Honor Your Mother and Father

A Biblical view of women is very different from the views found today in Middle Eastern and Mohammedan cultures. They often occupy leading public positions (Exodus 15:19-21; Judges 4:4-5). Scripture doesn't just say, "Honor your Father". It says, "Honor your Father and Mother." We will also take the time and value God’s word and honor our mothers in a way that glorifies our God.

The love of children was deeply embedded in the heart of Hebrew women and motherhood was highly respected. In this week's message, we look a bit closer to see how women and mothers are highly valued and used greatly by God. We will also devote time ministering to women who have hurts related to motherhood. Ladies, we also understand there are many forms of motherhood and we recognize you.

 

Passage(s): 
Matthew 15:4-6

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This week, we are honoring mothers — each received a carnation and a card. And the church donated to Aggies Arts so they can buy chickens for mothers in Uganda.

 
Want to speak a special message to mothers—not only those who are biological mothers, but also those who are spiritual mothers, and those who will be mothers in the future.
 
Mark 12:41-44
 41* ¶ And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums.
 42* And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny.
 43* And he called his disciples to him and said to them, "Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box.
 44* For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on."
 
Some of the people, knowing that Jesus was there, would bring a lot of coins—as much as they can—to make as much noise as possible when they put it in the offering box. So they can be thought of as spiritual. They were more about the attention than about the spirit of giving.
Then a widow puts in 2 copper coins. He notices. He calls his disciples. They wonder “What’s so significant about this?” A woman—a widow—putting in less than a penny.
She may not put in as much as others, but she gave all she had. So what she was doing was showing true devotion. This scene is a common, nearly insignificant occurrence. It’s extraordinary that he brings up such an ordinary event.
She is showing true devotion. And that’s what I think of when I think of motherhood. To have a heart of motherhood, you have to give all you have. It’s a lifelong sacrifice. And it’s so easy because it’s so common—all of us have a connection to a mother—that we can think of it as insignificant.
 
In the same way, motherhood is "ordinary". But the reality is that motherhood epitomizes true devotion.
Romans 12:1-2, Php 2:1-5 both exemplify true sacrifice.
As I think about my own mother and about my wife… And when she’s tired and hungry. When we’re sick she cares for us. And when she’s sick too, she still cares for us.
Many times we can see the big picture, but mothers can see the minute details.
For us to just say “thank you” on Mothers’ Day is too little. We need to pause and recognize true devotion.
 
What constitutes being a true mother? There are many women who have the heart of a mother, even if they’ve never given birth.
 
Consider Hannah in 1 Sam 1:7-20,26-28
 
 7 So it went on year by year. As often as she went up to the house of the LORD, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat.
 8 And Elkanah, her husband, said to her, "Hannah, why do you weep? And why do you not eat? And why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?"
 9 ¶ After they had eaten and drunk in Shiloh, Hannah rose. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the LORD.
 10 She was deeply distressed and prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly.
 11 And she vowed a vow and said, "O LORD of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head."
 12 As she continued praying before the LORD, Eli observed her mouth.
 13 Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli took her to be a drunken woman.
 14 And Eli said to her, "How long will you go on being drunk? Put away your wine from you."
 15 But Hannah answered, "No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the LORD.
 16 Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation."
 17 Then Eli answered, "Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him."
 18 And she said, "Let your servant find favor in your eyes."Then the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.
 19 ¶ They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD; then they went back to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her.
 20 And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, "I have asked for him from the LORD."
 26 And she said, "Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the LORD.
 27 For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition that I made to him.
 28 Therefore I have lent him to the LORD. As long as he lives, he is lent to the LORD."And he worshiped the LORD there.
 
Here’s what’s happening: Hannah is barren and wept because she had no child. Elkanah tries to comfort her, “Am I not enough for you?” Because she had a mother’s heart, she grieved.
In worship, she prayed fervently and silently.
In time, God gave her a son. And, up to 12 years of mothering until weaning. When Samuel was 12, that’s when Hannah took Sam to the temple.
 
It’s not just about her needs. Not about the requirement to mother. She wants to present a child, a young man to the Lord. And to honor His name, she presents her Son.
 
Exodus 2:1-10
 2:1 ¶ Now a man from the house of Levi went and took as his wife a Levite woman.
 2 The woman conceived and bore a son, and when she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him three months.
[because Pharaoh ordered all the boy children to be put to death… The midwives said the women were to fast. So then Pharaoh said, “You can throw any Hebrew babies into the river.”]
 3 When she could hide him no longer, she took for him a basket made of bulrushes and daubed it with bitumen and pitch. She put the child in it and placed it among the reeds by the river bank.
[Motherhood kicked in. She hid her son even though it could cost her her life.]
 4 And his sister stood at a distance to know what would be done to him.
 5 ¶ Now the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her young women walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her servant woman, and she took it.
 6 When she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby was crying. She took pity on him and said, "This is one of the Hebrews’ children."
 7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, "Shall I go and call you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?"
 8 And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, "Go."So the girl went and called the child’s mother.
[Pharaoh’s daughter knows what’s going on. She had to know that it was the woman’s own child. And Moses’s mother knew that Pharaoh’s daughter would call Moses her own child.]
 9 And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, "Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages."So the woman took the child and nursed him.
 10 When the child grew up, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, "Because,"she said, "I drew him out of the water."
 
