Elisabeth Elliot wrote a leaflet she titled “A Call to Spiritual Motherhood” which she read in on of her radio broadcasts. You can read the transcript here. It is an excellent article encouraging all of us in any stage of life to spiritually “mother” younger women. Many of us have had godly women besides out own mothers who were shining examples to us, who taught us along the way and encouraged us. I think they are worthy of honor on a day like Mother’s Day, too. 🙂
Nancy Wilson of Femina wrote an excellent post called Mother’s Day Snares about how expectations of Mother’s Day or comparing what other families do for their mothers can lead to problems in our heart. I think she is exactly right that our focus needs to be on how we can honor our mothers — not what anyone will do for us — and to just appreciate whatever (if anything) is done.
Girltalk has some excellent articles for those who have lost children to miscarriage or a later death, struggle with infertility or have wayward children, for whom this time of year can be quite painful.
Pastor JD has several great thoughts in Celebrate Your Mother.
Anna Jarvis is regarded as The Founder of Mother’s Day. The purpose she had in mind was:
..To revive the dormant filial love and gratitude we owe to those who gave us birth. To be a home tie for the absent. To obliterate family estrangement. To create a bond of brotherhood through the wearing of a floral badge. To make us better children by getting us closer to the hearts of our good mothers. To brighten the lives of good mothers. To have them know we appreciate them, though we do not show it as often as we ought…
Mothers Day is to remind us of our duty before it is too late.
This day is intended that we may make new resolutions for a more active thought to our dear mothers. By words, gifts, acts of affection, and in every way possible, give her pleasure, and make her heart glad every day, and constantly keep in memory Mothers Day; when you made this resolution, lest you forget and neglect your dear mother, if absent from home write her often, tell her of a few of her noble good qualities and how you love her.
“A mother’s love is new every day.”
God bless our faithful good mothers.
So many times these days the focus is on “how to be a better mother” on Mother’s Day rather than honoring one’s own mother. There is nothing wrong with writings and sermons about how to be a better mother — I know I certainly need them. But I think that focus can make this day all the more painful for those mentioned above who have lost children or can’t have children.
What if you don’t feel your mother is worthy of honor? The command to honor our fathers and mothers is just that — a command. I don’t think I ever felt my mother unworthy, but in my teens I did struggle for a brief while with respecting my parents. One day after a sermon on “Children, obey your parents,” it occurred to me that the two passages that teach that (Ephesians 6:1-3 and Colossians 3:20) do not qualify the command (obey if they are saved, if they are perfect, if they do everything just right, if they deserve it). I realized that all of the commands about relationships in the rest of those passages were not dependent on the other person doing his or her part. We’re supposed to do our part whether the other one does or not. I was supposed to obey my parents and respect their position as my parents. I had to apologize for my attitude, and the Lord enabled me to indeed honor them and respect them, and even to appreciate them and to be thankful for the life they gave me, the care they took of me, and so many more things. It showed in my attitude (I had never been allowed to “backtalk,” but there are other ways a disrespectful attitude can seep out), and the Lord healed the breach between my parents and me. I hope to write a tribute to my mom tomorrow. She passed away a year and a half ago, and I miss her terribly.
So I encourage you to truly honor your mom tomorrow. If she is no longer with you, you can honor her memory. That might even be a testimony to someone else.
Happy Mother’s Day to you!