I wanted to write a motherhood and apple-pie piece, or perhaps the Australian version, a Mother’s Day and Vegemite spotlight. We have so much to be thankful for in relation to our mothers, and so much to thank God for, for those women who fill the void as spiritual mothers too. I have been so blessed by older women in Christ; and I know many others have also.
But poring through the Proverbs, I found this verse, that really scared me and made me think we must hear something with a bit of bite. “There is a generation that curses its father and does not bless its mother.” (Proverbs 30:11) Is that our generation? (2 Timothy 3:1-2)
Proverbs is written as advice to a young man, about the decisions he must follow, how he will walk in the way of the Lord. Mothers are first introduced as those who give instruction (torah) to their children, forming their moral compasses and habits. Young adults making their own way in the world, must never forget what he was taught. “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction, and don’t reject your mother’s teaching, for they will be a garland of grace on your head and a gold chain around your neck.” (Proverbs 1:8-9, see also 4:3; 6:20)
Later in the book come verses that warn us strongly about disposing of our parents, or treating them as commodities:
- “The one who assaults his father and evicts his mother is a disgraceful and shameful son.” (Proverbs 19:26)
- Listen to your father who gave you life, and don’t despise your mother when she is old. (Proverbs 23:22)
- “The one who robs his father or mother and says, “That’s no sin,” is a companion to a man who destroys.” (Proverbs 28:24)
Perhaps the greatest call for those who have mother’s still alive is this.
“Let your father and mother have joy, and let her who gave birth to you rejoice.” (Proverbs 23:25)
This will be how we treat them on mother’s day, but in a far deeper way, will be a reflection of how we live, treat them and honour them in everything, even if they don’t understand our Christian faith.