Why is Mother’s Day a Holiday?

By Carla Calhoun

Why is Mother’s Day a holiday, and how does the bible view a godly mother? 

We know that Mother’s Day is recognized around the world to show respect, honor, and appreciation for mothers. It was not created just for card manufacturers to make money. But we know commercial businesses and manufacturers exploit this and many other holidays.  Mother’s Day, next to Christmas, is one of the most commercialized holidays, generating billions of dollars in revenue.  http://www.restaurant.org/


Anna JarvisMother’s Day was advocated by Anna Marie Jarvis in 1908, and became a national holiday in 1917.

Jarvis advocated for this holiday after the death of her mother on May 9, 1905, to honor her and all women for their many sacrifices as mothers. Excerpts  http://www.goodhousingkeeping.com/

Ann Jarvis, Anna’s mother, gave birth to 13 children of which only 4 survived to adulthood. This was not uncommon in the Appalachian region due to epidemics spread through poor hygiene which contributed to high infant mortality deaths.

Excerpts New York Times magazine. UPDATED: APRIL 25, 2018, 12:28 PM EDT | ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: MAY 11, 2017, 12:00 PM EDT

Jarvis was not the first to suggest honoring mothers. Many women, centuries and decades before had the idea but Jarvis drove the idea forward with her vast determination. Through a letter-writing campaign, she petitioned political leaders for support of her idea. Jarvis then  founded the Mother’s Day International Association. Excerpt Olivia B. Waxman New York Time Magazine.

Finally, 3 years later, Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in West Virginia held the first Mother’s Day celebration. President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill in 1914, officially making the second Sunday in May Mother’s Day. Excerpt – https://www.cnn.com/

In 1920, Jarvis became angered by the commercialization of Mother’s Day and boycotted the businesses that exploited the very holiday she had  fought to start. Jarvis spent her entire inheritance on this endeavor and died impoverished, blind, and in a sanitarium. Anna Marie Jarvis was laid to rest in 1948 next to her beloved mother Ann Jarvis. Excerpt: Time Magazine

Mother’s Day is celebrated worldwide. In the US billions of dollars are spent on flowers, cards and restaurants.  It is the most common day to dine out. http://www.restaurant.org/

Honoring mothers with elaborate gifts once a year is thoughtful and probably appreciated, but shouldn’t we show admiration daily to our mother figures?

What the bible says about honoring mothers and the attributes of a godly mother/woman. The bible book of Proverbs is for gaining wisdom, and understanding words of insight. Prov 1:2.

A Proverbs Woman: She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. Proverbs: 31. National International Version. (NIV)

Scripture instructs parents, to train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6, King James Bible.

Scripture instructs children, “Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother -which is the first commandment with a promise so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy a long life on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3 NIV

How do you honor your mother or mother figure on Mother’s Day? Gifts are thoughtful, but spending quality time with your loved one can be more enjoyable and memorable.