How we bestow honor on our mothers on Mother’s Day in our families, and particularly in our churches is worth pondering. Hopefully, we have loved and honored our mothers as a lifestyle or setting aside a day for such an act would be a farce. While it is important for dads to remind their children in the home to honor their mothers for Mother’s Day, it is even better when they remember without prodding; and certainly helps them develop habits of honoring willingly as adults. Honor can be felt as much in warm, friendly and appreciative words, whether spoken or written, as it can be felt in a gift. The meaning and the sacrifice are worth it. I have enjoyed gifts, cards and/or calls from each of my children this Mother’s Day. It is a great time to contemplate what blessings each and every one of them are. Raising children has helped refine me, and character refinement if a painful and needed process in my life! Having children is a huge blessing. I love all my children very much.
I enjoy having a day set aside to honor my own mother with some special effort, though it may not be much. My own mom taught us to love because she first loved us; just as we learn to love God because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19) She lives out selflessness, sacrifice, generosity, hard work ethic, thoughtfulness, forbearance and laughter in the lives of her children and grandchildren. While Daddy was still living (other than an occasional spat -hey, they were human), she lived out patience, tenderness and serving, especially during the last few years while he suffered with congestive heart failure. Everything about what she might need for herself went on hold during that time. And whenever she sees a need still today in her family, she will go to great lengths to help with it. Celebrating Mother’s Day comes natural to me because I have such a mom.
This celebration can and should hold much meaning. Often a traditional church celebration in the church is to figure out who is the oldest mother present, who is the youngest mother present, who has the most children present, and on occasion who has the most children. It is likely that whoever came up with these criteria for bestowing a hanging basket of flowers or other such gift, did, indeed feel, right along with the majority of a number of years back, that there is some honor in these capacities; as indeed there is. However, some difficulties are that it might be painful for someone who was not able to have a number of children, if any, or who is not able to have her children join her, or who bears the pain of a child unwilling to join her, or worse, who bears the pain of the loss of any of her children, etc., though the “prizes” are meant to be a fun way to lightheartedly honor a few in the state of motherhood. Another difficulty in this honor truly registering in the heart now a days is knowing that you might be hard pressed to find anyone in most traditional churches who really feels any honor in their heart for some of these categories. Unfortunately it is too often mentioned that “So and So started having her babies awful young and perhaps should have lengthier spaces between her children.” And “I don’t know how So and So does it with all those kids.” And “I guess I did something right because my children are doing great!” Implications painfully obvious, albeit faulty. Just some things to ponder.
Some churches celebrate Mother’s Day by giving out a flower to each mother and this seems to spread the honor around. Some churches have begun giving flowers out to all females, and while, in my opinion this is an unworthy stretch on the subject of motherhood, it is good to welcome others under the tent who have been unable to have children and “mothered” other children in their lives. Only they can know in their hearts if they have diligently mothered someone who needed it, and if they have felt both the joy and the pain of that role. Let them have that reward.
How ever we celebrate Mother’s Day, it is worth celebrating. Let it be a heart matter. Thank God for moms!