Ephesians 6:2 Proverbs 23:22
Moses was given the 10 commandments as the basic rule of life, for God’s people. They dealt with worship and spiritual issues, as well as those of social justice and interaction. God’s intention is clear; He is to be the focal point of all we do and say. As a faithful Pharisee, Paul understood the importance of the law, reminding Corinthian believers “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:21).
God revealed Himself as the One who would punish those who rejected His law, but balanced that with the wonderful promise to “show love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments” (Exodus 20:5-6). What does this have to do with Mothers Day?
God went on to detail what He meant in the 5th commandment which reads: “Honour your father and your mother”. The promise for doing so was that they would bring glory to God by honouring His word, and therefore would live long in the land that He was giving to them (Exodus 20:12). This is the positive side of obedience.
However, Moses received further instruction. “Anyone who attacks his father or mother must be put to death” (Exodus 21:15). Furthermore, “Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death” (Exodus 21:17). Another reality is made clear by the Apostle Paul. “If anyone does not provide for ….his immediate family [father and mother], he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8). These are serious allegations, made by Sovereign God.
We need to note that they address our attitude, as much as our deeds. The law is not a suggestion – we are commanded, in this case to honour our parents. Commands are non-negotiable as Solomon knew. “Do not despise your mother when she is old” (Proverbs 23:22). Jesus confirmed this as He rebuked the Pharisees. Apparently they had been giving funds to projects at church [the temple] as a gift to God, “nullifying the Word of God”. They sought to impress people with their generosity while depriving their parents of basic needs. Jesus then called them hypocrites for not abiding by the law to honour both father and mother. God knew they honoured Him with lip-service only. Sadly their hearts were far from Him (Matthew 15:3-8).
“Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus…” (Philippians 2:5 KJV). From the cross He looked down at the woman who had given Him birth, who believed in His ability to perform miracles before ever He did, and so Jesus provided for His mother Mary, as He called upon John to take care of her (John 19:26-27).
What are our inmost thoughts as we celebrate Mothers Day? Are we be compassionate as we give our mothers the benefit of the doubt for obvious mistakes? Do we bless them for giving us life? Will we reflect on the positives rather than judging the negatives? Motherhood is an awesome responsibility, entered into, usually, with very little training or orientation. What comfort can we derive from their sacrifice, and moments of generosity, playfulness and love? Will we honour God for those special Moms who adopted us into their hearts and families? Today, some of us need to demonstrate the love of Christ, who reached down to the unlovely to redeem them [us] from every sin and failure, by the way in which we honour mothers who have struggled. Happy Mothers Day!