In rest and enjoyment, this mama polar bear comes out from her hibernation to soak up the sun. Her cubs follow her lead. Losing half of her weight after hibernation for so long, she still has in reserve enough milk to provide for her young. While resting, an urgency arises instinctively as she knows that she must hunt for the seal before the ice breaks up. This will give food for her cubs and herself.
What can moms learn from the mama polar bear? We see three key virtues that can guide the care we give our children:
- Rest – It’s important that a mom takes time for rest and enjoyment. But the challenge is this, we should only rest for a small amount of time, for if our rest is too long, we can become lazy and may neglect our children. On the other hand if we do not rest at all, we run the risk of becoming a tired worn out tyrant that lords over our children with harshness instead of leading with love.
- Provision – From our rest, we work. We work to provide for our family. Nourishment of food and drink is a comfort to our children. Running from fast food place to the next is not only unhealthy; it has a way of diminishing the needed conversations our children have to feel valuable in this life. Notice that the mama polar bear lay quietly and contentedly as her young feed and play. Eating at home provides this same kind of relaxed environment. There is nothing more loving than to be provided a home cooked meal prepared by mom. And in this loving environment, confidence, direction, and values are allowed time to saturate in our children’s beings.
- Urgency – Urgency surfaces from a planning parent – one who looks beyond the moment to the future responsibilities she has. Moms who waste no time in preparing for their child’s near and distant future are moms with purpose. The interesting thing is this, a mom with urgency usually raises children with purpose and direction, too.
We can learn some great virtues from the creatures God has created. This mama polar bear lives the very life God gave her to live. Not steering from it, she is faithful to her calling. Like her we must stay focused on the beautiful path God has given us as a mom. We have the privilege to mold, mentor, and nurture the little lives God has given us. (I just wish I could hibernate through the winter and lose half my weight, too.)
A mom “…gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family…(she) sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable and her lamp does not go out at night…(she is) clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” (Proverbs 31:15, 17-19, 25-27).
Watch this faithful mama bear take care of her cubs and keep in mind that you are a “mama bear” with cubs to cherish and nurture, too.