The Honor

“Honor your father and your mother that your days may be prolonged in the land.”  Exodus 20:12

There is no expiration date on this command from Almighty God. Those who choose to ignore it, violate it at their peril.  It is a command with a promise. As with most promises, it has consequences. If properly kept, it will be a blessing to the receiver, and life-giving to the giver of the honor.  When children dishonor their parents they can expect God to take up the offense they have made against them. He takes it personally.

American poet William Ross Wallace penned these words.

“The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.” Without a doubt a mother’s care is a powerful force of influence upon the destiny of a child, and cannot be over-estimated.

Mothers provide the first real touch of God on the lives of their little ones. Long before a child is conceived in a mother’s body, they are received into a mother’s heart.  Months before they are delivered into the world, babies are protected by a mother’s body, and nurtured with her lifeblood.  When the very idea of a child is embraced by a mother’s love it is life-changing and life-giving for both mother and child.

Some believe Mothers’ Day is a secular intrusion into the church calendar and should be kicked to the curb.   Long before Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first National Mothers’ Day May 9, 1914, Anna Jarvis, a Methodist minister’s daughter had been encouraging ministers, and politicians to establish this tribute to mothers across America.

Mother’s Day was first conducted in a local church to honor the ministry of mothers during the Civil War.  Anna Jarvis had seen her own mother care for wounded soldiers, both Confederate and Union, during the conflict. She had also seen similar acts of kindness organized by mothers to fight the post-war scourge of tuberculosis in her community. She had seen these tireless women had put themselves in harm’s way to give others life. This may be the pure essence of a mother’s love. It is life-giving. In spite of life-threatening challenges, mothers choose life.

Before there was a national debate over OBAMAcare, God settled the issue with MAMAcare. There is hardly a day that goes by that I do not recall the loving care my own mother gave to me. At 93 years of age she is still a powerful source of it.

Don’t get me wrong. My mother’s loving MAMAcare was equally matched by her formidable capacity to become a MAMAbear.  As I grew from a cub and sought to express my own inner bear, I often resisted her loving influence. She would take a step back from the conflict with me and simply say these words, “Wait ‘til your Father gets home.” This only worked EVERY TIME. As they say, “The honor was mine.”

This morning, I will go over to my mother’s home and fix breakfast for her and my Dad. After church, I will take them to a lunch prepared by and hosted in the home of one of their grandchildren. Thanks Ashley.  Mom will receive a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Thanks Dana and Allyson. It will be a great day for her and for all of us.

Still, every day, in God’s eyes, is a day provided by His grace to honor our mothers and our fathers.  Hallmark cards, candy and flowers are wonderful expressions of love on this special day, but they are poor substitute for prolonged silence the rest of the year.

Praying for your parents is a great way to honor your father and your mother throughout the year. It is blessing to them, and life-giving for you. If you have ever thanked God for a cheeseburger, you can say a blessing over your parents. Let them hear you do it, in person or over the phone, by text or  Twitter, snail-mail or email. Like the Nike ad say, “Just do it!”