Why honor moms?

First, we are commanded to honor Mom and it began in the Old Testament, in the Ten Commandments.

Exodus 20:12

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. 

Kabad ~ to be heavy, weighty, to be grievous, hard, to be rich, to be honorable, to be glorious, to be burdensome, to be honored

Proverbs 6:20-21

My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching. Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck.

Here we have a practical version of this command. What does honor look like? It looks like obedience. Following her teachings intentionally! Binding them on your heart, and tying them around your neck. The idea being, you go the extra mile to remember and follow them.

Then Jesus reiterated the command, and even clarified it.

Matthew 15:4-6

For God commanded, “Honor your father and your mother,” and, “Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.” But you say, “If anyone tells his father or his mother, ‘What you would have gained from me is given to God,’ he need not honor his father.” So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. 


  1. to estimate, fix the value 
    1. for the value of something belonging to one’s self
  2. to honor, to have in honor, to revere, venerate

So the Greek translation for kabad here is timao. It means to have something, in this case a mother, and you will fix the value. So if you were going to say here’s the value of my possession, you won’t undervalue it; in fact, you’ll value it as high as you can get away with, plus a little more! The word came to mean to honor, to hold in honor, to revere and venerate.  It always means to value highly.

Now, how did He clarify it? He said there’s no excuse for not doing so. There’s no excuse.

You’re saying, wait. It doesn’t say there’s no excuse. True, but look what it is saying.

The command is honor your father and mother, but he calls them out.  He says, “You tell the people, if anyone tells his father of his mother, ‘What you would have gained from me is given to God,’ then you don’t have to honor them.” He says, “For the sake of your tradition–” meaning the added laws of man, not from God–“you have made void the word of God. Now what He was saying was this is sin, and wrong, and what I’m saying is this: If Jesus says that it does not nullify this command by claiming what your parents were due was given to God, then nothing does.  

He also established that another way you show honor is financially. In fact, failure to help out parents in true financial need as you’re able is a sin.  

This is echoed by Paul —

1 Timothy 5:3-4

Honor widows who are widows indeed; but if any widow has children or grandchildren, they must first learn to practice piety in regard to their own family and to make some return to their parents; for this is acceptable in the sight of God. 

Look at verse 7

Prescribe these things as well, so that they may be above reproach. But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

The command to honor father and mother is further reiterated in the New Testament.

Ephesians 6:1-3

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (this is the first commandment with a promise), that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.

There is no question that this command was not negated, having been reiterated in the New Testament. So Jesus upholds it and clarifies it, now Paul upholds it and illustrates it. What does it look like? It includes and is primarily shown with obedience.

So children are to honor Mom. Dad too, but that will be part two of this message next month.

Someone might ask, How long do we have to do this?  Let’s start with as long as she’s still here, at least.

Proverbs 23:22

Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old. 

Why honor mom? It’s good for you!

Proverbs 1:8-9

Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck. 

You are worth more when you honor mom because you’re adorned with wisdom and good behavior. 

Proverbs 6:20-22

My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching. Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck. When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you. 

They lead you.  They show you the right way to go.

They watch over you. They keep you safe, even when you sleep. They keep watch.

They talk with you. They get in your head.  Amen?

I’m guessing out of everything we talk about today, this is the one that will stick the most. We can all hear our mom’s voices in our heads, right?  

Why honor Mom?  It’s good for her!

Proverbs 23:22-25

Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old. Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding. The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him. Let your father and mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice. 

She will be glad. She will rejoice!

Who doesn’t want their mom to be glad and rejoice?  C’mon!

Why honor mom? Biblical realities insist on it.

Proverbs 31:28

Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 

Good moms end up being praised. Not perfect moms. Moms doing their best for their families.

Proverbs 10:1

The Proverbs of Solomon: A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother. 

Cause and effect: a wise son or daughter make for a glad father, but a foolish son is makes for a sad mother.

Isn’t it interesting how this looks at perspectives and how it plays out. We try to make our dads proud of us, and we try not to disappoint mom.

Proverbs 15:20

A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish man despises his mother. 

Now look at this!  Same with dad, but look what it means for mom. 

Proverbs 30:11

There are those who curse their fathers and do not bless their mothers. 

This is sad, isn’t it? Another reality: some children end up cursing their fathers and not blessing their mothers. How? They are disobedient. Undisciplined. Unprincipled. Unruly. On and on, right? So sad.  Don’t do this.

Look what happens to that person:

Proverbs 30:17

The eye that mocks a father and scorns to obey a mother will be picked out by the ravens of the valley and eaten by the vultures. 

The life of that kind of person ends up in ruin, ends up being shortened, being abandoned, being food for the scavengers. 

Proverbs 28:24

Whoever robs his father or his mother and says, “That is no transgression,” is a companion to a man who destroys. 

If you rob your mom, you’re the same as someone who utterly destroys what he wants. He tears down, kills, ruins. Meaning you’re just as bad as that person.

Proverbs 19:26

He who does violence to his father and chases away his mother is a son who brings shame and reproach. 

When a child turns on his parents, there is only shame and reproach. This is the worst kind of person, in whom no one will find any good.

