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mothersday

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Mother's Day

For this we'll look at a few things we can learn from the Bible, as well as some practical tips and hints for helping!

This may be a difficult time of year for some, of course, so sensitivity is paramount - find out if anyone has lost someone before blazing ahead with sessions like this. But that's common sense!

(With slight adaptation, this session could be used for Father's Day. But with that, I would focus much more on God as our perfect Father. I would also strongly push the need for young men to grow up to be real men of God - if there is one thing our society needs except Jesus, it is strong and non delinquent males / fathers.)

10 Practical Ways To Help / Show Appreciation

1. Breakfast in bed.
2. Doing the washing up!
3. Making a meal or two!
4. Baking a cake / buying a cake.
5. Get a card and a present, or some flowers (no, don't nick them from someone's garden..)
6. Do something special personal to your mom (mine demands fudge!)
7. Don't be a pain or a teenage drama queen for a day! Be nice!
8. Take responsibility for family things beyond your normal role (put the trash out etc)
9. Let her watch her favourite TV channels for once.
10. Say thank you, give a hug, pray for her, or whatever is appropriate in your family!

How should we treat our mother / gran / other female family members?

With respect. Yes, even though they may have done things that are not worthy of us respecting them. If we have unforgiveness or bitterness in us (however understandable), then it becomes a barrier between us and God - and will often hurt us more than the other person.

The Example of Jesus - John 19:25-27

"Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, this disciple took her into his home."

Even at a time of great pain, when his death was near, Jesus was concerned enough for his loyal mother, to ask his disciple John to look after Mary, when Jesus died. We learn that John was faithful, and took Mary into his home. So we learn that taking care of our mother is incredibly important - being faithful, being sacrificial and caring. This applies throughout the life of our mother.

I heard a testimony of one of the former original Charlie's Angels, whose mother was dying. She cried out to God to allow her to look after her mom, as her mother had looked after her. God heard her cry and her mother didn't die. This is the kind of sacrificial care that John showed to Mary, the mother of Jesus.

List (seriously) the qualities that your mother (or a good mother) has:

Use these cards (right / control click and 'save as' or drag onto your desktop):

mothers qualities

List (some of) the things that your mother (or a good mother) does that you (or others) would need to do if she was not around:

Use these cards (right / control click and 'save as' or drag onto your desktop):

mothers jobs

Other Bible Passages to help us

Firstly, let's look at 1 Timothy 5.1-2: "Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity."

What lesson can we learn from this about how we treat our mother? That we treat our mother (and other women) with respect and with absolute (or 'all') purity. What is absolute purity? It means that our attitude should be a Godly one, that we obey, support, encourage and help our mothers. Wilkpedia says about purity: "An object is pure if it has no contamination or foreign material." Answers.com includes this definition of purity: "Freedom from sin or guilt; innocence; chastity..." So this is the way we should treat our mother.

In the NIV Study Bible, it advises us that men have a duty to protect women and help them grow spiritually. This is a positive action (to actively help) and a passive action (not to do things which would undermine their spiritual growth).

Secondly, Exodus 20.2. This is the sixth of the 10 Commandments. It says, "Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you." Although this command is in the Old Testament (and kind of fulfilled by Jesus saying 'Love God and love your neighbour'), it still has a promise of blessing attached to it. Your Godly obedience to your parents (whoever they may be, real or adopted) does bring blessing, with obvious exceptions!

We find this command also in Deuteronomy 5:16: "Honour 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."

Thirdly, Old Testament commands: The Bible warns that there is consequences to disobedience to a father and mother.

Deuteronomy 21:18-19: "If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town."

Deuteronomy 27.16: "Cursed is the man who dishonors his father or his mother."

Exodus 21:15: "Anyone who attacks his father or his mother must be put to death."

Exodus 21:17: "Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death."

Fourthly, Matthew 10.37 provides us with a challenge: "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me." So we know that Jesus must be our focus, not our mother or father, or anything else. As the First Commandment tells us - we are to Love the Lord our God first and foremost.

Fourthly, 1 Peter 3.7-8: "Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers (as one household), be compassionate and humble."

This Bible passage is about husbands and wives. However, I was once told something very significant (and this is someone's opinion) - how you treat your mom (or sister) is a fair reflection of how you would treat your wife. So if we think about it, the reverse should also be true. This means that the way that God expects us to treat our wife / husband, should be very similar to the way we treat our mother (and father).

So what do we learn from this part of the Bible? (I realise 1 Peter 3.7-8 isn't exactly about how you treat your mother, but the principles are very sound and so she should be treated this way!!)

Use these cards (right / control click and 'save as' or drag onto your desktop):

mother respect

The answers (from the NIV): consideration - respect - harmony - sympathy - love - compassion - humility.

The fruit of the Spirit

In a sense, our relationships with all people should be this filled with the answers (above) - we need to be demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit in our daily lives. This can be found in Galatians 5.22-23:

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."

Suggest to your young people that they memorise this verse right now. You may even want to give them each a bit of paper and then get them to write it out and test themselves! It's good to memorise The Bible as God's Word is powerful - we don't do it enough, and we're missing out!

Mary, Mother of Jesus

You may want to have a look at the talk on Mary, Mother of Jesus - for more materials.

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