“Jesus answered, “If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God.’”John 8:54 NKJV
What day is this Sunday? If your answer is Sunday or May 3rd, you would be right but don’t forget the most important detail…. MOTHER’S DAY!!!!!! Now I know for some, they would be groaning because they forgot or they don’t want to be reminded for personal reasons. I understand that. For me, Mother’s Day should be every day, but I also used it as an excuse to do whatever my mom said. I’m a bit of a momma’s girl. She’s my world.
You see, when I was little, like four or five, our mom started working when my dad was home from deployment. She worked late nights to be with us during the day. Our dad would put us to bed before going to get her from work. After he left, I would crawl out of bed and kneel at the window. Every time I saw headlights, I peeked behind our Teletubbies’ curtain (if you know what those things are, congrats) waiting to see if it was our car. When the car would finally pull into the driveway I wouldn’t run back to bed until I saw our mom get out of the car. Of course, she knew I was awake and would always come into my room to kiss my forehead before ordering me to go to sleep. My dad would chuckle as he said goodnight too. I would smile and nod, snuggling into the covers because mom was home and everything was perfect.
That habit continues even now. Whenever I take a road trip with my mom, I stay awake because she is awake driving. My mom still calls me early in the morning to tell me to go to sleep because it’s late in China. I love my mom and she is my world. She is perfect and beautiful and great. Most importantly, she taught me about God the all-consuming fire. She told me to love God, even more than I love her.
I was eleven when I wanted to get the Holy Spirit and invite God to live within me. But I was having a hard time. So, I went to my mom. I talked to her about it. How it felt like something was holding me back but I didn’t know what. Then my mom asked “Do you love me?”
“Do you love me more than God?”
“So, you love me enough to have God kill me?”
“WHAT? God, He, He would never do that?”
“But if you want to have a better relationship with Him, and I am standing in your way, He will remove me if need be.”
“God is an all-consuming fire. If you want to give yourself to Him, He wants all, not some.” As an 11-year-old, what my mom said didn’t make sense, at first. But that’s the amazing thing about God, He is willing to answer the hard questions. So, after I talked to my mom I prayed. I asked God, “Would you take away my mom if I loved her more than You? I don’t want to lose her.”
“And I don’t want you to lose yourself.” One thing to note, somehow, I knew it was God’s voice because I would feel it in my chest and it sounded like a quiet gentle version of my mother’s voice. Not everyone hears Him like this, but I did.
“What do you mean?”
“In the winter, a fire is needed to warm up those who are cold. If something is standing between you and the fire how will you ever get warm? How will I ever touch you or help you, if something is between us?”
“But I don’t want to stop loving my mom.”
“And I don’t want to stop you from loving your mom. I want you to honor her.”
“But I do honor her! I do everything she says and I listen! I even do most of my homework!”
“That is obedience not honor.”
“You obey your mom but do you honor her. Do you love her even when she does something wrong or when she makes you very mad? Like when she makes you study extra for spelling?” Note, I did not do my spelling homework at the time. I did it afterwards.
“Well, spelling sucks.”
“I know, but does your love for your mother beat your dislike for spelling?”
“You see, I know you love your mom, but so do I. I love her, and I love you. I want to warm both of you, and I want to teach you how to love her, even past spelling.”
“Do I still have to do it?”
“Yes, but I’ll be right there with you.” So, I took God’s hand. I let the fire that I always watched, within me. Having God inside of you is very different than just knowing He’s there and He exist. He feels more alive and apart of your life. He warmed the cold edges of my blunt words, He cauterized open wounds, burned away pride, sat with me and crackled gently as I studied spelling list after spelling list. He was always there, just like He said He would be.
God also did show me where I went wrong in honoring and loving my mom. She was my world, but I feared her overreactions. I was scared to get in trouble and I hated when she corrected me. I didn’t like other people calling her mom, because they weren’t her children, my sisters and I were. Now most people would say, this is normal and it’s fine as long as you don’t act on it. But that’s the thing with emotions, they can grow too. They can grow into ugly thorn filled vines that strangle you, or worse consume you.
When those feelings became too much, when I was willing to change, I gave them to God. He burned them away and lit a new perspective for me. Her overreactions were because she cared for me like a fire and didn’t know what else to do. When I was wrong, I had to own up to it and she loved me enough to help me get back on track. Other people needed her, other people didn’t have a mom at all, and keeping her locked away as my mom, was like locking her in a tower. But no matter what, she was still my mom if I treated her as such.
God taught me how to honor my mom. To treat her with honesty, fairness (free from bias and injustice), and integrity (the state of being whole) with all of her actions. He’s still teaching me actually. Because relationships grow and change, or at least they should be. It’s difficult, hard, but at the end of the day, my mom is still my world and God is still the fire in my heart. I’m not alone.
So, please, this Mother’s Day, honor your mother or that woman in your life that means the world to you. Honor her and love her despite all her faults, all her shortcomings, all those annoying things, love her. And if you can’t, then go to the fire that is willing to teach you how. Because He loves that woman, and He loves you.
Thank you, mothers.
Thank you, momma. You’re my world.
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”Ephesians 6:1-3 KJV