Dose of Truth

A unique perspective on Mother’s Day

Tim Richards

While grocery shopping several years ago, I noticed a cute 4-year-old twirling like a ballerina in a store aisle. The child was so engrossed in her play she was completely unaware of others. Though she was not far from her mother, her mom urgently demanded, “Emily, get back here!”

I do not know what had gone on before that moment, but the mother’s exasperation did not seem to have been caused by Emily misbehaving, she was being neither mischievous nor bad. She was a normal 4-year-old caught up in a world of imagination and play. Perhaps my observation about the mother sounds critical, but I know personally how parenting can be a challenge.

My children currently range from 19 to 35 and there have been numerous times when I fell far short of being the parent I wanted to be. Although I am usually patient, there have been more times than I want to admit when I became frustrated with my children for simply being… well… children.

That Monday at the grocery store, I tried to encourage the mother by offering her a smile. She said, “Sometimes I wonder if I will make it through this stage.” I assured her she would and then continued my shopping. Although I never saw them again I am sure she and her daughter made it through that stage and many more since.

Last Saturday I entered a new stage in my relationship with my daughter Cassie. She married Tony. I am happy and excited for them. My hope is that they will build a wonderful life together.

There are more stages ahead. I hope Cassie and Tony will someday have children. When they do, my relationship with my daughter and son-in-law will enter another new phase.

As I reflected on this I was reminded of a passage which deals with parents and children. “Honor your father and mother… Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them…” (Ephesians 6:2 and 4, NLT)

Scripture makes the point that no matter our age, we are to honor our parents, not because they are perfect, but because if they did their best to raise us, we owe them a debt of gratitude we can never fully repay. However, each parent is to be reasonable and patient with their children as well.

In short, we are to love one another. This year as we prepare to celebrate Mother’s Day I am reminded how this day is not just about being grateful for our mothers, it is also about treasuring our relationship with our parents and children. It means that we should recognize what we often take for granted will pass far faster than we imagine. We cannot recover lost moments from our past, but we can intentionally create special family moments moving forward. I hope you will join me in being committed to doing just that.

Tim Richards

has been a pastor for 37 years, serving five churches, including his current church, The Refuge in St. Louis, which he founded. He and the congregation minister to those who are hurting and do their part to expand God’s kingdom. Tim and his wife Kelly have five children. “A Dose of Truth” which he has written for more than 25 years appears in 13 newspapers. His book, “Thriving in the Storm: Discovering God’s Peace and Perspective in Turbulent Times,” is available from Amazon. Feel free to contact him at Photography is another of his skills. Pastor Tim’s photos may be viewed at