A Special Day of Respect for Mothers

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“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12)

May 12, 2024, is our day for national recognition of Mothers.  Churches love to honor mothers on this day by giving gifts and recognizing moms of various categories i.e. youngest mom (this one always made me a little nervous, it’s not a competition), oldest mom, mom with the most kids, and so on.  I am so glad that no one thought to include the mom having had the most husbands.

Most pastors struggle to come up with a biblical message honoring mothers on this Sunday.  Many settle on Proverbs 31.  The Proverbs 31 woman is the praiseworthy description of a wise, virtuous woman.  She is God-fearing and lives her life with purpose for husband and children and others, all this under God.  I have used this a couple of times and felt sorry for the moms in the room who did not and maybe could not live up to this perfection.

On the other hand, there’s the Proverbs 7 woman.  This woman has lost her proper groundings.  In today’s vernacular, she might be thought of as a “wild thing.”  She’s giddy, rough, boisterous, and has determined she will live her life in whatever might seem good and right to her, including her sexuality and relationships with men.  Society has guided her life more than the Word of God.  However, she is depicted as religious and married.

So, we see at least two portrayals of wives and mothers in the Scriptures.  But I need to speak of the unspecified women who may be in church on any typical Mother’s Day.  These may have struggles in life that make Mother’s Day the most uncomfortable day of the year.  There might be those in attendance who wanted to be a mom but for various reasons, could not conceive a child.  There might be moms who lost a child at birth or after.  There might be moms who have been shunned or mistreated by their children.  Believe it or not, there may be very good moms whose children are too busy or too far away to spend much time with them.  And then, there might be that one mom in the service who has lost husband and children in death; she is totally alone.  Yes, Mother’s Day will bring embarrassment and sorrow to some.

Yet, my opening verse of Scripture gives us a command to honor both father and mother from the Old Testament.  The New Testament repeats and clarifies in Ephesians 6:1-4:

“Children, obey your parents in the LORD, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you, and you may live long on the earth.”

And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the LORD.”

Honoring your father and mother is to show respect for them in word and action because God said this is right.  In the Greek, honor means “to revere, esteem, and respect.”  Honor is giving respect even when it is not deserved.  To illustrate this:  in my lifetime I have had 14 U.S. Presidents.  I have not always agreed with their decisions and policies, but I have always respected the Office of the President.  In the same way, children of all ages should honor their parents, despite whether their parents “deserve” honor, because the Almighty God commanded this to be done.  This, unfortunately, might enter into the command to “love your enemies”.

“Children, obey your parents in the LORD, for this is right. 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” (Ephesians 6:1-3).

This is the only commandment from God that promises long life as a reward.  Those who honor their parents are blessed (Jeremiah 35:18-19); those with a “depraved mind” and those who display godlessness in the last times are regarded as insolent to parents (Romans 1:30; 2 Timothy 3:2).

Even though we might not be directly under their authority given that we have grown and taken on the parental responsibility ourselves, we have not outgrown God’s command to honor our parents.  How might we honor them as God expects?

Honor them with both your ways of behaving and ways of thinking (Mark 7:6).  Honor their silent desires in addition to articulated desires.  “Honor” in this Scripture is a verb and requires the honorable action.

Honor Mom, regardless!  “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” (Ephesians 6:2-3).

God, in His infinite wisdom, chose who your mother would be before conception.  While it is true, Mothers may not always live up to His best intentions, as they are free to choose their behavior, but His choice is right.

By the same token, He chose the children the mother would have.  They, too, may not always live up to His best intentions, but His choice is right.  He gave a command to the children whom parents are blessed with:  “Honor your father and mother.”

Those we love deeply are not far away though they have passed; they walk beside us every day in our hearts and memories…unseen, unheard, but always near, still loved, still missed and very dear.  Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.  Thanks for the good memories.

A word to children and mothers who are still living, though something has driven a wedge between you in relationship to one another; do whatever you can to heal your relationship before one or the other passes.  You do not want to live with deep regrets.  “Love does not fail.” — Happy Mother’s Day to all!

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Jerry McCullah has been involved in various prayer ministries since 1993 and is currently pastor of Green Valley Bible Chapel of Green Valley, Ca. As CSBC Prayer Consultant, Jerry McCullah is available to assist churches and associations in the training and development of personal prayer and prayer ministries, through consultations, seminars, concerts of prayer, and prayer revivals. As Impact Prayer International President, Jerry McCullah is able to work across denominational and international borders to do the same. Jerry: God has called me to encourage Christians into a more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ; one that is real and personal, which comes through a life of prayer. The world needs praying people! God seeks praying people! I am available to assist your churches in the training and development of a personal prayer life, and church prayer renewal, through seminars, prayer retreats, concerts of prayer, and prayer revivals. My passion is to excite Christians to the possibilities prayer opens up before them. With God all things are possible! Would you give me the honor to work with you to the fulfillment of these words: “Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven . . . deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:10,13)? Let’s schedule something for your precious people! Contact Info: 15724 Calle Hermosa Green Valley, Ca. 91390 661-270-9671 https://www.facebook.com/jerry.mccullah https://jerrymccullah.wix.com/ipi-prayerconsulting

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