Earlier this year I wrote a short series called The Commandment We Forgot. These articles looked to the fifth commandment (“honor your father and mother”) to explore an angle few of us have seriously considered: What does it mean to obey this commandment as adults? Along the way I offered a number of practical suggestions on how we can honor our parents, and one of these was to give them esteem both publicly and privately.
Today I want to ask if you’ll consider publicly honoring your mother as a kind of Mother’s Day gift. Whether she is alive or dead, whether you love her dearly or struggle with her mightily, I’d like you to consider one way to give her the kind of honor God calls for: A written tribute.
A Mother’s Day Tribute
Every parent is aware of ways they failed their children and of ways they hindered or even harmed them. Few are confident in how they succeeded as parents and especially in how their children mirror their strengths and values. Few children take the time to express it. Let’s do something about this. Let’s make much of our moms!
For this Mother’s Day, why don’t you consider writing a tribute to your mother? The purpose of such a tribute is to deliberately give your mother the honor she deserves. It is also a means to display your appreciation to God for the mother he saw fit to give you (and, indeed, for the good gift of the mother-child relationship).
This tribute can be as short or as long as you’d like it to be. It can be shared publicly or read privately. Simply start with “Dear mom” and let the words flow. Tell her of your appreciation for all she sacrificed for you. Remind her of some favorite memories you created together. Commend her for her strengths and tell how they shaped who you have become. Describe strengths that you long to see reflected in your own life. If she is a believer, praise her for introducing you to the Savior.
I acknowledge that creating this kind of tribute will be joyful for some and sorrowful for others. Some enjoyed a wonderful mother and others endured a harsh one; some find that words come easy and some find they come only with difficulty. But no matter your mother and no matter your skill with the pen, God commands that you show her honor. This may just be a fitting way to do so.
Are you uncertain what I’m calling for? I borrowed this idea from Dennis Rainey, and he has written an article titled The Best Gift You Can Give Your Parents. He outlines the importance of tributes and then, at the bottom, includes a number of examples. Reading through those will get you started. However, it may be enough to start with “Dear Mom” and see how the words begin to flow.
Write It, Share It
I would love to share some more tributes by linking to them if and when they are posted on the internet. So if you plan to write a tribute and if you plan to share it (on a blog, on Facebook, etc.) why don’t you use the hashtag #dearmom17. I’ll follow that hashtag and share some of the best ones before and on Mother’s Day.
No matter where you are in your relationship with your mother, I hope you’ll consider this opportunity to honor and bless her and to grow in gratitude and thankfulness to the God who graciously placed her in your life.