Some of my generation may recall a piece circulated for years by an unknown author entitled “Top 12 Things My Mother Taught Me.” Here are a few of my favorites.
•My Mother taught me about ANTICIPATION…”Just wait until your father gets home.”
•My Mother taught me about IRONY…”When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running back to me for sympathy.”
•My Mother taught me about FARM LIFE..”This room looks like a pig’s sty.”
•My Mother taught me about JUSTICE…”One day you’ll have kids, and if they turn out just like you, then you’ll see what it’s like.”
•My Mother taught me about FINDING MYSELF…”And just WHO do you think you are?”
•My Mother taught me about the IMPORTANCE OF REPETITION IN LEARNING…”If I told you once, I’ve told you a million times.”
Indeed we’ve all learned a lot from our mothers. For many of us growing up in the 1950’s and 60’s, it was our Moms who were always there to welcome us home with an after school snack. They were the backbone of the home. And the one to whom we could go when we felt helpless, hurt or discouraged.
This Sunday is Mother’s Day and it’s a good time to be reminded of the Biblical injunction, “Honor your mother” (Eph 6:2). And share a few thoughts about motherhood.
(1) It’s God’s plan for there to be a mother in the home. Sometimes through death, divorce or abandonment such is not the case. But it’s the ideal. Yet today, we’re hearing about two men being married and wanting children. Of course, a same-sex couple can’t do that. It still requires a man and a woman to bring children into the world. That’s God eternal design.
(2) Mother’s day is bitter-sweet for many. For those of us whose Moms have passed away, there is no giving flowers, candy or cards. Or enjoying a Mother’s Day dinner together. There is only a memory.
Then there are those whose Mothers failed at godly motherhood. Maybe she wasn’t a Christian. Engaged in sinful behavior. Had addiction issues. Or put you on a guilt trip. Possibly her advanced age, past problems, and current health issues have left her bitter, demanding and difficult to be around.
The command, “honor your mother” sometimes becomes a challenge. Yet, God calls upon us to bestow honor whether our Moms were the perfect mothers or not. There is a Bible principle of honoring the place and position of a person regardless of their godliness or competence.
Thankfully for many Christians, it’s easy to bestow honor on our mothers. On this Mothers day, do more than send a card, make a phone or give a gift.
(3) Here are 4 ways to “honor your mother.”
Appreciate your mother. Let her know you’re thankful for her sacrifices, guidance and loving care through the years.
Accept her authority. Especially to those still at home, remember that honor is demonstrated through obedience. The Bible commands children, “Be obedient to your parents in everything, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord” (Col. 3:20). Jesus is your perfect example who willingly obeyed his mother and father (Lk. 2:51).
Treat her with respect. It’s so sad to see and hear young people speak and act so disrespectfully to their parents. Be kind. Be gentle. Be considerate. Demonstrate deference even when you’re grown and return home.
President George W. Bush once spoke to a group of kindergarten kids and related a time he went home to see his parents, George and Barbara Bush, while he was serving as President. Up early one morning, he and his father were talking and drinking coffee, as George W. stretched his feet up on the coffee table.
When Mrs. Bush came downstairs, she ordered, “Get your feet off the coffee table!” The elder Bush said, “Barbara! For Pete’s sake, he’s the President of the United States!”
Mrs. Bush replied, “I don’t care who he is, I don’t want his feet on my coffee table.”
The President’s point was that your never too old, too important or too powerful to disobey or disrespect your mother.
Provide for her. Statically women outlive men. When she’s old and needs your support don’t neglect her. Provide for her needs. Physically. Financially. And emotionally.
Some of the best memories of my Mom revolve around the times I visited her after my Dad died. Times we traveled together. Ate together. Even taking her to Doctor’s appointments. I wouldn’t trade those precious memories for any material possession.
The church and our nation are indebted to good and godly mothers. I’m sure many of us could echo the sentiment of John Quincy Adams who said, “All that I am, my mother made me.”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman