Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. - Deuteronomy 5:16 (5th Commandment) and "Render honor to whom honor is due." - Romans 13:7
By Ted Spaeth, May 2015
I am thankful to God for my mother. She carried me for nine months in her womb while God knit me together (Psalm 139:13). She gave birth to me, nursed me, changed my diapers, taught me to walk, talk, feed myself, read, speak with proper English diction, be sensitive to the world around me, appreciate God's creation and appreciate people of other cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds. She has been a great blessing to me.
During my teen years, I enjoyed visiting her in Albuquerque, New Mexico, during summer vacations. She used to take my sisters and me to interesting places, like the Sandia Peak, the Grand Canyon and Mesa Verde. Her life was very different from that of people in Ohio, where I grew up. She learned to survive in various difficult situations and work around lots of different kinds of people in some interesting places. I still recall visiting her when she worked for the National Park Service on a Navajo Indian reservation.
My mother also learded to live on a low budget and not require a very comfortable lifestyle. Seeing how she lived helped me as an adult, as I also have been somewhat of an alien and stranger in this world (1 Peter 2:11) and sometimes in financial hardship. After I got saved and gained citizenship is in Heaven, I began to develop an eternal hope, and now I eagerly await a saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:20). This world is going darker and darker and is essentially hopeless until the Lord Jesus Christ returns, so I thank God for my mother and what she taught me about life and survival.
I am thankful to God for my stepmother, because she spent thousands of hours of her time keeping me well-nourished and well-dressed. She also spent much time playing badminton and golf with me and driving me to basketball games and other activities before I learned to drive. To her credit, she performed many of her duties in the midst of physical pain, and I can't even remember her ever complaining about that.
Although stepmothers tend to have a stigma of being malicious towards their stepchildren, God gave me a stepmother who was very benevolent. She left her career as a CPA to be a housewife, and she set a good example of how to serve in a less than ideal situation and how to sacrifice for self-centered and unappreciative people (like I was). Her goodness and intelligence are evidenced by the life of her son (my half brother), who has a PhD in math, is a likeable guy and has a single digit golf handicap.
I am thankful to God for my wife, the mother of my three children. Although she had a masters degree, she posponed her career aspirations for 15 years to bear 4 children and raise 3. Her relationship with Jesus is evident in her relationships with people. I've seen her listen to God through Bible study and reading and talk to God through prayer on a daily basis for 27 years. I've seen her make many, many sacrifices to serve me and our children, as well as her Filipina friends. She has helped hundreds of people to know Jesus and undo some of the devil's works in their lives. She has continually provided wise counsel and encouragement and smiles and warmth to each of us.
She also supports my leadership in the family, even when at times she doesn't understand or agree, because she believes that God is able to protect her from my mistakes. She has broken generational curses and has not divorced me or left our children, but has instead prayed for us. She has continually supported our God-ordained family unit, even at times when she really wasn't happy with me and/or our children. In an age of SELFIES, she stands out as a SELFLESS SAINT. (Every true born-again follower of Jesus is a saint according to Romans 1:7, Ephesians 1:1 and Philippians 1:1, but not all saints learn to be selfless. That takes many years of suffering and humility and obedience to learn. See Philippians 2:3-11, Hebrews 5:8, James 1:2-4 and 2 Peter 1:5-8.)