Over the years I’ve counseled many women about to their frustration and disappointment over Mother’s Day.
Their children don’t do things for them, their husbands don’t get things for them, they spend their days (or week-ends, in some cases) preparing big celebrations for their moms or mothers-in-law and the day that was supposed to be a celebration for THEIR motherhood becomes a day of extra work and little support or appreciation for them.
Here are some of the things I’ve said over the years. I thought it might be a help if these are feelings that you struggle with or if you have others in your life who struggle .
- Our husbands and children have NO idea what is a blessing, encouragement or honor to us.
They do not have our minds or even really know or understand us UNLESS WE TELL THEM. Many women have this idea in their heads, “If *I* have to tell him, then it doesn’t count!” Where in the world does this mentality come from??? Our husbands are not mind readers, our children don’t understand these grown-up things, and as women, we are very different in how we function from men. WE NEED TO TELL THEM!! We need to train our husbands just as much as we train our children, in what is special to us. Then, we need to remind them as the time is coming. If gifts are important to us, we need to help them understand that a gift of a vacuum cleaner is NOT what we consider special to us. Things that help us in cleaning (unless we specifically ask for them) do NOT make us feel loved and honored. If acts of service are what bless us, we need to express that. And if it is really important that we have something special for our day, we may need to just MAKE it happen!
- As long as our moms are alive, we have just as much responsibility to honor and bless them as our children do toward us.
We do NOT have to make the whole day about THEM while we fester in our hearts and work harder than we have for weeks. There is no reason why all of the festivities cannot be combined and the dads and children actually DO all the work for ALL the moms!
- The reality is our lives are really supposed to be set aside for service to others.
We need to look at our service to our families (whether we feel recognition for it or not) as our acts of love to God and know that He honors and blesses us for it. Some of us may live in homes where we will never receive the appreciation and honor that we long for. For these situations my heart aches with you. BUT I do know that the Lord is looking on your life and service with delight and love. And we need to know that, in this life, we must learn to be content with that. In eternity we will receive a reward for our selfless and sacrificial service. And we can look ahead to that time where our lives will be transparent before everyone and our deeds done in the Spirit will be honored by all!
In our home, we are not great celebrators. I don’t care if I get gifts or if I get acts of service, although my children always do something for me. A “Happy Mother’s Day” is good enough for me (and sometimes I forget as well). It’s just not that important to me. But then, I’m blessed all throughout the year with my children and husband showing me honor and appreciation and showering blessings on me.
Our honor comes from the Lord.
In all of this, we look to Jesus for our love and encouragement without rancor or irritation toward our earthly family when they don’t (or can’t) give us what we want. Our greatest honor comes from the attitude with which we face the circumstances in our lives; and this might very well be how our Mother’s Day goes.
So, Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers and may your day (and hearts) be filled with the love and joy of the Lord as you sacrificially serve your families year round.
(image courtesy of Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net)