Make Mother’s Day time of thanksgiving

Published 6:27 pm Saturday, May 9, 2015

By Larry Stover

Pastor at Praise Park Ministries Church of the Nazarene


Mother’s day has always been a great day of celebration around my house. As a child growing up, our family always celebrated the day with a lot of thanks and praise for my mother and grandmothers.

Now that I have been married almost 42 years the celebrations continue. My wife, Janet, has always been that lady of Proverbs 31.

As a pastor’s wife, she has been gracious and giving during our 37 years of ministry.

As a mom she has been continually devoted to our children, Paula and Joshua. That role has carried to the next generation as “Gram” is a favorite person to our grandchildren Rebekah and Nathan.

Tragically, Mother’s Day is not always an exciting day for some families. For some the memories are bitter and full of hurt and frustration.

Others have no recollection of a loving person caring for them as they grew up. My heart aches when I hear stories from youth and young adults who celebrate the day with anger rather than praise and thanksgiving.

The Bible is full of great stories about motherhood. Mary, the mother of Jesus is the epitome of love. The apostle Paul’s protégé, Timothy was blessed with a godly mother and grandmother who helped shape his life for ministry.

My favorite story is about Hannah, the mother of Samuel in the Old Testament. Hannah was not able to have children and it was a social disgrace in that day to be barren. She would pray at the temple daily for God to give her a child and promised that if he did, she would dedicate that child to serve God in the Temple.

When Samuel was born and became of age, Hannah took him to the Temple and presented him to Eli the High Priest.

Through that act of commitment and obedience God raised Samuel up to be one of the great leaders of Israel.

Another tradition has grown out of that epoch in the life of Hannah and Samuel. Just as Hannah dedicated her son to the Lord and Jesus would take the children up in his arms and bless them, so parents have been dedicating their babies and young children to the Lord for centuries.

Janet and I will never forget those two occasions when we presented our infants to the Lord. Those were exciting days.

We entered into a covenant with God committing ourselves to bringing them up in church and teaching them the ways of the Christian faith. We often think back on those occasions.

They were placed in the hands of God and have never been removed.

We often talk with parents whose children have made bad choices and their lives are in a mess. We encourage each other with the old Proverb, “train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Many hold onto the hope that those seeds of faith, learned as a child, will get them through difficult days when they are running away from the values and morals they grew up with.

As you celebrate Mother’s Day this year, make it a time of praise and thanksgiving. I want to encourage families to attend the church of their choice today as a family.

If you have not dedicated your children to the Lord or had them baptized, talk with your pastor about it.

It is never too late to present your family to the Lord. Celebrating with the ladies in your life today makes life “Simply Beautiful!”