So, considering Hannah and Moses’s mother—we know that God cares for your hearts. He sees. If you have the heart of a mother, I’ll give you a child you can care for in motherhood.
 
Being a mother is like being on a life-long rollercoaster. A lot of highs, lows, twists, turns. “Am I going to survive this??”
On a real roller coaster, at some point it ends. But on this roller coaster, it doesn’t end until you die.
Becoming a mother opens you up to unique pain and struggle.
 
There’s the pain of barrenness. There’s the pain of struggle. Of seeing the highs and lows in the lives of our children.
 
Barrenness —
 
Elizabeth (Luke 1:5-7).
And God gave her a child.
 
Sarah (Gen 17:15-21). God promised Abraham a son. And renames Sarai to Sarah.
 
God can bring opportunity to you to mother, even if you’re currently barren.
 
Before my wife and I married, even before we started dating, I imagined one day having a daughter and already had an amazing name. And Heather had a name, too. We talked and we both had the same name: Charissma.
 
And in time, we marry, and God calls us to Uganda. And Heather’s ready to start a family, but I am not so I say no. And, being spiritual as I am [Heather bursts out laughing], I prayed and fasted 4-5 days for the ministry in Uganda. And the only thing He told me—and I blame my wife—is that it’s time to start having children.
 
Not Charissma. A son: Baraka. Later a second child! Not Charissma, Judah. And there were lots of complications with him because of RH factors. Yet, God told us we’re going to have a Charissma, so let’s try one more time. Josiah. No Charissma.
 
Doctor said we have to deliver this child early. Lots of blood issues. He needed a complete blood transfusion. "This is very serious. You guys cannot have any more children."
 
But God, you promised Charissma! That promise of nurturing a daughter had to come another way.
 
We had told Josiah this story when he was young. And so he would say at Christmas that what he wants is a baby sister.
 
Later, Heather was in a car accident. I got a call: the bad news is your wife was in a car accident. The good news is you have a daughter. I’m not a rocket scientist, but I know babies don’t come from car accidents!
 
But a family in crisis was willing to give us a daughter. And so now we have Charissma. You need to be willing to let God do what He wants to do.
 
Choosing to have a mother’s heart epitomizes the foundational call of being a mother. Self-sacrificing. Loving unconditionally. Esteeming others higher than self.
 
Another aspect of motherhood. There’s something else that comes from being a mother: the pangs of mother hood.
 
pang = sharp, immediate, unexpected, extreme pain. It *will* happen. Somehow. Sometimes the worst thing could happen. You could lose that child. It’s sharp. Immediate. Seems to never cease.
 
Having your heart broken as you see your child make harmful/destructive choices. Or when your child is sick. Or in deep inconsolable depression.
You may face concern over the possibility of God allowing them to experience unjust harm coming to them through someone/something else. Fear of seeing a child harden their heart to you and turn their back on you, their mother. These are examples of the pangs you can experience.
 
In the Bible, Naomi had two sons. Her husband died. Sons died. Ruth says to her, “Where you go I go.”
 
Then Naomi helps Ruth as she moves back to Bethlehem. Get closer to Boaz. And she gives specific instructions. Long story short, Boaz has so much compassion. And though there was a redeemer who didn’t want her, Boaz was there.
 
When you have a need to mother, God can fill that void.
 
There is a redeemer. You can trust Him.
 
In Luke, Jesus watched the widow put in her mites. That word mite has come to mean “small things”.
 
A true mother hopes all things, believes in the possibilities.
 
In the OT, Rebekah-when she had Jacob and Esau.
 
The promises helped Jacob to keep going because of the mite of his mother.
 
Mothers, we honor you today. Because of your ability to see the value of small things. Because being a mother means being a living sacrifice. You’re open to the pangs of being a mother. You recognize possibility in your children. When others don’t believe in us, you do.
 
As we honor Jesus, we honor you.
 
Ladies, mothers,… if you have heart to be a mother, please stand right now. I want to pray for you. We honor you. We thank God for you. We thank God for each of you who has a heart to mother and nurture. Lord I know you can bring provision. Bring them your peace and joy.
For women who may have lost—that pain never truly goes away. They’re still mothers. I pray for your great care and comfort and meet them where they are.
For those seeing their children turn away or suffer harm—painful situation in their children. Bring them peace. Give them discernment. Break the hearts of the children and turn them back to you.
For those raising children now, feeling weary, even confused. Give them strength. Refresh them. Pray that we as husbands and children would speak blessing and words of encouragement to them.
 
God I pray your blessing for each mother in Jesus name.
 
As we sing this last song, let’s all stand. Please respond as God leads.