Crown of DenmarkWhen I was growing up Mary Engelbreit was a popular artist.  Her work was on calendars, t-shirts, coffee mugs, key chains…  My parent’s bought me a sweatshirt that said, “Princess of Quite a Lot.”  There was a companion product for my  mother, “Queen of Everything.”

Now that I’m the mama, I guess that makes me Queen of Everything.

Being queen is not all fun and games, tea and petits fours, and servants and pretty clothes.  In fact, the last time I checked, most of that list went away when I became queen (i.e. had children).

Being queen comes with a lot of responsibility.  Being a parent carries a lot of weight because we are laying the groundwork for our children’s idea of authority.

Am I a benevolent dictator? A tyrant?  Do I make decisions based upon majority vote?  Popular opinion of the masses (e.g. my kids, our congregation, our ever-changing social norms)?  Do I lead by sacrificing or by demanding sacrifice?  Do I serve or insist on being served?

There are a lot of verses in the Bible about parenting, but when I think about establishing good relationships to authority, I like to think of myself as a queen – and therefore subject to all the verses instructing kings in the Bible.

One of those passages is in Proverbs 31.  {No, I’m not going to skip right to verse 10 and explore the Proverbs 31 woman.  I’ll save her for another day.  As women we often forget there are nine verses before the Proverbs 31 woman.}

Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute.  Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.  Proverbs 31:8-9

What better description of motherhood (i.e. queen-ness) is there?

Starting at my kitchen table, I see children who do not yet have a voice.  In a sense they are mute in our society.  They are poor and needy and destitute without my care.  They need lots of righteous judgment throughout the day in their many affairs and conflicts.  Often they need defending – from each other as well as from those outside of our home.  I have a voice.  I need to open my mouth for them.

If I look out my window I see elderly people who are disdained, their wisdom gained through long-life is all but ignored.  Often they are seen as without value because they no longer contribute to society.  They have a lot to contribute beyond their wage earning potential.  I have a voice.  I need to open my mouth for them.

I get it.  There are many places where my voice goes unheard, too.  Sometimes I am ignored because I am a woman.  Other times because I’m a stay-at-home mom.  Maybe it’s because I am a Christian, or a pastor’s wife, or over 40, or under 70, or white, or heterosexual.  There are all kinds of places and ways my voice is silenced, ignored, marginalized, or deemed irrelevant. No matter.  There are plenty of places my voice is heard.

One of the most important places my voice is heard is in the throne room of God.  Because of Christ, my voice is heard there.  I can cry out on behalf of others to the King of kings.  I have a voice and I need to open my mouth for them.

I can also cry out in the market place, refusing to support businesses who promote godless causes.  And I can direct my purchases to companies who  honor God’s ways, even if they are not Christian businesses.

I can cry out for the unborn, for those born with disabilities, for those nearing the end of life, for all those who constitute a “drain on society” when we fail to remember they were made in the image of God.

imageWhat kind of a queen am I?

Do my children see me drawing near to the throne of grace on their behalf?  Do they see me defending the rights of the poor and needy in our home and in our city and at the feet of Christ?  Do they see me love mercy and walk humbly as a child of the King?

Whether I am Princess of Quite a Lot or Queen of Everything, I must use my voice to defend the defenseless.  Sadly, our culture offers increasing opportunity to speak out for the defenseless.  At the same time, my voice is being silenced.

But not at the throne of grace.

I must speak out while I can in the courtrooms of public opinion, and never cease crying out in the throne room of grace.

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.  Hebrews 4:16

 __________
Crown of Denmark by Ikiwaner (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
Augusta von Preussen by Franz Xaver Winterhalter [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons