As children, we learn, react, and behave primarily through observing our parents or guardians. The degree of honor we express toward our parents as we get older is often based on these experiences and whether the parent was attentive, disengaged, permissive, or strict. However, according to Isaiah 55:8, God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, His ways are not our ways. God desires that we grow to be successful individuals with excellent character. How we treat our parents is a part of that. This matters so much to God that He gives us a specific commandment with a promise.
Ephesians 6 begins with this command to 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.” By obeying God and honoring our parents, we can achieve a level of moral value that can inspire the world.
At St. Andrews’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia, Anna Jarvis gave out 500 white carnations; one for each mother in the congregation at her late mother’s church. The following year in 1908, she held a memorial to her mother. These personal acts of remembrance grew into a huge letter writing campaign to elected officials requesting a day to recognize mother’s everywhere. In 1914, as a result of the persistence from Anna and her fellow campaigners, a joint Congressional resolution was passed and later signed and proclaimed by President Woodrow Wilson establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.
Ways to Honor Your Mother
- Love her unconditionally – whether she has something or nothing to give, tell her you love her
- Hug her affectionately – do not take her for granted
- Understand her sympathetically – realize the various challenges she’s gone through
- Listen to her attentively – give your undivided attention; even if you don’t always agree, make them feel important
- Help her cheerfully – do not make her feel like she’s a burden or that you’re doing them a big favor by helping
- Remember her gratefully – invite her to go places, call her, offer friendly gestures of thanks
- Remind her of how much she’s needed – tell her that she is treasured, valued, and needed.
Like Anna Jarvis and others, there are many wonderful ways to honor our mothers. How do you recognize the importance of your mother in your life?
How do you honor YOUR mother? Let’s talk.