The Honoring of Mothers
As we celebrate Mother’s Day today, I want us to consider a passage of scripture well known to us. A passage many of us had to memorize as children possibly, and for good reason! Yet, I believe it is a passage forgotten, or that holds less importance as we grow older in the church. The concept I want us to look at and consider is HONOR. The passage I want us to turn to as we consider God’s perspective on mothers and honor is in Ephesians 6:1-3
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.
Is it Obey or Honor?
Is it Obey or Honor?
The context of this passage is that of family...
Husbands love you wife
Wive’s Respect you husband
Children obey parents
Slaves obey and respect your earthly masters
Each of these are to be done “as to the Lord!”
The ideal concept here is a Christian home, the husband submits to God as he leads his home in love, the christian wife responds with respect to her husband, the children being raised in a Godly manner are obeying and honoring their parents, and the slaves in this household, who are Christians as well, obey and respect their master as if serving Christ Himself!
However, life is not always ideal… these verses do not give an escape clause to not do what God is commanding if you are not in a “Christian Home”.
Paul is restating a command from God back from the Old Testament still relevant and necessary Deuteronomy 5:16
‘Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the Lord your God gives you.
For the sake of Mother’s Day we will focus our attention on our responsibility of the child and the role of the mother.
Each one here today is a child...
We understand the need for children to obey
The promise is a general proverb or rule that states a well known fact… obedience brings longer life as a rule
Obedience is clear at a young age isn't it… BUT as we age what does it look like?
Notice in both places this is stated… IT IS A COMMAND!
As we look at scriptures this is an adult audience that receives this… Deuteronomy 27:16
‘Cursed is he who dishonors his father or mother.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
They agree! this is serious stuff… maybe they are thinking about their kids honoring them?
What about when it is your turn to care for them… ( NOT become the parent! ) Leviticus 19:32 Proverbs 23:22
‘You shall rise up before the grayheaded and honor the aged, and you shall revere your God; I am the Lord.
Listen to your father who begot you, And do not despise your mother when she is old.
There is a transition in this life from obedience to honor
Truth be told obedience is clearer and easier!
Honor should only increase as we ourselves age!
If God's command is true… THEN how does it look? What is HONOR, how do we?
Honor Defined & Lived
Honor Defined & Lived
Honor in the Hebrew means “to be heavy” so basically treat your parents with a TON of respect! Interestingly in the Greek in the NT we see the word for honor timao “to set a price or value to”
In all the NT we see timao translated honor except one verse! Matthew 27:9
Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of the one whose price had been set by the sons of Israel;
The value set to Christ or honor by Judas Iscariot was 30 pieces of silver!
Considered what timao set value or honor given by Peter, John, Paul, the men and women in the arenas or burned at the stake?
A life lived to honor God because of the high value placed on Christ a heavy burden to follow
As our parents age, do we exhibit a high honor or value
Truth is that we live in a society that is quickly destroying the value of the aged, quickly destroying the role and position of motherhood
We reserve a status of “honor” for athletes, ones who are famous, powerful, rich
Honor may be given to one who achieves a great feat or does something out of the ordinary
But what about showing and giving honor to the one who listens to the call and responsibility of God day in and day out, a mother
I am not saying giving a card with sweet honoring words
I am talking about more than lip service / we give it lip service while we tear down the institution of motherhood methodically
This mindset is creeping into the church today faster than ever before
Jesus had something to say about this… Mark 7:6-13
And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far away from Me. ‘But in vain do they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’ “Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition. “For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother, is to be put to death’; but you say, ‘If a man says to his father or his mother, whatever I have that would help you is Corban (that is to say, given to God),’ you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or his mother; thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that.”
Oh the danger of spiritualizing why we should not give care, and showing honor (spiritualizing dishonor or disobedience)
BUT PASTOR YOU DON'T KNOW MY MOTHER...
No I do not, but I do know what God’s Word says… Honor your father and mother.
We cannot look at the sin of a parent to justify our disobedience!
We ask: “How can I honor my father when he drinks, does drugs, has anger, he abusive, or absent?” “How can I honor my mother when she is self-absorbed, bitter, caught up in her career, or a constant gossip?”
The excuses and examples could go on....
Maybe the question should be asked: “How can I be aware of the wrong in his or her life and still find a way to honor them?”
Be that shining example of what God has commanded… show her the value she has through the eyes of God for the position and role He has given her and give a TON of respect for her!
God just may use you to work in her heart...
Showing honor to our mothers. Typically we think of a soldier or something similar when we think Honor. I came across an article written yesterday by Greg Stube a Green Beret...
This may be in sharp contrast to what popular culture expects from a career Green Beret, but over and over in my life I’ve found that love and compassion are the basis for just action – this includes all that our Special Forces are tasked to do.This means, first and foremost, our actions must be predicated on what our mothers taught us, or should have, by loving and protecting us....
I attribute so much of this to a maternal nature that compels us to love, support and to protect – to what mothers provide. This is why I dedicated “Conquer Anything – A Green Beret’s Guide to Building Your A-Team" to mothers. The beauty in a mother’s love is that her fight to safeguard her child is a justified one. She won’t have to regret what she did, and she will certainly win the fight with whatever resources are available. A mother will tend to make decisions less in favor of herself and more in favor of us....
We are better and we even fight better when we are strong enough to love in any environment, just as our mothers, when at their best, show us.
Moms dads, the teaching of honor, obedience, respect begins when young… Proverbs 1:8 Proverbs 6:20 Proverbs 22:6
Hear, my son, your father’s instruction And do not forsake your mother’s teaching;
My son, observe the commandment of your father And do not forsake the teaching of your mother;
Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Moms do you realize how important you are in this?
There are two things going on here...
dads instruct, command
moms teach and teach and train
"The Hand That Rocks the Cradle Is the Hand That Rules the World" a poem by William Ross Wallace
Moms the next generation of those who define and understand honor is on you!
How will the children we raise, honor God who they cannot see, if we have not taught them to honor their parents who are there in front of them!?
In closing I want us to leave thinking on the words penned in Proverbs 31… Chapter 31 is written by King Lemuel and he is reflecting on and passing on for us words of wisdom his mother taught him… look how he closes this chapter as he remembers the type of woman Lemuel should look for and I have no doubt was demonstrated and taught by his own mother… Proverbs 31:25-31
Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future. She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her, saying: “Many daughters have done nobly, But you excel them all.” Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her the product of her hands, And let her works praise her in the gates.
Can I have all the women stand here today as I close in prayer I want to pray for you specifically.