As you all know, May 14th was Mother’s Day and since then I’ve been thinking a lot about my relationship with my own mother. My dad did a Mother’s Day sermon which focused on these verses from Proverbs,
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
-Proverbs 31:30-31 (NIV)
These verses made me realize that I don’t exactly honour my mother the way I should. Sure we have different personalities and this has often made our relationship difficult, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t or shouldn’t find ways to honour her. Since I’ve gotten sick with Crohn’s, my mom has done a lot for me, not the least of which include praying for me, driving me to all my appointments, sitting with me in the ER, doing my laundry, cleaning the house, and cooking for me. However, I often take these gifts, these acts of love, for granted. Rather than honouring her for what she has done by saying thank you and giving back, instead I get selfish and whiny and demand more and more. As an adult, I’ve come to realize that moms sacrifice a lot for their children at the expense of their own comfort, often getting nothing in return. Perhaps this is why the Bible has so much to say about how to treat your parents. For instance, the fifth commandment is this,
“Honour your father and mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”
-Exodus 20:12 (NIV)
Proverbs, the book of Wisdom, also has something to say regarding this subject,
“Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching.”
-Proverbs 1:8 (ESV)
However, the Old Testament is not the only place you will find teaching on honouring your parents. The apostle Paul mentions it in two of his letters, first in Ephesians, saying,
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’ (this is the first commandment with a promise), ‘that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.’”
-Ephesians 6:1-3 (ESV)
Again in his letter to the Colossians he counsels them,
“Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.”
-Colossians 3:20 (NIV)
I’ll admit that this is probably one of the commandments that I struggle with the most. But why should I work at it? The answer is simple and right in these verses- because it is right and it pleases the Lord and if we are in a right relationship with God, we should want to do what pleases him even if it is hard.
So Mom, know that even though I don’t always treat you the way I should or don’t seem to appreciate you, I love you and am so grateful for everything you do for me and the way you have stuck by me during this illness. It means more to me than you’ll ever know and I hope to do better at honouring you in the future.