Honoring Our Mothers

Mothers’ Day is a special day that we set aside to celebrate our mothers.  Because Mothers’ Day  is soon approaching, I would like to share what the Bible says about the commandment of honoring our parents.  Thank God, many of us are blessed with good mothers who are very busy and they carry an awesome responsibility.  Did you know that mothers tend to be the ones that hold the family together?  In America, we celebrate our mothers on this special day by giving them flowers and cards or even making them breakfast and serving it to them in bed.  Our mothers are very important to us all.

God gave us 10 commandments.  These commandments were written in stone and given to Moses to share with God’s people.  The first four commandments deal with our relationship with God.

  1. Have no other God’s before me
  2. Do not make any idols
  3. Do not take God’s name in vain
  4. Remember the sabbath day and keep it holy

Do you know what the fifth commandment is?  Unfortunately, many young people today behave like they do not know the fifth commandment.

Exodus 20:12

“Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”

Exodus 20:12 is the fifth commandment and tells us to honor thy father and mother.  I will ask again, do you behave like you know the fifth commandment?  Honoring your father and mother is applicable today and God expects it. How are you doing in your honor to your mother and father?  God did not call the 10 commandments the 10 suggestions.  Honoring father and mother is important to God, but what does it mean to honor your father and mother?  I will give you a few important suggestions on how honor to mother and father can be done.

  1. Speak well of your parents to others
  2. Speak politely to your parents
  3. Behave respectfully toward your parents

To Biblically “honor your parents” means we are commanded to behave in a way toward them, which reflects their status as parents.  This might require us to display behavior that is respectful toward our parents regardless of our opinions about them at the time.  Maybe they just disciplined us and we may not like it but God still calls us to honor our father and mother.

Leviticus 19:3

“Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the Lord your God.”

The root word for fear as it is used here is to revere or hold in high regard.  Jewish tradition interpreted reverence as meaning that we should not “stand or sit in our parents” reserved place, nor should we contradict their words.  The first four commandments deal with our relationship with God and the rest involves our relationship with other people.  I believe the placement of honoring parents between these two categories suggest a special connection between our parents and God.  Just as we must honor God, the creator of life, we must honor our parents who gave us life.  Parents introduce children to what God is like.  By honoring our parents, we learn to honor God.  By honoring God, we can remain Godly.

Consider a child that is five years old and wants to be saved.  This child might come to God and ask for forgiveness but at the same time because the child is so young, he or she will not have a full understanding of what God expects.  However, what this child can understand is the simple instruction to obey his or her parents.  As children grow, mature, and understand more, they also become more and more accountable to God for their actions.  During this process God will require more of them but this doesn’t mean the first requirement goes away.  To be saved children, young people, and sometimes even younger adults need to continue to obey their parents.

As children grow up, it is normal for them to want to have more control over their lives.  Many times as young people mature, parents give them permission to do things that they were not allowed when they were younger.  As young people are given more freedom with that freedom can come a struggle between the young person and his or her parents.  This is where the devil often tries to work on teenagers.  The devil will work on this conflict and cause young people to dishonor their parents.  But God’s word is still true, and the commandment states we need to honor our father and our mother.  I can share with you from experience that this might not always be easy. Especially when our parents ask us to do something we don’t want to or they forbid us from doing something that we want to do badly.

Ephesians 6:1-3

“1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

2 Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;

3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”

So, what is the difference between honoring and obeying?  To honor is to behave and speak respectfully toward them. This is a lifetime commandment we need to honor our parents even as adults.  When we are younger though God requires something else of us.  Something more, in Ephesians 6:1, God says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.”  To obey means to do what they tell you or follow their instruction even if you really don’t like it.  When I was young, I had two brothers and the three of us lived in the same room. We hated to clean our room but our mother would make sure we cleaned it.  At that time, it was difficult to obey, but God showed us that is exactly what we needed to do.  Did you know God gives mothers the job of training their children in the way they should go?

Proverbs 22:6

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it”

 

God gives your parents the job of training you up while you are young.  Another place in the Bible, it shows that it is our parents’ job to teach us and in yet another place , it shows it is our parents’ job to correct us.  The Bible clearly teaches that we need to honor our father and mother.  So do not allow yourself to become frustrated or resent your parents when they are following God’s direction.  Your parents are supposed to help you grow and nurture you into adulthood.  This is their job.  I’ll ask again, are you honoring your father and mother?  This is the challenge God is giving you today.  How will you continue to honor your mother?  Let me share with you what happened to children that did not obey their parents in Biblical times.

Exodus 21:15

“And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.”

Exodus 21:15 shows us how “disobedience to parents” was handled in the Old Testament.  I have to say I am glad we are not living in those times anymore.  If a child was disobedient to their parents this was a serious offence and there was a serious consequence to take place.  God did not mess around with disobedient or rebellious children, which brings me to the following questions.  How do you react when your mother tells you to do something you don’t want to do?  Do you talk back and say, “I don’t want to!”, or do you honor her by obeying?  How many times do your parents need to ask you to do something before you move to do it?  Three or four times, or do you honor them and do it the first time?  How obedient are you when your mom asks you to do something?

2 Timothy 3:1-3

“1This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,”

In 2 Timothy 3: 1-3, we find “disobedience to parents” lumped in with all these other terrible sins.  God takes this seriously.  Do you honor, show respect, and say positive things about your mother and father?  Do you thank God for your good mother?   Practice doing something special for your mother often because she is special.  You don’t need to wait for Mothers’ Day to make her a card, cook a meal for her, or just say thank you for all she does.  Also, think on this, if you simply practice being obedient to your parents you are blessing them with your honor every time.

Exodus 20:12

“Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”

 

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