Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother

Mother’s Day is today in the US. Some countries and cultures have it on different dates, as they have different origins. In the US, Mother’s Day is sometimes disparaged as a “Hallmark Holiday” due to its commercialization. Anna Jarvis, the founder of Mother’s Day in the US, was so appalled by the commercialization that she ended up opposing her own holiday.1

God tells us in the Bible to honor both of our parents. God is pictured as Our Father, but the commandment is not just to honor your father.

Many, in particular skeptics, call the Bible sexist. As in most cases, that really depends upon how you define the word, though. Are women treated differently in the Bible than men? Yes. That’s because they are different. In spite of many attempts to unisex everything, the fact of the matter still is that men and women are very different.

These same people often overlook that Jesus treated the women who followed Him in much the same way He treated His male followers. That was highly unusual in that society. A woman, for example, was not considered a reliable witness in a courtroom of that day. However, the Bible records that women discovered the empty tomb first. In attitudes typical of that day, however, the male disciples didn’t believe them for the most part.

In Proverbs 31, we see the model woman. She has many virtues that sadly are lacking in many of today’s young women. That’s because previous generations have done a good job of jettisoning traditional values and roles that have worked for centuries. Not everything that was tossed out was good, of course, but it is self-defeating to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

However, even if your mother doesn’t meet the bar of the Proverbs 31 woman (and, arguably, are there any?), then are you to still respect her? Yes! Respect and honor are given because of position, and not always because the individual deserves it. Think of how David respected Saul because he was king and would not take his life because Saul held a position of the anointed of God in spite of Saul’s very corrupt character.

And, if you love your mother, then so much the more joy it can bring into both of your lives to do something special for her today. Of course, you should love and respect her every day, but it doesn’t hurt us humans to have reminders. If we didn’t need reminders for the important things, we wouldn’t have holy days.

So, I hope you do something for your mother today if she is still alive. After all, she might not be here tomorrow.

In memorium: Thelma M Carmack, 1936 – 2002


1. Mother’s Day. (n.d.). Wikipedia. Retrieved on 8 May 2010 from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother%27s_day#United_States.

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