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Honoring Mothers

Honoring Mothers

      On this Sunday, more than any other during the year, folks pay tribute to, and honor mothers in this country.   This is in part due to the holiday so named in the 1900’s to recognize mothers for their love and devotion throughout the year.  It is my understanding that this “holiday” is observed in some manner in over forty countries of the world.  

     There is a real good reason to honor mothers, as God instituted marriage when He taught Adam and Eve, who would be the first parents, in Genesis 2:24 even before Eve had borne a child.   This was just after God had created Eve from the rib of the man, Adam.   Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.   He told them how the world was to become populated.   Following the exile of the man and his wife from the Garden of Eden, Genesis 4:1 tells us when the fact of motherhood came to be.    And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. 

      When God began to carry out His plan to bring a Savior to mankind, He had separated to Himself a people, the descendants of Abraham, for the purpose of bringing His Son so He could die on the cross to bring about the remission of sins.    God gave these people, Israel, a Law (His first written Law) soon after He delivered them from Egyptian bondage.   In the fifth commandment of the decalogue, Exodus 20:12 where the Ten Commandments is first found, is the directive to “honor” their parents.   Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.   God was leading these errant children of Israel to the Promised land.  These “Laws” were repeated in Deuteronomy chapter five as well as in Mark 10:19 by the Lord as Jesus spoke to the rich young ruler under the O.T. Law. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.  

      The Spirit also had the apostle Paul address this in the N.T and repeat the same commandment in Ephesus 6:2-3.   Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.     As God has given and repeated this “commandment” in both of His Written Laws to His people, we should see the importance of being keepers of these Laws.    The mothers in this, the N.T. age have a solemn responsibility when it comes to their children.  In 1Timothy 5:14 we see part of what they were to be doing. I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.  Those who had already raised their children still have a serious charge as they are to help the younger mothers and set the right example per 2Timothy 2:4-5That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

      All parents are included in this all-important aspect of child rearing.  We have already mentioned Ephesians 6:2-3 (above), but as we see this verse in the full context of Ephesians 6:1-4, we can readily affirm that both parents are responsible to see that the child being properly reared.   As the husband is head of the wife, the wife (mother) has a large part in what is taught in the home.   Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. 4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord

      We see in 2Timothy 1:5 that Timothy’s mother and grandmother had not only attended to his physical needs, but saw to his spiritual needs as well.   This is what God intended so that children would be properly instructed.  When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.  The instructions Timothy received as a child were provided by these godly mothers as they kept him in “the scriptures as 2Timothy 3:15 tells us.   And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.   Timothy was surely brought up in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord” due to the efforts of these dedicated mothers.   They definitely deserved honor.     

     In John 19:26-27 we see Jesus on the cross, not long before His death, give an excellent example of what it meant to “honor” His mother.    He provided for her after His departure, even before He left.   When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! 27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.    This is what it means to “honor” the parents that raised you and provided as God intended.   They “took care of you” – You are to take care of them.  

      Let us honor our mothers on this day as tradition has taught us.  But let us also give even more honor to those faithful mothers who have brought up their children to love God and serve Him in full obedience to His Holy Word.  

                                                Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ 

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