Sometimes we get stuck seeing things our way. Would you like to see some things through another set of eyes? Maybe it will make you think and stretch or maybe just chuckle or shed a tear. Here is my world through my eyes...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Manyly Man Training #12: Honor your Mothers

When I talk to young men or observe young men, I like to find out how they treat their mothers.  How they treat their mothers gives me clues to their view of motherhood and womanhood.  I tell my daughters that when they get married that their husband will be treating them much like he treats his mother after the first year or so.  I mentioned this to a co-worker and his comment was "or earlier!" 

The truth is that as men we learn about womanhood from our mothers at home.  Maybe we've learned some from sisters, but the next big influence is our wife.  If we are lucky we will also be able to learn about womanhood from daughters too.  But more importantly we learn how to show honor to our mothers and respect to women in general in the home by observing how our parents interact and how we are expected and allowed to treat our mother.  This is true of daughters in the home as well.  If boys and girls are allowed to be disrespectful to their mother then the the girls learn to disrespect themselves and boys learn to disrespect women in general.   

So as a manly man it is imperative that you treat your mother respectfully.  This is not only part of the commandment to "honor thy parents" but also gives  you daily detailed practice in respecting womanhood so that you can show proper respect to your wife in years to come.  It has always interested me that the commandment tells us to honor our parents with no regard about our parents honorableness. 

President David O. McKay made the following comment:
"Until 'Where's Mother?' receives no sweet response do the childish minds realize how much Mother has been to them!  Not until her smile and loving presence are but sacred memories do the children know that Mother held a place in their hearts that no one else can fill!  It's an unfortunate phase of human nature that it is always inclined to undervalue its present blessings, that of Mother's and Father's presence being no exception. . . . Not only on one day, then, should we pay tribute to our mothers; but rather make that day the means of increasing our determination and ability to make every day of the year a day in which to honor Mother in particular and every woman who desires to be like Mother" (David O. McKay, Gospel Ideals, p. 454-455). 

In addition to our mothers it is important to honor our mother-in-laws.  In my experience it is the mothers in a family that smooth our life along.  We need to acknowledge and appreciate that.  How we accept our mother-in-laws will be very meaningful to our wives as well.  If we honor our mother-in-laws we can free our wives to still learn from their mother's which is all to our benefit as well. 

In order to honor and respect women we must be alert to their goodness and strengths.  We need to value what is admirable and not get caught up in things that are different or have less meaning to us as men.  As we develop as a manly man we will learn to value many characteristics outside of our experience.  We can learn that not only can femininity and masculinity work well together but also can share rolls as needed or desired.  As men we need to learn to value the feelings and experiences of women and recognize their worth not just to children or to the world in general but to us individually.  You need to see the traits of your mother in your own life. 

Our mothers and wives are experts in relationships.  It would be good to learn from their example and recognize that their actions will influence generations while our work outside the home will have a relatively short life span, and it's effect will be felt by few and remembered by less.  Our work in the home, alongside our wife, will have great dividends and be more meaningful to us eventually if not now, than our paycheck or degrees.  Follow your mother's best example and you will see what has worth and that will put other things in their proper perspective as we determine our values and priorities.  

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