“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.” Deuteronomy 5:16
Mother’s day is such a special holiday, not because I am a mother, but because I have one.
My story began with adoption at birth and I celebrate the beautiful woman who chose to take me in and love me as her own. As a child I thought honor just meant doing what you were told and following the rules. Now that I am an adult and live 2,000 miles away from my mother, I no longer have Mother’s rules to obey. Even though there is a place for obedience, it’s not everything. There’s honor.
Now honor looks a lot different from simply obeying the rules and the ones who enforce them.
Although my mother and I don’t always see eye-to-eye, honoring her is still possible. You see, honor is more about valuing who she is and remaining thankful for all that she has done for me. Honor has to do with perspective. So I ask Jesus His perspective of Her and seek to see her as God designed her. For us, honor is about continuing to share my life with her and be invested in hers even though distance separates us. Sometimes honoring her comes with a simple phone call to say, “I love you.”
On Mother’s Day, I also honor my birth mother – value the woman who chose life for me – because she loved me enough to give me a chance for a good life. This has always been bittersweet for me. As a child I was so upset because I longed to know her even though my life with my adopted mother was good. I’ve never met my birth mother, but I still feel honoring her is important – mostly through prayer – thanking God for her and praying God’s blessing over her life.
The great thing about mothers is that we can have spiritual mothers, too. God can send women into our lives who pour love and encouragement into us like a real mother. It has been a privilege to have several of these special women in my life.
Ephesians 6 tells us that honoring our parents is the first commandment with a promise attached; that if we honor them, things will go well for us and we will enjoy a long life on the earth. The relationships we have with our parents can affect all of our other relationships, even our relationship with God.
When we are walking in honor, our relationships flourish. There is opportunity to give and receive blessing from each other. It’s safe to grow and learn together. It’s okay to be vulnerable and allow forgiveness to freely flow. As Mother’s Day approaches, whatever your relationship is with your mother, be encouraged to think of how you can honor her. Look at the people in your life who have been like a mother and honor them as well.
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