This Sunday, Mother’s Day, as we celebrate our moms and the important role they play in our lives, Yael Eckstein reminds us to reflect on the biblical values which lead us to honor these women each and every day, not just once a year:
One time, my amazing and wonderful husband made a mistake many a father has made in the past — he forgot Mother's Day. There were no flowers, no smells of breakfast cooking in the kitchen, no beautifully wrapped presents awaiting me when I woke up. I must admit that I was initially a little disappointed. Yet after praying about it, I realized that Mother's Day is celebrated every day in our home, thanks to the biblical values we live by.
A biblically centered home builds its foundation in family values, and that is exactly what my husband and I yearn to foster. All the traditions we observe are meant to communicate a message to our children about the sanctity of marriage, the holiness of life, and the greatness of God.
Led by our desire to plant seeds of holiness within our family, we made the life-changing decision just two months after getting married to make aliyah (immigrate to Israel) from the U.S. so we could raise our children in the Holy Land. Throughout the difficult transition of moving to a new country, my husband constantly brought me comfort, friendship, and companionship.
Each week on Shabbat (the Sabbath), my husband practices the ancient tradition of singing the beautiful, poetic verses of Proverbs 31 to me that describe the characteristics of "a wife of noble character." Having heard this biblical song their whole life, my children already know it by heart. They watch intently as my husband sings, and then we begin our Shabbat meal.
In this modern age it is not easy to educate and inspire our children to follow in the ways of the Bible. But Proverbs 31 shows children the universal traits that a holy woman possesses – and, of course, so many of the qualities in these timeless verses apply to men and women alike! And so, when my husband comes to the verse that reads, "She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy," we turn to our children and sing this verse to them. This is an ancient truth that we pray they will always remember: that those who wish to live a righteous, godly life should focus their lives on helping people in need.
As I sit and relax on Shabbat, while my family praises me with one of the most beautiful love poems ever written, I revel in joy, fulfillment and thanksgiving to God. Each week, I turn to my precious children and pray that the values spoken about in Proverbs 31 will penetrate their soul and be words that they live by every day of their life.
As Mother's Day came to an end, I felt no disappointment. I found I didn't miss having flowers on the table. Instead, I thanked God for the deep love and appreciation of my family. And I thank Him as well for the biblical values that He gave to us His children as guidelines for living, and for a family that, by adhering to those values, makes every day feel like the best Mother's Day in the world.