7 Ways for Sons to Celebrate Their Mothers

Borrowed Light
Updated May 13, 2024
7 Ways for Sons to Celebrate Their Mothers

In May, we celebrate Mother’s Day. Dad’s get a Sunday in June. When my kids were little, they would wonder when Kids Day was. “Every other day,” was our answer.

It’s true — moms often have a thankless job. In reality, they should get more than one day per year. We should be thankful for our mothers year-round.

Sometimes, as sons, we struggle with knowing how to show appreciate for our moms. Truth be told, many times, we take them for granted.

But if you’re looking for ways to celebrate your mom this year — here are a few suggestions. But before those suggestions we need to ask a theological question.

Should we celebrate others? This feels like a silly question, to be honest. Of course, we should celebrate our mothers, especially when they are godly and have done a great job of portraying Jesus for us. But I also imagine some having a difficult time with a word like “celebrate.”

Should we reserve these types of things for God alone? If we set aside a day — especially a Sunday — for showing honor to our mothers, is this not getting in the way of worshipping God?

I think Sam Crabtree answers this question better than about anyone else I’ve heard. In his excellent book Practicing Affirmation, Crabtree says this:

Affirming others is not optional…We make idols when we praise what God has made more than we praise God, or praise those things without regard to God. But we glorify God when we praise what he made by commending how it reflects and testifies of him. It is not dishonoring of God for us to stand in breathless awe at the foot of the Beartooth Mountains or the Colorado Rockies drinking in the subtle colors and massive scale if underneath our amazement and enjoyment is something like “look what the Creator has wrought!” (Crabtree, Practicing Affirmation, 91).

This is also true of mothers. When our mothers, even those who do not know Christ, show the image of God, they should be celebrated. It’s not wrong to celebrate our mothers. Here are a few ways to do just that — not only on Mother’s Day but throughout the year.

Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Dima Berlin

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a mom and a teen son, we need to focus on older-child adoption

1. Express Gratitude in Words and Deeds

Hopefully this is one that you are doing year-round. However, I’ll admit that I struggle with this one myself. It’s so easy to forget all the great things our moms do for us. My mom also lives four hours away. Some of the other suggestions here are ones that I cannot readily do. This one, I can do.

The Book of Proverbs states, “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her” (Proverbs 31:28). Expressing gratitude is perhaps one of the simplest ways a son can celebrate his mother.

This could come in straightforward speech — affirming her worth and value. You can affirm the work of God in her life. You can thank God for the ways in which she images Him.

You can also go “vinyl” and write a handwritten letter expressing gratitude for specific ways she has impacted your life. Even emails and messages on social media can be a great encouragement.

Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/PIKSEL

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Mom and adult son teen

2. Dedicate Time to Spend Together

Time is a scarce commodity. Offering your time can be a substantial gift. If you live close to your parents, quality time, like going out to a coffee shop, can be a time to celebrate your mom.

Regular outings like monthly dinner dates or a weekly shared activity would most certainly be honoring to her.

It may also mean setting aside time for a daily or weekly phone call or to catch up on life’s events. (I need to do that one more).

Time spent joyfully together honors her, but it is also a way of practicing the most basic form of love expressed in the Scriptures. Could we not exercise some of the practices of Acts 2 with our own mother?

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Alessandro Biascioli

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mom being comforted by adult son, empty nester

3. Serve Her in Unexpected Ways

What better way to honor and celebrate someone than to serve them? This is especially impactful if we can find ways to serve in unexpected or thoughtful ways.

It’s more than typical kindness or doing expected chores. It is finding specific ways that will surprise and deeply touch a mother’s heart. How could you catch her off guard through service?

The first step here might be knowing and understanding her needs. Do you know her daily routine, her challenges, and maybe some of the needs that go unmet throughout the day? Observe. Inquire.

If you notice she is exhausted from household chores — step in and take over some of the responsibilities. Could you do the grocery shopping for her? Or the laundry?

It could even be as simple as noticing her complaining about tech issues and taking the initiative to help her fix the problem or show her how to simply manage the devices. Attentiveness speaks volumes.

Serving can also mean carving our special moments for her. Does she like gardening but never has time to garden? Spend the weekend mulching, weeding, and planting to revitalize her space. Then she can give more time to beautifying instead of general maintenance.

Does she love art but hasn’t visited a museum in years — take her there. Deliberate and meaningful service celebrates the gift that God has given us in our mothers.

Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Monkey Business Images/Stockbroker

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adult son talking with senior mom on couch with coffee

4. Encourage Spiritual Growth

If your mother isn’t a follower of Jesus this one will be a little tougher to navigate. Even if she isn’t, though, a good way to show her value is to value her spiritual growth. Sometimes the easiest thing we can do is give access to spiritual resources.

