Want to know what to give Mom for Mother’s Day? Chocolate, daisies, and cards have filled her home, but what will fill her heart? Have you thought about wrapping the gift of honor with your words or actions to her? It’s a gift we don’t often think about but it can be exactly what moms want to receive.
A definition of honor includes to respect, value, and revere. Sometimes this can be hard for us when we are searching for something to say that is true and reflects our relationship. I (Blythe) asked a group of second graders what it means to honor and they said, “It means to let someone go in front of you.” I think that’s pretty awesome.
For daughters and sons, it means that we open the way to come behind our mom and show respect to her even though she may not have earned it. As God places value on us, so we should value others, including a mom who may not always live up to our respect, but we should still offer what God has assigned to us.
The Bible talks about a type of love that we are to have for each other that covers others’ sins. I (Blythe) don’t believe Paul was saying we forget it and move on like nothing happened. But I do believe we are not to hold others’ shortcomings against them.
In 1 Peter 4:7-9 (NLT), Paul says, “The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.”
Showing deep love for each other is what we are to do in our relationships as much as possible.
As a mom of two adult children and grandmother to five young adults, I (Helen) believe that being a mom can sometimes be a tiring, thankless job. But when we take a step back and realize the critical role we play, it’s humbling. We really have an impact on our children. I had to learn how to honor my mom even though she hurt me in many ways with her words in my early and adult years.
It may not be top of mind to humble yourself to your mom, but writing a note or sharing words with her where you are humble is an admirable action. Romans 12:3 (NIV) is an important life verse:
“For by the grace given me, I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”
We want to be respectful of our mom even when she or we haven’t handled a conversation or relationship very well. We often have to face “clean-ups” in the kitchen but sometimes we don’t always clean up the crumbs of discontent in our relationship which leads to decay if not cleaned up quickly.
Also, a daughter or son could have been very close to their mom but another family member, such as a spouse or sibling, could interfere with their relationship. If a spouse or sibling says something hurtful, a rift can set in that can be difficult to repair. It seems like saying nothing may be the better way to go, but we see in Hebrews 10:5 (NASB) that we are to:
“See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.”
Deep-seated hurt can get stored in our hearts which can sour the relationship we have with our mom and sometimes we don’t know how to get back to where we were.
All it takes is one sentence to let your mom know that you don’t want to be in this place of not getting along with her or not agreeing with her. The hardest three words to say sometimes are: “I love you, Mom.” But sometimes that’s what’s needed to show that you want to honor your mom no matter what has gone on between you. It’s a gift of words and the gesture of saying, “I care about you more than I do about who is right in our relationship.”
As I (Helen) have counseled others and done with my own mom, there is a loving way to talk to others about how you feel hurt. And the end result is even to ask, “What can I do to make things better between us?”
Matthew 18:15 (NLT) shows us,
"If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back.” God wants us to do our part in coming closer to those He has put in our lives, including our mom. God’s way of moving toward us, even when we have messed up, is our model of how to move toward others. He helps us clean up the crumbs and decay in the very best way.
God knows the dynamics of your family and how you would play an important role in your family, especially with your mom. You are loved by God and your heart can be filled with thanks for what He is showing you about your own mom. You can honor and love her even if it’s not returned to you.
What words can you share with your mom? Maybe a place to start is:
Mom, I honor you for being the woman who raised me to know what family is. I pray for you and ask God to show you what you are worth. I want to say “Happy Mother’s Day” and also “I love you, Mom!”
Ask God to guide you in the words to share with your mom to honor her in a way that would mean something to her and to you. Honoring her can also change how you feel in your heart as you give this gift to her.
Blythe Daniel & Dr. Helen McIntosh
Blythe Daniel is a literary agent, author, and marketer. She has written for Proverbs 31 Ministries, Focus on the Family, and Ann Voskamp. The daughter of Dr. Helen McIntosh, she lives in Colorado with her husband and three children. She and McIntosh have written I Love You, Mom! and Mended: Restoring the Hearts of Mothers and Daughters.
Dr. Helen McIntosh (EdD, Counseling Psychology) is a counselor, speaker, educator, and author. Her work has appeared in Guideposts, ParentLife, and HomeLife magazines. She resides in Georgia with her husband Jim. They have two children and five grandchildren. She and her daughter Blythe Daniel have written I Love You, Mom! and Mended: Restoring the Hearts of Mothers and Daughters.
Many mothers and grandmothers long to leave a legacy of love and blessings to future generations. We are influencers way beyond just genetics. I Love You, Mom! can be given to a mom, mom-in-law or the one whose mothering instincts have nurtured you.