With All Due Respect – Honoring Our Mothers (May)

by Lolly Hale

As we approach Mother’s Day, we want to encourage you to honor your dear mothers this month – and all year long – through God-honoring respect. Lolly is a young wife and mother who shared this excellent exhortation to us – thank you so much Lolly! ~KBR Ministries

We as girls like to dream, don’t we? Somehow dreaming enables us to escape reality… perhaps without us even knowing it. Even if we’re not dreaming about a “forbidden” subject, we like to dream about what the Lord may have in store for our future, because it gives us an escape from the reality of who we are right now, and aides us in believing a truth about ourselves that perhaps is not true at all. Dreaming about the future of becoming a wonderful wife and mother is exciting. After all, it’s one of our physical and spiritual goals! However, now as I find myself as young mother, my view has changed twofold on the topic of motherhood: first, my view has changed on what it takes to be a good mother, and second my view has changed on how much respect is due to good mothers.

Six short years ago, I was twenty-two years old, with marriage less than three months distant, and motherhood soon to follow. Little did I know, that in less than five years I would be the mother to four sons! Somehow that kind of reality seemed so far away… But I knew that when children did come, I wouldn’t have too much to worry about. Growing up with eight siblings, and me being the second oldest, I had many opportunities to be a big sister, and practice being a mother someday. When I was pregnant with our first son, I distinctly remember laughing with my husband about becoming parents. I couldn’t help commenting, “It should be pretty easy being parents, seeing that we both have had so many siblings to practice on.” I think maybe God chuckled when I said that too. Little did I know what it truly would take for me to be a good mother, because only a mother knows. After baring two children before my third anniversary, I realized I needed some counsel. In desperately trying to find answers to my mothering questions, I went to the best mother I knew –my mom! After all, I knew that she had done a good job with her little ones. What she said to me took me by surprise: “Honey, being a mom is the most unselfish thing you’ll ever do.” I didn’t know what she meant then, but I do now.

“Honey, being a mom is the
most unselfish thing you’ll ever do.”
I didn’t know what she meant then, but I do now.

Did you ever think about your mom being a young mother? Think about it. Your mother – a young girl like yourself, with lots of hopes and dreams about being a good wife and having a little flock of sweet children who all matched, had clean faces, and were always smiling. Picture one of those little children as yourself. Your mommy had an expectation that she would be a good mommy. She would never yell at her kids, never be disorganized about her housekeeping, and by all means, never get behind on her photo albums! Her children would never be disrespectful, never run away in the store, and (hopefully) would never have runny noses! Your mother had hopes, and she had dreams… but the stark reality of life was that runny noses and naughty children both come in the beautiful package of motherhood. Your mother probably was a little disappointed when she wasn’t able to keep up quite like she thought she would.

Perhaps we as girls, sometimes have misconceptions how our moms are doing in the role of motherhood, because we never saw them in that position when they were young. We don’t remember all the nights that our mommies crawled out of bed to console our fears from bad dreams. We don’t remember all the times she took us to the park, or sang to us at night, or played with us on the floor. Your mom lived through many hilarious and humorous scenarios with you, as well as many mundane ones, like peanut butter and jelly faces, muddy boots on the rug, and her freshly-made cake just butchered by a butter knife. There were probably times in your mom’s early years that she felt a little desperate, trying to raise you right, yet falling so short of her own expectations of herself.

Think about your mom. She’s done a lot. I know, because I’m a mother of only five short years, and I’ve feel like I’ve done a lot… and I’m just beginning! The fact of the matter is, you may see many things about your mom that leave much to be desired, but have you ever taken the time to stop dreaming about what a wonderful mother you will be, long enough to ponder all your own mother has done for you? She’s a real person, just like you. She has spiritual expectations for herself and her motherhood, that she wishes she could fulfill better… but she keeps pressing on, trying to be to you a mother worthy of the name. She longs to be able to relate to you better as her daughter. What about the anguish of soul she goes through seeing your rebellion to her authority, when it seems like only yesterday she was rocking you as a sweet little innocent baby? What about all the prayers she has prayed for you, and all the dreams she has had about how sweet your relationship would be together? Those dreams got her though those difficult early years when she had no help. You would have tea parties together, and go to town together, and talk about marriage together, and you would be her special little friend. She would be well pleased with seeing the fruit of her efforts blossom forth into something amazing for the Lord. Have you ever considered that?

If you think your mom has a lot to learn, why not remember her as a young mother? Remember her with all her hopes and dreams, and try and help fulfill those dreams –instead of being so quick to point a judging finger at her because she doesn’t meet up to your high standard of motherhood. By the way, she probably felt the same way about her mother. Being under authority is an interesting thing. The best explanation of it is that it is God’s design, and it works (if each one is subjected wholly to the one above them). We will all see faults and failures in our authorities, but that’s ok. God’s order is designed for each one to submit to his own authority, and in the process, the authorities become better listeners and their subjects become better followers.

“Remember her with all her hopes and dreams,
and try and help fulfill those dreams
instead of being so quick to point a judging finger
at her because she doesn’t meet up to your
high standard of motherhood.”

I have looked at my children recently, and thought, “Wow, they think I’m so old and together, and I feel like I’ve only just grown up –nearly a child myself!” We need to remember our mothers are human. Not “human” as in they make mistakes –we already know that. But “human” as in they are subject to the same emotions we are. Somehow, because they have always been an authority figure in our lives, we tend to get this idea about our parents that they are super-human. They don’t really get their feelings hurt, they don’t really get discouraged with themselves, and they don’t really need an encouraging word… After all, they’re Mom and Dad! The truth is, though, our parents do get their feelings hurt – they’ve just learned how to overlook an offense… Our parents do get discouraged with themselves –they’ve just learned out to lean ons Christ… And our parents do need encouragement, that’s why God gave you to them. That’s our privilege, girls. We just need to stop thinking about ourselves and do it. Last night my three-year-old son said that when he “gets a girl,” he’s going to change her name to my name. How sweet. God sends encouragements to us parents through our children in numerous different ways. But how about those encouragements from the young adults in the home? They have a choice to make if they want to be used of God in this way of encouragement. How about it, girls? Your little siblings don’t have to be the only ones to encourage your mom. If your mom is only half good, she is a super mom! Give her the honor she deserves, with all due respect.

“Thy father and thy mother shall be glad,
and she that bare thee shall recoice.”
{Proverbs 23:25}

~Mrs. Lolly Hale
{Guest Writer}

Tell Your Mom
Happy Mother’s Day…

We can do her chores
We can care for our little siblings
We can pray for them all the time
We can read the Bible to them
We can rub their feet.
~Kathleen