We are coming up on another Christian Holiday, Motherís day. Some may ask, ďI do not remember Motherís day in the Bible.Ē Well let us look at Exodus 20:12
12Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
This is one of the Ten Commandments and it tells us to honor our father and mother. That is what Motherís day is all about. Nevertheless, take a closer look and it is talking about not just one day of the year, but all year round. Here in America we have set aside one special day to remember mothers. This is also true around the world. I have worked for several Asian churches over the years and one of the big holidays they celebrate is Motherís day. I think this is a good idea, but I know we lose this idea the other 364 days of the year.
Paul repeats this verse and gives us some insight into what God wants. Eph. 6:1-4
1Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
2Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;
3That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
4And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
I love these verses because they have instructions for both the parents and the children. Paul says that children are to obey their parents for this is right in the Lord. Then he quotes the commandment and really emphasizes that there is a promise with this commandment if children do this they will live long and things will go well for them. The way this is stated it is also saying that the opposite is true. If you do not honor your parents, things will not go well with you, and you will not have a long life. Think about this, do you remember someone in your past that was disrespectful of not only their parents, but also all authority figures and now where are they? Some that I can think of are in jail or even dead. If you do not learn to respect your parents, how will you learn to respect other authority figures? This disrespect can lead to a life of crime or other unhealthy life style (sex, drugs, etc). What is even worse is that if they do not learn respect for their parents, how are they going to learn respect for God? This is why God calls Himself our Heavenly Father. He is setting up a parallel between children and parents as there is between men and God. Now you see why this is so important to God that He put it in the Ten Commandments.
The next verse also places some responsibility on the parent. It says do not provoke your children to wrath. Have you seen a father who is unloving and mean to his child? In ministry, I have seen several abuse cases and it is just horrible. Many times these children are damaged for life. They cannot cope with the world because they have learned either that might is right and to bully their way thru life, or a defeatist attitude and the run and hide in their shell. Because of their messed up father figure they are very hard to witness to and they always ask, ďWhere was God when my Dad did this.Ē
I used extreme examples here to make my point that it is a two way street between parent and child so that the child will show respect. Motherís day is just one of 365 days in which we need to show respect to our mothers. This is not just for children under 18, we all need to show respect to our parents. If this is not true for us in the past, Mothers day is a good time to start.