March 8th was International Women’s Day and we celebrated all the incredible women in our lives including our mothers. But, for our readers who LIVE in the UK, there’s another special day coming up on Sunday: March 11th, the day families across the British Isles celebrate Mother’s Day! The USA and other countries across the world mark the occasion in May, but, no matter when you celebrate Mother’s Day, be sure to ‘honour’ your mother on an ongoing basis!
Being a mother in the 21st Century isn’t easy. We have lots of things to juggle. Whether it’s looking after your home, husband and children, attending school parents’ evenings or ferrying your family members to their various social events. Just fulfilling the usual demands laid upon us is hard enough, never mind working part or full time or doing a duty in your church too. That’s perhaps why millions of mothers across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, will be looking forward to being treated as someone special by their families this Sunday on Mother’s Day. But for others, women who can’t have children or whose mothers or children have passed away, it might be a day filled with sadness or regret.
The History of Mother’s Day
It may seem strange that in the UK we celebrate Mother’s Day on a different day than our American neighbours and friends from other countries, but it is all down to history. Mothering Sunday, as it is known in the UK, was originally linked to religious tradition and had nothing to do with human mothers. It takes place on the fourth Sunday of Lent (so it varies according to the lunar calendar) and in the past it was the day when Christians were expected to return to their hometown to visit their ‘mother church’ to worship there with their families. Domestic servants, who worked most days, were given the day off to return to their birthplace and to visit their families. On route they might pick handfuls of wild flowers to decorate their church or to give to their mothers.
In contrast, Mother’s Day as celebrated in the USA was introduced later and had nothing to do with tradition. It was officially set as an event to take place on the second Sunday in May (so the date only varies slightly). This was as a response to campaigning led by Anna Jarvis and her mother Ann Jarvis, who were the leaders of a group of mothers who fought for Mother’s Day to be established in America “to reunite families that had been divided during the Civil War.” Anna chose a date in May in memory of the day her mother died. The first official Mother’s Day was celebrated at St. Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia, on May 10, 1908. Afterwards several other counties soon started use the American date.
Whichever country you celebrate Mother’s Day or on whichever date, it has become very commercial and worldly. Anna Jarvis did not like this and nor do I. In my opinion, something homemade or a kind word is much more appreciated than something bought in a shop! Anna is quoted as saying, “A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world.”
GOD TV broadcasts a great British series specifically for mothers, called The Mum Show. This recognises the crucial role mothers play and helps to empower young mothers. The Mum Show is hosted by Marina Magdalena, who is the founder of the Promise Collective in the UK, with child therapist, Emma Browne and Life Church leader, Clare Hooper. It takes an honest, soul searching look at being a mum in today’s world, covering topics like identity, emotions and appropriate love. Children give their views on topics too. Click to watch The Mum Show Online.
A woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Mothers and women generally are important to God, aren’t we? He made us in His own image after all. The Bible is full of verses about mothers and how we should treat them and how mothers should act.
- Ephesians 6:2 says, “honour your father and mother – which is the first commandment with a promise – so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
- Proverbs 31:10-30 gives us the guidelines for being “a virtuous women” so “her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her; `Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all’.”
- The verses I like most from this passage in Proverbs is verse 30, which says “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting: but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
Whether you are a man, woman, mother or child, and whenever you celebrate Mother’s Day, ‘honour’ your mother (and your father of course) and fear the Lord!