Dear Brethren and Friends,

Today is Mother’s Day and we honour all mothers in our Church – for all the love they have given us, all the labour they have bestowed upon us, all the tears they have shed for us and the example they have left us. Being a mother is one of life’s most important jobs, one of its most demanding ones, and certainly one of its most rewarding ones.

I like to share 2 things. First, it is for Christian mothers and they are to exhibit three vital characteristics in their lives.

Joy : Joy is the outward exuberance that results from a right relationship with God. Joy is not easily lost because our relationship to God is an eternally unchanging one. Even when problems surround us, Christians know that they are God’s children and that God is always in control of all things. A mother’s joy is her greatest gift to her family. It is such a blessing to have a joyful mother, who in spite of life’s many difficulties and disappointments, continues to infect her home with her joyful spirit, and who through her joyful spirit leads her children to the Source of her joy i.e. God. To all Christian mothers, “the joy of the LORD is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).

Peace : Peace is that inward contentment that results when we know that all things are under the control of God. Jesus says to us “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). A mother who enjoys God’s peace builds a peaceful environment for her family. A peaceful home is a needful refuge in this world of trouble and strife.

Thankfulness : Sinful human nature tends to focus on problems rather than blessings, and to murmur rather than to thank God. Mothers who learn to focus on their children’s strength and gift will be a source of encouragement to their children. This does not mean that they should ignore their children’s weaknesses that need correction. Mothers should be thankful for the real blessings in their families (e.g. a Christian family, unity in the family, healthy bodies) and not be overly discouraged by things of far lesser value (e.g. children’s exam results, family income, material possessions).

Secondly, I would like to address all children to honour their mothers. Many people honour their mothers on Mother’s Day by going to expensive restaurants for dinner. Never has so much been spent on Mother’s Day’s dinners yet never have mothers been so dishonoured. God has not commanded us to keep a day for our mothers but has rather given us a commandment to guide us i.e. the 5th commandment “Honour thy father and thy mother” (Exodus 20: 12). This commandment is unique in that it is positively stated; it stands between the first Table of duties to God and the second Table of duties to men.

Parents are God’s representatives to us. We learn of God the Provider, Protector, Friend, Guide and Master through our parents who provide, protect, love, guide and rule over us. It is through this parent-child relationship that we have a clear understanding of our relationship with God who is our Heavenly Father. Therefore, the parent-child relationship in humans is unique among all creatures, in its intimacy, dependency and duration.

Often our sinful nature is filled with pride and rebellion. We generally behave worst to those who love us best, namely, our parents. This is a sad but true comment on our sinful nature. The Hebrew word for “honour” is “kabed” which means “to make heavy or weighty” i.e., “to load with honour.” In other words, our parents are to be honoured as VIP by us. True honour must begin with an inward reverence and love for our parents which then produces outward words and acts that honour them. Obedience is the most prominent and appreciated outward evidence of honour. Honour must be given to all parents – worthy or unworthy. It must be given all the time – whether we are infants or aged men.

Blessed Mother’s Day!

Elder John Leong