How does the text view the role of mother?
A mother’s role in the text is paramount because the very first woman was called life:
Genesis 3:20 (CJB)
20 The man called his wife Havah [life], because she was the mother of all living.
In the Hebrew, the name for mother is אֵם ʾﬁm Phonetic Pronunciation: ame. When you look up Mother in the Complete Biblical Library Hebrew Dictionary, it shows us the verses where mother is used in the text and shows us the following from the text:
- She is to be an instructor
- She is to be a source of discipline
- She is also to be a source of assurance and comfort
It further tells us that her children are to:
- be obedient
- honor her
- fear and respect her
- be a blessing to her
- commanded to mourn for her at her death
The text give us some commands on the way we are NOT to treat our mothers too:
- The children must never hit their mother,
- they are not to steal from her,
- they are not to make fun of her,
- they are never to drive her from their home,
- they are never to abandon her,
This is just a snapshot of who a mother is in the text – how she is to be treated and how she is NOT to be treated.
There is a commandment in the text that tells us to:
Honor our Father and Mother . . .
Maybe it would be a good thing to know what honor means biblically. The Hebrew word is כָּבֵד kāvﬁdh. It means to honor, to glorify.
God commands us to honor our parents with the implication that they are his delegated representatives with his authority and responsibility over the children
Thoralf Gilbrant, ed., “3632,” in The Complete Biblical Library Hebrew-English Dictionary – Kaph-Mem, (Springfield, IL: World Library Press, Inc., 1998), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “3632”.
Honor is a biblical term for respect, esteem, high regard and reward. It appears nearly 150 times in the English Bibles. Honor can be seen as an image for respect paid to superiors: …
To honor someone or something is to acknowledge and show respect for the authority or worthiness of the object of one’s honor. To show honor entails an affective side (a feeling of respect or reverence) and a set of outward manifestations, such as gestures (bowing before or being attentive) or actions (conferring titles or privileges). All these ways of showing honor elevate the person or thing that is honored. In addition to the primary meaning, honor is used in the Bible to name something possessed by certain people or things as an innate quality.
Leland Ryken, James C. Wilhoit, Tremper Longman, ed., “Honor,” in Dictionary of Biblical Imagery, (Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1998), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 398.
The text tells us how to gain honor, which in turn, gives us a hint on how to give honor:
Proverbs 21:21 (CJB)
21 He who pursues righteousness and kindness finds life, prosperity and honor.
Proverbs 22:4 (CJB)
4 The reward for humility is fear of Adonai, along with wealth, honor and life.
Proverbs 29:23 (CJB)
23 The proud will be humbled, but the humble will be honored.
So we could say with some assurance that honoring our mother would have at least the following:
In fact, the command in the text to Honor our Mother has a promise associated with it:
Ephesians 6:1-3 (CJB)
1 Children, what you should do in union with the Lord is obey your parents, for this is right.
2 “Honor your father and mother” —
this is the first commandment that embodies a promise —
3 “so that it may go well with you, and you may live long in the Land.”
Exodus 20:12 (CJB) 12 ה 12 “Honor your father and mother, so that you may live long in the land which Adonai your God is giving you.
Deuteronomy 5:16 (CJB) 16 ה 16 “‘Honor your father and mother, as Adonai your God ordered you to do, so that you will live long and have things go well with you in the land Adonai your God is giving you.
Because this command embodies a promise, what is the expectation based on this promise if we do NOT obey this commandment? Kind of sobering, isn’t it?
I guess this is why I feel so blessed that my grandson attends a Christian school instead of a public school. He learned this verse in Ephesians by heart at 6 years old.
The opposite of this would be public school which teaches kids NOT to honor their parents – that their vies on creation are wrong – that their views on contraception are wrong – that their views on marriage are wrong . . . the list is very long.
You see, a mother’s job is so important that she is to be honored – respected – loved. God ordained this from the beginning and it hasn’t changed. It is so important, that eternal life is dependent on keeping the commandment to honor our mothers. Notice the following words of Yeshua (Jesus):
Matthew 19:16-19 (CJB)
16 A man approached Yeshua and said,
“Rabbi, what good thing should I do in order to have eternal life?”
He said to him,
17 “Why are you asking me about good?
There is One who is good!
But if you want to obtain eternal life,
observe the mitzvot (keep the commandments).”
18 The man asked him,
and Yeshua said,
don’t commit adultery,
don’t give false testimony
19 honor your father and mother
and love your neighbor as yourself.”
Could the text be any more clear?
Call your mothers! Honor them! Tell them how much you appreciate them!
If you are not close, if you are estranged, call and ask your mother to forgive you. Doesn’t matter who was at fault. If you have treated you mother in the way the text commands us NOT to treat our mothers, repent (turn from those sins) and beg your mother’s forgiveness!
Do what God would have you do so that you may live long in the land and have eternal life. The alternative is not very pretty.
Honoring your mother is honoring God! Be humble, be kind, be righteous!
Treat her as God treats her – she is a treasure from Him!
Happy Mother’s Day Mom, and to all the mothers out there including my wife and daughters!!!