Matthew 15:4 – For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother. (KJV)
Mark 10:19 – Honour thy father and mother. (KJV)
Joshua 4:6 – That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones?
For many, Mother's Day and Father's Day (where observed) are sorrowful days, for one or both of their parents are no longer with them.
The words of Joshua refer to the setting up of the twelve stones carried from the river Jordan as a reminder to future generations of their ancestors' journey. The Scottish word for the setting up of stones as a monument or landmark is "cairn".
When I was younger, our gifts to our parents might have been home-made, or home-done, such as surprising them with doing dishes or different jobs around the home when least expected, breakfast in bed or something similar. Later on, we would look for "the perfect gift", and so the tradition continued with our children, for us.
Since my parents' passing, I've come to appreciate, even more, those things they endured without mention or complaint; those good things which we were taught that stayed with us, or have come back to us in later years; those little sayings which creep out of our mouths and make us laugh when we realize we sound exactly as they did; the little things we do from habit because we watched them do it most of our lives; those similar situations in which we sometimes find ourselves now, and have a greater understanding of why our parents said, did, or reacted in certain ways; their unbending, unshakeable faith.
These are all memories, mental cairns, if you will, God's gift from our parents to us. They are ways to continue to honour our parents, to share who they were, what they gave to us, and what we may pass on from them.
This Mother's and Father's Day, though they may be gone, honour your Mother and Father with joy. Share and pass on the love, the laughter, the knowledge, the funny little sayings, the quirky little beliefs, the odd little habits that made them who they were. For in so honouring your parents, so, too, do you honour God, in whose image they were made.
Prayer: Our Heavenly Father, we thank you for our parents who gave us life. We thank you for that part of them which is passed on to us through genetics, habits and teachings — especially those teachings which first brought us to you. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.