Thursday, March 30, 2017

Honor Thy Mother (& Mother-in-Law)

Hey Friend,

Have you ever read a segment of scripture that you've read hundreds of times thinking there's nothing new to glean?  I have, and that's exactly how I approached this scripture on the first miracle where Jesus turns water into wine at the wedding feast.

Will you take another look with me again and let me show you what I was hit with, squarely between the eyes, by the Holy Spirit?  Okay...let's read:

John 2:1-12Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

The First Sign: Turning Water into Wine

On the third day a wedding took place in Cana of Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding as well. When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother told Him, “They don’t have any wine.”
“What has this concern of yours to do with Me,[a] woman?” Jesus asked. “My hour[b] has not yet come.”
“Do whatever He tells you,” His mother told the servants.
Now six stone water jars had been set there for Jewish purification.Each contained 20 or 30 gallons.[c]
“Fill the jars with water,” Jesus told them. So they filled them to the brim. Then He said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the chief servant.”[d] And they did........
11 Jesus performed this first sign[e] in Cana of Galilee. He displayed His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.
12 After this, He went down to Capernaum, together with His mother, His brothers, and His disciples, and they stayed there only a few days.
                                             *******
Take a look at what happens.  Jesus accompanies His mother and his brothers and his disciples to a wedding feast.  The, host, mortified and embarrassed, runs out of wine.
Jesus' mother told Him, "They don't have wine."
Jesus' replies,  "What has this concern of yours to do with Me, woman?...My hour has not yet come."
Maybe it's just me, but when I read those words I can envision a defiant toddler or even an insolent teenager.  Is Jesus questioning His mother here?  I'm not 100% sure, but here's the part that gets me - look what comes or doesn't come next.
1.  Mary does not get into a pleading contest with Jesus.
2.  Mary does not reason with Jesus as to why He needs to do something.
3.  Mary does not rebuke Jesus or chide Him.
No, she basically ignores His complaint. I'm no theological scholar, but Mary, the good Jewish mother, basically takes charge - as is a mother's right and honor to do - and she tells the servants, "Do whatever He tells you."  And, in essence, she tells her son...come on, let's get on with it.  Look what comes next??
1.  Jesus does not remind Mary He is the Alpha and the Omega.
2.  Jesus does not argue with His mother.
3.  Jesus does not flat out refuse her command....what does He do?
"Fill the jars with water, "  Jesus told them.....and He goes on to perform the miracle at His mother's direction.  He obeys.
Hmmmmm.......Jesus the Son of God, Creator of the Universe, the Lion and the Lamb, honored his mother.  Wow!
I think of all the times I've disagreed with my mother, muttered under my breath when told to do something, been rude or disrespectful.  Yet the Bible, in the Ten Commandments, specifically tells us to honor our parents.  
1.  Even if we know we're right.
2.  Even if their request is unreasonable.
3.  Even if we disagree or are angry or upset or hurt....honor.
Take this a step further.  What about Mother-in-laws.  Did I hit a sore point? How hard it is to honor a woman who didn't raise you?...perhaps one you feel conflicts with you with regard to your husband...perhaps one who meddles in your business?
My son is twenty-four and has a girlfriend.  There's a part of me that wants to say, "That's it, just step in here after all the hard work's been done and bat those long eyelashes of yours and capture his heart, attention, and affection.
Where were you when he was up puking all night, or when he wet the bed, or when he had to be rushed to the emergency room?"
I know my son will one day take a wife and because he loves her, I will love her too.  I hope that because I am his mother (and if it weren't for me he wouldn't be here) she will honor me as well.
So back to my role...how can I better honor my mother AND my mother-in-law?  
I DO love them both dearly and I'm so thankful to have them.  But, when they have the nerve to be human and do something that gets on my nerves, what do I fall back on? 
1.  God's command to Honor thy mother and father (and look there's even a promise built in):

     Exodus 20:12Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

12 Honor your father and your mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.


2.  Look back at the example of Jesus (WDJD) - What did Jesus do?

      I have no better way than to take my cues from Jesus. 
If there ever was someone who had the right to trump his mother's directing, it was Jesus.  But, Jesus chose to follow the example set before Him in the Ten Commandments given by His Father in Heaven so that those who follow them would prosper and have a long life.  
Is it hard for you to honor your mother?  Your mother-in-law?  Have you been hurt and struggle with honoring one who hurt you?  Is it hard to honor people who can be difficult?  or...How have you been blessed in obeying and honoring? How can you model this to your children?  
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the Ten Commandments you have given me - not to make my life harder or more difficult, but because you promise me that you will bless my obedience.  Help me to choose to follow your commands and to take my cues from the life of Jesus.  Grow me, mold me, teach me, Lord that I may be more like Him.  Thank you that Your Word is always alive and living.  Thank you for the new revelations you give me from these ancient teachings.  May Your name be glorified.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
Be blessed...
Ps.  Thank you to all my readers who have taken part in our "sCARves for a Cause"  campaign to get a reliable vehicle for our school in the Middle East. Check in on our website in the next week or so to see how this story ends.  On behalf of the Board of Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc. 
I thank you from the bottom of my heart!!   Bev xo



