Tomorrow is the Lord's Day. It is also a day, set apart by our culture, to honor our mothers. Every single man has one woman in particular that he should honor. That woman is his mother. Every married man has two women in particular that he is to love uniquely. Those women are his wife and his mother. They are loved differently but both are to be loved.
A married man is to leave his father and mother in order to cleave to his wife. Once married, he enters into a new priority relationship. That being said, he does not leave his mother to fend for herself. He has the lifelong privilege and honor of loving and providing for (when necessary) his mother. Leaving does not mean neglect. For the rest of the married man's life, while he cleaves to his wife, he continues to honor his mother. That is simply the way that God has designed it. When God is loved supremely then a godly man is able to love his wife and his mother without making them competitors for his affection.
Then the man said, "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh she shall be called Woman because she was taken out of Man." Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh" (Genesis 2:23-24).
Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you (Exodus 20:12).
Simply put a man is to cleave to his wife and honor his mother (Of course a wife is to cleave to her husband and honor her mother as well). Cleave and honor.
Without unpacking all of the implications of the following verses, every Christian man must wrestle with their application.
A Man and His Wife
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ love the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband (Ephesians 5:25-33).
A Man and His Mother
Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old. Let your father and mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice (Proverbs 23:22,25). Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and you shall keep my Sabbaths: I am the LORD your God (Leviticus 19:3).
Let the godly man make his wife the seal on his heart (Song of Solomon 8:6). Let his love for his wife be strong. Let him love her voice, her face, her heart, her body, and her friendship. Let him lead her to the fountain of Scripture where she will be washed in its pure water.
Let the godly man revere his mother and love her in a way that gives her reason to rejoice. As her needs increase so do the tokens of his love.
What if your wife or mother does not reciprocate your love? Herein is an opportunity for the gospel to shine through you. Two truths will buttress you when loving anyone who does not reciprocate.
1. Remember the gospel.
. . . God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). God loved us when we were weak, ungodly, and enemies of his. Remembering that truth enables us to love others.
2. Apply the gospel.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you (Romans 4:32).
On Mother's Day and every day the vision of every godly man should be to cleave and to honor. He is to cleave to his wife and honor his mother. In the power of the gospel, loving two women is the joyful privilege of every godly man.