Does she have a Bible she likes? Are there Christian books that would be helpful to her? Is there a favorite teacher or musician that she loves?

Could you sign her up for a helpful daily devotional? Perhaps gifting her a paid subscription to a favorite Substack publication or other writing platform (hint hint).

Another option, if she enjoys writing or journaling, providing a beautifully bound journal specifically for her prayer requests, gratitude, or spiritual reflections would be a thoughtful gift.

Beyond providing resources, sharing in spiritual practices (if that is an option) could be a way to celebrate her.

If you are able consider attending a weekly service together. Many sons will go with mom on Mother’s Day. What if you made it a regular habit — especially if you don’t already have your own church?

Her faith, though, is more than just engagement with activities. Meaningful dialogue about her beliefs, challenges, and even hopes is a way of honoring her.

Asking thoughtful questions about her walk with Christ and genuinely listening to her responses, shows that you value her and her relationship with the Lord.

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Adene Sanchez

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daughter in law happy with mother in law and husband

5. Give Thoughtful Gifts

The key here is the word “thoughtful.” Gift-giving expresses love and affection. But the thoughtfulness behind it is what really counts. Selecting gifts that resonate deeply with her is a great way to celebrate your mom.

Understanding what truly brings joy to a mother is key to choosing the right gift. If she has a hobby or a passion, gifts that complement or enhance her enjoyment of this activity will make for a great gift. Find what she loves and help her enjoy it in a new way.

Moms also like personalized and customized gifts. Or at least I think my mom likes those. She might just do a good job of faking it. Their uniqueness and personal touch convey meaning and care.

Custom jewelry featuring the initials of family members, a custom-made family recipe book, or a personalized calendar with photos of family highlights from the previous year are thoughtful options that can touch her heart deeply.

Experiences, as already mentioned earlier, can also fall into the category of gifts to give. But here you might think of a spa day for relaxation, tickets to the theater, or a cooking class if she enjoys these things.

These experiences not only provide enjoyment but also create new memories that she can cherish. If she isn’t into these types of experiences a simple subscription service might speak her love language.

For some moms who are passionate about causes or charities — but they seem to have everything they need — perhaps giving to one of these causes would be impactful. Making a donation in her name could be an incredibly thoughtful gesture. Just make sure it’s her cause and not yours.

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Motortion

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6. Listen Intently

6. Listen Intently

Hopefully this is another one that is happening on more than Mother’s Day. The best way to honor and celebrate someone is to listen to them. Hear their heart. James 1:19 says, “Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.”

There is a good chance that you’ve spent quite a bit of time not listening to your mom. She probably listens to you more. Flip the script. Have intentional time to listen to her stories. Ask for her stories.

At times this may also mean providing emotional support. Sometimes being in this role can be uncomfortable. It’s important to keep the mother/son relationship in its proper order.

But there are other times when she just needs a listening ear and someone to hug. We can provide this, expressing genuine concern. Moms often struggle with feeling validated. Validate her feelings and experiences.

This also means putting down your phone. Be fully engaged--no distractions, no interruptions, and no planning what to say next. Be present.

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Motortion

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7. Support Her Dreams

7. Support Her Dreams

There is a decent chance that you’re accustomed to your mom supporting your dreams. Have you supported hers? It might be surprising, but her entire world doesn’t revolve around you. She has dreams of other things as well.

One way that we can celebrate her as someone made in God’s image is by encourage that creative spark God has placed within her. Do you know her ambitions?

Simple words of encouragement, expressing belief in her abilities, or celebrating small achievements can motivate her to continue pursuing her goals.

Affirmation helps to counteract any self-doubt she might experience. Even if her dream doesn’t ultimately come to fruition the encouragement and belief in her will speak volumes.

You can also offer practical help. Do you have skills in some areas that she doesn’t? Offer your help. Are you good at online marketing strategies but she can’t even figure out her Facebook password?

Help her. Does she want to learn a new skill? How could you help? Are there tools you could provide to assist her in accomplishing these goals?

It may even be appropriate to leverage your own network of people. Introducing her to contacts or networks that you have access to may put her dream on the fast track to success.

Even if you don’t have this available you can be her sounding board — discussing ideas and offering feedback. Engage her dreams.

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Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/monkeybusinessimages

Mike Leake is husband to Nikki and father to Isaiah and Hannah. He is also the lead pastor at Calvary of Neosho, MO. Mike is the author of Torn to Heal and Jesus Is All You Need. His writing home is http://mikeleake.net and you can connect with him on Twitter @mikeleake. Mike has a new writing project at Proverbs4Today.

Originally published Monday, 29 April 2024.