29 comments:

  1. I love how scripture is ALIVE and is always opening our eyes to new things if we will simply approach it with a heart ready to learn. Bev, you give me new insights into the Word every time I stop here. You are a blessing! Thank you so much, friend. xoxo

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    1. Abby,
      It really was uncanny how the Holy Spirit said, "Did you read what just took place there....read it again." When I did this truly jumped out at me. Maybe I'm way off base, but what a wonderful example Jesus sets of honoring and obeying His mother. Thanks for your encouragement sweet friend!!
      Blessings,
      Bev xoxo

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  2. Hi Bev! Thanks for sharing! I think it is so important to keep looking at Scripture through different lenses and renewing our mind in God's Word over and over as we grow and change. Your neighbor at #coffeeforyourheart

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    1. Amy,
      I've read this scripture so many times, but yes - renewing our minds in His Word over and over again. It's truly amazing how scripture is alive and continually bringing us new direction, comfort, and encouragement. May I never grow tired of reading! So glad you popped by!!
      Blessings,
      Bev xx

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  3. Great points, Bev! What a unique position Mary must have found herself in at times. I think I'd be intimidated to be -- umm, God's mom. !! Ya know? Will be fun to meet her one day. :) There's a lot of dysfunction in our families, and in the past, we've not always chosen honor at times, but that was then. I try hard to choose honor even in a situation that is unfortunate. God sees our hearts - so thankful for that and so humbled by that. :) Thanks for sharing, friend. -- And, thank you for the gorgeous scarf!! I love it and will pray for y'all every time I look at it. ((xoxo))

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    1. Brenda,
      I think I'd be pretty intimidated as well....telling God what to do? But Mary took her role seriously and Jesus, as always, was an excellent example of obedience - even when it cost Him his life. Even if the person we are honoring is not receptive, God knows our hearts and blesses us for our obedience. You're right - truly humbling! Glad you love the scarf - thanks for joining in the fun :)
      Blessings and xoxo,
      Bev

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    2. So true, Bev. Once we've been obedient, our part is done -- the rest is up to God. :) It's easy to forget that with our need to control, isn't it? (Or is that just me? :) ) ((HUG))

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  4. Hello, my friend! What a great insight here. I lost my mother-in-law in 2015. She was a very special lady, a Mississippi girl who exuded southern hospitality and never met a stranger. I learned so much from her, and yet I'm sorry to say I didn't always honor her the way she deserved to be honored. In the earlier years of our marriage especially, I almost felt like I was in a power struggle with her, even though she welcomed me into the family with open arms and never showed anything but love toward me. Hm...interesting how time changes your perceptions. Thanks for sharing your thoughts & insights here.
    Lots of love,
    Jana

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    1. Jana,
      Funny how time changes a lot of things - especially your perspective. I know there are a lot of things on which I had "do overs"....we all do. The key is learning from our mistakes and better applying that knowledge and experience in the future. Even writing this, made me sit up and take notice of the ways I'm not honoring the mothers in my life. Thanks for sharing Jana...
      Love and blessings,
      Bev xo

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  5. I hesitate to even type this, though my mother graduated to heaven over two years ago. It was difficult to honor her as she aged and became very talkative. (Was it one of her medications? I don't know!) To be the listener of one-sided conversations was exhausting. But listen I did, because the thought was always in the back of my mind: "Be patient and tolerant. To do otherwise will only result in guilt--especially when she's gone." I tried to focus on what a wonderful mother she was as I grew up, providing a secure, loving home (with my dad), teaching me to be responsible and independent. My mother-in-law was also generous, gracious, and genuinely loving toward me from the time we met. Now it's my turn to strive for the same with my in-law children!

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  6. Nancy,
    It's interesting that you say that...I have been experiencing the same thing with my mom who will soon be 83. We "talk" on the phone and calls can last an hour and a half and it's mostly me listening to every last detail of her life and very few questions asked about me. I wonder if, as we age, we kind of revert back into that adolescent "it's all about me" state of mind?? Her speech has also become much more "opinionated". It does make it hard. Thank you for reminding me of what a wonderful mom she was growing up and to stay focused on that. I always appreciate your insights, Nancy!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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  7. This is beautiful, fresh insight! Love that Jesus honored His momma in this way. Thanks for sharing, Bev!

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    1. Diane,
      Yes, fresh is a good word. When I read this segment and that hit me, I thought wow - how could I have missed this all along?
      Blessings,
      Bev xx

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  8. Always a new lesson! And with boy #2 getting married in June, this word from Scripture is timely!

