This is the season when the advertisers are pushing their cards, candy, flowers, etc. to honor our mothers. While we might not like the commercialization of the special day, it is good to reflect on the role mother’s play in our lives.
There’s a beautiful and heart-touching song that I listen to from time to time by Pentatonix called “Mary Did You Know?” It asks whether she knew, as she held her baby boy that one day he would walk on water, that he would one day save our sons and daughters, etc. What an awesome role she played in nurturing the Son of God.
Obviously, Mary was a unique young woman, more than that she was a mother and a virgin. God knew her character, and knew that she would be a good and caring mother for his Son. God knew the importance of the role of mothers. So God chose her for a reason.
Mothers are to be honored and celebrated because being a mother is not a trivial thing. It is a tremendous responsibility to be watchful for a child’s health, education and spiritual values. We are reminded of Timothy’s mother and grandmother, who obviously had a great role in nurturing him. “For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.” (II Tim. 1:5)
Paul told Titus to instruct the older women to “encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children.” (Titus 2:4).
But celebrating Mother’s Day involves some others—children! This is a time to honor those who have raised us, and even reflect upon those who are no longer with us. Paul’s instruction to the Ephesians is well known. “HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first commandment with a promise), SO THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU, AND THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH.” (Eph. 6:2-3) This was not a new commandment, as Paul was quoting from the Ten Commandments given to Israel by Moses in Exodus 20:12.
“To honor” means to show respect or esteem. Obviously how we show this changes as we get older. God teaches that one way we honor mothers when we are young is to embrace the attitude of obedience, as Paul pointed out in Ephesians 6. Tim Todd told the story of two boys walking to school and talking about their families. One said, “I’ve figured out a system for getting along with my Mom. It’s very simple. She tells me what to do…AND I DO IT!!!” What a great idea.
While “obey your parents” may not apply when we are 50 years old, to “honor” does not change. In various churches, there are groups that go to assisted living homes to sing and otherwise interact with the residents. And how many of these older citizens are lonely because their children seldom, if ever, come to visit them. One way to honor God is to honor our parents. One way to honor God is to honor our parents. “Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her, saying: Many daughters have done nobly, But you excel them all.” (Prov. 31:28-29)
–Jefferson David Tant