“Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person’s ultimate good as far as it can be obtained.”
― C.S. Lewis
With Mother’s Day quickly approaching, some of you are elated to celebrate your mothers. You will lovingly send cards with personal sentiments about how much they’ve done for you over the years. Perhaps you’ll send flowers or pictures. Maybe you’ll even participate in one of the activities we highlight in our Mother’s Day Activity Article here in this guide.
But what if instead of butterflies of loving anticipation your stomach feels tighter than the clasp on your wallet – a wallet which remains stubbornly sealed shut? What if you can’t open your pocket book, or heart, to that mother figure in your life that has caused you so much anger and grief? Why should you love on that woman?
There’s only one answer good answer: Because Jesus loved on you.
So Your Mother In-Law Isn’t Easy, Eh?
Look, we get it – not everyone hit the mother lode. Some of you got a load of mother-in-law headache instead! You’re not alone. It’s a common complaint this time of year.
Your Mother Really Was the Worst Mom Ever?
Look, we empathize on that front, too. But as Christians, we are called to love the unlovable anyway. (Go ahead. Sigh and moan. We can take it.) Now pay attention! Just as Jesus – who was innocent and blameless –died for sinners, so, too, must we die to our pride and honor people anyway.
A Difficult Mom or Mother-In-Law? Celebrate Her Anyway!
“But why?” some of you might still wail.
Well, how about the first commandment: “Honor your father and mother.”
That commandment, last we checked, doesn’t say, “Honor your father and mother only if they were perfect parents and never forgot your tee-ball game.” It doesn’t say, “Honor your mother and father only if they are attentive grandparents or give up drinking.” It doesn’t say, “Honor your mother and father only if they say they are sorry for walking out on you when you were six, or not being there for you at all.”
No, being a Christians means not living in this world – a world full of anger and resentment. It means dying to our pride, like Christ died, and rising to a renewal of our minds.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. —Romans 12:2
If this sounds too difficult, take heed that you don’t have to do this on your own. The whole upgrade of being a Christian, lest you forget, is that the Holy Spirit will give you peace to do hard things.
For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. —Romans 14:18-19
What About an Abusive Mom or One Who Is Deceased? What Then?
For some of you, you might only be able to honor an abusive mom by praying for her salvation or praying that you are able to forgive her. The same thing goes for one who has passed. Talk to God – tell Him how you feel. Forgiveness can still happen. For those with parents or in-laws that are still alive, perhaps you can consider picking up the phone and calling. It might mean holding your tongue and just listening…keeping the conversation short and ending with a “Happy Mother’s Day!”
When the moms in your life try to make you feel like a guilty child, take it as an opportunity to pray to your Father. How would He want you to act? How can you ask for patience and peace?
Here are 7 scripture verses to encourage you to love those difficult women in your life. If you’re still having trouble, consider finding a pastor, a counselor, or some trusted Christian friends to pray with you and help you find a way to forgive. In doing that, peace might be the best gift you can get this Mother’s Day.
7 Verses to Pray when dealing with a difficult mother or mother-in-law
1. Put on therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, humility, and perseverance, earing with one another, and forgiving each other, if any man has a complaint against any; even as Christ forgave you, so you also do. —Colossians 3:12-13
2. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, outcry, and slander, be put away from you, with all malice. —Ephesians 4:31
3. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God also in Christ forgave you. —Ephesians 4:31-32
4. For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.But if you don’t forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. —Matthew 6:14-15
5. Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Until seven times? Jesus said to him, “I don’t tell you until seven times, but, until seventy times seven. —Matthew 18: 21-22
6. Don’t remember the former things, and don’t consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing. It springs forth now. Don’t you know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. —Isaiah 43: 18-19
7. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. —Romans 12:18
From all of us at Believe.com, we wish you a joyous and happy Mother’s Day – even if the mamas in your life aren’t always easy!