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    1. Michele,
      You have your hands full - babies, weddings....but yes a timely message for the moments at hand!
      Blessings,
      Bev xx

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  9. Bev, I never, EVER saw that connection in how Jesus respected His mother before. I mean, I've read this passage numerous times. I've always wondered why He responded the way He did. But, in not refusing to do as she asked, He honored her. Even if He was an adult. He did what she asked. She had a great deal of faith to ask, and Jesus had great wisdom in choosing to honor His mother.

    LOVED this.

    I admit, I've had seasons with my MIL that have been H-A-R-D. I've tried to love her, but the hurt caused has always gotten in the way. God has been working on my heart toward her though. As He's done some healing of my hurts, He's given me His love for her. The last time we were together was actually a sweet time. He truly does redeem everything. :)

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    1. Jeanne,
      That's exactly how I felt because I've read this and I've read this and somehow that example was lost on me. So thankful for the Holy Spirit who guides us when we read to be able to glean new truth each time. What if all of us had the wisdom of Jesus to honor His mother?

      MIL's are tough...a lot. Often we get off on the wrong foot and hurts are met out and then it takes a long time to redeem them. So glad that the last time you were together was sweet. I can't imagine anyone not taking to you instantly???
      Blessings,
      BEv xx

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  10. How many times have I read the story about the wedding feast and how many times have I just skipped to the end where it turns out well? Thank you for slowing me down today and clarifying the underlying story-that of respect and obedience to your parents. I admit I have not thought about it in this context before. You did a wonderful job of showing us the nuances that I have missed for years. Love you friend!

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    1. Mary,
      You read like me sometimes....skim and then skip to the end....booom finished. Slow me down is exactly what God did in order for me to catch the nuances. I am trying to employ that more and more when I'm reading scripture. There's a whole lot more for me/us to catch when we slow down. Glad you found something new here today :)
      Blessings,
      Bev xx

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  11. We likely don't hear enough about honoring our mothers-in-law, but I agree that we should! Thanks for this encouragement, Bev. Thankfully, I'm blessed with a wonderful m-i-l who is easy to love.

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    1. Lisa,
      You ARE truly blessed to have a MIL who is easy to love. But God commands us to love even and especially the unlovable. A challenge for some of the rest of us. Thanks so much for popping by!
      Blessings,
      Bev xx

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  12. Wonderful insights pulled from this text, Bev! And it hits me on many levels because now I not only have a great mother-in-law that is, quite frankly, easy to obey, but I am also a MIL. I don't ever shout commands to my son or daughter-in-law, but I feel the pressures that you've described about my son "leaving" and "cleaving" to another. It's a hard place to be in and yet joyful at the same time! Very thought-provoking, my friend! Thanks so much!

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    1. Beth,
      Interesting perspective from being a MIL. I can only imagine how challenging that can be to see your son cleave to another. I pray that I will be a MIL worth honoring. I found this scripture very thought provoking as well.
      Blessings friend,
      Bev xx

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  13. I've always thought this was interesting. I never saw it as honoring, but I suppose it was. I just thought it was interesting that Jesus' mother knew He could fix the problem before His first miracle.
    Great insights here!
    I too have a hard time honoring both my mom and mother in law at times. It's easy sometimes and very difficult at others.
    I've told myself everything I don't want to do with my four kids and whomever they marry. And even with best intentions I know I'll need grace too.

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    1. Somer,
      How true - Jesus' mother knew He could fix the situation which shows that she knew her son well. Honoring is one of the most difficult tasks God calls us to...the ultimate act of obedience. We can all have good intentions, but we all need grace - great point!
      Blessings,
      Bev xx

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  14. Yes I do need that reminder to love my mother-in-law in a more respectful way especially. Lately she has been making a lot of not so good choices that I have a hard time with. Everyday when I think about it I keep saying "Lord, I forgive her." My greatest challenge has been to hold my tongue in front of my children which I have not always succeeded at. Definitely I constantly am reminding myself that I can't change her choices only God can. My husband didn't grow up in a Christian home but got saved later in life so I also am learning to understand that.

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    1. Naomi,
      I do find that as our MIL's age they do get more set in their ways. My prayer is always that God would give me His heart for my MIL. We don't know people's walk in life and sometimes it takes every last ounce of patience to honor them. Joining with you in holding my tongue...
      Blessings,
      Bev xx

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  15. I have a wonderful mother-in-law who stays out of or way yet offers prayerful support and encouragement. I am also a MIL now and hope my new "son" sees me as a helpful encourager.

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  16. Barbie,
    How blessed you are to have a wonderful MIL! I KNOW your new "son" will see you as a loving, caring, encourager - no doubt about that!!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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