Monday, May 11, 2009

Al Mohler almost says "Bah! Mombug!" to Mother's Day

Mohler traces the history of Mother's Day in America. He complains of the agenda in its creating, the consumerism, the sentimentalism that has overtaken it... but ends up here:
Let's just make certain that there is more to Mother's Day than sentiment. The mothers we should honor are those who raise children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, who honor their marriages and live faithfully, who teach and nurture and discipline by the Bible. These are mothers who defy the spirit of the age, protect their children from danger, maintain godly discipline and order in the home, and feed their children the pure milk of God's Word.

These mothers deserve honor upon honor, and their reward will be great in heaven. Yet, in the meantime, a card and a kiss on Mother's Day won't hurt. It's just not nearly enough.
It's certainly a fair point. I think Mohler leaves out something that I'm confident he nonetheless believes. How a wife treats her husband deserves mention. Does she set a godly example (cf. 1 Peter 3:1-6)? Can her husband relax and trust her commitment to him (Proverbs 31:11-12)? Does she give him good reason to feel like a king, or a rotted twig (Proverbs 12:4)? These are part of the picture as well.

9 comments:

Al said...

OK, if Dr. Mohler can go all upside the head of Mother's Day then may I say something less than supportive of Dr. Mohler in this little snippet?

"These mothers deserve honor upon honor..."

Well, I get his point. Let's reaffirm biblical motherhood and godly living. Yeah! I am for it.

Here is the thing though; the Commandment with promise does not make such a distinction. Honor YOUR father and mother. Not the Proverbs 31 equivalent of June Cleaver. Dr. Mohler (here and only here) seems to turn the commandment on its head.

al sends

Michelle said...

You're right - the kind of wife a mother is to the father of her children is the foundation of her mothering, really, which is why I appreciated what you said yesterday so much (about loving their fathers by showing respect). You can mother your children all you want but if you treat their father like dirt, your whole mothering endeavour is seriously undermined. And I too have no doubt Al Mohler believes that as well.

I'm off to make my husband's sandwiches for lunch ...

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Dan,

This post and the one below fit together wonderfully, so I'm commenting on both here... those were beautiful words about your wife and your mother.

Thanks for the kind words (to us - your readers), and the challenging ones :0)

I have loved and appreciated my mom all my growing-up years, but now that I'm a mom myself I see her through new eyes - that's a good thing. I am more and more thankful for godly (though imperfect)parents.

And continually challenged to "raise the bar" myself. Very wise of you to bring the parents' relationship into the equation. When I sin in how I treat my husband I see the immediate fruit in many ways. Not only does our own relationship suffer, but it affects the way the kids relate to both of us. Not good.

I am also reminded that I am preparing my sons, even now, for their future marriages and that is a weighty responsibility.

Julie

Sir Aaron said...

There is always a complaint about consumerism after every holiday. There will always be businesses that want to sell you something including something with which to honor your mother. So what?

And how do you expect a holiday honoring your mother (or your wife) not to be sentimental? Isn't the whole point of Mother's Day to show expressive feeling and gratitude above and beyond what you would express everyday? Isn't the whole idea behind Mother's Day a sort of sentimentality?

"These mothers deserve honor upon honor." Besides a card and a kiss, what does Mr. Mohler suggest?

Dan Odom said...

Al's right (Mohler that is). He's not turning the command on its head. Luke 17:10 comes a little to mind. Now before I get smacked up the head (and I'm sure it's coming) with insensitivity, allow me to say I love my wife she's an awesome mom! She's worthy of praise daily! However, in our consumer and marketing crazy society we don't need a "day" so spend more "hallmark" money just to give a goosebump. Same is true of Valentine's day, Father's day and every other "day" we have fabricated for our own patting on the back.

And to Sir Aaron, I'm no Al Mohler but how about day in and day out respect, love and genuine Christlike leadership... i.e. serve her?

Sir Aaron said...

Dan:

Well, duh. I don't think you'll find anybody, Christian or heathen, that wouldn't agree to that statement. But what does respect her daily mean? what does praising her mean? How does that translate into action? How often do you purchase flowers for your wife to "honor" her? How often do you take your wife out to dinner to "thank" her? How often do you send your mother a card to "praise" her?

I noticed that you didn't mention Christmas, Easter, or birthdays. We don't need some extra holiday for those holidays either since we should be living out the underlying principles daily, right? Should we then only commemorate the Lord's Supper?

There is nothing wrong with having a holiday to remind ourselves of our duties to honor our mothers and also to do something extraordinary for them.

We are creatures with emotions that sometimes need some sentimentality. Its good to remember our duties but it in no way precludes us from having a special celebration.

Rileysowner said...

Sir Aaron wrote:
"I noticed that you didn't mention Christmas, Easter, or birthdays. We don't need some extra holiday for those holidays either since we should be living out the underlying principles daily, right? Should we then only commemorate the Lord's Supper?"

Exactly, at least when it comes to holy-days. They all to easily become the sort of celebration of days that is condemned in Galatians 4:10.

My complaint about Mother's day is not the special day, but that it is on the Lord's Day, the day that we are to be specifically resting from our own labor and instead focusing on worshiping and serving our Lord. Put it on some other day, and my complaint would be gone.

I have never preached a Mother's, Father's or whatever sermon on these secular holiday held on the Lord's day.

Sir Aaron said...

Riley:

Your objection about it being on Sunday is a totally different objection altogether. That's actually something I might actually agree with. In fact, putting it on a Saturday would probably result in my spending more time on Mom and my wife. On Sunday I spent most of the day at church, but I did skip the evening service to make a nice dinner and spend time with my wife and mom.

Sir Aaron said...

BTW, I'm actually trying to see how many times I can actually use actually in a sentence.

Another bad habit to break. I should resume attending Toastmasters.