Many years ago, Charles Stanley wrote a pamphlet titled “How to Love Your Mother.” In honor of Mother’s Day, here is a summary of that article with some of my own added thoughts.
- Love your mother verbally. Tell her you love her but tell her why you love her and the qualities that she displays. Call her, do not make her call you.
- Love your mother physically with a hug or touch. Think of the times that she consoled you with her caress. Remember when your heart was breaking. she was always there for you with acceptance and sometimes just the right words and hug.
- Love your mother by being patient. As time passes, so does her responsibilities. As she ages, she will be unable to function as she once did. Remember that she cannot meet everyone’s expectations, BUT she tries. There may come a time in which her mind begins to fail, but do not you fail her.
- Love your mother by listening. She may have had fears and anxieties and frustrations that have tormented her. Yet, she holds those emotions within herself. Listen so that she will feel free to express her concerns, heartbreaks, and burdens. Remember that she stopped what she was doing to listen to you. Mother may not have done things exactly right, but she made an effort.
- Love your mother gratefully for the food that she cooked exactly right, the clothes she washed, and the shopping she did on your behalf. Just for you she stood in long lines, took you to the doctor, escorted you to events. When you were in a school play or on the school team, she made sure that you were there and cheered you on.
- Love your mother tenderly by being more aware of her own tough and difficult times. Avoid giving her advice. Offer her understanding and acceptance just the way she did even though you do not understand her. She needs to know that you love her unconditionally. My mother-in-law used to say, “When they were young, they walked in your toes. When they grew up, they walked in your heart.”
- Love your mother generously by offering her anything that is not too good for that special woman in your life. She never expected nor requested recompense. Often, she gave more and took less. Give her time and attention through visits, activities with her, or create fun things she would enjoy.
- Love your mother with a forgiving spirit. You have no right to be hostile toward her should she become resentful and bitter about her life. Have you taken into consideration the circumstances under which she grew up? How was she treated? What did she suffer when she was a child? What poor examples did she experience in her own home when she was growing up? If she has poor social skills, take into consideration that she might not have been taught how to properly relate to people.
- Love your mother cheerfully by laughing with her, bringing cheer into her life. Live the kind of life toward her that brings a smile to her face and encouragement to her heart when she thinks about you.
- Love your mother honorably so that she is proud of you. Love her in such a way that she’s grateful for you and the time you have invested in her as a result of the time she invested in you. Mother is a title like that of royalty. Give her that kind of honor. Tell her by how you live that indicates she did good.
Remember that the first commandment with promise says, “Honor your father and your mother that your days may be long upon the earth.” Set an example before your own children and spouse for how to treat mother. We have a responsibility to honor our mother. Under no circumstances should we avoid loving her in any way possible. Be dependable and creative so that she knows you believe her to be important in your life. Do not regret after she has passed that you should have said something or done something to improve the quality of her life. Love your mother in any way possible. Remember that before you were born, she carried you under her heart. It is now your turn to carry her in your heart.