Proverbs 31:1

The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him:

I love this. The king doesn’t dare take credit for his wisdom about the excellent woman, the excellent wife. And where did he get it? From mom, of course!

Why honor moms? Look at these warnings!

Proverbs 20:20

If one curses his father or his mother, his lamp will be put out in utter darkness. 

If a child curses their mom, they will be without light in absolute darkness of sin.

Leviticus 20:9

For anyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death; he has cursed his father or his mother; his blood is upon him. 

This is how this was dealt with in the Old Testament.  They were put to death.

Exodus 21:15

“Whoever strikes his father or his mother shall be put to death.

Hit mom, be killed.

Exodus 21:17

“Whoever curses his father or his mother shall be put to death.

Curse mom, be killed.

Jesus demonstrated how to do this while on the cross.

John 19:26-27

When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. 

One of His very last acts on earth was to care for His mom, and look how well He did. He chose His most beloved disciple, not any of His unbelieving brothers, and He personally unites them.

Now let’s put this in perspective. Moms are great, and we should honor them, but don’t worship them! And moms, you love your children, perhaps the most deeply of anyone on earth, but keep them where they belong.

Matthew 10:37

Whoever loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 

We are to love and honor mom, but not more than God.  God must always come first, and for those who have believing moms, they most likely taught you this themselves, love God first. Then mom and dad.  

Moms, of course, have such a deep deep love for their children, but God must always come first. Your children need to see your love for God, your love for your husband, and first and foremost, to have things in the right perspective in life, and to be secure. Only God is worthy above all.

Mark 10:29-30

Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.” 

1 Timothy 5:1-2

Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity. 

Here moms are the model of how to speak to older women, not to rebuke them, but to encourage them, in all purity.

Genesis 2:24

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 

What does it take?

Why honor mom? She reflects God.

Now let me say this, God made man in the image of God, and He made woman in the image of God. Both of them equally.  

Genesis 1:27

God created man in His own imagein the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

God is spirit. He’s not human, even though the Bible speaks of Him primarily in  masculine terms, it also reveals aspects of God related to women, and particularly mothers.

He has to, right? If they are both made in His image, then there are traits He possesses that both and each of them possess as well.  

Look at some ways this is described.

God is like a woman in labor and giving birth to His people 

Isaiah 42:14

I have kept silent for a long time,
I have kept still and restrained Myself.
Now like a woman in labor I will groan,
I will both gasp and pant.

Deuteronomy 32:18

You neglected the Rock who begot you,
And forgot the God who gave you birth.

God is like a nursing mother.

Isaiah 49:15

But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me,
And the Lord has forgotten me.”
15 Can a woman forget her nursing child
And have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.

God is like a comforting mother.

Isaiah 66:13

As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you;
And you will be comforted in Jerusalem.

God is like a mother, a secure place for her children.

Psalm 131:2

O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty;
Nor do I involve myself in great matters,
Or in things too difficult for me.
Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me.
O Israel, hope in the Lord
From this time forth and forever.

God is like a mother bear and a lioness when her children are threatened.

Hosea 13:8

I will encounter them like a bear robbed of her cubs,
And I will tear open their chests;
There I will also devour them like a lioness,
As a wild beast would tear them.

Jesus is like the hen who gathers her chicks to protect them

Matthew 23:37

37 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. 

God will take the place of lost parents.

Psalm 27:10

If my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will take me up. 

God as a mother in creation.

 Job 38:28-29

28 Has the rain a father, or who has begotten the drops of dew?
29 From whose womb did the ice come forth,
and who has given birth to the hoarfrost of heaven? 

God values children.

(Deut. 6:7-9) – God values children. He places great importance on our teaching our children to love and serve him 

Jesus became indignant when the disciples didn’t value the worth of children in God’s expanding kingdom (Mark 10:13-16). 

And God tells us that children are his blessing to us (Psalm 127:3).

Mom’s calling.

2 Timothy

For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well. For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.

She shares her faith with her children, to point them to God for salvation

Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, 4so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.

Why honor Mom?  She nurtures and meets your needs.

She feeds her children, and points to God’s provision.

Isaiah 49:15

Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. 

She comforts her children, and points to God’s care.

Isaiah 66:13

As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem. 

She teaches her children, and points them to God.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 

She treasures when we choose right, and points to God’s pleasure.

Luke 2:51

And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart. 

She teaches wisdom, and points us to living to honor God.

Proverbs 31:1-31

The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him: What are you doing, my son? What are you doing, son of my womb? What are you doing, son of my vows? Do not give your strength to women, your ways to those who destroy kings. It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to take strong drink, lest they drink and forget what has been decreed and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.

She disciplines to spare her children from foolishness to not grieve God.

Proverbs 22:15

Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him. 

She tells her children about her experiences with God, that they will fear Him.

Deuteronomy 4:9-10

Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children, how on the day that you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, the Lord said to me, “Gather the people to me, that I may let them hear my words, so that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children so.

She loves her children and models godly living to honor God and His word.

Titus 2:4-5

And so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. 

She wants her children, and she wants them to serve God.  She is grateful to God for them.

1 Samuel 1:26-28

And she said, “Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord. For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord there.