Jentezen Franklin - How To Honor Your Mother
Ephesians 6. "Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise", watch this, "That it may be well with you, and you may live long on the earth". The reason that it extends your life is we, the parents, won't kill you if you honor us. If you don't, there's a real chance. But honor. Listen to this. It's a commandment. Remember, one of the top Ten Commandments is to honor your mother. Honor your parents. How you treat your parents really does matter to God, so much so that He said it will be well with you if you honor your parents, and you will live long if you honor your parents, indicating if you don't, it won't go well with you, and you will shorten your life.
It's really a remarkable thing that there are several stern warnings that children who mistreat their parents, and dishonor by their lives and the way and the things that they do, and the way they treat their parents will suffer great, great consequences. The question that I would ask every parent is, are you the kind of daughter you would like to raise? Are you the kind of son that you would like to raise? And the question is, how do you honor your mother? And I want to give you, this is such a simple message. It won't take me long at all.
And so I want to give you about seven quick things of how to honor your mother.
Number one, love your mother unconditionally. No matter what, the way that you honor your mother is to love her unconditionally. Love her when she's young, and love her when she's old. Love her when she has so much to give, and she keeps on giving, and giving, and giving to you the best years of her life. Everything that she has, she gives to you. Lays down her life for you. Love her when she has something to give, and when she has nothing left to give. You are commanded to love her unconditionally.
Secondly, hug her affectionately.
There's a bumper sticker that you see every once in a while on cars that says, "Have you hugged your kid today"? I think we ought to make one and put it on teenagers' doors, and say, "Have you hugged your mom today"? Because it's amazing how we can take for granted that our mother knows that we love her. But we are to not only love our mother unconditionally, but we are to hug her, kiss her affectionately because they need it. Tell her that you love her. We live in a different time than we did when I was coming up. We understood there were certain things that you say to Mother and you don't say to Mother. And if you said something to Mother that wasn't right, then there were grave consequences. You just don't get up and tell your mother anything on your mind.
The one time that I remember my father striking me in the face with the open hand, and I'm not recommending you do that, but I'm just telling you, it made a great impression on me. Was when I was a teenager, and my mother got on my nerves and did something, Saint Katie did something that got on my nerves, and I just opened up and said something so disrespectful to her. And I don't know where he came from. The next thing I remember is the side of my face feeling numb, and he had slapped me. And he said, "Don't you ever speak to your mother, who is my wife, like that again, or I'll take you out in the backyard and do worse than what I did".
You can make fun of that. You can belittle that. But it taught me a respect for my mother that I, to this day, have never forgotten. Hug them affectionately. If you're around your mother, just reach over and give her a hug right now. You're not too cool for school. Just reach over, and give her a hug, and say I love you. Love her unconditionally. Hug her affectionately.
Number three, understand.
This is how you honor your mother, by understanding her sympathetically. You see, women go through a lot of changes. Mothers go through a lot of changes. They wear so many hats. They cook, they clean, they judge, they make peace, they referee. They're sounding boards. They're accountants. They do so much, and we need to appreciate the great job that mothers do for us every single day of their life. And we need to understand them sympathetically. We need to have something in our heart that is so accommodating, and so sympathetic, and not just treat ugly after you've gotten everything you can from them. As they're getting older, we are to be extremely sympathetic. Understanding, sympathetically, our mothers is a way that you honor them.
Number four, listen to her attentively.
Husbands want undivided attention. Children, when there is something wrong, they want undivided attention from that mother. I love that story in the Old Testament, in 2 Kings 4, when there was trouble with one of the kids that was out in the field. He said, "My head, my head". And they think he had a sun stroke is what some people believe. And the dad is working beside him, and the dad turns when a real massive problem comes, and says, "Take him to his mother".
I always thought that was funny. Take him to his mother. But when there is a problem, guess who we want to listen to us attentively? Mother. Because what do you do in your household when there's trouble? You want to find Mother, and tell Mother. Don't tell him. Don't tell Daddy. He'll push it off. Somebody could be bleeding to death, and he'll keep watching the basketball game and say, "Put a band-aid on it, and don't worry about it. It'll be All right". But Mother is so attentive. Mother is there. She's so concerned, every detail. And in return, we are to honor our mother by listening to her attentively.
Number five, help her cheerfully.
Mothers are the greatest helpers in the world. They do things that money cannot pay people to do. They pick up things out of the bathroom floor that no one else would ever come near. They are amazing. Because of that, don't act like she's a bother. Don't act like that when they ask you for something that it's an inconvenience. But help her cheerfully. Love her unconditionally, hug her often, affectionately, and understand her sympathetically. I remember hearing the story from Darlene Bishop, and it's cute. I found it online again.
