I am thankful we set apart a day each year to celebrate mother’s. I’m glad that neither Mother’s or Father’s Day are used to get another day off from work. It seems to me that to celebrate either one by laying out of work would be totally missing the point. If there is anyone that doesn’t get a day off from their duties in life it is a mother. Can you imagine a mom refusing to feed her baby or change their diaper because it is their day off or that it is a holiday. A mother’s job just goes on. It changes from year to year as the children grow. But I’ve noticed that now that our children are all at least fifty years old, their mother hasn’t stopped being concerned about their welfare or what they are going to be doing next. In some ways, roles reverse as we get older and the child becomes the one taking care of the parent but it just seems to me that the mother’s heart never changes toward her children.
I’ve heard some say that they dislike Mother’s Day because they haven’t been able to have a child of their own even though they have tried or that because they aren’t married that they don’t appreciate having a Mother’s Day when they would like to be married and have children. But one thing is certain, we all have had a mother. Someone went through the birth pains to bring us into the world and sacrificed much of their life to provide for our needs. We may not think that our mother was a great one. But they did give birth to you rather than aborting you. You owe them something always. Most of us owe our mothers more than we could ever even begin to repay. My mother has been dead now for half of my life. But that hasn’t changed at all the feelings of appreciation for all the love and care she offered all the days of her life on this earth.
I think it is significant that in giving the Ten Commandments God didn’t say, “Honor your parents.” But said, “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land the the Lord your God is giving you.’ God was so concerned about this point that he made the law that if one disrespected parents their punishment was severe and went as far as being executed if the disrespect went far enough. Jesus used the failure and the excuses among the religious leaders among the Jews, for not obeying the command to honor father and mother as an illustration of how they were rebelling against God and living like hypocrites in the world. They were fussing at Jesus and the apostles for eating without washing their hands, thus failing to follow their traditions. Jesus said that by their traditions they were rejecting the law of God. God said honor your father and mother but you declare that if one dedicates their money to the Lord and His work they aren’t obligated to take care of their parents any longer. He told them their whole worship was useless or vain because by their traditions they rejected the word of God. Paul in discussing the same point in I Timothy 5 said that if one didn’t provide for his own, especially those of his own family they denied the faith and became worse than an unbeliever.
How do you honor your mother? In many ways how we show honor depends on age, circumstances and what their needs may be. When we are children we honor parents by being obedient to them. In Ephesians 6:1-3 Paul commanded children who were old enough to be Christians to obey their parents and referred back to the command to honor father and mother as the first commandment with a promise. As we grow into adulthood ourselves and get married there is a real sense in which our loyalty is to change. We are to “leave father and mother and be joined to our wife and the two will become one flesh.” It isn’t so much about leaving them physically as it is a change in loyalty. Now we are joined to a mate and our primary loyalty is to them rather than parents. Yet our honor of the father and mother doesn’t stop. There will come a day for most of us when the mother or dad will leave this world in death and our ability to honor them in a way that blesses them won’t be there any more. But we can certainly honor their memory by how we speak of them and our living the way they taught us to live.
I’m not certain that there is anyone in the world that has a greater effect on their future of the world and of their own family than godly mothers. In Deuteronomy 6:4-9 God reminded the people of the greatest command of all, to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and might. He told them to keep these words in their heart. Then he tells them how to live it out in their family day after day. “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” I know we need quiet time in life. I know a great and godly mom needs time to read the Bible and pray alone. But the future of the world hangs on how well mothers and dads live out the love for God and talk about it with their children all along and in all parts of life.
A friend of mine who died several years ago along with his wife and two daughters drove from North Little Rock to Clarendon, Arkansas every Sunday for over twenty years for him to preach the gospel and her to teach Bible classes. During a whole lot of that time they also drove down on Wednesday nights to have Bible classes with them. It was a distance of about 100 miles each way every week. I was talking with him and his wife and later with one of their daughters about those years and each of them said it was some of the greatest times of their life. They spent it talking about God and His will just about life and how to live in the world as a Christian. They made a massive difference in the life of the church in Clarendon, but I suspect an even greater difference in the lives of their daughters as they shared with them their devotion to the Lord.
Honor your mom Sunday, but also on every other day this week and this year and throughout your life. Great mom’s are a massive treasure that God has given us.