Summary: Why we should honor our mothers on Mother’s Day


SCRIPTURE READING: Deuteronomy 5: 16

GOSPEL READING: Matthew 15: 21 - 2 8

"Should Mothers Be Honored?"

Deuteronomy 5:16

16 "Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you.

Today is Mothers Day. It’s a special day that was set aside in 1914 by presidential decree to pay homage to our mothers. But should mothers be honored? Of course the fifth commandment tells us that we should, but what have mothers done that is so special that we should have a national day of honor for them?

When I studied philosophy and logic at the University of Puget sound I learned that before entering a study or examination of any subject you should first define, your terms. I have always felt that a good rule to follow; therefore, before we discuss whether or not mothers are worthy of honor, we must define what is a mother.

Some will tell you that any female that gives birth to child is a mother. Is that true? The Holman Bible Dictionary defines a mother as: a female parent who carries, gives birth to, and cares for a child. Please note that it says, "and cares for." I have my own definition that is based on what I have seen. My definition is "A mother is that female that gives birth to, cares for, loves, and teaches good moral concepts to a Child. She also sets aside her own desires for the benefit of that child."

Many women have given birth to children only to immediately push the child to the side as something that gets in the way of their doing their own thing. Those women do not live up to the definition. They are not mothers.

True mothers on the other hand are the women who give birth to a child and provide a home, food, love, and moral example. They are there for the child in times of sickness, loneliness, trouble at school or with friends, and during good times too. They laugh with their children and they cry with their children. There are also those women who did not give birth to the child, but nonetheless provided all of these things. I think we could all easily name a few of those women. They might be grandmothers, aunts or even strangers who adopt.

Now let’s take a look at some things the mothers we know about have done.

I’m going, to start with my own mother because I have personal knowledge about her. My memory goes back a long way. I remember momma in the 1930’s sitting late at night after the rest of the family had gone to bed., She had a basket full of her family’s worn socks in her lap. She had a tool called a darning ball, and she had special needles called darning needles. She would put the darning ball inside a sock at the place where the hole was. Then she used the darning needles and thread that matched the material in the sock to weave a patch over the hole. When she finished you had a hard time telling there had been a hole there.

I remember laundry days. Momma would put pails of water on the wood burning kitchen stove. When the water was, hot she poured it into big round mettle tubs on a bench. Then she stood a scrub board -this was a piece of corrugated metal mounted in a wood frame-she stood the scrub board in the tub, took a piece of dirty laundry in one hand and a bar of lye soap in the other, dipped the laundry in the hot water, rubbed it with the soap, and then scrubbed it up and down on the scrub board until it was clean. After that the laundry was dipped up and down in the other tub of water to rinse it. When all that was finished she took it outside and hung it on the clothes lines. Those were rope strung between two poles. The laundry hung there until it was air dried.

This was an all day job, except for time outs to fix meals for her family. And the next day would be ironing day -another all day project when the irons were heated on the stove.

I think it was around the time I was five years old that life got easier for momma. She got a washing machine.

Laundry was a two day a week project; darning socks was an every night job, and then there was all the other things that had to be done like house cleaning, caring for the garden in the summer, and helping her children with school work. Truth is, I have very few memories of my mother enjoying some leisure time until the late 1940s.

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