How to Honor Your Mom



This is me and my Mom. If you’re wondering whether I’m adopted, don’t worry. I’ve wondered the same thing. I was born in the halls of Montrose Memorial Hospital, on the way to the delivery room. There was no time for drugs. Mom was coherent and she is certain I am hers and she is mine. Plus, my teeth strongly resemble my maternal grandmother’s teeth, so – just trust me – this is my Mom!

Mom is one of the hardest workers I’ve ever known, bedsides her own mother. She’s also funny and fun, in spite of the myriad of trials she has endured and continues to endure. When I was growing up, all my friends wanted to come to my house because “Mrs. Haynes was the best.” I think teenagers particularly liked her because the way she approached them (and people in general) was to ask what it was about their life that was hard and to follow up by either volunteering her time and effort, or her sympathy and prayers. And … probably a wad of cash.

Mom is the poorest, but most giving person I’ve ever met. She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s a few years back, and she’s living on a minscule disability check every month, but somehow, each time I visit her, I come home with a check or some cash in my hand. Last time, I came home with three new pairs of new jeans. I’ve long since stopped trying to refuse her money. She always wins that tug of war, and it’s best to not ruffle her feathers by reminding her she needs groceries.

She has never gone hungry, and both of us know that whatever she doles out to her people, neighbors, friends, and strangers comes back to her, increased. God loves cheerful givers – and provides for them in mysterious ways.

Mom doesn’t love Mother’s Day. Never has, never will. Her relationship with her own Mom was bumpy at times and she’s never been keen on her own kids giving her anything, for fear she would become a burden. In her mind, her job is to care for the kids, not vice versa. I suspect that as she grows older and her Parkinson’s develops, she will have to get over that. But for now, I don’t push her to depend on me for anything she doesn’t want to depend on me for. I don’t make a big deal out of Mother’s Day, but I’ve learned what makes her eyes sparkle at other times of the year, and I do those things. I’ve learned what cheers her up, and whenever I can, I cheer her. And while she doesn’t like to be served in ways that she can take care of herself, she does like to be served in the more manly jobs – like servicing her swamp cooler, installing a wood stove so she’s warm in the winter, or getting the pump to the irrigation water running. So I make sure Shaun or one of my brothers know about those things, and we get ‘er done.

Honor your father and your mother. It’s one of the Ten Commandments, and perhaps that’s why we set aside one day a year to recognize our Moms. But commandments aren’t meant to be obeyed one out of every 365 days. We don’t honor Mom one day a year and diss her the other 364. We honor her as a way of life. As a practice. As a duty. As a pleasure. 

So while I encourage you to honor your Mom this Sunday (yes! this Sunday!) if she likes that kind of thing, I would encourage you more strongly to honor her throughout the year. Make it a habit. Make it who you are, rather than what you must do in order to avoid looking like … a twerp.

A foolish man despises his mother. ~Proverbs 15:20b

What’s in it for you? Well, I think only a twerp would ask such a thing! But since you asked:

Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” ~Ephesians 6:2-3

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