In Ephesians 6:1–3, the apostle Paul reminds us that the fifth commandment is the first commandment with a promise -
Honor your father and mother so that it may go well with you
and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.
“What it means to honor our father and mother may change as we grow into adulthood, but the principle always endures. The adult child does not owe the parent obedience, but they do owe the parent honor,” reflects Senior Pastor David Guzik, of Calvary Chapel Santa Barbara.
As Christians, most of us strive to honor our parents throughout the year; however, the Mother’s Day holiday is a strong reminder that honoring our parents is a direct command from the Lord.
When we meditate on all of the sacrifices our mothers have made for us throughout the years, it is easy to understand the wisdom of the Scriptures that commands us to honor them. We can apply the teachings of Jesus throughout the Gospel: respect those who sacrifice, honor the ones who serve unselfishly, and appreciate those who lay their lives down for the sake of others.
If we reflect on all of a mother’s life-giving and life-nurturing roles, it is easy to celebrate her with expressions of deep love and sweet gratitude.
While our children are still young, it is pivotal that we teach them the significance of how to honor their parents. Dads should take the lead in teaching their children how to honor their moms, and moms should teach the children how to honor their dads. We can train them to remember birthdays and anniversaries, to write letters or poems, and to make or buy gifts on special occasions.
As adults there is no limit to how we can honor our mothers. Remembering her favorite perfume, taking her to a museum or a play, or taking her out to eat at a restaurant you know she will like. Write a heartfelt card or letter recalling special vacations or fond memories. While store-bought gifts are always a blessing, sometimes the simple act of baking a homemade dessert can mean so much.
Perhaps the ultimate way we can honor our parents is to care for them when they are in their golden years. Erhardt and Grace Groothoff of Sonoma, California, made the decision to have Grace’s eighty-year-old parents move into a cottage on their property last year when Grace’s father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.
“When my parents got ill, we didn’t want to put them into a nursing facility. My parents needed one of their kids to oversee their care and the best way to do that was to bring them home,” explained Grace in a soft reflective voice.
“It’s really a privilege to care for your parents because they have a lot of wisdom to share, it’s a joyful time to be able to hear about their lives and give back to them. In addition, they’re creating memories for our children. It’s not at all a burden; it’s a privilege and it’s a joy.”
Not all of us have the ability to have our aging parent live with us, but most of us do have the ability to look after their health and/or financial needs, help out with home repairs, and fulfill their basic need for love and affection. Phone calls, cards, and special visits mean a lot when your parents are in the evening of life.
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
If you’re looking for some new ideas for this Mother’s Day, I suggest creating a magical garden party in your own backyard or in a nearby park. Set an outdoor table with cheerful spring flowers and pink lemonade. Tote a picnic basket with china, linens, and treats. Lavish your precious mother with an array of desserts, ribbons, and cards.
Now that the weather is getting warm and sunny again, it’s the perfect time of year to picnic in the shade and breathe in the fresh grassy air. As soon as we step in the garden, our senses feel bright and alive. Food tastes extra delectable when eaten under the clouds.
Cherish the gift of a mother’s love as you celebrate God’s goodness under the grand oak trees, flowers, and the soft green grass. This year, let the beauty of God’s creation give you the ultimate backdrop to express your love on Mother’s Day.
Check out these beautiful and delectable dessert recipes: