Exodus 20:12 Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
Honor your mother…
I hadn’t. Honor? Heck, I had little respect for my mother and showed that regularly. Those were my teen, rebellious years. Much later in life, my mother acted as though my poor behavior toward her never happened. Bless her rugged soul.
I had never been a child that hugged, kissed, or said loving things. Why? I don’t really know. I enjoyed my childhood, for the most part. My teen years led me into situations Mom wouldn’t have wanted for me, but I was determined and she was busy, busy being mother for all my siblings.
I Was Mad At My Mother For Her Struggles
Just as my life stepped out to explore the dangers of the world, my mother’s fell apart. When I pushed the limits, they shattered, because she wasn’t strong enough in her own world to keep mine contained. Hers turned upside down, and I was mad at her for it. The security around me, the home life I’d always known, in a heartbeat was dust.
As a self-centered teenager, I couldn’t see through her eyes and I opted to walk away, rather than to help. It wasn’t until later that I had a revelation. Though it was small, it was enough to transform my anger. She was a person. I know that sounds simple and maybe cold but it was important to understand. She was not just a mother, she was a person. She was not just another divorcee struggling with her new identity, she was a person.
Mothers Are People Too
We all are trying to make it in this difficult world and nobody gets through it unscathed. Those we erroneously put on a pedestal have struggles as well. They are people, human beings with experiences, pain, achievements, and difficult decisions. They are people, just like you and me.
My mother just passed away a couple weeks ago. Though she was a young 76 years old, I was fortunate to have been reconciled for most of my adult life with her. Though her faith shone through magnificently at times, much of her life seemed to be a struggle. I’d judged her, harshly, and often wrestled with God over her behavior.
Only God Knows Why
“But God knew I’d do that,” was often her response lately when I’d point out how she could’ve been more joyful in life. And you know what? She was right. Her statement was not a cop out, it was a fact. God did know, and though she never understood why He allowed her to have such a difficult time while here on earth, He certainly was evident in her.
I understand better, though a tad bit late, to not judge another, even when we think we know them intimately. God is the only One Who knows what someone has been through and why they respond as they do.
To Honor Thy Mother
Honor thy mother? I get that now. And to remember her praising the Lord in the midst of the misery of what she endured, I hope to carry her legacy forward and show the same in the times my life may seem challenged.
Happy Mother’s Day to those who have gone before us. For us children wishing we had another moment to express our love and just one more Happy Mother’s Day face to face… breathe. She is there, in your cells, in your heart, and in your legacy. Those mother’s no longer with us in body are certainly present in spirit.
Check out some great parenting advice in Co-Parenting with God.