In September and October of this year I hosted two Dinner and Movie Nights for moms. We got together to watch Disney’s “Mars Needs Moms” over dinner and dessert! We had great discussions about what it means to be a “Mars” kind of mom. We also talked about what kind of mom God needs to raise the children He has entrusted us with.
This is going to be a little bit of a movie review, but without all the details, just the main points I want to highlight to get my point across.
In the beginning of the movie we see two Martians, in outer space, searching the earth for moms who can keep their children in order and can get them to do what they’ve asked them to. When the right one is detected, by observing her interaction with her son, she is swept away in the middle of the night and taken to Mars by space travel.
Just before “The Mom” is taken however, we get an inside look at one night in the life of this family and are left with an unresolved issue that becomes the plot of the movie. Milo needs to apologize to his mom and be reconciled back to her, but it will take an out of this world feat to accomplish.
In an effort to get her son, Milo, to eat his dinner, his mom tells him if he wants to have T.V. time, he must eat all his vegetables. Milo pretends to eat his broccoli, but instead he gives it to his cat. But, later the cat vomits the food and his mom finds out. So, he gets sent off to bed, which leads to a big argument and some not so nice words are exchanged. After not being able to get to sleep Milo decides to say sorry to his mom, but instead of doing that he gets to see his mom taken away by a mysterious force.
Milo runs after her and tries to stop the Martian ship from taking her, but he gets caught on one of the ship’s feet and is pulled in instead.
Upon arrival to Mars, Milo meets another young man who had a similar experience as him and they go on a dangerous, but successful journey to rescue Milo’s mother from a fatal experience.
In the meantime, the “Supervisor’s” assistant is drawn in by the boy’s rescue attempts. Her name is “Key”, which is short for her real Martian name. An interesting twist in the movie is that Key questions why the boys want to rescue Milo’s mom. She soon finds out.
In an exchange of words and crossing of paths, Milo shares with Key that he needs to rescue his mom, who “gives him hugs, takes care of him, and ‘loves’ him”. Through some research that Key does, she discovers what this “Crazy Love thing” is from the boys and by uncovering some ancient ruins in her Martian City.
The whole reason that the Supervisor abducted Milo’s mom was to try to take all of her memories and input them all into the “Nanny-bots”, nanny robots that raise the Martian baby hatchlings. But, when Key discovers a carved image of a mom, dad and baby she comes to realize that the Supervisor was lying to all the Martians. They had believed a lie that it took Nanny-bots to raise the babies of every generation, which happened every 25 years.
One thing the Supervisor said, when confronted with this truth, was that she needed “order” and the boys only wanted to “play” and basically wasted their time. So, in an effort to raise babies more efficiently and populate the planet her answer was to only raise the baby girl Martians, by using programmed robots, and dumping the boy hatchlings into the trash, because they were useless to her.
By the end of the movie it is clear that it takes sacrificial love to raise a family. You must have both the mom and dad’s combined effort to raise a healthy family. It takes the crazy kind of love that comes from an orderly parent, in the movie’s case, a mom, a playful fatherly figure, as portrayed by the males, and finally the ultimate sacrifice of one’s life. This movie also highlights that sometimes our children need to go through hard times to truly appreciate the love of a parent, his mom.
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:3 NIV
As I write this I don’t feel like the kind of mom that God wants, but does need. As a matter of fact, I feel very inadequate and like a failure more times than I do victorious. That is the truth of how I “feel”, but not God’s truth. When my girls hesitate to follow my orderly directions or talk back, it’s tempting to let them have their way. But, I know that if I don’t put my foot down, so to speak, they will run all over me and also suffer themselves, in the long run.
“Whoever spares the rod hates their children,
but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.” Proverbs 13:24
Despite my feelings however, God calls me to love my children with God’s love and to be an example for them to follow. Despite my weaknesses He has still called me, so I must take courage in that He knows what He is doing in continuing to let me be their mother.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” 1 Corinthians 13:4
When Paul the apostle asked God to take away the thorn in his flesh, which God meant to keep him from becoming conceited (2 Cor. 12:7) God answered him this:
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
I’m not saying that my children are a thorn in the flesh, but sometimes it feels that way. During the season of Thanksgiving I am reminded to be grateful that He chose to give my husband and me three beautiful girls who are growing up to be better women than me, in many ways. But, I pray He helps me even more through the pre-teen and teen years of their lives because they are very difficult for me, especially while I go through premenopausal life changes.
If you want to raise the family that God has given you, you must first accept the love that He has for you. You have heard this before, I’m sure. You cannot give your children something that you don’t have. So, pray and ask God to pour His love into your spirit so that you may be able to love your children like he has shown you, a sacrificial kind of love.
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:16-17