Exodus 20:12, “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”
What a blessed commandment God has given to us. Honor your father and your mother. In Ephesians we read that this is the first commandment with a promise.
Ephesians 6:1-3, “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.”
We also know that the respect and honor we owe to parents is not limited to just our earthly parents. We should also show honor and respect to all those who are in authority over us. I hope you can agree with me that in our nation today we do have an authority problem. We don’t like to submit, and we don’t like to be told what to do.
Romans 13:7, “Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.”
This week we are blessed by being able to give respect and honor to our mothers. As I think of my own mother and all that she has done for me, I know that any effort I make is not enough to give her thanks for all that she has done. Mothers are a wonderful gift from God and are used by God in many ways to influence our lives. It was from my mother that I first learned of Jesus and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that telling me about Christ was the greatest thing she ever did for me.
As we seek to honor mothers this week, we must also be careful that we also honor God. The two go hand in hand. For the Christian, loving the Lord our God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength is primary. Loving my neighbor as I love myself is secondary. Nothing takes the place of my devotion to God and my effort to obey Him.
That being said, we cannot obey the fifth commandment regarding honoring father and mother and at the same time disregard the first four commandments regarding our duty to God. That means in order to show honor to mother this week I have to do some extra planning ahead.
To buy her a gift or take her out for a meal on Sunday would be sinful as I seek to obey the fifth commandment and yet break the fourth commandment. To make all day Sunday about mom instead of about the Lord would be breaking the first and the fourth commandments while trying to obey the fifth.
So how can I honor mother andhonor God? If I want to take her out to eat, I should do it on Saturday or Monday. If I want to buy her a gift, I buy it ahead of time so that I don’t sin or cause others to sin by making them work on the Lord’s Day. It is not sinful to acknowledge mom on Sunday by saying ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ and praising God for mothers on that day and the blessing that the fifth commandment is in our lives. So, I will be saying ‘Happy Mothers Day’ to mothers on Sunday. I will be seeking to plan ahead with my children to make sure that mom is more cared for not just on Sunday but before and after that day as well. That means some extra meal preparation on Saturday.
Finally, let us not be distracted by the world’s date of Sunday as Mother’s Day to the point that it keeps us from the morning and evening worship of God. The greatest honor I can show my mother this Mother’s Day, is to give honor to the Lord my mother introduced me to by spending time with God’s people in worship.