“WHAT MOTHERS DESERVE”
Proverbs 1:8-9 “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.”
This is a general exhortation to receive the instructions, and submit to the authority of your parents. And not only hearken to thy father when he teaches you; but these verses are telling us to let our mother’s commands be a law unto us. One of the great steps to wisdom is to give great reverence to your parents, both natural and spiritual; especially reverence to your mother. God gives us special direction to observe and do what our mothers tell us to do as if it is a law we must follow. God, in His Word, takes special care to promote a just reverence to mothers and what they have to tell us about life and living in general.
Verse nine is telling us, if we heed to the good things our mothers teach us and observe them as if it is the law, that it will metaphorically be “an ornament of grace” on display for the world to see. Those around you can tell if you are respectful and obedient to your mother or if you are not. It will show in your countenance, in your conduct or in some other way in your life negatively, if you are forsaking the instruction of your mother.
INTRODUCTION: The modern holiday of Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother at St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. Her campaign to make “Mother’s Day” a recognized holiday in the United States began in 1905, the year her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died. Ann Jarvis had been a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War. Anna Jarvis wanted to honor her mother by continuing the work she started and to set aside a day to honor all mothers because she believed that they were “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world”.
In 1908, the US Congress rejected a proposal to make Mother’s Day an official holiday, but by 1911 all US states observed the holiday, the first being West Virginia, Jarvis’ home state, in 1910. In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother’s Day, held on the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers.
On May 8, 1914, the United States Senate and House of Representatives passed a joint resolution establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. The next day, May 9, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation, an excerpt of which is below:
“Now, Therefore, I, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the said Joint Resolution, do hereby direct the government officials to display the United States flag on all government buildings and do invite the people of the United States to display the flag at their homes or other suitable places on the second Sunday in May as a public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.”
Billy Sunday speaking on the love mothers have for their children said this “A Mothers love is unselfish, and has no limits this side of heaven.”
ON MOTHERS DAY WE SHOULD REFLECT ON WHAT OUR MOTHERS DESERVE:
OUR MOTHERS DESERVE OUR OBEDIENCE (Ephesians 6:1 – Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. & Colossians 3:20 – Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.)
OUR MOTHERS DESERVE OUR RESPECT (Ephesians 6:2-3 – Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. & Exodus 20:12 – Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.)
An old Chinese proverb says “Respect for one’s parents is the highest duty of civil life.”
OUR MOTHERS DESERVE OUR AFFECTION (I Kings 19:20 – And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee. And he said unto him, Go back again: for what have I done to thee?) – Elisha here in this verse demonstrates the kind of affection that is due our parents.
OUR MOTHERS DESERVE TO HAVE CHILDREN WHO ARE INCREASING IN WISDOM (Proverbs 10:1 – A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother. & Proverbs 17:25 – A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him.) – We have an obligation to our parents to strive to increase in wisdom throughout our lives and in our decisions we make.
OUR MOTHERS DESERVE RIGHTEOUSNESS DEMONSTRATED IN OUR LIFE (Proverbs 23:24-25 – The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him. Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.) – More important than any other achievement we could do in our life for our mothers is the achievement of a righteous character in our life.
“There is no greater joy a parent can have than to see his son take virtuous courses.–Let not thy father and mother then want this singular pleasure; but by thy well-doing fill the heart of her that bare thee with joy and triumph, who, for all the pains and care that she hath had in thy birth, and about thy education, desires no other requital but only this.” – Bishop Simon Patrick (1626 – 1727)
OUR MOTHERS DESERVE OUR CARE AND CONCERN FOR THEM (I Timothy 5:4,8 & 16 – But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.) – Our parents, especially widows, deserve our care and concern.
IN CONCLUSION: God gives us special direction to observe and do what our mothers tell us to do as if it is a law we must follow. God in His Word takes special care to promote a just reverence to mothers and what they have to tell us about life and living in general. We are to obey our parents “in the Lord”; we are to obey them because God has told us to, because authority was established by the Lord. Why not be affectionate to our mothers? They have given so much for us, they have sacrificed so much for us, and can we at least in return demonstrate our thankfulness to them by showing outward affection to them? Everyone has a need for the gospel in their life. Your salvation, by faith in Jesus Christ, will be a great source of joy for a Christian mother. Knowing their children are on their way to heaven is the best knowledge a mother can have. We need to make sure of our salvation and of our mothers salvation too. (III John 1:4 – I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.)
We may choose to give our mothers flowers, cards or gifts on Mother’s Day; but we need to keep in mind that all the other days throughout the year she deserves something from us to, our mothers, year round, deserve our:
Are we practicing all these things that our mothers deserve from us all the days throughout the year or do we just act a little extra nice to her on Mother’s Day?