is kind of like God was saying I am going to take care of you and deliver you from slavery like a god should, and then you will know that I am your God.  My mom would occasionally remind me that she had carried me for nine months, given birth to me, changed my diapers, fed me, etc.--she brought me into this world, loved me, and raised me.  Your mom has probably reminded you of a similar list of things.  All this stuff gave her certain rights (or responsibilities) to tell me what to do and expect me to do it.  The phrase "because I'm your mother" was an implicit reminder of her sacrifice, our relationship, and potential consequences for ignoring her directives.
     Likewise, back in Leviticus (especially chapter 19) God sometimes punctuates a command with the reminder, "I am the L
ORD your God."  It seems a lot to me like my mom saying, "Because, I'm your mother, that's why."  While it is critical for us to teach, teach, teach our children the principles and wisdom behind our commands and convictions, sometimes the child only needs to know that "because I am your mother" you have to do what I tell you. That kind of committed, loving, and firm relationship that my mom had toward me helped lay the foundation in me for the concept that you do what God says just because he is your God.
     So while you can overdue a good thing, sometimes in the heat of the moment, "Cause I'm your mother," can tied a child over until you have time to explain why their mother told them to do that.