by J.A. Medders
Leave the lame gift at the store. Get a good one. And whatever you do, don’t order you and your wife the same thing and call it a Mother’s Day present; this happened to a guy I know— I know this guy, like Paul knew a guy that went to the Third Heaven— and it didn’t go down very well.
As I sat in the wreckage of that moment, it got me thinking about how I, and all fathers, could really serve, honor, and love our wives on Mother’s Day. Before we roll into the weekend, there are three things that a father could do to really serve and honor his wife — this warrior, the mother of his children, his best friend.
“He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD.” (Proverbs 18:22)
Your wife is a gift from God. She is “from the Lord.” This changes the way we look at the mother of our kids. She is not to be treated as common, normal, or some commodity of the home. That’s how the world views women. Not us, men, not us. She is our Sovereign God’s gift — she is a living example of the “favor” of God.
Thank God for her. Don’t ski through this weekend and forget to lift your voice up to the Father for the blessing of your wife. Our wives are a living testimony of God’s goodness and blessing. Don’t forget this. God gave her to you. And more so, she is a gift of grace that no husband deserves.
Pray with your family, thanking God for your wife. Ask each kid to pray, thanking God for their mom. Write her a note that’s longer than a sticky note. Express your thanks to God for her, that she really is a “good” reward from the Father.
“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” (Romans 12:10)
Men, I know we struggle with affirming and honoring others. Today, let us crucify that sin. This Mother’s Day Weekend, outdo the honoring of your wife.
We are too terrestrial. Often, we are too worldly, too fleshy, and too entrenched in the American manhood ideals that feelings and encouragement are for sissies. Way wrong. That kind of “manhood” is not charming, and it’s not biblical. But by the power of the risen Christ, we have an extraterrestrial power in us, enabling us to do things that aren’t first nature — they are now second nature, or new nature.
My wife is so good at giving gifts, encouraging me, and serving me. She honors me. And God wants me to outdo her in the honoring department. There are two super-practical (and biblical) ways we can outdo our wives in showing honor.
Lavish Her. Love Her. Serve Her.
Whether your wife is Cajun-small-town-kinda-girl (like mine) or she grew up at the Ritz, she wants to be lavished by her husband. And here’s why. Love is the soil of giving.
Give her awesome gifts. Thoughtful, memorable, special, (practical, if that’s her thing — like a vacuum cleaner, just tread carefully so mama doesn’t knock you out) — and if you can swing it, maybe something that’s more than she expected you would spend. You know your budget and your family. And being a student of your wife, diamonds may not speak to her; but a nice dinner prepared by you may be more valuable than precious jewels.
Our gift giving should have a gospel-impetus. ‘Love’ and ‘give’ are never far apart. “For God so loved… he gave.” The gospel is our model, and charge for gift giving. Fathers, let’s be like our gift-giving Father (James 1:17) who extravagantly lavishes his beloved.
You could give the perfect present, but if you don’t have love, it’s nothing. You could give up your body to do all the honey-dos, but if you don’t have love, it’s lame. You could give her an iPhone, but if love is missing, it’s a clanging cymbal.
Love never ceases. Lavish her with love. Flowers die, chocolate runs out, the mani-pedi wears off, but love doesn’t. This weekend, love your children’s mama. Crank it to eleven. Love isn’t just the ooey-gooey romantic comedy love (though, you may have to watch a few); I’m talking about something greater. Eternal virtue. Godly love. The 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love.
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:4–7)
Imagine if your wife felt that this weekend? It’d mean more than whatever you bought. And the good news is that the Spirit is alive in you, to bring this kind of love to your wife. You are in good hands.
Love gives. Love serves. Jesus shows us what it means to love, to give, to serve, to lay his life down for his bride. Jesus is our grand example, and power, to serve her in a gospel-powered way — and that’s the only way that glorifies God. This weekend, really serve her. No huffing. No puffing. Crucify your eye-rolling, impatience, and rebellion to rub her feet. Serve her in the supernatural grace of God.
“Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” (Proverbs 31:28–30)
Mama needs to be encouraged. “Baby, you are awesome. You do so much, you serve us so well — we are mega-blessed by you.” Tell her the evidences of grace you see in your life. Write your words down if you must. Rise up, man up, round up the children, and encourage her socks off. She won’t be mad if one goes missing. She’s used to it.
One day a year to honor mothers? A great gesture, but hardly enough! Make this brand of godly-honorment (lavishing, honoring, serving, praising) more than a canned day once a year; why not make it the culture of your home? Create a Mother’s Day culture everyday.
Think of the effects? What would your kids see? Little Johnny will see a man serve and love his wife in ways he won’t find anywhere else. The high school sophomore who is all confused about what love really is, she’ll see it — and she’ll learn what to look for in a future spouse.
Mother’s Day is wonderful to day honor, but everyday is the day to honor. I’m not saying everyday requires strawberry pancakes in bed, but that spirit of honoring is a biblical virtue — one the Spirit of God gives us. “Outdo one another in showing honor” is meant for all of life.
Thanks be to God for all of the mamas. We love you. We thank you for all of the Cheeto crumbs wiped away. We thank you for folding our clothes. We praise you for you are an excellent gift of grace. Soli Deo Gloria.
J.A. Medders is the Lead Pastor of Redeemer Church in Tomball, Texas. He is chasing a M.Div. at Southern Seminary. He and Natalie have one precious little girl, Ivy. Jeff loves books, caffeinated refreshments, the Triune God, and sour candy. He blogs at www.jamedders.com, wrote the eBook Why You Should Manuscript Your Sermons, and tweets from @mrmedders.
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