“Honor . . . your mother.”
“If you’re not honoring me the other 364 days each year, don’t bother with it on Mother’s Day either!” I have heard this statement come out of the mouths of several mothers I have known. I also know they still appreciate whatever honor they are shown, even if it is just a phone call on Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day serves as a reminder to us all to honor our mothers. But why and how should we honor them?
We should honor our mothers because it is commanded by our Creator. In honoring our mothers, we honor our Creator. More than that, it is a command with a promise: “. . . that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” Your life will be better than it would have been otherwise if you honor your mother.
On a practical level, we should honor our mothers since, however flawed they may be, they gave up themselves for us. They carried us for nine months, endured the pains of childbirth, and then gave of themselves so that we could have what we needed to flourish in this life. That is a debt no amount of cards, flowers, or phone calls could ever repay!
How, then, shall we honor our mothers? Certainly, when we are children we do so by our obedience. But even when we are grown, we let our mother’s instruction and wise advice guide us. In Proverbs 1:2-3 we read, “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.”
Further, we honor our mothers by treating them with the dignity and respect they deserve. One way we do this is by acknowledging to them what they mean to us. “Her children rise up and call her blessed” is the way Proverbs puts it. We do this when we send Mother’s Day cards, flowers, notes of appreciation, and myriads of other ways throughout the year.
We also honor our mothers, and those mothers we know, by praying for them. It is a truism that we tend to pray concerning that which is most important to us. Should that not include mothers? We are urged to “pray without ceasing,” and praying for the mothers we know can certainly help us to do that. What should we pray for mothers? We can go beyond the child’s prayer of “God bless Mommy” and pray for God’s provision, presence, and protection of them, among other things.
Ultimately, the best way by which we honor our mothers is by loving, worshipping, and serving the Lord through faith in Christ. A godly son or daughter is the greatest honor that could be bestowed on any mother. I think of the gift the Lord gave Hannah as she prayed year after year for a son. When the Lord granted her request, she gave her son up to the Lord, and he became a great judge and a prophet in Israel. See 1 Samuel. This really brings us full circle to where we started. We honor our Creator when we honor our mothers, and we best honor our mothers when we honor our Creator.
Thanks be to God for our mothers! Thanks be to God also for all of you who are or will be mothers! Most of all thanks be to God for our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom we may best honor our mothers!