And listen to this. She said that she got up, and she had to speak. She's a profound speaker, and she had to preach at their church that morning. It was her Sunday to preach. Her husband was not there, so she had to get those two babies dressed. And she got them dressed, and she said she used to dress them in pageant dresses. She's from Kentucky, and they just went all out every Sunday. And she, you know the pageant dresses? Anybody know what I'm, the big ol' bow, and the pageant dress, just like in a beauty pageant. You know, all the sparkles, and the hair is just right, and everything, the little shoes. And she said, I mean I had them dressed out to the teeth. And she said that she got both the girls dressed.
And then, of course, as mothers know, then you get yourself dressed somehow. And you pray to God they don't spill anything on themselves while you're getting yourself dressed. And somehow she got out the door, and she had just enough time to get there before church started and run in. And she said as they pulled up, the youngest daughter, the two-and-a-half year old, spoke up, and said "Mommy, you forgot to put my panties on". And she said that was the most rambunctious little girl you've ever seen. Said she would run all over. She'd lift her dress up. She'd do cartwheels if she had a chance. And she said, "I knew there was no way that child was going to sit still in that service".
So she turns to the older sister, and she says, "Take your panties off and give them to your younger sister". And the older sister's going crazy, "Mama, don't make me do that". And she said you have never seen a child sit so still in a service. She said she was like a mannequin, that older daughter. She never moved. These are the kinds of issues that mothers have to help with all the time, that men are too dumb to ever handle. Come on. Say amen. They try so hard to do everything for everybody, and we need to help our mothers cheerfully. Don't act like you're doing them a big favor because you're giving them some money, or helping them financially — they took care of you all your life. And this is how you honor your mother.
Number six, remember her gratefully.
Little things mean a lot to Mom. Just a call. What are you doing? How are you? What's going on? You going shopping? You want to go shopping? We're going shopping. You want to go with us? We've got a ball game. We've got a soccer game. You want to come? We've got this. We've got that. You remember her gratefully. Just a call. Just a call from the grandkids to the grandmother. Just a call to say you matter. Just a call. You're important enough for me to reach out to you. You've given so much to me.
You see, it makes her feel, she wants to feel like somebody appreciates her. Somebody loves her. She gave you the best years of her life. And the way that you honor her is by gratefully remembering her, and giving those phone calls, giving those invitations. You'll never, ever forget, and you let her know, gratefully, you remember how well she taught you. How well she trained you. How much she loved you. How excellent she cared for you. Just a call. Just an invite. Just a friendly gesture. Always something that we're gratefully remembering our mother is the way that we honor her.
Number seven, we must remind her, how much she is needed constantly.
You see, it hurts a mom to feel she's no longer needed. There's nothing that the enemy would love more to tell a mom, as she moves into her golden years is, maybe the husband, the dad, has passed away. Her husband has passed away. The enemy loves to whisper, "You're not necessary. Your life is over. Nobody has time for you. You're just a hindrance. You're just an inconvenience to everybody". That's a lie. And we have to constantly remind our mothers how much they are needed constantly. When she can't work, she still is needed because she can pray. It thrills her when you call and ask for the recipe. And it's never going to taste as good as she can make it because she don't know the recipe.
She's just picking stuff up and throwing it in. But it thrills her that you think enough to ask her. And it sounds almost, to some of you, unimportant. But I'm telling you, the older that someone gets, the more we need to show, and remember, and honor, and let them know constantly how valuable, and how much we love them. What mothers need most is to know that their children love and honor God. One of the greatest things that you can honor your mother with — nothing would honor your mother more than giving your life to Jesus Christ. Nothing. Nothing.
I want to close with this story, and I want you to listen carefully. It's a true story. It's a documented story, a historical story, that is real. In 1820, there was a man by the name of Peter Richley who had perhaps the strangest survival story ever told that we have in human record. Peter Richley got on a ship in 1820 to sail from England to Australia. Along the journey, across the ocean, the ship encountered a problem, and it began to sink. It went all the way under, and everyone perished but a man by the name of Peter Richley. While he was floating in the water, a second ship happened to come along. They saw something in the water. They went over. And sure enough, he was rescued.
The next day, they encountered a storm, and the second ship sank. But there happened to be a third ship, and Peter Richley was rescued by the third ship. But something happened along the journey, and the third ship... this is a historical record. You can check out what I'm telling you. It sunk. But there came a fourth ship, and it found that one man in the water. Now my thing is, I would check him out and wonder if he's sinking these ships. But he wasn't. He hadn't, it was just a freak thing. The fourth ship bailed him out of the water and rescued him.
