I remember as a young child enjoying television shows such as The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family. Television shows often highlighted the tenderness, compassion, and frustrations of motherhood in humorous and insightful ways. And I always saw them as strong women.

But about the time I entered grade school, motherhood on TV seemed to come to a screeching halt. Suddenly all the female TV stars were no longer mothers, but young women who were single, sexy, in and out of romantic relationships, and usually solved problems through physical aggression. I remember lunch boxes and t-shirts of elementary school girls featuring Wonder Woman, Charlie’s Angels,  and the Bionic Woman. I didn’t realize it at the time, but we as young girls were being taught by the entertainment world to prize physical strength as the hallmark of a strong woman.

Much older and wiser now, I have a profound respect and admiration for mothers, especially those who exemplify a gentle strength. They realize that they are responsible for laying the psychological, emotional and spiritual groundwork of the next generation. For so long I thought power was in a career position or social status. Even within the Catholic Church we battle what Pope Francis calls “clericalism” and the thinking that we must have a roman collar if we want power to make change. But power from God is infinitely greater than that of human hierarchy.

Motherhood is one of the most powerful pulpits on earth. Not every national leader has listened to a man in a pulpit once a week. But every leader has a mother. And a wise mother uses the pulpit of motherhood to instill Christian values and Christ like love in her child from the time the infant hears her voice in the womb until they leave the home, and even beyond. Let us return to respect motherhood. Let us return to power that’s loving.

 

-Kathy Tierney