Happy Mother’s Day


“Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers, the older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters, in all purity.  Honor widows who are widows indeed; but if any widow has children or grandchildren, they must first learn to practice piety in regard to their own family and to make some return to their parents; for this is acceptable in the sight of God.” 1 Timothy 5:1-4

This coming Sunday is Mother’s Day.  The official Mother’s Day holiday arose in the 1900s as a result of the efforts of Anna Jarvis, daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis. Following her mother’s 1905 death, Anna Jarvis conceived of Mother’s Day as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers made for their children.

By 1912 many states, towns and churches had adopted Mother’s Day as an annual holiday. Her persistence paid off in 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.  We have been celebrating it ever since.

In recent years, Mother’s Day has become somewhat controversial.  Some have accused those who celebrate as being insensitive to those who are not mothers for one reason or another.  In some churches, mothers are asked to stand and be honored.  This is said to be a means of shaming those women who are not.

In the New Testament Church, we taught that we are to interact with every older woman as our mother.  In the passage above, Paul tells us to do this, not to remove responsibility from their own children and grandchildren, but as an overall attitude.

As Christians, we have TWO families, our physical one, and our spiritual one.  No woman in the body of Christ is without family.  She has many sons and daughters. She needs to know how much she is loved and appreciated by her church family. If she has children of her own, I don’t think it is wrong to honor that accomplishment as well in the church.

Being a mother is not easy, and in my view, never gets easier.  The bond between mother and child has no true parallel anyway.  She carries her child as an extension of her own body for nine (9) months.  She endures excruciating pain to separate from them but is never really disconnected.  She will carry that bond with her child regardless of how old they become or how far away they go.

This is why Paul says children need “to make some return to their parents”.  Mothers, and for that matter fathers, are not looking for a financial “return” from their children.  What they really want is only for their children to reach their greatest potential in life and in Christ. This is why we teach them to have Christian character.

Remember to honor your mother on Sunday if she is alive.  Pray for whose mother has past. Show some kindness to one of our old women as well with a hug or a small gift because she is family.    

See You Sunday,