Mother’s Day (USA). But what if Mom’s NOT so honorable?
Mother’s day is this coming May 12. Mother’s Day in some countries does have a pagan root or history apparently, so believers in those countries rightfully do not observe it. But Mother’s Day in the USA has no such pagan roots to the best of my knowledge – so I teach we should observe it.
Mothers should be honored every day and not just on Mother’s Day. I’m sure millions of words will be spoken and printed about how wonderful mothers are. And those words should indeed be spoken and written. There certainly are a lot of amazing, incredible moms out there.
But what about this? What if your mom’s not so amazing, not so incredible? Let’s be honest. Not everyone is amazing, though that adjective is way overused. Sometimes I’ve been asked something like this: “My mom frankly is a …(then they tell me something awful like one of these: “a drunk, a whore, mean spirited, gambler, a drug addict, hot tempered, lazy, etc.”).” The adult child continues: “I don’t feel she’s worthy of my honor. Isn’t respect and honor something that has to be earned? I just can’t honor her on Mother’s Day.” (And I know some who feel that way about their dad, and so the same question could come up on Father’s Day.)
OK, now what? Please read the rest of this blog for those situations: when you have a mom you feel you can’t honor.
I say honor her anyway. Love her anyway. The 5th commandment – to Honor your Father and your Mother – does not come with any “if” statements. Our heavenly father does not say to honor your Mom “IF she is a wonderful mom”. YHVH says to honor her, period. Without any pre-conditions. Giving honor in this case would be a matter of obeying God’s command.
There’s something else: maybe, just maybe, your sincere gestures of giving honor to a woman who has fallen short (so far) of being an excellent mom -- just might be the catalyst to help her get her life back in order.
Even if they don’t admit it to you, most of us parents (including me, very much so) often feel we fell woefully short of being the perfect mom or dad we wanted to be. We didn’t get weeks of training prior to having our babies. Weeks? Most of us got almost no training. More is required to be able to get a driver’s license – than what’s required to get married or to qualify to have children. Think about that. So we parents all had to learn as we went along. And suddenly the guilt began to happen. The baby who wouldn’t stop crying and you’re worn out and it’s 2 a.m. You feel guilty for resenting the baby but you get up and check on the baby anyway. Or someone’s told you to let the baby cry and not spoil the child. But the guilt continues if you don’t get up. Then eventually some have a stubborn child who won’t budge. These can wear out the greatest of saints. Or the shy child whose shyness we made worse by always telling everyone in her presence “She’s so shy”. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any harder, the middle teen years come along. Those of you with just little children, and who are so quick to judge parents who have teens, just you wait. Your turn will come.
You think of the many, many times you could have handled issues better – but at the time, you didn’t. Maybe your daughter didn’t get home til the wee hours of the morning. Or maybe you find drug paraphernalia. Or they had yet another car accident or endless traffic tickets. Or your son got someone pregnant. Or wants to drop out of school. Now what? These are real life issues!
I’ll never forget the long, long chat I had with my mom when I was around 38 years old. By that time, my youthful bravado had faded and I could see how far I’d fallen short of God’s standards. I was going through some tough, tough times. I didn’t feel like a very good person – let alone a great dad or husband, and I told my Mom that. She opened up to me for an hour in a way I’d never imagined. Basically her message was –“I know how you feel. I know I sure fell short of being the mom I should have been…” Though I assured her otherwise, I could tell she had regrets.
Mom started to sob when I started recounting the many ways I felt she had been an incredible mom. She was a single mom after her divorce, so I told her that I remember her long hours after work toiling to get the laundry done at the Laundromat, keeping up with the housework and shopping and raising teens – all while somehow trying to make the dollar stretch. We were very poor. We always had way more month left at the end of the money, it seemed. I assured her we understood her stresses and that I loved her – especially now that I could see how hard it was to be a parent of kids who would soon be teens at the time. It reached a climax when I blurted out, “Mom, now I appreciate a lot more all you went through…”
What I’m trying to say is – cut your mom a lot of slack. Please. Just honor her. Just go be with her. EVEN if you feel she’s fallen short of being an honorable mom. Why? So that you can honor your heavenly father by obeying HIM. HE says, “HONOR your father and your mother that your days may be long upon the land that YHVH your God is giving you” (Exodus 20: 12). God puts no caveats on His 5th commandment. He simply says - - if you have a mom, if you have a dad, for God’s sake honor them. Respect them. Love them. Don’t just say you honor and love them; SHOW them your respect and love. Most of us parents feel honored and loved by the time our children spend with us. By the phone calls “just to say I love you, Mom”. By being there in our times of need. Please don’t just text or email. Let them hear your VOICE – a voice that is full of love and honor and respect.
Unless your Mom is super human, she probably has moments when she’s thinking she could have done more or been a better mom. And all the “woulda, coulda, shouldas” start to happen. Put your Mom’s heart at peace. Assure her of your love and your honor. And for God’s sake – go see her.
YOU be the daughter or son you should be, instead of wondering if your mom was, or is, the mom she should have been. Your job is to honor. So do your job well. Every day – and especially on Mother’s Day.
Don’t have any regrets. Someday your Mom will be gone. My mom died 2 years after my long lovely talk with her. I can’t wait to see her again in the resurrection and once more assure her of my love.
To all you moms out there: enjoy your day. Being a mom has got to be tough at times. But thanks for being there, moms. Yehowah bless you and keep you and watch over all you moms, all the days of your life.