Come on, you're going to help me preach. But while they're on their journey to Australia, the fourth ship sinks, and a fifth ship comes along and bails him out of the water. But the fifth ship sunk. And the sixth ship came along. It was called the City of Leeds. That's the name of the ship. The City of Leeds. L-E-E-D-S. The crew pulled him out of the water, gave him warm clothes, fed him meal. He told them his unbelievable story. And as he finally got over that trip, and they were a few days from the harbor in Sydney, Australia, their captain came to him. And he said, "Sir, would you do a favor for us"? And he said, "You saved my life. I'll do anything you ask me to do".
He said, "When we started this journey many weeks ago, there was an old mother, an old woman, who won the hearts of the crew. She loved on every one of us, and she knew every man on the crew. Every person on the boat was just the crew. And she had a ticket going to Australia, but she became ill about a week ago. And she is so feverish and so sick that she is dying. She's down to nothing. She hasn't eaten anything. She's burning up with a fever, and we think she's so frail she won't last even until we make it to Australia. Would you, because the whole time that she's been ill, and sick, and delirious, out of her mind with fever, she's been praying. 'Oh God, oh God, I beg you, let me see my son one more time. Just let me live to see my son. I beg you'".
And he said, "She goes in and out of almost a coma, but that's the prayer whenever she comes around. And the crew loves her so much, but she knows all of them. But she won't know who you are because we picked you up in the ocean. Would you pretend to be her son so she can leave this world in peace"? And he said, "Of course I will". He walked in, and the captain kind of pushed him to the boat. He looked. There was a silver-haired, frail woman, burning up with fever. It was obvious she was at the point of death. But under her breath, she was praying. "Oh God, please let me see my son one more time".
And suddenly, when Peter Richley looked into the face of that woman, he broke and began to weep. Because it was his mother, Sarah Richley, who had not seen him in ten years. And she had made a decision to somehow go see her son one more time. And I believe the only reason that five ships sinking couldn't take him down, the storm couldn't destroy him, is we are to never underestimate the power of a praying mother. It'll get you through any storm. It'll get you through any crisis. It'll get your family through any kind of stormy weather they're going through. The power of a praying mother.
I know in my family, when there's trouble in our home, I run to my mother. I pick up the phone, and I say, "Pray for me. Pray for my family. Pray for my children". Because we should never underestimate the power of a praying mother. When she can't work anymore, when she can't give anymore, when she can't serve anymore, when she can't do things for you anymore, she can pray for you. I'm going to tell you something. There's power in the prayers of a godly mother. Give God a big praise if you know I'm preaching the truth.
And there's things that should have taken you out, that should have taken you down. There's no reason why you're still here today, except God answered the prayers of a praying mother. And here you are at Free Chapel today. And the greatest way that you could honor God is to give your heart and life to Jesus Christ. When Jesus hung on the cross, He honored His mother. He said, "John, take care of My mother". He modeled for us that we are to honor our mother. Even in His own pain, He wouldn't forget to honor His mother. You can honor your mother and her prayers by accepting her God and her Savior, Jesus Christ. But I'm going to give you an opportunity to honor the Lord and honor the prayers of a praying mother today.
Pastor, pray for me. I don't know that I'm ready to stand before God. I don't know that I'm right with God. As a matter of fact, I would have to say, deep in my heart I know that I'm far from God. And I know the only thing that's kept me alive, the car wreck might would have killed me. The drugs might would have destroyed me. The party that I went to, I could have ended up in a prison cell. I probably should be there. But the only thing that kept me afloat was the prayers of a praying mother. Please, Pastor. I want to receive her God as my God. I want Jesus to be Lord of my life. I want to give Him my life today. Pray for me.
I won't embarrass you. I won't humiliate you. But Jesus said He would not come where He's not invited. And if you don't acknowledge Him, He will not acknowledge you. You must acknowledge Him, and He will come. Pastor, pray for me. I want Jesus in my life. I want to honor God today. I want to surrender to Him. Pray for me. If that's you, boldly lift your hand up right where you're standing. I want to see it, right now. There's a hand. There's a hand. There's a hand. There's a hand. Beautiful. Raise it high and unashamed. This is awesome. This is awesome. Right there in that room where you are, raise that hand high. It's powerful. It's beautiful. See hands. See hands. This is awesome.
There's some mothers, either here on earth or up in Heaven, that are going to be shouting when this service is done in about one minute. All right, here's what I want you to do. If you raised your hand and if you're just standing around, I want you to pray this prayer out loud and know that these are eternal words. The Bible said: "He that hath the Son", listen: "Hath eternal life". The moment you accept Jesus, you accept eternal life. Pray this prayer, everybody. Say these words out loud.
Lord Jesus, I surrender my life completely to you. I believe in what you did on the cross, when you shed your blood. It cleanses me, it forgives me, it heals me, and it blesses me. I have the faith of my mother. It's now in me, and I will walk with Jesus the rest of my life.