President Theodore Roosevelt said, “When all is said and done, it is the mother, and the mother only, who is a better citizen even than the soldier who fights for his country. . . . [She] is the one supreme asset of national life; she is more important by far than the successful statesman or businessman or artist or scientist.”
Our first president, George Washington, said, “The greatest teacher I ever had was my mother.” President Abraham Lincoln said, “God bless my mother; all that I am or ever hope to be I owe to her.” And President Ronald Reagan said, “From my mother, I learned the value of prayer, how to have dreams and believe I could make them come true.”
This weekend, of course, we’re celebrating Mother’s Day. Think of all of the things we’ve learned from our mothers over the years.
For instance, our mothers taught us about anticipation when they said, “Just wait until your father gets home.” They taught us about logic when they said, “Because I said so, that’s why.” Our mothers taught us about prayer when they said, “You’d better pray this will come out of the carpet!” And they taught us about justice when they said, “One day you’ll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you so you’ll see what it’s like.”
Mothers play such a vital role in our society. They not only impact their children, but they also impact their grandchildren and maybe even their great-grandchildren.
And even if our mothers aren’t with us anymore, even if they’re already in Heaven, they still influence generations because of the truths they pass on.
The apostle Paul wrote to young Timothy about the impact of his grandmother and mother on Timothy’s life. Paul said, “I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you” (2 Timothy 1:5 NLT).
So Timothy’s faith started with his grandmother Lois, went to his mother, Eunice, and then to him. And Timothy passed that faith on, which shows us the importance of a godly heritage.
But maybe your parents didn’t pass on that godly heritage to you. Even though the Bible tells us to honor our fathers and mothers (see Exodus 20:12; Ephesians 6:2–3), we know that dads and moms are not always honorable people.
However, we should honor our parents, whether they deserve that honor or not. Most of them do. But even if they don’t, we should honor them and offer respect to them.
I know that Mother’s Day is a hard day for some people. Maybe your mother has died, and you miss her. Maybe your mom wasn’t a very good mom, so your relationship is strained. Maybe you’ve suffered the loss of a child, so Mother’s Day is painful for you. Or maybe you’re dealing with some other issues that make Mother’s Day difficult.
If you’re a mom, maybe you feel as though you aren’t doing your job as a mother all that well. Just remember that children are a work in progress. Just keep praying and never give up, because your impact is greater than you may realize.
As parents, we need God’s help, because we live in a culture that is largely hostile to the family. It certainly doesn’t support the role of the mother and father. In fact, in many ways our culture (and by that I mean music, movies, television, and other things) tends to undermine the role of parents.
Kids need their parents, but they don’t need their moms and dads to be their best friends. Rather, they need them to be parents.
Both of my boys knew that, when they lived under my roof, they lived by my rules. That included always showing respect to their mother and me. If they had a disagreement with us, that was fine. But they were not allowed to be disrespectful toward us.
I also reserved the right to go anywhere in my house that I wanted to, including my kids’ rooms. Someone might say, “That was their private space. Parents shouldn’t invade their kids’ private space.”
Well, I invaded any space I wanted to. Was I snooping? You’d better believe it. And if I happened to find something that was destructive to my sons, I would bring it to their attention so they didn’t go the wrong way. That’s part of my job as a parent.
Friends come and go, but parents are there for life. And parents have a very important purpose in the lives of their children.
Parents are to teach their children right and wrong, provide for them, and prepare them. Parents are to lay a foundation in their children’s lives. And a parent’s most important job is to lead his or her children to Jesus Christ.
I thank and honor godly mothers who have done their part to raise their children in the way of the Lord. What a blessing they are. What a treasure they are.
Proverbs 31 says of the godly woman, “Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: ‘There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!’ Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised” (verses 29–30 NLT).
Husbands, when is the last time you praised your wife in front of your kids? How about in front of complete strangers? It goes a long way.
So make sure you call your mother on Mother’s Day. Tell her that you love her. And honor her on this special day that has been set aside for her.