It is indeed disconcerting to realize that Anna Jarvis, the woman who campaigned tirelessly to get a proclamation passed for establishing an official National Mother’s Day in the U.S., would later call for its abrogation.
As the ninth among 11 children, Jarvis got the inspiration to begin the annual tradition from a prayer she learned from her mother.
Upon the death of her mother, Jarvis could not shake the small prayer out of her head.
Starting with the Mother’s Day celebration in her own city of Philadelphia, Jarvis laboured hard and ultimately managed to get the day observed in 45 U.S. states before President Woodrow Wilson declared the second Sunday of May as a national holiday in honour of all American mothers.
In the Bible, mothers were counted higher in the family by the Israelites. Jesus also placed his mother on a high level.
On the cross, in spite of his pain and suffering, he showed his respect for his mother and made provision for her care.
Among the many functions performed daily by mothers for which they are to be honoured:
• Mothers love their children (2 Kings 4:1. In this passage, a mother loved her two sons so much that she did not want them to go into slavery under a creditor. She cried to a man of God for help.
Today, many young people are under the slavery of Satan, sin and evil habits of various types.
God has given the mothers the important responsibility to love their children not only by providing their physical needs, but by crying unto the Lord for their spiritual health so that they would be free from their enemies.
Mothers, pray for the children if you love them so that God will have mercy upon them.
In Mark 7:24-30, a mother came to Jesus requesting him to heal her daughter. Jesus, in turn, gave her some reason for not immediately healing the girl.
But the mother continued with her request. She humbled herself so much that Jesus, sensing her great love for her daughter, healed the girl.
If we humble ourselves and pray continually, Jesus will heal our generation and our children. The Holy Spirit will come down upon them. They will see visions and even prophesy.
• Mothers comfort their children (Isaiah 66:13).
In the Bible, God says, “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you.”
Children need their mother as they grow up and face changes in lives. As they leave home, they may develop emotional problems.
They need a friend with whom to share their problems.
Mother is their best friend who can understand them and comfort them when they are discouraged in life, when they cannot cope with their studies, when they are not successful and when they can’t keep friendship.
God has given special quality to mothers to win the confidence of their children, listen to them and counsel them so they would be comforted.
When mothers don’t carry out their responsibilities, they lose their children. Then the children will find comfort in other people, things and places.
Mothers need to give time to their children. They need a mom’s presence and comfort.
• Mothers are a teacher’s teacher (Proverbs 31:1).
Here the writer of this chapter is mentioned as King Lemuel, stating what his mother taught him.
A mother is the first teacher in the family. She teaches the word of God. She teaches obedience and discipline in the family.
I am sure that before taking Samuel to the house of God, his mother, Hannah, taught her son to work hard, to obey the elderly and to listen when someone shares wisdom.
A mother gave these lessons to Samuel, to whom God Himself spoke. With these qualities, God chose Samuel to be the priest in place of Eli. Hannah did not have to pay any donation to get the higher position for her son.
She taught him, disciplined him and prepared him for his vocation in life.
Our nation equally needs godly mothers. God gives much importance to mothers in the Bible, but mothers need to realize their important responsibilities and duties.
Once Emperor Napoleon was asked, “What is the greatest need of the French nation?”
He replied, “The greatest need of France is a nation of mothers.”
Mothers can see from this answer (and from the Bible) how important they are.
They can build their families and, thereby, the nation.
As the saying goes: “The hand that rocks the cradle saves the world.”
Sadly, the commercialization of Mother’s Day led Jarvis to detest the day for which she struggled to be recognized in honour of motherhood.
She came to a point where she was arrested for causing trouble to sellers of Mother’s Day merchandises.
During the last days of her life, Jarvis knocked on every door to get a petition signed to abolish Mother’s Day.
She struggled to not let the real motivation and true spirit of Mother’s Day die.
It’s high time to ditch the materialism behind the day and give our mothers what they deserve — love, respect and honour.
Narayan Mitra is a volunteer chaplain at Thompson Rivers University. His email address is email@example.com. KTW welcomes submissions to its Faith page. Columns should be between 600 and 800 words in length and can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a very short bio and a photo.