Daughters, Be Good to Your Mothers

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!

7 thoughts on “Daughters, Be Good to Your Mothers”

  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.

  4. Carol Bojarski says:

    I am a mom reading this because I am hurting and missing my daughter. After my stroke I asked my daughter and her husband to move in with me. It took 2 years buts I recovered most of my mental and all of my physical deficits. During this time I have allowed her husband to be disrespectful to me because I wanted to keep peace. A little history I am a neat freak and also like cleanliness. My son in law is a hoarder and comes by it honestly from his mom. When he was a teenager he was a friend of my daughter and because of stuff occupying his bed and not really a place for him to sleep he would sleep at random houses. He never had to check in. I made a place for him in my home even when he went to college. His home situation didn’t change much and he would spend his home from school at my house. One night at 2am my husband and I heard the garage door open and initially frightened went down to find son in law and his fraternity brothers needed a place to spend the night. Because of clutter and dirt he brought them to the only place that ever made room for him. After
    8years and in that time mowed the grass 15 times and painted the porch railing once. That was his contribution to maintaining my home. He would snicker when I asked that he clean up after himself. He spent all of his days off in pj’s watching cartoons,playing video games and reading comic books. He started to bring home other discards and I asked to get rid of it and my daughter said it is only stuff and he is not going to get rid of it. Words escalated and I do not understand her defending his childlike behavior. I would say and most people think he is at a12 yo level. I want the respect from her that I deserve. I know that asking them to change their behavior is difficult because I let it go on. I asked them to move out with the support of counselor,therapist and my doctor. I am the worst person but I will deal with that. I reached out to daughter but she obviously needs to go to therapy. When she does I will then go to counseling together. Honoring your mother and father is not high on her priority list. Please everyone pray for her. I am 67 and do not want to be emotionally mistreated anymore. I finally realize that God does not want any of his children to be mistreated and I am part of that.

  5. Jeanne M Heyer says:

    No you do not deserve to be mistreated. Respect and honor… My mother and i are not compatible anymore , our issues are ours . For another time.
    Its taken me 49 years to realize that this entire time I have spent seeking her approval and trusting that her word was law,(REALLY) I. would get so angry with her when I didnt get the approval I was seeking. I would take it out on myself and use drugs and selfish displays of bitter vengeance. I made her and everyone around me pay for the lack of Love and attention I thought I deserved. A brat. I finally woke up to what she and what god wanted for me and expected feom me . (Independence) .
    I came so very close to loosing my mother about 3 years ago. I am one of 8 children now. I have a tin brother . Out of all of us No one else except my twin and myself stopped everything even though I had a life and school and an addiction I was trying so desperate ly to kick.
    Alll of a sudden it kicked in . God said to me clear as a bell. Honor thy mother. I never batted an eyelash. Instinct took over and between my dad my brother and myself it took the better part of a year to teach her to eat and bathe and take care of herself again. By the grace of god. She is back.
    I dont waist my time anymore lookng for approval. I just do the best I can and live my life as what the bible tells us. Thats honoring her. We are much happier now. I thank god everyday for allowing me to still have her in my life and for showing me what honor means to me and how precious life is .Not to take it forgranted. You only get ONE MOMMY dont waist what time you have but always try and find common ground and keep the respect between you both going forth. Learn from eachother and let the lord teach you how to deal with life through his word.

  6. Amy says:

    I need prayers for my relationship with my oldest daughter. After my divorce eight years ago and me being sick with fibromyalgia, she has treated me so unfair and so disrespectful. She turned into a very mean person. It breaks my heart that she is doing this. I keep telling myself that we are living in the end times and maybe that is it. I keep trying to fix things because I love you and the grandkids. It goes good for a short time and then she is back to being mean and hateful. She is influenced by many . She is 30 years old now. Any help would be appreciated, I keep trying to build the relationship with her.