I don’t think that a mother can forget holding her newborn child, looking into his/her face and dreaming of what the child will become, with the future stretched out as a clean slate for the child to write upon. While Mother’s Day was probably a day created by the greeting card industry, it is appropriate for us to take time to honor our mothers and to consider where we would be without them? (That’s a rhetorical question if ever there was one!)
A mother’s love grows stronger with each gentle touch of her child. She does not know the future. All she knows is that she loves her child in a way that is deeper and more fundamental to her being than she thought love could ever be. It is unconditional – the baby did nothing to earn it and it is the baby’s without any strings attached. Her love is incredibly strong and yet it is tender and gentle and warm. Her touch can ease the pain of a skinned knee or the pain of rejection from so-called friends.
She can withstand all sorts of difficulty without cracking but her heart becomes fragile bone china when her daughter has her first haircut or when her son gets on the bus for Kindergarten, all grown up!
In short, the birth of her child made her a Mother and she shares the strength and fragility of motherhood that is common to us all.
The Bible talks about a number of mothers who are remembered through the millennia … the first example, of course, being Eve, the mother of all things. (Genesis 3:20) Most people know of Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ.
Hannah is the mother of Samuel, but she became his mother only after pouring out her heart to the Lord in her request for a child because her womb had been barren. Scripture says: “So in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, ‘Because I have asked for him from the LORD.’” (1 Samuel 1:20) Only eight verses later, Hanna dedicates her son to the Lord and takes him to the temple where he is raised by the priest Eli and serves the Lord throughout his life.
“Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.” (Proverbs 23:22)
“Let your father and mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice!” (Proverbs 23:25)
Then, too, is the Commandment: “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12)
So, how do we honor our mother, on this Mother’s Day or on any other day of the year? The ways can be as unique as each individual. Breakfast in bed is nice. Or, how about a hug and a smile with the words “I love you”.
Cards, flowers, or candy is certainly appreciated. But, a heartfelt phone call or an email note just to say I’m thinking of you, or any of a gazillion spontaneous loving gestures on regular run of the mill days throughout the year, are also ways to honor your mother.
When we become mothers, we don’t automatically become paragons of wisdom and fun, nor do we become anything other than what we are, flawed human beings. So, even if there is conflict between mother and child, we must remember that the responsibility and privilege of honoring your mother still exists. The issue is not how you do it – but that you do it!
Why? Because honoring our parents reinforces the family as the primary unit of society, it provides the foundation for spiritual teaching of our children, it is an example of humility and hierarchy, and it is a commandment of God our Father. What other reason do you need?
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I miss you greatly.
Have you honored your mother recently?