Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.
- Ephesians 6:1-3
It's interesting to note that we live in an age where we have established a day where we honor mothers. We have taken something that is basically a religious concept, put a date on it and commercialized it for the purpose of profit. A good example of this sort of thing is Christmas: The birth of Jesus is a documented fact in the Bible but the world has created a festival out of it and made it the engine that drives the economy of ½ the businesses in the world. Honors commerce more than Christ
Mother's Day is the same: To honor one's mother is a commandment from God found in the O.T. ([Ex. 20:12]) as well as in the N.T (Jesus mentions this command in Mt., Mk. and Luke; Paul in [Eph. 6:2]). Society has picked up this theme and turned it into a profitable day of cards and gifts.
I'm not against the idea of a special day for Mom's, I just want you to realize that it wasn't man's idea, man only figured out a way to make money with God's idea. Did you ever wonder why God gave this command (to honor Fathers and Mothers) in the first place? He said to do so would bring blessings on the children but why was the command needed anyways? I believe He did it because of His mercy. He knew that after Adam's sin, it wasn't going to be easy being a mother. Here's why.
1. Giving Birth Was Not Going To Be Easy
In the perfect world of the Garden of Eden giving birth would have, if we can imagine, been natural, joyful and relatively easy. After the sin of Adam, however, God declared that this process would become very difficult and painful - [Gen. 3:16a]. Woman has been designed by God to conceive and bear children.
Regardless of any other gift or talent a woman may have and develop, the ability to bear children is primary for her as an individual (her biological and psychological make-up are directly tied to this fact regardless of the career she may choose). Whatever ways science can develop to engineer human conception and development - a woman conceiving and giving birth to a child is and will always be a far superior method for human reproduction and social order.
This basic role as life-giver has been, from the beginning, a painful process. Carrying children, bringing them into this world, nursing them to the point of independence is filled with pain and discomfort. Thousand of years and thousands of medical advances later, childbearing remains painful and many times dangerous.
If for no other reason the commandment to honor one's mother was established to acknowledge her pain in giving us life.
It's not easy being a mom because being a mother meant being a wife and...
2. Being a Wife Would Mean Submission To a Man
The sin of Adam not only separated man from God but also destroyed the balance in the relationship that existed between man and woman. Before the Fall, God appointed that both the man and the woman rule in cooperation over the creation. Their natures were different but their positions were the same. However after their sin, the weakness of their flesh would cause them to use their different gifts in sinful ways:
- Man would use his natural strength to dominate, to obtain with force what was once granted freely.
- Woman would use her natural complexity to usurp the position once equally granted to her.
For this reason God assigned the role of submission to the woman and the role of struggle to the man - [Genesis 3:16b-19]
It would never be easy being a mother because this role would be tied to the difficult task of submitting one's will to another imperfect human being in order to demonstrate faith in God, establish peace in the home and guarantee social order. We need to honor mothers because they've given their bodies up in order to produce ours and humbled their wills in order to produce what we call family.
3. Mothers Have to Watch Their Children Suffer and Sometimes Die
It's bad enough that there is great pain necessary to bring a child into the world but mothers also have to experience the pain that their children feel in their lives as well. One thing I've learned in counseling - there is no medicine or counseling technique that can neutralize that thing inside a mother that enables her to feel what her child feels (sometimes long before and after the child feels it). From the beginning mothers have had to suffer because of what their children did and what was done to their children:
- Eve agonized over the murder of one of her sons by the other.
- Sarah suffered a lifetime because she watched another woman bear the child she wanted and died without seeing a wife for the son she finally had.
- Hagar wept over the danger of death that threatened her only son Ishmael as they were banished from Abraham's household.
- Leah witnessed the rape of her daughter, Dinah, by Shechem.
- Moses' mother had to abandon her child to save his life.
- Samuel's mother gave him up because of an oath.
- Bathsheba watched her child die because of her sin.
- Job's wife experienced the death of all of her children at once.
- And Mary observed her eldest son, Jesus humiliated, tortured and publicly executed by the people He had loved, helped and healed.
There is no greater pain imaginable than for the one who gave you life, to watch you waste the life she gave you or see someone else take that life from you.
Mothers deserve honor because no one experiences the pain and hurts that life brings longer or more deeply than those who bring us into this world and who sometimes experience the heartbreak of having to see us leave as well during their own lifetimes. - Children, honor your father and mother indeed for this is right in the Lord because:
- Giving birth is difficult
- Being a wife is humbling
- Seeing you suffer is painful.
God is so wise in that He created life in such a way that a woman was originally taken out a man and from then on all men were taken out of woman. This beautiful cycle repeats itself in so many ways in our lives. The experience of caring for our children and then having them honor and care for us in old age is good and right in God's sight.
1 Timothy 5:3 - "..honor widows who are widows indeed."
Today we've tried to demonstrate why mothers deserve honor not only on this day but every day for their special role in God's plan for life. I would like to close our service by offering an invitation to those who see a need in their lives to be right with God.
If you've not confessed Jesus and been baptized, please come now and receive forgiveness in the waters of baptism. If you need to be restored because of sin or unfaithfulness or need to identify yourself and family with this church come now for prayer. If you need prayer to be a better mom or better to your mom come now also.