Mother’s Day is a week away. Did you know the biblical command to honor our mother is not just a suggestion? (Exodus 20:12) For those of us who had loving, nurturing mothers this seems like a no brainer. Not everyone was so blessed.
My heart goes out to those who let some petty problem keep them from speaking to their mothers. My heart goes out even further to those who are motherless. The death of a mother can leave a young child feeling abandoned causing abandonment issues which can plague them for the rest of their lives.
Some may have mothers but feel motherless. Perhaps a mother is addicted to drugs or alcohol. When a mother is drunk or strung out, the child becomes more like the parent. Some mothers are physically and verbally abusive. Then we have the mother who may be there in body, but not in spirit. These are mothers who just can’t be bothered with raising their children. I’m not talking about working moms who are just doing the best they can to help support the family and care for their children. Maybe they can’t spend the time with a child they would like to, but they are trying. I’m referring to mothers who detach emotionally from their children.
It is difficult to honor a mother who was not loving and kind. However, the biblical command does not seem to be limited to honoring only those moms who deserve it. A mother’s moral character or effective parenting skills are not mentioned. So how can we honor those unworthy of our honor? Here are some ideas…
Look beyond the surface: Try to understand why your mother is the way she is. This doesn’t mean you agree with her decisions or how she raised you, but it may help you to understand her a little better.
Forgive: Forgiveness does not mean you condone harsh actions. It just means you aren’t going to hold a grudge or let it keep you from being kind. Forgiveness means you show compassion even if none was shown to you. However, it doesn’t mean you let people take advantage of your kind nature.
Love unconditionally: God loves us unconditionally and that’s how we should love our moms. They shouldn’t have to earn our love even if they try to make us earn theirs. However, love should not be a “guilt” card people use against each other. Love isn’t emotional blackmail to manipulate people into doing what you want. We can love others but not agree with what they do.
Pray: Bathe your mother in prayer. Lift her up to God.
Consider this… There are no perfect mothers. If you are a mother then you know this is true. Your mom made mistakes and you make mistakes. That’s just the way it is!
At this time of year we honor our mothers – and rightly so. Choose to honor your mother!
Suggestions for practicing this choice…
- If you had a loving mother, then thank God. Lavish her with praise all the time, not just once a year. Thank her for little things like passing on basic information, life skills and common sense. The older we get the more we realize common sense is not so common anymore.
- Don’t try to change your mother. Accept her the way she is and love her anyway. Remember this: Your mother is your mother is your mother. She is what she is!
- Make time in your busy schedule for your mother. Take the time to talk and listen to her. Make sure her needs are being met.
- If your mother is no longer with you then honor her memory by passing on wonderful lessons you learned from her to your children and grandchildren. Share those funny stories. Keep her memory alive.
- Say a little prayer for the child, young or old, yearning for a mother. If you know such a child, look beyond the outward appearance and into the heart. Take the time to smile, chat, encourage, and validate.