His Wisdom for Her World

Daughters, Be Good to Your Mothers

By on May 10, 2012 in Relationships with 4 Comments

To say that I’m looking forward to this weekend would be an understatement.  I’m ecstatic. This Saturday the Meredith girls will be reunited.  Now that my sister and I have left the nest and live in separate states, reunions like these with mom are rare and cherished, and obviously make a second piece of cheesecake at lunch mandatory.  Does anyone know what I’m talking about?

So this Saturday we will don our most girly ensembles and catch up over chicken salad sandwiches and generous slices of chocolate cheesecake at our favorite restaurant.  My sweet little sister will be there with her new baby bump and have us in tears about all the new wonders of being a mommy-to-be.  I’ll share my most recent embarrassing story and have everyone laughing until we choke on our food.  And my precious momma will sit and listen with a smile on her face, and looking from daughter to daughter, whisper with tears in her eyes one of her most famous lines, “It’s good to have my girls home.”

While we are in different seasons of life, my sister and I are learning what it means to honor our mother as young adults.  Our relationship with our mother looks different than what it did in our growing-up years—as it should.  And if I may be honest, my relationship with my mother has not all been sugar and spice and everything nice.  And if I may confess, it most assuredly rests most often on the stubbornness of my own heart.  But my sister and I have both found that learning to honor our mother as young adults is important.  Why?

Finding a way to love and connect with your mother as an adult begins by honoring her.

But perhaps more importantly than that, honoring your mother brings glory to our great God!  Are you looking to find a way to love and connect with your mother, too?  Then, read on, sister friend.

Yes, we are commanded by Scripture to honor our mothers.  Whether your mother has passed away or is alive and well, or whether you are close to your mother or there is a strain in your relationship with her, Scripture calls us as daughters to honor our mothers.   Just look at some of the Scripture passages that speak on the subject:

  • Exodus 20:12: “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.
  • Exodus 21:17: “He who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.”
  • Leviticus 19:3: “Every one of you shall reverence his mother and his father…I am the LORD your God.”
  • Proverbs 1:8: “…do not forsake your mother’s teaching.”
  • Proverbs 23:22: “…Do not despise your mother when she is old.”
  • Matthew 15:4: “For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother is to be put to death.’”

Scripture is clear that we should honor our mothers. So what exactly does “honor” your mother mean?  Honor is simply an inward esteem or respect that is outwardly expressed in all occasions.  Honoring our mothers begins in our hearts and thoughts and overflows into our actions.

Honoring means that we love, cherish, respect, and show respect to the woman God has chosen to be our mother.  Such an attitude overflows into our actions as we desire to obey God in this commandment.

Why would God want us to honor our mothers?  First, honoring our mothers brings glory to our great God.  As we honor our mothers in obedience to God’s commands in Scripture, He is glorified.  Amen!  But there is a second reason.  Honoring our mothers is a living testimony to God’s work in our lives.  You might be thinking, “Melissa, I see that honoring my mother is commanded by Scripture, but you just don’t know my mom!”  Please hear me and know that what I am about to say is spoken in love and with deep sincerity as your sister in Christ.  Beloved, honoring your mother doesn’t mean you allow abuse or do not confront difficulty.  Honoring your mother simply means giving up trying to change her and start loving her as the woman she was created to be.  For many, this will be a hard and challenging process.  But you have been made a promise, sweet sister, that you are not alone.  God goes before you, strengthening you for the task, burdening your heart with obedience, all the while reminding you of His abiding sovereignty.

I’m sure if we are honest with one another, at some point in our relationship with our mothers we have been hurt.  There have been imperfect connections that have made us struggle to love and cherish and honor her.  There may have been unmet needs, unfulfilled expectations, or unrealized dreams.  Does this mean we can just accept the current state of our relationships with our mothers and give up trying?  No, it does not.  While it may seem like a daunting task, building and keeping a rewarding and God-honoring-relationship with your mother takes a willing and obedient heart and time spent on your knees in prayer before the Lord.  I stand before you, sweet sisters, and say you can, with the Lord’s help, experience a sweet, sweet connection with your mother.  Won’t you try?  It’s worth it.  And may I offer comfort to those whose mothers have passed away or for those of you whose mothers have no desire for connection?

Honoring your mother is more about the attitude of your heart than hers.

So practically speaking how do we honor our mothers?  Let’s turn to Scripture for the answer.

  1. Obedience while under her authority (Eph 6:1; Col 3:20)
  2. Willing to receive her training with humility (Titus 2:4-5)
  3. Dependence upon her wisdom and godly counsel (Prov 6:20-23).
  4. Encouragement and thankfulness for her godly example (Prov 31:28-31)
  5. Thankfulness for her sacrifice (Prov 31:28-31)
  6. Dedication to serving her and meeting her practical needs (I Tim 5:4).
  7. Pursuit of a God-honoring lifestyle that brings her honor and joy (Prov 10:1; 15:20; 23:24-25)

Still struggling to apply God’s instruction of honoring our mothers?  May these questions provide a heart check for you and offer conversation starters between you and your mother.

*What do you want and expect from your mother-daughter relationship?

*Have you ever thought to ask God to change your perspective, to help you see your mother through His eyes?

*Are boundaries a problem for you?  If so, prayerfully approach your mother.

*Love and honor go hand in hand.  Prayerfully read over I Corinthians 13:4-8.

Sweet sisters, God has commanded that we honor our mothers. Won’t you begin praying today and ask God how you can apply his instruction to your relationship with your mother? Finding ways to honor and build a sweet, lasting bond with your mother begins with honoring her.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some packing to do; I have a reunion I’m looking forward to!

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About the Author

About the Author: Raised on Southern sweet tea and craft shows, Melissa is a native Oklahoman who now calls Texas home. She graduated from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2013 with a Master of Divinity with a concentration in Women’s Studies. She has served on staff as a Women’s Minister, and now serves as the Director of the Horner Homemaking House on the campus of Southwestern Seminary. Her life calling is to write, mentor, and equip women to savor, and share, the hospitality of the Lord in their hearts and homes. She believes that a life-giving home is a place of belonging and becoming. Melissa loves teaching God’s Word to women, gathering her family and friends, celebrating with pie, and sharing life on front porches.

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  1. Jaclyn says:

    Hi Melissa! Thank you so much for posting this.

    I””””ve not run across many (if any) Biblical teachings to help with this so very precious and crucial relationship. If, when our relationships with our Moms are in trouble, we don””””t intentionally look for God””””s direction with our Moms, then I think we””””ll do exactly as you state we SHOULDN””””T do: “accept the current state of our relationships with our mothers and give up trying.” The Gospel frees us up to so much more in terms of beautiful, God-pleasing relationship.

    Thanks again, and please keep proclaiming God””””s truth so accurately and winsomely!

  2. Chase says:

    Thank you for this very insightful article.

  3. Lucy says:

    thanks a lot for this post. really helpful. its exactly what i needed. God bless you.

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