Most guys thrive from the mentorship and leadership of an attentive father who taught them about masculinity, the skills necessary to grow into a mature adult, and how love and respect are shown in marriage. However, too little is given to the relationship between a son and his mother, for this relationship is often a tell-tale sign of how a man treats all of the women in his life.
So as I remember the third Mother’s Day since my mom’s passing, I have no better way to honor her than with a post about the impact of mothers.
First, let me tell you about my mother, June Gorecki.
About My Mom
June Carolyn Baechtold was born on June 17, 1941, in Chicago. She later resided in several locations in Illinois, before spending much of the last 12 years of her life in Arizona. She passed away in Tucson on Independence Day, July 4, 2017.
My mom and dad, Richard Gorecki, Sr. married at a very young age and she gave birth to me, my sister, and my brother, all within 3 years.
She was fortunate to have an older sister and an older brother who looked out for her and a younger brother who would later do the same. She also had two sisters-in-law from my dad’s side, so they were all raising children at young ages. All but one of my parent’s siblings lived within an hour of us so we enjoyed frequent family gatherings.
My mother was born to parents from the Depression-era so we learned discipline through a lot of tough love. However, my mom taught us about genuine love and a commitment to family.
Later in mid-life, my mom received a lung transplant after experiencing severe Emphysema due to smoking that started at age 14. She received a new lung since a heroic teenage boy named Jeffrey had signed an organ donation card before dying in a tragic accident. Mom always felt that she had 2 birthdays since she received her new lung and second lease on life on the anniversary of her actual birthday, June 17.
Mom lived another 18 years even though her doctors said transplanted lungs typically only lasted 5-8 years at that time. She was very diligent taking her anti-rejection medicines, which contributed to living many more years than expected. For those of us who believe in God, we know Mom also had a 3rd birthday and is healthy again due to her new life in Heaven.
After her transplant, mom became a passionate volunteer for Gift of Hope, which is now called Donate Life America. She often spoke to groups, young and old, about how they can help extend someone’s life through organ donation. She felt it was an important way to give back and to honor her donor, Jeffrey. Mom was also active with the VFW Women’s Auxiliary and American Legion in both Arizona and Illinois.
Though not a practicing Christian when we were kids, she made sure we went to Catholic CCD class and mass nearly every week. I can still hear her saying, “God gives you seven days a week, so you can at least give Him an hour” and “Do as I say, not as I do” since she rarely attended mass herself.
I always knew her heart was in the right place and she recommitted to her faith in her later years.
Mom was deeply devoted to her family and parents; even calling her father every Monday until the day he died. She loved her family immensely, especially her grandchildren, and was always bragging about them. Mom loved each of us equally and unconditionally, regardless of the choices we made. She taught us to be strong and that we could do anything we wanted in life.
I have very fond memories of how she loved us and taught us the importance of being devoted to your family. I miss her dearly each Mother’s Day, on her birthday, and on Independence Day.
Now back to honoring mothers.
All about Honor
According to Bible Study Tools, the word “honor” is the social term describing how people within a society evaluate one another.
Most occurrences of honor in the Old Testament are translations of some form of kabod [d/b’K], which literally means “heavy or weighty”. To honor someone, then, is to give weight to or grant a person a position of respect and even authority in one’s life. A person grants honor most frequently on the basis of position, status, or wealth, but it can and should also be granted on the basis of character.
Pastor Tim Keller says, “it’s respect for parents that is the basis for every other kind of respect and every other kind of authority.”
Now, I understand that for some people, showing honor to your parents may be difficult or nearly impossible. Not everyone was blessed with a great mother and no parents are perfect (although some are very close!)
However, you must understand that your mother and father did the best they could at the time and its time to show them grace and forgiveness.
So let’s now consider why we must honor your moth and father.
God Commands It
Let’s first understand that God proclaims that honoring your parents is key to our obedience and keeping His commandments highlights the importance of our devotion.
Thousands of years ago on a mountain of Sinai, God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses. The fifth commandment was: “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you” (Ex. 20:12.)
This commandment obligates us to respect and obey our parents, or anyone who takes the place of parents in our lives.
In this verse, we are also told exactly why honoring your mother and father is important — it will help you have a long and fulfilling life and that your children will honor the follower of the commandment.
So it then implies that if you do not honor your parents, your own children may not honor you.
Scripture Reinforces It
The Bible places a lot of weight on a mother’s influence. There are many verses that focus on listening to instructions such as when moms teach their children and that her children should take note of their mother’s wisdom.
“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”– Proverbs 22:6
God also uses a mom’s love as a metaphor for His love for us since her love is so powerful.
“As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you.”– Isaiah 66:13
The Bible is the guidebook for Christian living and reinforces the power of the family and wisdom of a mother.
Christ Modeled it
It is written that Jesus Christ has done more to elevate the status of women to a position of high honor and respect than any man alive or dead.
Sure, there are still some cultures even today that treat women on a level beneath men. There are also far too many cases of women being abused verbally, psychologically, and physically.
But Jesus changed all that.
He laid down his life for them. He considered them worth dying for to show that there is no greater love, no higher value, no deeper respect for each and every woman that God created.
Honor All The Women in Your Life
There is no ending point to the commandment to honor your mother and father since God’s love for all extends to all of humanity so there are a few others we must honor:
Honor The Mother of Your Children
Abraham Lincoln and several others have said, “the best thing a man can do is love the mother of their children. “
Whether you are married, divorced, or widowed, you should always honor your children’s mother because it shows your children how to love and respect all the women in their lives.
Honor Her Parents Too!
All in-law jokes aside, a godly man also makes sure he honors his spouse’s mother and father as well. If it was not for your wife’s parents, you would not have a wife or children.
The essence of the fifth commandment is that we should honor our mothers and all females every day; not just on Mother’s Day. For when we do, we honor God as well.