Happy Mothers

By Pastor Teck Uy

As we grow older, the observance of the command to obey and honour our mothers seems to be not as strict as when we were younger. There are those who argue that since we are now adults, we are no longer subject to this command. However, there is no such qualification mentioned in the Bible of this command either as stated in the Ten Commandments or as reiterated by the apostle Paul when he said, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’ – which is the first commandment with a promise – ‘that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth’” (Eph. 6:1-3). Instead, what this command implied was that for as long as we have living parents, we ought to obey and honour them just as we did when we were younger. When we have good relationships with our parents, obedience, regardless of our age, should not be an issue as we can discuss things while fully respecting their God given authority over us.

To honour our mothers is to give them our highest respect. This is regardless of whether or not we consider them to be good mothers to us. There are those who are disrespectful of their mothers since they think that their mothers are not living up to what is expected of them. However, it must be noted that one is honoured not only based on merit but on account of his or her position or rank. For example, we bestow honour to our Prime Minister because he is the head of our government. But we also honour lowly workers because of the meritorious things they have done. In the case of our parents, however, we honour them because they are the God-given covering for us. Besides, we were commanded to do so by the Lord. As Christians, honoring our parents is not optional—whether we like it or not, we have to give them our highest respect. In fact, this command is so important that God included it in the Ten Commandments and made it the first command with a promise – long life.

Honouring our mothers should not just be a once a year event as when we come together to give our mothers flowers or treat them to fine dining. True honour is not merely giving them these material gifts but showing them love and respect every day, even as we endeavour to make them happy all the time. The Book of Proverbs tells us, “The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him. May your father and mother be glad; may she who gave you birth rejoice!” (Prov. 23:24-25). There is no greater joy for a mother than to see her children walking in wisdom and excelling in their God given career. It will be an honour to them when their children are honoured by others. It only proves that their labor of raising their children to become great in the sight of God and man was not in vain.

To ensure that their children turn out well, mothers subscribe to the command, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Prov. 22:6). But this training entails more than just giving verbal instructions to children. When words are not enough, mothers use the rod of discipline, because the Book of Proverbs says, “The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother” (Prov. 29:15). For failing to instill discipline in their children, many mothers are being disgraced because their children turned out to be fools. It is a fact that the foolish acts of children are often associated with the way their mothers raised them. Since no mother would like to see themselves being disgraced by the foolishness of their children, they need to impart the fear of the Lord in their children so that they become wise, because the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

Another command that is so important for children to obey is “Do not despise your mother when she is old” (Prov. 23:22). Many show their ungratefulness to their mothers by the way they treat them when they are old. If they will only look back and see how their mothers have sacrificed for them when they were young and helpless, they should feel so inadequate to repay their mothers for what they have done. In fact, they are where they are today because of these sacrifices of their mothers. Now that their mothers are in a helpless state, it is not right for these children to despise or abandon them. The time to repay them has come, not because they are asked to do so by their mothers but because it is the right thing to do. Besides, this is in obedience to the command of the Lord. Therefore, let us make our mothers happy all the days of their lives. Also, let us obey and honour them not only while they are still young and able to help us, but more especially in their old age. Hallelujah!