A Happy Mother’s Day?
All the advertising and hype that surrounds Mother’s Day – well, it’s about soft fluffy slippers, pink dressing gowns, happy, well-adjusted children bouncing in on Mum’s bed on Sunday morning, with the very present that she’s been wanting. And that’s all great. But what if … your relationship with your mother ain’t all that the advertising industry tells you it should be?
Imperfect Families – Imperfect Mothers
You know the saying don’t you? You can choose your friends but you can’t choose your relatives.
And that right there is the starting point for many a mother-daughter or mother-son relationship. There are many, many adults who don’t have a fond memory of their childhood. Many who don’t have a warm place in their hearts for their mothers. Perhaps your Mum was far from perfect … or perhaps your Mum and you just clash, with wildly different personalities that just never, really seemed to “click”.
Many families in this world are dysfunctional. Many families in this world have been torn apart. And many children have gone their own, separate ways, just leaving Mum behind and paying, at best, lip-service to her.
I don’t mean to paint an overly bleak picture here, but it’s the truth; it’s the reality for many a person reading this blog.
The mother-child relationship can be a fractious one.
So, in the face of the advertising industry’s soft-pink-fluffy blitz at this time of year, what – if anything – useful can I share with you that might help with a less than perfect mother-daughter or mother-son relationship?
Something Useful This Mother’s Day
Well, the only helpful thing I have for you comes not from me, but from God. His wisdom, born out of His love for you … and your Mum.
“Honour your father and mother”—this is the first commandment with a promise: “so that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” (Ephesians 6:2,3)
Now, that may, on the surface, not appear all that helpful, if your relationship with your mother is far from perfect. But listen up.
It was always God’s plan for you to be conceived and borne in your mother’s womb. She carried you, gave birth to you through much pain, and sacrificed an enormous amount for you.
Okay … she wasn’t perfect. Who is? Are you? I certainly am not.
Nobody ever gave her a manual on “How to be a Perfect Mother” … and even if they had, the trials, the uncertainties, the challenges, the fears, the hurts that she had to deal with while raising you – not to mention all your selfishness, immaturity and teenage tantrums – meant that it went out the window pretty much on day one.
There’s no such thing as the perfect mother. Never was. Never will be.
So even if your Mum was way short of perfect, this Mother’s Day … cut her a break. She’s sacrificed a lot for you.
I know … I know … perhaps you’re one of those people who doesn’t like their mother as a person. You’re not alone. But God’s wisdom for you today has nothing to say whatsoever to say about liking her. His call for you, today, here and now, is to honour her.
How to Honour Her
The dictionary definition of “honour” is: to value, to venerate, to hold in high esteem.
Just stop, think … remember the sacrifices your mother has made for you. All that she gave up, so that you could be the person you are today. Is it all that hard to honour and respect her for who she is and what she’s done for you?
And here’s the kicker in God’s amazing plan for us to honour our parents: the more we start doing this “honour” thing, the more He softens our hearts, and heals our emotions, and brings forgiveness and reconciliation to our hearts.
God never tells us not to do something, unless it’s bad for us. And the corollary is also true: He never tells us to do something, unless it’s good for us.
Honour your father and your mother … [so that, what?] … so that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.
Honouring your mother this Mother’s Day – whether you feel like it or not – is an entry point for God’s blessing into your life.
So, as they say on the Nike ad … Just do it!