Summary: In the wake of my mother's death, I shared 4 of the most important things I believe my mother taught me for Mother's Day.
Things My Mother Taught Me
It’s Mother’s Day. More importantly, it’s Sunday - it’s the Lord’s day. I know pastors who don’t observe these special Sundays by Hallmark. They say they observe scripture, not Hallmark. And while I think there is a careful balance we need to take into account - we need to not be too quick to observe Hallmark celebrations over and above the CHURCH calendar. But we all know that one of the ten commandments is that we are to honor our mothers and our fathers. So I believe today, as we honor our mothers, we honor God by following at least ONE of his commandments.
So today is a day to honor our mothers, and that’s an important biblical principal. And I think you’ve heard me say this before, that we have twisted this tradition around, so that instead of honoring OUR mothers, we honor those who have HAD children. There’s a difference. See, one is about the other person - our mothers. The other one becomes all about ME - if I’ve had children. And I’m going to even be so bold as to say one is SERVANT oriented. One is selfish.
See, if we keep Mother’s Day in perspective, and honor OUR mothers, the ladies who have had children will be honored, but EVERYONE will be included in mother’s day. Too often it’s not that way. But, I’m almost 100% certain that everyone in here today HAS a mother. And you have a mother, you can honor, no matter what KIND of a mother you think they have been, you can make the choice to HONOR your mother. That’s why EVERYONE (or almost anyway) got a flower today. Because we’re ALL involved. Because it’s a day to honor OUR mothers.
That’s the first part of my introduction. Now shift gears just a little bit.
Most of you know that I am a Dr. Ben Witherington III groupie. I discovered his teaching and writing about a year ago and I have learned so much from him. Not the least of which is, a new perspective on grieving. Dr. Witherington’s daughter died very unexpectedly this past January at the age of 32. One of the things that really impressed me when he shared his grief with his readers. Even though I don’t know this man. I’ve never met him. I feel like I have walked with him through the grieving process from his initial thoughts about his daughter’s death to more recently the yard sale they had when he and his wife had to clear out their daughter’s apartment.
Now - most of you (I expect everyone here) knows that less than a month ago, my mother was ushered into eternity. And those of you who attend here, at Faith Bible, regularly, you know that this is my first message in the pulpit since my mother’s death.
Because of what I feel like I’ve learned from Dr. Witherington, and because of what scripture says about where his daughter, and my mother, are right now. I didn’t want to get up here today and preach a message that didn’t acknowledge in any way, the hope that I have which is in Christ Jesus.
Scripture says that we do not grieve as those who have no hope.
So today, in honor of MY mother, I want to share with you what I believe are the three MOST important things my mother taught me. Mother’s teach us A LOT, don’t they? Some things they teach us, they wish they hadn’t! But we watch our mom’s and quite often we imitate them. And when we grow up, and our mom’s see themselves in us, sometimes they’re shocked! I can’t tell you how many times in the last month I have heard someone tell ME, “You’re just like Mabel.” Or “Mabel will never be gone as long as you’re alive.”
Here are some things Mabel - my mom - taught me that likely weren’t the MOST important things.
1. Always wear clean underwear, in case you have an accident.
(When you have an accident, they cut it off anyway so what does it matter.)
2. Make your bed, company might drop in.
(Companies going to be in my bedroom??!!)
3. Rinse the dishes really well, soap will give you moths in your tummy.
(So why are you washing my mouth out with soap, Mom?)
4. Eat ALL the food on your plate - there are starving children in Africa.
And my favorite.
5. Did you wash behind your ears? I grew up thinking behind my ears was the most important part of my body!!
Mom’s teach us all kinds of things. Some good. Some not so good. Some just plain silly.
Of course, the most important thing mom, and dad, taught me - was the love of Jesus as my Savior.